Lublin Castle

Lublin, Poland

The Lublin Castle is a medieval castle adjacent to the Old Town district and close to the city center. It is one of the oldest preserved royal residencies in Poland, initially established by High Duke Casimir II the Just. Its contemporary Gothic Revival appearance is largely due to a reconstruction undertaken in the 19th century.

The hill it is on was first fortified with a wood-reinforced earthen wall in the 12th century. In the first half of the 13th century, the stone keep was built. It still survives and is the tallest building of the castle, as well as the oldest standing building in the city. In the 14th century, during the reign of Casimir III the Great, the castle was rebuilt with stone walls. Probably at the same time, the castle's Chapel of the Holy Trinity was built as a royal chapel.

In the first decades of the 15th century, King Władysław II Jagiełło commissioned a set of frescoes for the chapel. They were completed in 1418 and are preserved to this day. The artist was a Ruthenian, Master Andrej, who signed his work on one of the walls. Because of their unique style, mixing Western and Eastern Orthodox influences, they are acclaimed internationally as an important historical monument.

Under the rule of the Jagiellon dynasty the castle enjoyed royal favor and frequent stays by members of the royal family. In the 16th century, it was rebuilt on a grandiose scale, under the direction of Italian masters brought from Kraków. The most momentous event in the castle's history was the signing in 1569 of the Union of Lublin, the founding act of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth.

As a consequence of the wars in the 17th century (The Deluge), the castle fell into disrepair. Only the oldest sections, the keep and the chapel, remained intact. After Lublin fell under Russian rule following the territorial settlement of the Congress of Vienna in 1815, the government of Congress Poland, on the initiative of Stanisław Staszic, carried out a complete reconstruction of the castle between 1826 and 1828. The new buildings were in the English neo-Gothic style, completely different from the structures they replaced, and their new purpose was to house a criminal prison. Only the keep and the chapel were preserved in their original state.

The castle was a prison for the next 128 years: as a Tsarist prison from 1831 to 1915, in independent Poland from 1918 to 1939, and most infamously during the Nazi German occupation of the city from 1939 to 1944, when between 40,000 and 80,000 inmates, many of them Polish resistance fighters and Jews, passed through. Just before withdrawing in 1944, the German prison officers and SS massacred its remaining 300 prisoners. After 1944, the castle continued as a prison of the Soviet secret police and later of the Soviet-installed communist regime of Poland and, until 1954, about 35,000 Poles fighting against the new communist government (especially cursed soldiers) passed through it, of whom 333 died.

In 1954, the castle prison was closed. Following reconstruction and refurbishment, since 1957 it has been the main site of the National Museum.



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Zamkowa 9, Lublin, Poland
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Founded: 13th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Poland

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4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

maga2024 (6 months ago)
Extremely helpful service and beautiful buildings. If you are a visitor, this place is a must-see. The tour is very extensive, and the view of Lublin city from the tower is the best you can get. Fully recommend
Caro Gan (7 months ago)
A great place to visit in Lublin, with a lot to tell. The only negative is that the posters are in Polish which makes it difficult to tell the story to the world, they could put them in English as well. Admission is free, you pay only to enter to the tower. The place is well maintained and was rebuilt with help of the European Union.
Tolga (9 months ago)
To be honest, there’s nothing spectacular or special with castle since there is no such a place left called castle. Only 1-2 pieces of a castle. Still may worth to have a look. No need to go up to tower or museum, believe me.
Rj Samuels Official (9 months ago)
If it was not for my traveling companions, I'd have left a lot sooner. The castle museum was extremely interesting but the staff left a bitterness to the overall experience. We were told to go one way and then rushed passed places we did not have access to. The experience was laughable and not very positive.
Darja Zb (16 months ago)
Beautiful castle, we were able to visit only tower, it was nice view from the top of the tower. Unfortunately, we were not able to buy combined ticket for some reason and also all the information on the stands in tower was only in Polish.
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