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

Maciek Grochowina (7 months ago)
Must see for every traveller . Great castle , though restaurant already closed off season .
Wioletta N. (7 months ago)
Beautiful castle with many very interesting objects dating back to XV century. Make sure you allocate at least 3h if you decide to do the "from the basement to the roof" tour. There is a restaurant as well which serves food and drinks. If you visiting during the summer months you can enjoy views of the castle from the restaurant's terrace. Make sure to visit as well "Maczuga Herkulesa" (Hercules's mace) at the bottom of the castle (again great views of the castle from there).
Margarita Z (9 months ago)
Interesting castle with good exhibits! Beautiful exhibitions. A lot of interesting things. A one little minus, you can not buy tickets online and long lines. it's not easy to stand in line in the heat.
Иван Затевахин (9 months ago)
a wonderful place in the middle of a dense forest is located one of the most impregnable castles of the Middle Ages, the problem with transport on weekends and in separate rooms you need to buy tickets. but the luxurious nature will more than pay off. from the castle one of the best views in Poland. definitely recommend
Marcin Kaminski (10 months ago)
The Castle Museum is part of the holdings of the Wawel Castle Museum but is located within the Ojców National Park. Accessible by car or by hiking trails within the park. The Castle has exhibits covering the historical changes in style of European art , history of the Castle, old Polish culture, English painting and in summer of 2023 a temporary exhibit of science-fantasy painting. Pretty garden, best viewed from the Castle Museum rather than paying extra to enter the garden itself. My kids also liked the fact that to get a tourist coin of the Castle you had to mint it yourself using a hammer and blank metal pieces. Parking is located below the Castle and it's a bit of a hike up to the Castle entrance. Parking is paid and although it has card readers these seemed to lock up when we were there. Bring small Polish change to make things easier.
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