Lower Silesia – not only castles and palaces
Lower Silesia is not only castles, but they are the biggest attraction of the region 🙂 We went to this region of Poland precisely to see some better or worse preserved castles and palaces, and in the process we discovered some additional places that we had not planned to visit.
Castles and Palaces of Lower Silesia are not all you will find in this area 🙂 In this post you will find information about the most interesting, in our opinion, places that are worth seeing while being in the Lower Silesia area. It took us 2 days to visit these places and, as always, there was not enough time for everything. So if something was missing here, it doesn't mean that it's not worth going there 🙂
Castles and Palaces of Lower Silesia
The order of the described places is random. Missing here is the biggest attraction of the region – the Książ Castle, which we have written about before.
This defensive castle from the 13th century is one of the most beautiful and well-preserved buildings of its kind in Lower Silesia. It has recently gained popularity thanks to "The Witcher" filmed here, as well as "The Secret of the Cipher Fortress".
And, unfortunately, a little too much of this popularity, because getting to the site you have to squeeze through the narrow streets, slalom around tourists, dodging coaches standing on the street. It is best to save yourself the stress of parking on the street, in the bushes, and park in the guarded parking lot right at the entrance to the Castle. Paid, of course 😉
Entrance is also paid, of course. You can pay to enter the courtyard or pay extra to visit the interior of the Castle. Unfortunately, in the second option, again tourists are forced to move only within organized groups, and the waiting time can be up to two hours.
The building functions mainly as a hotel, but the aforementioned tour includes a look at its interiors, including m.in. The Prince's Chamber and the Knights' Hall.
As part of the courtyard tour, visitors can see the pre-castle, walk across the bridge over the dry moat, follow the inter-museum up to the impressive bastea, where walkways for the guards are made available. You can also take the stairs to the inner courtyard, where you will find the so-called "entrance hall". The well of unfaithful wives (do we need to add where the name comes from?).
While we were at the Castle, in the first part there were additional attractions for visitors, especially children (cooking workshops, games, dress-up etc).
Unfortunately, also here the information for tourists is quite poor… there is no map, leaflets, descriptions, which is a pity, because the Czocha Castle has a lot of potential and we would be happy to learn a lot more about the place we are visiting.
Strzegom – the granite heart of Poland
The city is recommended mainly because of Minor Basilica of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul. This huge, soaring structure was something we didn't expect to see in a smaller town. We treated Strzegom as a base, but found time to walk around the Market Square and the surrounding area.
The Basilica is one of the largest churches in Lower Silesia and dates back to the 14th century. In 2002, Pope John Paul II gave it the title of Basilica Minor.
The origins of this Gothic Bolkow Castle are shrouded in mystery, but the construction dates back to the 13th century. As befits a castle, it was built on an elevation and reigns over the village of Bolkow. It is an impressive building with an area of 7600 m2.
In the architecture of the castle, particularly noteworthy is the 25-meter tower, the only one in Poland – built on the shape of a drop, with a distinctive prow facing southeast (it was from this side that the greatest danger was expected). There is a hunger dungeon in the lower part of the tower.
Only the tournament courtyard can be seen free of charge. The castle is entered through the Great Gate, which leads to the Grand Courtyard. Only from there you enter the Main Courtyard, from where you enter the tower, the Gothic Houses and the House of the Women.
Ok, it was supposed to be without ranking, without rating, but here it goes 🙂 Small, inconspicuous, in poor condition, and somehow we liked it terribly!
First of all, zero tourists! Just a young couple taking pictures of themselves. Secondly, you just walk where you want and how you want, at the same time you have to be careful under your feet 🙂 Very cool atmosphere, nice view, peace and quiet.
Origins Swina Castle Dates back to the 12th century. Legend has it that it is connected to Bolkow Castle by a tunnel.
Be sure to recommend this place to you if you are in the area! 🙂
This castle from the 13th century is located in Zagórze Śląskie and rises on Choina Hill in the Owl Mountains. Beginnings of Grodno Castle Dates back to the 13th century, although there are actually no data sources to determine when construction began (according to some, construction may have begun as early as 800!).
Some of the worst damage took place during the 30-year war, when it was captured by the Swedes. The castle was deteriorating and passed from hand to hand until the Zeidlitz family took possession of it and carried out a series of repair works and opened the castle to tourists.
Unfortunately, the war did not spare the monuments here either, and in 1945 all the valuables were stolen.
The castle consists of an upper castle (the oldest part) and a lower castle (added in the 16th century). The biggest attraction of the castle is the tower, which you can climb and enjoy the beautiful panorama of the area.
To get to the castle, you have to walk about 15 minutes uphill, along a road that is difficult to find (above we upload a photo of the characteristic point from where you can start your hike).
Gross-Rosen Museum in Rogoznica
Not all places we go to arouse our admiration… there are places that fill us with sadness, regret and impotence. Places that should never have been built because there is a tragic history associated with them. An example of such a place is Gross-Rosen Concentration Camp, currently a museum on the site.
Initially we did not plan to go there, we wanted to focus on castles and palaces, but how can you pass indifferently by such a place? We had accommodation not far away, and in addition, the place is open for a very long time, so you can even drive up in the evening.
You enter the museum grounds through a large gate with the inscription "Arbeit macht frei". There are museum exhibitions in both two wings, where you can see photos, maps, prisoners' clothing, etc.
The camp site mainly contains the very foundations of the buildings that used to stand here, but there are also several undemolished or reconstructed buildings and preserved basement parts (e.g. kitchen, barracks or bathhouse).
The site is full of symbolism, a monument-mausoleum has been erected here commemorating the victims of the camp with their ashes (in total, more than 40,000 of the 120,000 people lost their lives in the camp!), the roll call bell tower has been reconstructed, the roll call square with gallows has been preserved, and a bare tree with numerous memorial plaques marks the former execution site.
Prisoners held at Gross Rosen worked in nearby quarries, 12 hours each day. The work was exhausting, the food rations minimal, and the entire camp was regarded as one of the toughest concentration camps. There were numerous sub-camps or branches of Gross-Rosen in Lower Silesia, and their locations are indicated by symbolic monuments.
We encourage you to visit such places as the Gross-Rosen Museum. History, though often shameful and full of innocent victims, is not something that should be erased from memory as if nothing happened. It is necessary to raise awareness, educate and show what crimes people committed and how many victims there were and how they were treated. Let history not perish in the nation.
Mściwojów This is a small village with a population of 500, north of Rogoznica. On the map here we found the ruins of a palace, hence the idea to drive to this small village. Actually, these are ruins, on top of not knocking down ruins 😉
On the other hand, the Pavilion on the island, on an almost square body of water, presents itself nicely. There is a park, there are benches, you can relax for a while.
Palace on water in Staniszów
It is a palace built in the 18th century, currently a hotel with a spa.
Palace in Lomnica
This is a large building, which includes the Large Palace, the grange and the Small Palace, also known as the Widow's House (now a hotel and restaurant).
In the Big Palace you can see the interiors for a fee. We recommend walking through the pretty, gardens that surround both buildings.
Across the street is Folwark, where there are m.in. Linen store, restaurant, cowshed and blacksmith store.
Palace in Wojanow
Beginnings of Palace in Wojanow date back to the 18th century, when Nickel von Zedlitz und Nimmersath had a manor house built on the site. The building has been repeatedly destroyed, rebuilt, and currently houses a hotel and conference center with a spa.
The place is fully renovated and commercialized, but still impressive. Especially the Palace building itself with its round towers, as well as the courtyard and park. A perfect place for a wedding or wedding photo shoot 🙂
Palace in Domanice
Guided by the map, we decided to see one more monument – the Palace in Domanice. The photo below shows everything we managed to see 🙁
The palace is privately owned and can only be viewed from behind the fence, which is a pity…
Like the Moszna Castle, it is more of a palace than a castle, and historically it is more of a monastery, dating back to the 12th century.
Currently there is a hotel here, which, to put it mildly, does not look cozy. If someone likes extreme experiences, adventures with ghosts, etc. then he will definitely feel good here 🙂
We were scared off first by the road, then by the gate and finally by the building itself… Pity, because the place has potential.
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To sum up..
Lower Silesia is certainly associated with numerous castles, palaces and beautiful ruins. We confirm it 100%. However, it is also worth remembering other places, historical and dramatic at the same time, such as Gross-Rosen. Also the area is very beautiful, it is worth staying here for a while longer to admire the nature as well.
If you don't have plans for the weekend or don't like to spend your vacation passively in Poland, we recommend you a 2-3 day tour of the area. It's really worth it! 🙂