The ancient country of Poland is located just in the mysterious heart of Central Europe. As Poland has had most of the tempestuous history of Europe, it goes without saying that its architecture seems to be a living museum for the significant events and exploits of the past. You can gaze in surprise at some of the most exciting castles in the world.
This country is renowned across the world for its castles. There are around 500 castles in Poland offering plenty of serene attractions to every visitor. It is not easy to decide which palaces you should visit first in this country. So, we have picked the most extraordinary, most beautiful castles in Poland which have been inscribed in the rich history and culture of this country.
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Here’s the list of the top castles in Poland
Goluchow Castle was built from 1550 to 1560 in the early Renaissance era on a square floor plan to be used as a residence and defensive stronghold. It is located at Greater Poland Voivodeship, Goluchow, Poland. It is one of the most visited castles in Poland. The design was changed in later centuries to resemble the famous French castles in the Loire Valley purposely.
Princess Izabela Czartoryska was one of the leading owners of this castle. She dedicated the whole site to her art collection. This castle is still open for the public these days. It has preserved the 19th century furniture and interiors, and they are the dominant cultural facet of the region.
The residence is built in the French Renaissance style and is covered beautifully by the most extensive landscape garden of Greater Poland Voivodeship, which asserted English and Romanesque architecture on the castle. The castle also has the Branch of the National Museum of Poznan after World War II.
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The Malbork Castle of the Teutonic Order was built in the 13th century. It is a Teutonic fortress and castle located around Malbork town of Poland. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the world’s largest castle regarding the land area. The Malbork castle in Poland was built in Gothic style and was constructed from 1274 to 1457 by the Teutonic Order knights who got the land gifted by a Polish Masovian duke.
It is one of the most significant medieval European castles. It was built on a very strategic location and was used as a fortress on a peninsula, covered by the Nogar River on both sides. Malbork people host the re-enaction of the epic Battle of Grunwald every July to commemorate the totemic conflict between the Poles and Teutonic Knights to conquer the nation in 1410.
The Roman-German religious Order of Crusaders named this castle Marienburg as a tribute to the mother of Jesus, Mary. During the separation of Prussia into western and eastern parts in 1466, the town and castle fell into the Western Royal Prussia, a Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth region. It was used among one of the several royal residences in Poland and interrupted by Swedish occupation for several years, and this function was fulfilled until 1772 when the First Partition of Poland happened.
After the defeat of Germany in the year 1945, the land was assigned again to Poland. The castle was severely damaged during the Second World War and renovated as part of auspices in modern Poland in the mid of the 20th century and recently in the year 2016. These days, the castle serves as a museum and hosts several exhibitions.
The castle served as an epic epitome of the medieval fortress and was the largest brick castle in the world in 1406. UNESCO designated it as the Castle of the Teutonic Order in Malbork. UNESCO also declared Malbork Castle as World Heritage Site in 1997. Along with Medieval Town of Torun (founded in 1231), the castle was also the World Heritage Site. It was likewise declared as one of the official Historic Monuments of Poland on September 16, 1994, and listed by the National Heritage Board of Poland.
The castle was built in the medieval era, but only some of the original cellars and walls of the building still survived today. The palace was modified in the 16th, 18th and 19th centuries. The castle was finally listed as one of the Historic Monuments of Poland in 2011. It is believed that Teofila (aka the White Lady), its original owner in the 18th century, still haunts the castle every night. Well, travelers may visit the famous grounds and coach house, along with the museum in this castle.
This romantic castle in Poland is covered by a serene garden Arboretum, which houses blossoming bushes, big centuries-old trees, lawns, and meadows. The new owner of this castle built a beautiful big park to replace the old 18th century French Style Park, which was initially established in the 17th century. The park is organized in the English style with lush green and open spaces of quiet meadows, lawns, bushes and beautiful trees.
It has around 3500 species of trees, making it one of the richest parks in Poland. It has the biggest collection of azaleas and rhododendrons in the country. In this park, some of the old and big trees date back to the 17th century. Most of the trees are around 200 years old. The park has been further extended towards the east and behind the lake Kornickie in 1960-1970.
It is recommended to visit the park when magnolias and rhododendrons blossom in late spring or early autumn when leaves of the plants turn red and yellow. You may visit the park by buying a ticket for just 1 euro. You can also find fresh air, deep shadow, and picturesque light in the summer.
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Town founded by Casimir the Great from Wawel Castle in the 14th century, the Lancut town is located where one of the most beautiful castles in Poland is positioned. Today, Lancut Castle is spotted as a 17th-century relic. A well-known Polish noblewoman Izabela Lubomirska, who also founded the Polmos Lancut distillery, upgraded the palace-park complex as per the designs of the 18th century.
The castle houses the collection of paintings and horse-pulled carriages from Lubomirska. In addition, it has some of the most beautiful interiors of Poland, and the classy Great Dining Hall and Ball Room are some of its major attractions. The castle also houses the popular workshops and classical music festivals all year round.
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Located on a medieval fortification system, the Trail of Eagles’ Nests, which was erected in the 14th century by King Casimir the Great, the Polish King, Pieskowa Skala is the best-preserved castle in Poland. It is located on a limestone precipice, which is completely inaccessible, near Krakow in the Ojcow National Park.
The picture-perfect setting of the castle is complemented by the Hercules’ Club, the nearest monadnock, because of its unique shape. This Gothic Castle was turned into a Renaissance home in the 16th century. It houses a museum which exhibits the European Art as a local branch of National Art Collection of Wawel Royal Castle. The castle was renovated recently in April 2016.
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Krzyztopor Castle in Ujazd
Currently, in ruins, the Krzyztopor Castle in Ujazd is positioned in the south of Poland in the Świętokrzyskie county. The original castle was built by Krzysztof Ossoliński, the Voivode of Sandomierz and a Polish nobleman. During The Deluge, Swedish invasion in 1655, the castle was partially destroyed and then left in ruins during the Bar Confederation war in 1770 by the Russians.
Despite its poor condition, you can still visit the castle to explore its epic past and ideal symmetrical design, covered with black magic and occultism myths. The castle organizes concerts, artillery shows, staged knights’ battles, and dancing classes every few months. So, think ahead before getting here.
Since the castle is not located in the proximity to rail and road networks, only a few tourists visit the castle. However, the bastions, walls, and moat are well-preserved, and it still has great magnitude. Even though it is well known as a ruin permanently, more than 90% of the walls of the castle are well preserved. It is because the castle has been rebuilt several times. Several efforts have been taken to protect the castle complex. However, there is still a lack of proper funding for its project.
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Located north of Walbrzych, Lower Silesian Voivodeship of Poland, Ksiaz castle is the largest in the Silesia region. The palace is situated in a protected area of Ksiaz Landscape Park, which belongs to the Waldenburg Mountains. The castle is facing the gorge of Pelcznica River, and it is one of the major tourist attractions of Walbrzych.
The Pearl of Upper Silesia or the Ksiaz Castle is the biggest castle of Poland dated back to the 13th century. Due to the turbulent history of the castle, it had a considerable range of owners as different factions and countries controlled the area. Besides, several world-renowned personalities have lived in their comfortable apartments, such as the Russian czar named Nicholas I Romanov and Winston Churchill. These days, the castle offers three different guided tours across the interiors and houses three hotels and two restaurants.
Partially Renaissance and partly early-Baroque in architectural style, the fortress and residential castle of Wisnicz belonged to Kmicic’s house and later was the home of Lubomirski. The villa is covered by a famous ring of gateways and fortifications. Visitors can explore the ancient pictures of the castle inside which showcase the architectural significance and evolution of the castle, as well as artworks and furnishings of the 19th century made by the regional Artistic High School students.
Located on the wooded hill by Leksandrówka River in Stary Wiśnicz village, the Wisnicz castle lies on Lesser Poland Voivodeship of Poland. It was extended in the second half of the 14th century by Jan Kmita. The castle was built with the elements of Renaissance-era in Baroque style. The villa was constructed on the quadrilateral plan, including the courtyard inside. The castle includes four different towers, having one tower in each corner. The building is well covered by the main gate and bastion fortifications dated back to the early 17th century.
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Built in the 17th century, the Moszna Castle is one of the most panoramic historical landmarks in the Upper Silesia province of Poland. Despite the fact that the castle was designed in Baroque architectural style, later on, a western neo-Renaissance wing and a neo-Gothic wing were added. It has 99 spires in total, and it looks like the mystical palaces which are featured in Disney films and fairy tales, as well as the Harry Potter series. Along with being a luxurious hotel, restaurant, and a museum, the castle also hosts summer camps for children.
The Moszna Castle is a historic residence and castle located in Moszna, a small village in the southwest of Poland. It is one of the famous Upper Silesian monuments, and it has sometimes been featured among the world’s most beautiful castles.
The rich history of this castle is dated back from the 17th century, despite having cellars in the gardens which are much older, found in excavations at the beginning of the 20th century. Some of those cellars could have been the ruins of Templar stronghold. A Medieval palisade was discovered in further excavations after World War II.
Wawel Royal Castle in Krakow
This castle is undoubtedly one of the most prominent historical landmarks across Poland. The Wavel Royal Castle was located at the residence of Polish kings from 1333 to 1795 when Krakow was Poland’s capital. The castle was built on Wawel Hill during the rule of Casimir the Great when a bluff lived here since the Palaeolithic era.
The castle was primarily designed in Romanesque style and was refurbished a lot of times, usually in the Renaissance era. The nearby Wawel Cathedral was the place of coronation of around 36 kings and queens of Poland, and its crypt belongs to Polish royalty, who, along with prominent artistic and historical figures were buried here. Today, the castle houses the museum of the national crown jewels and royal chambers and is also declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.