Castles, forts & palaces
Poland is home to an enormous number of castles, Teutonic fortresses, Silesian strongholds, palaces & fortified manor houses. Unfortunately many of the great castles in Poland are in ruins or have been transformed into palaces & hotels; however there are still many left intact offering tourists a unique window into the history of Poland, it’s culture & heritage.
The Teutonic Knights
The Teutonic Knights were responsible for building the most remarkable castles in Poland and these are situated in the North East of the country.
Malbork Castle is the largest surviving Medieval castle in Europe and should be on your list of castles to visit. Other castles built by the Teutonic Knights and worth a visit are in Lidzbark Warminski and Kwidzyn.
Nicolaus Copernicus lived at Lidzbark Warminski castle for several years, and it is believed he wrote part of his De revolutionibus orbium coelestium there.
Kwidzyn contains the partially-ruined 14th century Brick Gothic Ordensburg castle of the Teutonic Order. Connected to the castle to the east is a large cathedral (built 1343-1384) containing the tombs of the bishops as well those of three Grand Masters of the Teutonic Knights. The literally outstanding feature of the castle is a sewer tower which is connected to it by a bridge. The tower used to be placed at the river which has changed its course since, leaving it on dry land.
The Kings of Poland
The Kings of Poland all resided within either Wawel Castle in Krakow or the Royal Castle in Warsaw and both of these castles are popular tourist attractions.
Eagles’ Nest fortification
Between Czestochowa and Krakow, many castles were built in the Middle Ages as part of a great Eagles’ Nest fortification; however were destroyed during the Swedish Deluge of the 1650s.
The most popular ruins in this area are the castles of Bobolice, Bolków, Olsztyn, Mirow & Ogrodzieniec. Pieskowa Skala is the only one well-preserved castle from the whole Eagles’ Nest fortification system.
Other recommended castles are located in Baranow Sandomierski, Ksiaz, Niedzica, Goluchow and ruined castle in Krzysztopor in Ujazd village.