Mouse Tower, a Gothic brick tower from the 14th century, is the most recognized monument in Kruszwica and the unofficial symbol of the town. It was built by the With the remains of walls, it is a part of defense castle remnants. The castle was founded by king Kazimierz the Great. In 1656, the castle was seized by the Swedish army which burnt it down as they were retreating.

In the late years of 18th century, the castle ruins were gradually dismantled and its bricks floated up the Noteć river to Inowrocław. During excavation works carried out in the early 20th century, a number of other fragments of the castle and movable objects of historic interest were discovered. In the northern part of the castle hill, relics of an early-mediaeval burg-city were found: wooden huts with clay threshing floors and hearths; clog-lined streets; numerous pieces of equipment; ornaments and implements (incl. e.g. glass beads, amber products, clay vessels, bronze and iron products).

The name of the tower derives from the folk legend. Prince Popiel ІІ (or Duke Popiel) was a legendary 9th century ruler of the West Slavic tribe of Goplans and Polans. According to the chroniclers Gallus Anonymus, Jan Długosz and Marcin Kromer, as a consequence of his bad rule he was deposed, besieged by his subjects, and eaten alive by mice in a tower in Kruszwica. However, it cannot be the site of the events described in the legend as it was erected some 500 years thereafter.

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Founded: 14th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Poland

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Beckov Castle

The Beckov castle stands on a steep 50 m tall rock in the village Beckov. The dominance of the rock and impression of invincibility it gaves, challenged our ancestors to make use of these assets. The result is a remarkable harmony between the natural setting and architecture.

The castle first mentioned in 1200 was originally owned by the King and later, at the end of the 13th century it fell in hands of Matúš Èák. Its owners alternated - at the end of the 14th century the family of Stibor of Stiborice bought it.

The next owners, the Bánffys who adapted the Gothic castle to the Renaissance residence, improved its fortifications preventing the Turks from conquering it at the end of the 16th century. When Bánffys died out, the castle was owned by several noble families. It fell in decay after fire in 1729.

The history of the castle is the subject of different legends. One of them narrates the origin of the name of castle derived from that of jester Becko for whom the Duke Stibor had the castle built.

Another legend has it that the lord of the castle had his servant thrown down from the rock because he protected his child from the lords favourite dog. Before his death, the servant pronounced a curse saying that they would meet in a year and days time, and indeed precisely after that time the lord was bitten by a snake and fell down to the same abyss.

The well-conserved ruins of the castle, now the National Cultural Monument, are frequently visited by tourists, above all in July when the castle festival takes place. The former Ambro curia situated below the castle now shelters the exhibition of the local history.