Castles and fortifications in Poland

Ostrzeszów Castle Tower

Ostrzeszów castle, situated at a short distance north-west of the town’s centre and probably originally separated from it by a moat, constituted an independent fortified establishment, although it was associated in the old times with the town’s fortification system. Built around mid-14th century, the endowment of King Casimir the Great, it was part of the ruler’s large-scale construction venture a ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Ostrzeszów, Poland

Sztum Castle

Sztum Castle was built between 1326-1331. It functioned as a bridge-head protection the Malbork fortress from the South. At that time a stone and brick wall with a gate and one or possibly two corner towers surrounded the territory of the castle hill. The extension of the castle complex carried out in the 14th century was commenced starting from the southern and eastern wings. The wing that functioned as a summer residen ...
Founded: 1326-1331 | Location: Sztum, Poland

Namyslów Castle

The first reliable document suggests the Namysłów castle was built, from wood, in 1360. The order to build the castle was given by the Czech king and the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles IV, in the location of a former gord of the Dukes of Oleśnica. In 1533, the castle was transferred to the authorities of the city of Wrocław. Soon after the castle"s courtyard was extended with additional housing units. In ...
Founded: 1360 | Location: Namysłów, Poland

Dzików Castle

Dzików or Tarnowski Family Castle with the park complex and gardens is located in Tarnobrzeg. The building of the castle was started in the 15th century as a fortified residence. Between the 17th and 18th centuries, it was acquired by the Tarnowski family and reconstructed. The castle was a site of Dzików Confederation of 5 November 1734, led by Adam Tarło, starosta from Jasło, organized in order to reinstate Stanis ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Tarnobrzeg, Poland

Jarocin Castle

A defensive brick building in Jarocin, defined in a 1496 document as a fortalitium, had presumably already been erected by the beginning of the 15th century. This building was then rebuilt, extended and eventually demolished. The building known locally as skarbczyk (the jewel box) is all that remains of it today. A lot of decorative fragments of Gothic furnace tiles, attesting a once opulent castle interior, have been unc ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Jarocin, Poland

Bierzglowski Castle

Bierzgłowski Castle was one of the oldest stuctures built by Teutonic Knights. The Gothic style castle was built between 1270-1305 to the site of previous castle (from the 1260s), which was destroyed by Lithuanians in 1263. Bierzgłowski castle has been rebuilt several times between 15th and 19th centuries. The castle has an unique ceramic relief in a one of portals. It depicts a horseman and two knights and is o ...
Founded: 1270-1305 | Location: Bierzgłowski, Poland

Siewierz Castle

The Castle in Siewierz was built in the first half of the 13th century on a man-made hilltop, where formerly stood a wooden fortress. The oldest of the stronghold"s fortifications come from the 15th century. In 1443 Duke Wac³aw I of Cieszyn sold the town and the castle to Kraków"s bishop Zbigniew Ole¶nicki. The Bishops of Kraków expanded the castle and its fortification walls. The castle began to crumble i ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Siewierz, Poland

Niesytno Castle

The first mentioning of Niesytno Castle dates back to the 13th century, but it is not known by whom it was built. Legends tell of occupation by Hussite and mercenaries, and therefore it was also named Zakątek Strachu or Angstwinkel (Polish and German for 'corner of fear'). From the second part of the 15th century until the 17th century, the castle was inhabited by the 'von Zedlitz' lineage. It h ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Bolków, Poland

Golczewo Castle Ruins

Golczewo castle was one of the biggest and best-built castles in Pomerania. There was even a legend saying that it was connected to the Kamień Cathedral through an underground tunnel. The first records mentioning castrum Gülzow date back to 1304. At that time, Bishop of Kamień Pomorski, Heinrich Wacholz, bought from Wulvekin Smeling and Echard Wedel­stedt the castle in Golczewo for 1200 marks, paying th ...
Founded: 1304 | Location: Golczewo, Poland

Jawor Castle

Jawor Castle was originally a wooden stronghold until Duke Bolesław the Tall built a stone tower house. The castle has been a seat of both the Piast dynasty and the Duchy of Jawor-Świdnica. Several politically significant events took place in the castle during the Middle Ages. In 1648, the castle saw damage when it was besieged by soldiers loyal to the Holy Roman Empire, but it was renovated later during the same ...
Founded: 1663-1665 | Location: Jawor, Poland

Bierutów Castle

Bierutów Castle, (formerly Bernstadt) is believed to have been built in the 13th century under the orders of Henry III the White, Duke of Wrocław. It underwent renovation in the Renaissance style between 1534 and 1540, but was rebuilt after a fire in 1603 during the rule of Henry Wenceslaus, Duke of Oels-Bernstadt. Later that century, Christian Urlich Wirtemberg renovated the castle, adding another floor and a Baroqu ...
Founded: 1534-1540 | Location: Bierutów, Poland

Angerburg Castle

The current Węgorzewo town was first mentioned in a 1335 chronicle as Angirburg, or 'eel castle', a settlement of the Teutonic Knights with a block house, a palisade, and a watchtower. The Grand Duke of Lithuania, Kęstutis, destroyed the wooden castle in 1365. Teutonic Knights built new brick castle in 1398. It was situated 2 km away from burnt castle on river island. Near by the castle grew settlement ...
Founded: 1398 | Location: Węgorzewo, Poland

Dzialdowo Castle

Teutonic Knights conquered the Dzialdowo region and built a castle in the early 14th century. A wing of the castle still remains. The new settlement near the castle founded by Mikołaj z Karbowa and named Soldov was granted town privileges on 14 August 1344 by the Grand Master Ludolf König. The name Dzialdoff was first written on a 1409 map during the Polish–Lithuanian–Teutonic War.
Founded: 14th century | Location: Dzialdowo, Poland

Olsztynek Castle

Olsztynek Castle was built by Ostródan Gunter von Hohenstein, the commander of Teutonic Order, between 1349 and 1366. The brick Gothic castle was conquered by Wladyslaw II Jagiello in 1410. It was destroyed in 1656 by Tatars of Crimean Khanate and left to decay. The castle was reconstructed in 1847-1849 and moved as a school.
Founded: 1349-1366 | Location: Olsztynek, Poland

Miedzyrzecz Castle

Międyrzecz Castle was built around 1350 by Casimir III the Great in the place of a former gord from the second half of the ninth century, located on a small hill in between two floodplains of the Obra and Paklica Rivers. Due to the location of the stronghold, the castle was expanded and modernised, although that caste itself did not go through any major battles in the medieval times. In 1474, King Matthias Corvi ...
Founded: c. 1350 | Location: Międzyrzecz, Poland

Lebork Castle

Lębork Castle history begins from the first half of the 14th century. It was built and the town founded by Teutonic Knights. The stronghold was built on a square-like plan, with a residential building adjacent to a section from the stronghold’s southern part to the defensive wall, along the entire side of the square. The other two corners were fitted with quadrangular towers. One peculiarity of the Castle desig ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Lebork, Poland

Elk Castle

Teutonic Knights conquered the Ełk area in 1283. They built first a wooden castle to the site of former Old Prussian settlement and the town grew around it. It was first documented in 1398. The brick castle was built in 1497. In 1888 the castle was rebuilt - it became a prison and had that function until 1976. In 1958 during renovation of part of ther castle, under its walls, there was a collapsed tunnel found. After 198 ...
Founded: 1497/1888 | Location: Ełk, Poland

Mirów Castle

Mirów Castle was the residence of the House of Myszkowski. Designed and built in between 1585-1595 by Santi Gucci, by on order of the Bishop of Kraków Piotr Myszkowski. During the first quarter of the 18th century, the castle went into the hands of the Wielkopolski family, and was reconstructed in a Baroque style. Currently the castle is housing the Wincenty Witos Institution and an Agricultural School. The ...
Founded: 1585-1595 | Location: Książ Wielki, Poland

Barciany Castle

The first wooden castle in Barciany was built by Teutonic Knights in 1325. The construction of the stone castle to the site began in 1377. It was completed in the 15th century. In 1945 the castle was acquired by State Agricultural Farm and today it is privately owned. Barciany castle is a well-preserved sample of medieval architecture of Teutonic Order.
Founded: 1377 | Location: Barciany, Poland

Szczecinek Castle

As early as at the end of XIII century, there was a Slavic settlement on the island nearby the place of current Szczecinek Castle. The border nature of the settlement and its excellent defensive qualities contributed to the decision made around the year 1310 by Duke Warcislaw IV to build there a castle. This way the castle of Szczecinek became the seat of Starostes who in the name of the duke held the power here. First of ...
Founded: 1310 | Location: Szczecinek, 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.