Pieskowa Skala Castle

Sułoszowa, Poland

Pieskowa Skała castle, built by King Casimir III the Great, is one of the best-known examples of a defensive Polish Renaissance architecture. It was erected in the first half of the 14th century as part of the chain of fortified castles called Orle Gniazda (Eagles Nests).

The castle was renovated and donated in 1377 by king Louis I of Hungary to Piotr Szafraniec of Łuczyce, according to a more modern interpretation by the 15th century chronicler Jan Długosz, but the family gained the full ownership rights of the castle only in 1422 from King Władysław II Jagiełło in recognition of the faithful service at the Battle of Grunwald by Piotr Szafraniec, the chamberlain of Kraków.

The castle was rebuilt in 1542–1544 by Niccolò Castiglione with participation from Gabriel Słoński of Kraków. The sponsor of the castle's reconstruction in the mannerist style was the Calvinist, Stanisław Szafraniec, voivode of Sandomierz. At that time the original medieval tower was transformed into a scenic double loggia decorated in the sgraffito technique. Between 1557 and 1578, the trapezoid shape courtyard was surrounded at the level of two upper storeys by arcades, embellished with 21 mascarons. The arcade risalit above the gate is a 17th-century addition.

The last owner of the castle of Szafraniec family was Jędrzej, Stanisław's son, who died childless in 1608. After his death the estate was purchased by Maciej Łubnicki and later by the Zebrzydowski family. In 1640 Michał Zebrzydowski built the bastion fortifications with baroque gate and a chapel. The castle changed hands many times over the centuries. In 1903 it was bought by the Pieskowa Skała Society led by Adolf Dygasiński and with time turned over to the Polish state and meticulously restored.

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

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4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Yurii Smyk (3 years ago)
Great place to spend weekends. Great views and tasty meals are in restoration in this castle.
raj badhan (3 years ago)
A beautiful spot. But not open on Monday's??? Found some staff to be rude, security guard just kept following us around. Good views and absolutely spotless. Worth the trip has lots of history and unique feature. Hercules club.
John Smith (3 years ago)
A must-see historical landmark only 40 minutes by bus from Krakow, and best of all when I went there completely free! The castle is great there's a nice restaurant there which is very classy and not too expensive and on a sunny day the roof terrace is to die for, gives great views of the castle and also the forests around and the most of course !
Denise Wood (3 years ago)
Impressive location on a cliff. Interiors are not as interesting...exhibitions are nice, but the castle doesn't have much in original furnishings.
Radosław Śmigielski (3 years ago)
Castle is in perfect condition, probably better than it was centuries ago :) other than that it really lovely place. There is a parking near by, museum, restaurant and from the top of the castle there is amazing view.
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