Poland is often called the Country of Castles – and not for nothing. In total, there are 341 castles in Poland: 178 of them are restored and open to visitors as museums, and another 163 castles are half-ruined.
During the long history of the Kingdom of Poland and the Rzeczpospolita, almost every town in these lands had castles built, which served not only as residences of the king and courtiers, but also as homes for wealthy noblemen, who, as we know, were not counted in Poland.
Location: Suloszowa, Małopolska voivodship
This picturesque castle is located at the top of the mountain and is surrounded on three sides by an abyss. The first mention of it reaches 1315. The legend tells that the first owner of the castle Peter Shafranets was an alchemist and practiced black magic, tried to get gold from ordinary metals and killed all the visiting merchants.
Along the castle, there is a famous rock, which the Poles call the “Hercules Stick”. There is also a very beautiful legend associated with it, which says that it was the legendary Polish ruler Krak killed the Krakow dragon and left it here, after which it grew into the ground and remained forever.
Zamek w Krasiczynie
Location: Krasiczyn, Podkarpackie voivodship
This incredibly beautiful castle is located only 10 km from Peremyshl and belongs to the refined Renaissance ensembles on the territory of modern Poland. It was built in the 16th century by the nobleman Stanislav Krasitsky and later rebuilt by his son, Castellan of Lviv Martin Krasitsky.
What makes the castle unique is its wall paintings that can be seen almost in every room. These paintings were created according to a clearly defined plan and cover up to 7000 m² of walls! They depict busts of Roman emperors, Polish rulers and saints. In addition, it is also worth visiting the castle dungeons with a torture chamber and the chapel near the castle.
Zamek Książ w Wałbrzychu
Location: Wałbrzych, Lower Silesia Voivodship
Castle ” Kniaz ” – the largest castle in Lower Silesia and the third largest castle in Poland, built in 1288 – 1292 by Prince Bolko I Surov. During the Second World War the castle served as one of Hitler’s stakes – his official headquarters.
Today it has a museum, a landscape park, an impressive equestrian farm and a restaurant, where very tasty food is served. You will not find such a beautiful castle all over Europe.
Zamek krzyżacki w Malborku
Location: Malbork, Pomeranian Voivodeship
Marienburg, or Castle of the Teutonic Order in Malbork, was the residence of the Grand Master of the Teutonic Order from 1309 to 1456. It is the largest medieval brick castle in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The castle in honor of the Virgin Mary was built by the Teutonic Knights on the banks of the Nogat (Vistula estuary) in 1274. It is estimated that 4.5 million bricks were used for its construction.
Just like many other medieval castles, Malbork held a strategic and rather favorable position. The castle’s convenient location on the shores of River Nogat meant that it controlled the river passage and was able to collect tolls from trading ships and barges.
Today the castle houses a museum, where tourists can see various temporary and permanent exhibitions and expositions.
Location: Podzamce, Silesian Voivodeship
The romantic ruins of a medieval castle in the village of Podzamche are open to tourists. The Ogrodzenets Castle was built in XIV – XV centuries by the Sulimchikiv family. Today, the castle ruins are covered with legends. Locals believe that there are ghosts living here and tell you how they have seen them more than once.
In particular, everyone is frightened by the famous ghost of the Black Dog from Ogrodzenets, who, according to people, walks around the castle walls at night and drags a long chain behind him. And sometimes, the soul of Krakow’s castellan Stanisław Warszycki appears here, as if he were a headless horseman.
Location: Suha, Lower Silesia Voivodship
Czoch Castle – a defensive castle built in 1241-1247 on the shore of Lake Lesná as a border fortress by order of Czech King Wenceslas I.
Today the castle is open for visitors as a museum complex and hotel. There is also a restaurant and a conference hall. In addition, films are often made in the castle for its picturesque appearance.