Castles and fortifications in Poland

Niedzica Castle

Niedzica Castle, also known as Dunajec Castle, was erected between the years 1320 and 1326 by Kokos of Brezovica on the site of an ancient stronghold surrounded by earthen walls in the Pieniny mountains. The Niedzica Castle stands at an altitude of 566 m, on a hill 300 m upstream from the Dunajec River mouth. The outline of Niedzica Castle can best be viewed from the ruins of Czorsztyn Castle on the other side of the lake ...
Founded: 1320-1326 | Location: Niedzica, Poland

Pieskowa Skala Castle

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). The castle was renovated and donated in 1377 by king Louis I of Hungary to Piotr Szafraniec of Łuczyce, according to a more modern interpreta ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Sułoszowa, Poland

Niepolomice Castle

The Niepolomice Royal Castle is a Gothic castle from the mid-14th century and rebuilt in the late Renaissance style. The Niepolomice Castle was built by order of King Casimir III the Great on the slope of the Vistula valley, to serve as a retreat during the hunting expeditions to the nearby Niepolomice Forest. The castle consisted of three towers, buildings in the southern and eastern wing, and curtain walls around the c ...
Founded: c. 1350 | Location: Niepolomice, Poland

Kwidzyn Castle

Kwidzyn contains the partially ruined 14th century Brick Gothic Ordensburg castle of the Teutonic Order, namely the Bishops of Pomesania within the Order. Connected to the castle to the east is a large cathedral (built 1343-1384) containing the tombs of the bishops as well those of three Grand Masters of the Teutonic Knights. The former Prussian fortress in Kwidzyn, which was occupied by the Teutonic Knights in 1233, rec ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Kwidzyn, Poland

Wolf's Lair

Wolf"s Lair (Wolfsschanze) was Adolf Hitler"s first Eastern Front military headquarters in World War II. The complex, which would become one of several Führer Headquarters located in various parts of occupied Europe, was built for the start of Operation Barbarossa - the invasion of the Soviet Union - in 1941. It was constructed by Organisation Todt. The top secret, high security site was in the Masurian wo ...
Founded: 1941 | Location: Kętrzyn, Poland

Bolków Castle

Bolków Castle is located in Bolków on the Castle Hill (Wzgórze Zamkowe), with a 396 metres, where the hillside is cut by the Nysa Szalona river, with a sharp precipice (with a sudden drop of 90 metres); the eastern side of the hill gradually lowers, taken up by the town. The castle is an upland stronghold, covering an area of 7600 m². First mentions of the castle come from 1277, from the time of the reign of Boles³a ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Gmina Bolków, Poland

Baranów Sandomierski Castle

Baranów Sandomierski Castle is one of the most important Mannerist structures in the country. The castle is commonly known as the 'little Wawel'. Originally a residency of the Lubomirski family, it now serves as a historical museum, hotel and conference centre. The castle was built around the years 1591–1606 in the style of Poland"s Mannerism with richly decorated attics, side towers and arcade courtyar ...
Founded: 1591-1606 | Location: Baranów Sandomierski, Poland

Fort Legionow

Fort Legionow was built between 1852 and 1854 on the southern foreland of the Warsaw Citadel. Initially, the fort had the shape of a three-storey artillery turret, surrounded by a fortified ditch with three cofferdams and a gallery in the counterscarp. Its task was to guard the citadel from the side of the New Town and also to defend the seasonal bridge over the Vistula River. In the years between 1866 and 1874 the fort ...
Founded: 1852 | Location: Warsaw, Poland

Gniew Castle

The Order of Brothers of the German House Saint Mary In Jerusalem took possession on the land of Gniew in 1283. Based on the law of Che³mno in 1297 the city stood next to the Teutonic castle built to the pattern of convent castles. The monumental silhouette along with the church of St. Nicholas is still constitute the characteristic dominant of the southern panorama of Gniew. The Gniew Castle was the most powerful claim ...
Founded: 1290 | Location: Gniew, Poland

Grodno Castle

Grodno Castle (formerly Kynsburg) is a castle located in the southern parts of the Wałbrzych Mountains, on the Choina Mountain (450 metres), standing to the left of the river Bystryca. The valley of this river, formerly known as the Silesian Valley, creates a natural boundary between the Owl Mountains and to the west of it the Wałbrzych Mountains. The castle is located in Zagórze Śląskie (11 km ...
Founded: 1193 | Location: Walbrzych, Poland

Brzeg Castle

Earliest records of the Brzeg castle"s existence describe a small fortress with a moat and fortified walls, built in 1235 during the reign of Henry I the Bearded. A square tower known as 'The Tower of Lions' was built adjoining the castle. The Piast family branch, which ruled over Duchy of Brzeg, lived in the castle between 1311 until 1675. In 1342, the castle was made the capital seat of the duchy aft ...
Founded: 1235 | Location: Brzeg, Poland

Olesnica Castle

Oleśnica Castle was erected in 1542-1561, replacing a Gothic fortress from the thirteenth century. It was the seat of the Dukes of Oleśnica until the nineteenth century. A fortified settlement was mentioned before the year 1238, and the first record of the castle dates from 1292. After World War II, the surviving buildings held Hungarian and Italian prisoners of war. Later, there was the Soviet branch office of the  ...
Founded: 1542-1561 | Location: Oleśnica, Poland

Slupsk Castle

The Pomeranian Dukes Castle in Słupsk was erected in 1507. At first it was a gothic building, much smaller than now. In the same year duke Bolesław X rebuilt it and enlarged in the Renaissance style. The castle complex consists of the castle itself, a small, half-timbered building housing the board of directors of the Museum of Central Pomerania, the Castle Mill, the Fishermen Gate (the remains of Słupsk fo ...
Founded: 1507 | Location: Słupsk, Poland

Bobolice Castle

The Bobolice Castle was built by King Casimir III the Great in the middle of the 14th century, probably in place of an earlier wooden structure. The castle was a part of the defence system of royal strongholds protecting the western border of Poland on the side of Silesia. In 1370, immediately after becoming King of Poland, Louis I the Great granted the castle to W³adys³aw Opolczyk, Duke of Opole, as a prize for his sup ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Bobolice, Poland

Chojnik Castle

Chojnik Castle remains stand on top of the Chojnik hill within the Karkonosze National Park, overlooking the Jelenia Góra valley. It dates back to the times of the Silesian Piasts and for most of its time was in the possession of the Schaffgotsch noble family. Today the semi-ruined stronghold is a major tourist attraction and houses a hotel and a restaurant. The castle of Chojnik was originally erected by the order of D ...
Founded: 1292 | Location: Jelenia Góra, Poland

Goluchów Castle

The history of the Gołuchów castle goes back to the Middle Ages and its first known owner was ¯egota of Gołuchów  (1263-1282). A defensive fort stood here in the first half of the 15th century, probably where the castle stands today. The terrain definitely provides for adequate defence. It overlooks the Trzemsza River from the west and is surrounded by a moat and a secure embankment. The Gołuchów estates became t ...
Founded: 16th century | Location: Gołuchów, Poland

Kórnik Castle

Kórnik Castle is one of the most frequently visited historical buildings in Wielkopolska region. Two of Wielkopolska’s leading dynasties – the Górka family of the Łodzia coat of arms and the Działyński family of the Ogończyk coat of arms – are responsible for its existence and its splendour. The castle was first mentioned in 1426 in a contract between the owner, Miko ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Kórnik, Poland

Grodziec Castle

The first confirmed reference of Grodziec comes from Pope Adrian IV"s bull of April 23, 1155. In 1175, Prince Bolesław I the Tall drew up a privilege for Cistercians from Lubiąż at the castle. In the time of his heir, Henryk I the Bearded, the wooden terrestrial castle was replaced by the building of a brick one. The foundation of the castle church is attributed to Saint Hedwig. In the 14th and partially ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Grodziec, Poland

Reszel Castle

The first Teutonic stronghold was built in Reszel already in 1241 but the construction of a brick castle began only over a century later. It was due to endless rebellions of the Barts, a Prussian tribe, who had never accepted the conquest and continually attacked the Teutonic outpost. Since 1243 Reszel was officially granted to Warmian bishops but the Teutonic squad left the stronghold only in 1300. Bishop John I of Meis ...
Founded: 1350 | Location: Gmina Reszel, Poland

Sandomierz Castle

The Sandomierz Royal Castle was built on a slope of Vistula River by Casimir III the Great and extended in the 16th century. The original building was blown up in 1656, leaving only the west wing standing. It was later transformed into a Renaissance styled residence with the west wing preserved as a museum. The 14th-century castle was built on the site of the existing stronghold in the 10th century. Between 1146-1166 it ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Sandomierz, Poland

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

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Narikala Castle

Narikala is an ancient fortress overlooking Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, and the Kura River. The fortress consists of two walled sections on a steep hill between the sulphur baths and the botanical gardens of Tbilisi. On the lower court there is the recently restored St Nicholas church. Newly built in 1996–1997, it replaces the original 13th-century church that was destroyed in a fire. The new church is of 'prescribed cross' type, having doors on three sides. The internal part of the church is decorated with the frescos showing scenes both from the Bible and history of Georgia.

The fortress was established in the 4th century and it was a Persian citadel. It was considerably expanded by the Umayyads in the 7th century and later, by king David the Builder (1089–1125). Most of extant fortifications date from the 16th and 17th centuries. In 1827, parts of the fortress were damaged by an earthquake and demolished.