Earliest records of the Brzeg castle's existence describe a small fortress with a moat and fortified walls, built in 1235 during the reign of Henry I the Bearded. A square tower known as 'The Tower of Lions' was built adjoining the castle. The Piast family branch, which ruled over Duchy of Brzeg, lived in the castle between 1311 until 1675. In 1342, the castle was made the capital seat of the duchy after which it was refurbished many times. In 1370, Prince Ludwik I extended the castle and constructed its chapel which includes the Piast dynasty mausoleum.

During Frederick II of Legnica's reign in 1544, more buildings were added to the castle, with the construction completed in 1560. The additions were in the form of two new buildings, a large courtyard enclosing the buildings and an ambulatory. Additional structures built during this period included a tower gate which was the entrance to the structure. Busts of the Piast princes were part of the gate's decor. Modifications in design were from the Gothic style fort to the Renaissance type of architecture in Silesia.

In 1741, the castle was destroyed by the Prussian forces in the First Silesian War, during which the ruins were used as a warehouse for the Prussian Army. After the war, the town with most of Silesia was annexed from Austria to Prussia. Brieg remained in Prusso-German possession until most of Silesia was transferred to Poland in 1945.

During a fire in 1801, there was further damage to the castle. In 1920, reconstruction of the abandoned castle began, but during World War II, damage to the castle was quite extensive. The castle was rebuilt in Renaissance style during 1966–78 and again from 1980–94. It currently serves as the Museum of the Silesian Piasts.

The rebuilt castle is also called 'The Silesian Wawel'. It was rebuilt by Jakub Parr, Franciscus Pahr, and Bernard Niuron from Italy. Its present facade is known as one of the finest Renaissance period structures in Central Europe. The courtyard has been restored with triple story galleries. The interior of some rooms in the eastern wing, which are in the Renaissance style on the ground floor, are well preserved.

The museum, which is part of the castle, has exhibits which trace the history of the Silesian Piasts. Some of the notable paintings exhibited are from a collection of the National Museum of Wrocław and paintings of Michael Leopold Wilmann, a well known Silesian Baroque painter. The museum also has well-preserved sarcophaguses of the dukes of Legnica and Brzeg.

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Address

plac Zamkowy 1, Brzeg, Poland
See all sites in Brzeg

Details

Founded: 1235
Category: Castles and fortifications in Poland

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Jaba Lomtadze (6 months ago)
If you are in the city, might be interesting to check out. Max 1 hr needed.
michael breathnach (7 months ago)
Amassing and beautiful Castle and fascinating to see the similarities and differences of how people use to live in Poland and in Ireland. There was no tour guide available but we were directed to download the app, but the app only gave an audio guide from the 18th room and by the time we got there it stopped working so kinda useless but room for improvement
David (10 months ago)
So there is few employees, 3 who you see first are nice, but 2 employees on higher levels are not that nice, one of them wanted us to leave, we said we are waiting for someone and also we was watching paintings and other stuff, but woman replied, "We are closing soon", well it was about 1 PM, and they are closing at 4 PM, so basically she lied... Also if you need guide, you can use free app WOW POLAND (I recommend installing in advance), or renting yourself guide, but do it in really big advance. If you have small kids they will probably will be bored there... But overall it was nice.
Paulo Quesado (12 months ago)
Very nicely conserved palace/castle very nice to spend a lazy afternoon or for day runaway to visit Brzeg
Himanshu Patel (12 months ago)
The museum was good. Many historical monuments are preserved in good condition. Please Provide the English language translation also.
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