Krasiczyn Castle

Krasiczyn, Poland

The construction of the Krasiczyn Castle started in 1580, initiated by a local nobleman Stanislaw Siecienski of Siecin, who came to the area from Mazovia. Works lasted for 53 years, and the castle was not completed until 1633, by Marcin Krasicki, son of Stanisław and Voivode of Podolia, who in the meantime had changed his name. Originally, the castle was a fortified stronghold, protecting southern border of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. However, Marcin Krasicki, who was regarded as one of the most important promoter of arts in the country, turned the fortress into a sophisticated residence (palazzo in fortezza), under supervision of Italian architect, Galleazzo Appiani. Also, he dubbed the complex Krasiczyn, after his last name. The Krasiczyn castle was built on the site of an older, wooden complex, called Sliwnica, which had probably been built in the 14th century.

Despite numerous fires and wars across the centuries, the castle's complex has been essentially unchanged since the early 17th century. Built as a square, with walls representing all four quarters of the globe, at the corners there are four oval-shaped towers: Divine (Boska), Papal (Papieska), Royal (Krolewska), and Noble (Szlachecka). These names reflected the eternal order of the world, with four grades of authority. The rectangular, spacious court is surrounded to the east and north by living quarters, and to the south and west by walls, adorned with attics. In the middle of the western wall, there is a square-shaped tower of the clock (Zegarowa), added by Marcin Krasicki at the beginning of the 17th century. This tower serves as a main gate, with a wall bridge over the moat. 

One of most precious elements of the complex is the chapel, located in the Divine Tower, which has been compared to the Sigismund's Chapel in Krakow’s Wawel Cathedral. Among other interesting things, there are richly sculpted portals, loggias, arcades, and unique sgraffito wall decorations, whose total area is about 7000 square meters. All works were overseen by Italian architects, and the details were completed by craftsmen from nearby Przemysl. The sgraffito depicted Roman emperors, Polish kings, members of the Krasicki family, hunting scenes, and saints of the Roman-Catholic Church. Unfortunately, most of the interior design has been destroyed, mostly by the Red Army soldiers, who were stationed there from October 1939 to June 1941.

Near the castle, there is the Swiss Pavilion, connected with Krasiczyn by a secret passage. Standing also in the adjacent park is the Hunter’s Pavilion, a villa in 'the hunter style'. The park itself is abundant with birds and plants.

After World War II, the Communist government nationalized the complex and set up a high school of forestry in the buildings. In the 1970s, the castle was a property of automobile manufacturer from Warsaw. After the collapse of the Communist system, the castle found a new owner, Warsaw's Industrial Development Agency, which has carried out extensive renovation of the complex. As a result, in 2000, Krasiczyn was added to the association of hotels and restaurants located in historic buildings Currently, Krasiczyn castle is a popular tourist attraction and there are organized sightseeing tours held here.

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Founded: 1580
Category: Castles and fortifications in Poland

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