Want to discover some of the most beautiful castles in Poland? Join Warsaw local as we cover the six most popular castles in Poland and how far they are away from Warsaw. We all want to feel sometimes like a king or queen or imagine ourselves living in other century, don’t we? We prepared today a brief list of the most impressive locations in Poland where you can find yourself doing this – magical castles
1. Castle in Malbork
The Castle of the Teutonic Order is the largest castle in the world considering surface area. It was built in Prussia by the Teutonic Knights.
The castle is a classic example of a medieval fortress and back in 1406 when it was finished, was the world’s largest brick castle. UNESCO has added the Castle and the Malbork Castle Museum to the World Heritage Site in December 1997.
Its main purpose was to strengthen the control of the area. The castle was expanded a few times to fit in the growing number of Knights. Soon, it became the largest fortified Gothic building in Europe. It consists of three separate castles – the High, Middle and Lower Castles, separated by multiple towers. The castle once housed approximately 3,000 knights.
The position of the castle by the river Nogat allowed easy access by trading ships arriving from the south by Vistula river and from the Baltic Sea. During their governance, the Teutonic Knights collected river tolls from passing ships. They controlled a monopoly on the trade of amber.
With the rise of Adolf Hitler in the early 1930s, the Nazis used the castle as a destination for annual pilgrimages of the Hitler Youth. In 1945 during World War II fights in the area, more than half the castle was destroyed.
After being restored just before World War II and then destroyed again in the battle and it stayed in this state until a new restoration which was completed in April 2016. Malbork Castle still remains the largest brick building in Europe.
Tickets (price includes guide):
There is a possibility for sightseeing in English, German and Russian.
Mondays : Free admission without a guide.
Duration of the visit: 3,5h.
Summer (15.04 – 30.09): 9:00-19:00
Winter (1.10 – 14.04): 10:00- 15:00
During the summer season you can watch a light show showed on the castle walls, by the river. They take place at 21:00 and the tickets cost 20zł.
Location: Pomeranian Voivodeship, closest big city: Gdańsk
2. Moszna Castle
This Gothic castle is one of the best known monuments in the western part of Upper Silesia. The history of this building begins in the 17th century, although much older cellars were found in the gardens during works carried out at the beginning of the 20th century.
The central part of the castle is an old baroque palace which was partially destroyed by fire in the 1896 and was reconstructed in the same year. The reconstruction works involved an extension of the residence. The eastern Neogothic-styled wing of the building was built by 1900, along with an orangery. In 1912-1914, the western wing was built in the Neo-Renaissance style. The architectural form of the castle contains a wide variety of styles, that is why it can be defined as eclectic.
The whole castle has exactly ninety-nine towers. Inside, it consists of 365 rooms.
After World War II the castle did not have a permanent owner and was the home of various institutions until 1972 when it became a convalescent home. Later it became a Public Health Care Center for Therapies of Neuroses.
Nowadays it can be visited by tourists as the health institution has moved to another building in the neighborhood. The castle also has a chapel which is now used as a concert hall. Since 1998 the castle housed a gallery in which works of various artists are presented at regular exhibitions.
The castle offers: conference center, hotel and big dining room for special occasions such as wedding.
Opening hours: 9:00-18:00
From November until march the visit is free of admission.
Location: Upper Silesia Voivodeship, closest big city : Katowice
3. Książ Castle
It was built in 1288-1292. It lies inside a protected area called Książ Landscape Park, overlooks the River and is one of the city’s main tourist attractions.
The castle was seized by the Nazi regime in 1944 because the owner of the building, Prince of Pless Hans Heinrich XVII had moved to England in 1932 and become a British citizen.
It has been claimed that the castle was being outfitted as a future headquarters for Adolf Hitler.
The whole complex consists of: castle, conference center, park, botanical garden with palm trees and a hotel.
Opening hours: 10:00-16:00
Adults – 30zł
Children – 20zł
The price includes: castle, terraces and the botanical garden with palm trees.
There is a possibility to visit the castle during the night hours and the price is 50zł per person. It is organized on Fridays and Saturdays. During the visit you will see places not opened for public during the day such as tunnels, basement and terraces using only lamp in your hand. Duration: 1,5h.
Location: Lower Silesian Voivodeship, Poland. Closest big city: Wrocław.
4. Czocha castle
Czocha defensive castle was built on a rock, and its oldest part is the keep, to which housing structures were added later. Czocha Castle began as a stronghold, on the Czech-Lusatian border. Its construction was ordered in the middle of the 13th century.
Czocha’s walls were strengthened and reinforced in 1611, which defended the building from a Swedish siege during the Thirty Years War. On August 17, 1793, the whole complex burned in a fire.
After World War II, the castle was plundered several times, both by soldiers of the Red Army, and Polish thieves, who came to the so-called Recovered Territories from central and eastern part of the country. Pieces of furniture and other goods were stolen, and in the late 1940s and early 1950s, the castle was home to refugees from Greece who escaped Greek civil war.
In 1952, Czocha was taken over by the Polish Army. Used as a military vacation resort, it was erased from official maps. The castle has been open to the public since September 1996 as a hotel and conference center.
It is possible to arrange a wedding in the hotel, family dinner or just stay for a few nights in real palace.
Recently, the castle has been used as the setting of the College of Wizardry, a live action role-playing game that can be compared to Harry Potter.
Opening hours: 10:00-18:00
Tickets (sightseeing with the guide):
Adults – 15zł
Children – 8zł
Location: Lower Silesian Voivodeship. Closest big city : Wrocław.
5. Castle Pieskowa Skała
Renaissance castle, located within the boundaries of the Ojców National Park.
Pieskowa Skała castle, built by King Casimir III the Great, is one of the best-known examples of a defensive Polish Renaissance architecture. It was erected in the first half of the 14th century as part of the chain of fortified castles called Orle Gniazda (Eagles Nests), along the highlands of the Polish Jura, north-west from Kraków.
During the castle’s reconstruction in the mannerist the original medieval tower was transformed into a double loggia decorated in the sgraffito technique. The castle changed hands many times over the centuries.
Maczuga Herkulesa, located right in front of the castle, is a 30 meters tall limestone rock. Its name, in Polish, means the “cudgel of Hercules”, due to its characteristic shape.
The area is famous for its rock formations, although Maczuga Herkulesa is the most famous. Apart from limestone ricks, there are numerous cliffs and over 400 caves in the area.
Monday – closed
Tuesday – Sunday 10:00-16:00
Fridays – free admission
Adults: 18zł (includes 2 exhibitions)
Children: 11zł (includes 2 exhibitions)
Location: Lesser Poland Voivodeship, 30km from Kraków
6. Gołuchów castle
This building is an early Renaissance castle that was built between 1550-1560 on a square plan and used as a defensive stronghold and nobles residence.
The owners expanded the residence – changing it into a magnate-Renaissance stronghold.
The castle was reconstructed in the 19th century, in the style of the French Renaissance and its surrounded by the largest Landscape Park in Greater Poland Voivodeship, which represents English architectural style.
Monday – closed
Tuesday – Sunday : 10:00-16:00
Children – 7zł
Adults – 10zł
Free admission on Tuesdays.
The castle is located 270km from Warsaw, in the greater Poland voivodeship. The closest big cities are: Łódź and Poznań.