Top 10 castles in Poland Posted by Kasia on Mar 16, 2012 in Culture, Places to visit
Poland is famous for its castles. There are around 500 castles there offering a number of attractions to everyone. The most remarkable castles were built by Teutonic Knights including Malbork Castle – the world’s largest brick castle and one of the most impressive of its kind in Europe. It is hard to choose which ones to visit, so I put a list of 10 of them that are definitely worth seeing.
1. Malbork Castle. Meet the knight.
Once a residence of the Grand Master of the Teutonic Knights and Kings of Poland, today the castle is a home to weapons displays, amber exhibition, as well as entire rooms showing the Teutonic way of life. Every summer the “Siege of the Malbork Castle” festival takes place with main attraction being a colourful performance presenting the night battle, knight’s tournaments, shooting contest, plebeian plays and fire spectacles. Inscribed in 1997 on the UNESCO World Heritage list.
2. Wawel in Kraków
Built on the hill, Wawel is an impressive castle, where coronations of Polish kings took place. Today it is an interesting museum with several exhibitions and a most important burial place of Polish kings and national heroes. If you are not into museums, Dragon’s Den (Smocza Jama) is worth a visit. According to the legend, a huge dragon spitting fire used to live there and use to terrorised Kraków’s residents. Today the cave is free from the dragon and can be safely visited by the tourists.
3. Gniew. Get married in the castle
Gniew castle is a popular tourist destination and offers something for everyone all year round. Enjoy walking through corridors accompanied by sounds of medieval music, meet medieval people and dine in the underground restaurant. Those who are lucky enough might get a change to meet the Ghost of Gniew Castle. The castle is also a popular place for weddings.
4. Niedzica. Dine like a monk.
Niedzica Castle dominates the area and near lake from the top of a steep hill. Enjoy beautiful view over the mountains or take part in “Mediaeval feasts” held in the castle’s restaurant. At such feasts, guests wear monk cloaks and can eat delicacies with their hands or wooden spoons only. Dances and shows of knights at combat add variety to each feast, which usually lasts for several hours.
5. Kwidzyń. Tower Bridge
Exceptionally preserved castle and the bishops’ cathedral lying on the route of the gothic castles are a great place to visit. The most extraordinary feature of the Kwidzyń castle is a sewer tower which is connected to it by a bridge. If you happen to be around the castle in summer, make sure you attend the opening-ceremony of the museum in Kwidzyn cathedral, and the opening of the crypts of the three medieval Grand Masters of the Teutonic Knights of St. Mary’s Hospital in Jerusalem for the public which will take place on 31st July, 2010.
6. Ogrodzieniec. A night with Dracula
Romantic, fairy-tale-like ruins of Ogrodzieniec castle are the most picturesque in Poland. The castle and surrounding area are a beautiful place to visit during the day, but tourists are also invited to visit the ruins at the dusk, when ghosts of beautiful princess Olimpia or Polish Dracula can be seen.
7. Moszna “Disney” Castle.
Moszna Caslte is one of secret gems of Poland. Stunning, “Disney-style” castle with unique atmosphere is surrounded by a beautiful park. The castle has exactly ninety-nine towers and 365 rooms.
8. Krasiczyn “pearl”
Located near a crossing of the river San, the castle is currently a modern tourist, hotel and catering base. The top class of this facility and the quality of services was confirmed in 2000 by The European Castle Hotels & Restaurants – a programme grouping hotels and restaurants in historical buildings.
9. Ciechanów. View over mountains
Ciechanów Castle was one of Poland’s most splendid fortresses. Today the castle is in ruins and provides excellent views over the Świętokrzyskie Mountains.
10. Pieskowa Skała
Located just 30 minutes from Kraków, a castle in Pieskowa Skała is a must seen. The castle features a lovely courtyard with a delicate arcade and a number of exhibitions and beautiful garden.
Do następnego razu… (Till next time…)
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