Let’s talk about best and most amazing castles we can find in southern Poland. Every castle has its own unique story worth discovering, filled with a climate, an aura of mystery, and legends that stimulate the imagination.
Ghosts? Well, I think with a bit of luck, you might even see them! If you’re planning a trip or vacation in Southern Poland, I recommend some interesting castles that are worth visiting.
The Difference Between Castles and Palaces
First, it’s worth to say, let’s clarify the concept of a castle and a palace as they are often confused.
- Castles: These are defensive structures with a courtyard enclosed on all four sides. In Poland, castles were constructed from the 13th to the end of the 15th century.
- Palaces: These are residential residences primarily intended for representative purposes. Such a building usually did not have defensive features, but quite often, it happened that the palace was surrounded by a moat.
Now that we have a bit of theory out of the way, let’s move on to the itinerary of the trip itself. The trip is divided into two days, making it perfect for a weekend. Castles can usually be visited from morning till evening, and sometimes, they even offer accommodation.
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- You may also like this article: 10 Extraordinary Castles Near Kraków for a Perfect Day Trip
Jura Krakowsko-Częstochowska is a popular tourist destination chosen by enthusiasts of active leisure and those interested in history and fascinating places. Thanks to numerous hiking and cycling trails, you can spend quality time surrounded by nature.
Ogrodzieniec Castle is probably in every school textbook – its characteristic ruins are located on the Trail of the Eagles’ Nests.
The castle was constructed in the 14th century on the initiative of King Casimir the Great. Over several hundred years, it changed owners and progressively fell into more ruin. However, thanks to maintenance and security works, the castle is now open to visitors.
I can tell you an interesting fact: Ogrodzieniec Castle has been used as a film background many times (e.g., Andrzej Wajda’s “Zemsta” was filmed here, and the castle also appeared in the series “The Witcher”).
Legends of Ogrodzieniec Castle
There are several legends associated with Ogrodzieniec Castle. One of them says that on moonlit nights, a great black dog can be seen on the walls, dragging a chain behind it. Legend says that it is the soul of the rich and cruel castellan of Kraków, Stanisław Warszycki, who was one of the lords of Ogrodzieniec Castle.
Castle in Moszna
The castle in Moszna, or rather the palace (German Schloss Moschen), is grand and representative. Its fairy-tale architecture makes it a major attraction in the region.
Built in the 18th century, it boasts 99 towers and 365 rooms, and even a crypt. From 1866 to 1945, the Silesian Tiele-Winckler family resided there.
Interestingly, the palace once housed a Neurosis Therapy Center. Part of the palace in Moszna is open to the public, and you can even stay overnight in one of the chambers. It is surrounded by a magnifficent park with three-hundred-year-old oaks.
- I suggest you also read this article: The Ultimate Guide to Poland’s Abandoned Palaces [GPS]
The Krzyżtopór castle, now a ruin, exudes a magical and mysterious atmosphere. It is an intriguing site in Poland, initiated in the 17th century by Krzysztof Ossoliński, the voivode of Sandomierz.
A well-educated man, he aspired to build a residence that would be awe-inspiring and admired, overshadowing other aristocratic homes. It remained the largest building of its kind until Versailles was created.
The castle is a ‘palazzo in fortezza’, meaning a comfortable residence with defensive features. It covers 1.3 hectares, with walls extending 600 meters. Construction required 200,000 bricks and 30,000 tiles. Various tourist routes are available, including one marked in the cellars.
Grodziec – The Prince’s Castle
One of the most captivating castles in Poland is nestled in a tiny village atop a 389-meter high basalt mountain, away from the hustle and bustle. Unfortunately, the artificially planted forest has grown so much that little can be seen from behind the trees.
The stronghold occupies the entire mountain top, but mainly the upper castle is developed. For more information, visit the official website: www.grodziec.com.
Czocha Castle is a defensive border castle located in Sucha (Czocha), Leśna commune, on the Leśniański Lagoon on Kwisa in the Polish part of Upper Lusatia. The original name was probably Czajków (1329: castrum Caychow), before 1945 Tzschocha.
If you want to explore castles that are not only historically significant but also offer breathtaking views and intriguing stories, these are definitely worth a visit. From the grandeur of the palace in Moszna to the mysterious ruins of the Krzyżtopór castle, and the hidden gem of Grodziec, each castle tells its own unique story.
Don’t miss the chance to stay overnight in Moszna or explore the tourist routes in Krzyżtopór. I’m sure it will be an unforgettable experience.
Chojnik – Medieval Ducal Castle
Chojnik Castle is situated in a picturesque area atop a high rocky mountain (627 m). During summer, only the tower and a section of the wall are visible from the Sobieszów side, as trees cover the rest. The castle is also famous for its YouTube channel, surgepolonia, managed by Jędrek, the castellan of Chojnik Castle.
Bolków – Gothic Ducal Castle
Located on the right bank of the Nysa Szalona, on a 396 m hill above sea level, is one of the largest castles in Lower Silesia. The “Castle Party” alternative music festival is also hosted at Bolków Castle. More information is available at www.castleparty.com.
Będzin Castle – Medieval Royal Castle
A medieval defensive stronghold built by Casimir the Great in the Eagles’ Nests in Lesser Poland, 4.5 km from the Silesian border, on a hill above Czarna Przemsza river. It was destroyed many times but was rebuilt in 1956.
Pilica – Noble Castle – Bastion Palace
In the Jura Krakowsko-Częstochowska, in the city of Pilica, Silesian Voivodeship, lies a castle surrounded by bastion fortifications. It consists of four wings enclosing an inner courtyard, located in the „Eagles’ Nests Route”.
- You may also like: Living Like Royalty – Castle Hotels in Poland That Offer a Majestic Stay
Smoleń – Gothic Knight’s Castle
The ruins of a castle in the Jura Krakowsko-Częstochowska, in the village of Smoleń, Silesian Voivodeship, Zawiercie county. It is one of the so-called Eagles’ Nests Route.
Bobolice – Gothic Royal Castle
A royal castle built in the mid-fourteenth century in the Jura Krakowsko-Częstochowska, in the village of Bobolice, Silesian Voivodeship, Myszków district. It is also one of the Eagles’ Nests.
If you are there, I believe you will find the history and beauty of these castles captivating. From the YouTube famous Chojnik Castle to the music festival hosted Bolków Castle, and the historic Eagles’ Nests like Będzin, Pilica, Smoleń, and Bobolice, each site offers a unique experience.
Don’t miss the chance to explore these remarkable landmarks. I’m sure it will be an unforgettable adventure.