Reszel Castle

Gmina Reszel, Poland

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 Meisen started the construction of the castle in 1350. It was continued (since 1355) by John II Stryprock, and finished by Henry III Sorbom in 1401. Henry of Sorbom was well-known for his passion for grandness and it was in his time that a south wing with apartments for bishops and cloisters were built. The castle and borough fortifications were joined together.

By the Treaty of Toruń in 1466 Warmia was incorporated into Poland. In ab. 1505 bishop Łukasz Watzenrode initiated the construction of new fortified walls around the castle. The fortifications, strengthened by bastions on the corners, were adjusted for use of firearms. At that time Nicolaus Copernicus, the bishop’s nephew and also his secretary and personal physician was a frequent visitor of the castle. In 1594-1597, at the time of cardinal Andrzej Batory’s rule, the castle, which had already lost its military significance, was converted into a bishops’ hunting residence.

After the first partition of Poland in 1772 the castle was taken over by Prussian authorities, who converted it into prison in 1795. In 1806 and 1807 the town and castle were afflicted by great fires. The first one destroyed wooden buildings of the town, the town hall and part of the castle. The other completely devastated the castle. In 1822 the castle was handed over to the evangelical commune. After the repair works the castle lost its medieval characte – the cloisters were pulled down and the south wing was converted into an evangelical church (hence its present gable).

In 1958 the castle was handed over to Social--and-Cultural Association “Pojezierze” (Lake District). The major overhaul in the years 1976-1985 allowed to adapt part of the castle to make it a place for art workshops and art gallery. Since 2001, after yet another restoration, the castle houses a hotel with a restaurant, an art gallery and a museum.

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Founded: 1350
Category: Castles and fortifications in Poland

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4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Kamil P (9 months ago)
Great location and the whole city is superb all people know each other.The castle itself is a must on the list of visiting places.Inside there is a tower with historical artefacts.In the dungeon you will find torture machines and it's definitive from some mediaeval times :).Overall it's worth the price and you can park next to the castle and visit whole city around 1.5h with church tower 5zł worth checking ;)
john wheatcroft (11 months ago)
Great place to stay. Good choice of beers food was ok. If on motorbike you may be able to park in courtyard,but access is up hill all on cobbles
Paweł (14 months ago)
The Reszel castle, an Ordensburg fortress, was built in between 1350 and 1401 by the Teutonic Order. In the nineteenth century it was adapted into a prison, next it was fully renovated after the Second World War. Currently the castle houses the museum , hotel and a restaurant.
Andrzej Grzybala (17 months ago)
Perfect place for relax. Beautiful castle. Highly recommended
Szymon Leszczyński (2 years ago)
Very nice and small castle for a touristic stroll or even staying the night. We didn't stay the night but were only visiting the sites. Seeing the whole site took about 1h. There was the torture chamber and walk up to the tower. There is a restaurant right inside which looke nice. Beware: strollers are usually a bad idea here because of the various stairs.
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