Castles and fortifications in Poland

Bedzin Castle

The village of Będzin originated in the 9th century. The local wooden fort, that the records show existed as early as the 11th century, was destroyed during the Tatar invasion in 1241 and subsequently rebuilt. During the reign of Casimir III the Great the castle received an upgrade from wooden fortress to a stone one, and the stone fort was operational as early as in 1348. The growing trading village of Bytom was given ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Będzin, Poland

Plock Castle

The Castle of the Masovian Dukes in Płock is a Gothic castle built under the reign of Casimir III the Great, becoming a stronghold of the Dukes of Masovia until the fifteenth century. The castle is located on a steep Vistulan hillside, most likely since the eleventh century, a wooden fortress - defended by walls and dikes, where in the middle there was a small stone built stronghold. On the turning point of the eleve ...
Founded: 1351 | Location: Płock, Poland

Bolczów Castle

The medieval stronghold in Janowice Wielkie is an example of an upland castle extended over several phases and making excellent use of the terrain, including the scenic rock formations found in the Rudawy Janowickie mountains. The ruins of this knights’ castle are situated on a granite hill at an altitude of 561 m, rising over the surroundings. It was known from the Middle Ages by the name of Bolko (in 1375 das Bol ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Województwo dolnoslaskie, Poland

Przemysl Castle

The location of Przemyśl castle and the earlier settlement lay on an important river crossing on a trade route running from the Black Sea to the Baltic Sea and through the Carpathian passes, and was a site of a fortified grod belonging to the Lendians (Lendizi), who were a West Slavic tribe descended from the White Croats. In 1018, the Polish king Bolesław I Chrobry recaptured Przemyśl and built a stone Romanes ...
Founded: 1340 | Location: Przemyśl, Poland

Rzeszów Castle

Rzeszów Castle - one of the main landmarks of Rzeszów rebuilt between 1902-1906, located on the former grounds of the castle of the House of Lubomirski. Currently the castle houses the seat of the provincial court, the building housed a prison up until 1981. An early fortress stood on the castle"s grounds since the sixteenth century. At the end of the same century, Mikołaj Spytek Ligęza built a Motte-and-bailey ...
Founded: 16th century | Location: Rzeszów, Poland

Golub-Dobrzyn Castle

Golub-Dobrzyñ Castle was built by Teutonic Knights at the turn of the 13th and 14th centuries, later rebuilt and extended in the 15th century. Between 1616 and 1623 it was a residence of Anna of Finland; during this period a Renaissance attic was added. The castle was destroyed during the The Deluge. In the 19th century, it was neglected and a gale caused the collapse of its attic. After 1945 the castle was rebuilt and r ...
Founded: c.1300 | Location: Golub-Dobrzyñ, Poland

Czluchów Gate

Czluchów Gate is the only surviving gate out of the three entrances which once led to the town. The remaining two (Młyńska and Gdańska) were pulled down in 1838. The gates constituted a significant element in the town’s defensive system. All of them had drawbridges at the front, with bridgeheads protecting it from the other side. A six-floor Czluchów gate was built on a square plan in th ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Chojnice, Poland

Radzyn Chelminski Castle

Radzyn Chelminski was the seat of the Teutonic Knights" Commandry. The castle is one of the oldest castles built by the Teutonic Knights, built in the 13th century. In 1446 the castle went into Polish control, in 1628 during wars with the Swedes the castle was partially devastated, slowly turning into a ruin. Currently you are still able to see the tower - damaged by artillery fire. In 1780 Prussian authorities order ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Radzyn Chelminski, Poland

Dobczyce Castle

Dobczyce Castle was first mentioned in written sources in 1362, but had been fortified since 1311. In the time of Casimir III the Great, the walls were from 5 to 9 meters thick, and the castle was a fortified stronghold. In 1398, the castle was the abode of King Władysław II Jagiełło and his wife Jadwiga. In 1473, for several months, Prince Casimir stayed here after returning from an unsuccessful exped ...
Founded: 1311 | Location: Dobczyce, Poland

Lagów Castle

Castle of the Order of St. John in Łagów is located on a peninsula between the Łagowski and Ciesz Lakes. The first mention of the castle was under the name of castro Lagowe in 1299. The castle was built by the Order of St. John, and in later years fortificated in a trapezium-like shape. In the eighteenth century the residence was reconstructed into the Baroque architectural style. In 1812, after the secularisa ...
Founded: c. 1299 | Location: Łagów, Poland

Nowy Sacz Castle

The Nowy Sącz Royal Castle is partially restored ruins of the castle. The edifice was built by king Casimir the Great in 1350-1360 on a slope within the fortifications of Nowy Sącz, at the confluence of two rivers Dunajec and Kamienica. Initially the castle had two corner towers, a keep and a residential building. The structure was separated from the city by a moat and a wall. Among the notable inhabitants were king Lo ...
Founded: 1350 | Location: Nowy Sącz, Poland

Warsaw Citadel

Warsaw Citadel was built by personal order of Tsar Nicholas I after the 1830 November Uprising. Its chief architect, Major General Johan Jakob von Daehn (Ivan Dehn), used the plan of the citadel in Antwerp as the basis for his own plan (the same that was demolished by the French later that year). The fortress is a pentagon-shaped brick structure with high outer walls, enclosing an area of 36 hectares. Its construction re ...
Founded: 1834 | Location: Warsaw, Poland

Kliczków Castle

Kliczków Castle was founded as a border fortress at the river Kwisa by Duke Bolko I of Jawor in 1297. In 1391, it fell into the hands of the Rechenberg family from Saxony, who held it for almost 300 years. The main building was built in 1585 in the Renaissance style. After several more changes of ownership, it came to John Christian, Count of Solms-Baruth in 1767. In 1810, the grand ballroom in Empire style was ...
Founded: 1297 | Location: Kliczków, Poland

Otmuchów Castle

The history of the Castle in Otmuchów dates back to the 12th century, when Pope Hadrian gave authority to the land to the Bishop of Wrocław, including the castle. Throughout the next centuries the castle gained its significance, when Bishop Preczlaw of Pogarell called Otmuchów the capital of the Duchy of Bishops. The castle changed its architectural style to that of the Renaissance during reconstruction wo ...
Founded: 1159 | Location: Otmuchów, Poland

Bytów Castle

The castle in Bytów was built by the Teutonic Knights in 1398-1405. The major construction works were supervised by Nicolaus Fellensteyn, a master builder of the Order. The construction of the castle fell to the period when Jacob von Reinach was the procurator of Bytów and Konrad von Jungingen was the Order"s Grand Master. The castle was located on a hill, towering above the town, which guaranteed excel ...
Founded: 1398-1405 | Location: Bytów, Poland

Kamieniec Castle

The original small castle on the site of Kamieniec Castle was erected before the mid-14th century, during the reign of Casimir the Great. It was a royal property handed over to the management of burgrave Mikołaj.  In the fifteenth century the descendants of Klemens from Moskorzewo (Pilawici family) took over the name Kamienieccy, thus emphasizing the role of the castle as the main seat of the family. Despite the tempor ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Odrzykoń, Poland

Ciechanów Castle

Castle of the Masovian Dukes in Ciechanów was built on the turning point of the fourteenth and fifteenth century by Prince Janusz I (1379-1429). The towers located in the four corners of the castle"s square formation help to defend the stronghold, and additional 10 metre high defensive walls. Due to dozens of reconstructions and expansions of the castle, the militaristic stronghold transformed into a royal res ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Ciechanów, Poland

Wisloujscie Fortress

Wisłoujście Fortress is located in direct proximity to the Westerplatte peninsula. This was an important area from a strategic point of view, as the movement of ships entering and leaving Gdańsk harbour could be controlled from this place. The first written comments on the existence of a guard post in the place of the present fortress date from the mid-14th century. The first permanent fortifications were b ...
Founded: 1482 | Location: Gdańsk, Poland

Korzkiew Castle

The first castle in Korzkiew was erected in 1325 by Jan from Syrokomla. It was part of the 'trail of eagles nests', one of a chain of 14th century (reign of King Casimir) medieval castles that protected the north- western border of royal Krakow that went all the way to Czestochowa. The castle is being restored and currently houses a boutique hotel and a conference center-banquet hall.
Founded: 1325 | Location: Korzkiew, Poland

Klodzko Fortress

Kłodzko Fortress is a unique fortification complex of the Lower Silesian Voivodeship in southwestern Poland. The fortress once was one of the biggest strongholds in Prussian Silesia, however, in the whole German Empire, it was regarded as a minor one. Now, together with an extensive network of tunnels, it is one of the biggest attractions of the town of Kłodzko, with its underground labyrinth and a repository of ...
Founded: c. 1300 | Location: Kłodzko, Poland

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Hluboká Castle

Hluboká Castle (Schloss Frauenberg) is considered one of the most beautiful castles in the Czech Republic. In the second half of the 13th century, a Gothic castle was built at the site. During its history, the castle was rebuilt several times. It was first expanded during the Renaissance period, then rebuilt into a Baroque castle at the order of Adam Franz von Schwarzenberg in the beginning of the 18th century. It reached its current appearance during the 19th century, when Johann Adolf II von Schwarzenberg ordered the reconstruction of the castle in the romantic style of England's Windsor Castle.

The Schwarzenbergs lived in Hluboká until the end of 1939, when the last owner (Adolph Schwarzenberg) emigrated overseas to escape from the Nazis. The Schwarzenbergs lost all of their Czech property through a special legislative Act, the Lex Schwarzenberg, in 1947.

The original royal castle of Přemysl Otakar II from the second half of the 13th century was rebuilt at the end of the 16th century by the Lords of Hradec. It received its present appearance under Count Jan Adam of Schwarzenberg. According to the English Windsor example, architects Franz Beer and F. Deworetzky built a Romantic Neo-Gothic chateau, surrounded by a 1.9 square kilometres English park here in the years 1841 to 1871. In 1940, the castle was seized from the last owner, Adolph Schwarzenberg by the Gestapo and confiscated by the government of Czechoslovakia after the end of World War II. The castle is open to public. There is a winter garden and riding-hall where the Southern Bohemian gallery exhibitions have been housed since 1956.