1. Ksiaz Castle
Ksiaz Castle, otherwise known as the Pearl of Upper Silesia, is the third largest of all Polish castles. The fortification was first built in the 13th century, and has since seen innumerable political changes, and also been the site of a number of historical agreements. Plenty of political heavyweights from across the world have spent nights in this castle through the centuries. Today the castle houses several restaurants, and guided tours are held throughout the day.
2. Bolkow Castle
The mighty Bolkow Castle in the Lower Silesian Voivodeship was also built during the 13th century. Originally much plainer, it was improved when Jakub Parr added some Renaissance inspiration to the structure during the 16th century. For many centuries, the castle was used to house monks, yet today it’s become a site of various annual events including a prominent rock music festival.
3. Czocha Castle
Czocha castle, built in the 13th century, has stood the test of time to become one of the most notable of all edifices in all of Poland. The structure was built into the gneiss rock, providing it with a rigid foundation that made it a formidable defensive castle. After being refurbished in the last century, the castle has become a hub of wizard-themed tourism, and is sometimes known as the Polish Hogwarts.
4. Ogrodzieniec Castle
Ogrodzieniec Castle is a simply incredible 14th century wonder. In its heyday, it was a renowned and feared building, yet by the 19th century it had become a piteous ruin. Fortunately, its demise was halted after WWII. Now you can take creepy tours of this decrepit beauty, which once featured in a music video for English heavy metal group, Iron Maiden.
5. Kwidzyn Castle
This 13th century castle was built in the Gothic style by the Teutonic Knights, and later served as a residence for a clan of Prussians known as the Pomesanians. Its design is quite unusual. It has a bridge/sewer that joins the castle and allows a passage over the river. You’ll sure need a guided tour at this castle, to help you locate the medieval crypts which lead to the museum and cathedral.
6. Bedzin Castle
Originally this was the site of an 11th century castle built of wood, but in the 14th century a stone version was erected that today you can still see. Many battles and sieges occurred at this old castle. Its sturdy walls served very well for whoever was fortunate enough to be holding it at the time. Alas, though, it wasn’t a match for the Nazi forces who terrorized and seized the Jews who were hiding here during the Second World War.
7. Wawel Royal Castle
During the period in Poland’s history when Krakow was the nation’s capital, this was the Romanesque Castle where the Royals lived and effected the administration of the realm. Situated on Wawel Hill, the Royal Castle offers amazing views of the beautiful old city. Inside you can see the crown jewels and various other important artifacts.
8. Moszna Castle
Located in the Upper Silesia region of Poland, Moszna, a traditional Baroque edifice, was built in the 17th century and has been improved with Gothic and Renaissance wings. The castle resembles a fairytale palace thanks to its incredible 99 spires. You will probably have seen this castle in pictures before, and its appearance has also served as inspiration for many folk story illustrations too.
9. Malbork Castle
Sometime during the 13th and 15th century, Teutonic Knights built this extraordinary castle as both a private residence and fortress. This now stands as one of the largest in all of mainland Europe. Because it was built on a peninsula just between two important rivers, the castle is perfectly located for defense. A famous battle – Grunwald - occurred here in 1410. Now, every year this battle is reenacted by enthusiastic locals.
10. Niedzica Castle
Niedzica was built in the 13th century in the south of the country both as a military outpost and private residence. The beautiful castle is today used as part of many Medieval revivals where happy tourists enjoy period activities such as jousting, dancing, and banquets – all while dressed as a somber and pious monk.