Grodziec Castle is a unique fortress located on a basalt, volcanic, steep hill and is one of the biggest attractions of the Lower Silesia. It is a majestic, massive structure, entirely noticeable from afar. Although today the castle has no one to defend against, it is a great place to explore and learn about history.
The castle, in its original form, was built by Bobrzanie, a West Slavic tribe from the Bóbr River. The first mentions date from 1155. At that time, the castle was a wooden stronghold, and a stone one was built during the reign of Henry the Bearded.
Then the castle became the property of the knightly family of Bożywojów. In the 15th century, the castle was brought to its most magnificent splendor by the Duke of Legnica Frederick I. It was this ruler who brought to Grodziec famous bricklaying masters from Wrocław, Legnica, and Görlitz, who gave the building’s current spatial arrangement.
After the death of Prince Frederick I, the castle was not forgotten. Works on the extension of the facility were continued on the orders of his son, Frederick II. Thanks to this, Grodziec Castle became one of the most beautiful Gothic-Renaissance residences in all of Silesia.
The completion of the castle works coincided with the wedding of Prince Frederick II and Princess Sofia von Hohenzollern. This prestigious ceremony was organized with great fame. At that time, the castle witnessed many historical events and knight’s tournaments, which lasted for several days.
During the Thirty Years’ War, it was utterly destroyed. It lay in ruins until 1800 when prince Jan Henry VI von Hochberg undertook its restoration and reconstruction. Grodziec Castle became the destination of frequent tourist travel as early as the 1830s – interestingly, it is considered the first monument in Europe specially adapted for visiting.
World War II brought further destruction to the building. In the 1960s, Grodziec Castle was partially rebuilt, and life returned to its walls.
Today, the castle plays a similar role as at the beginning of the 20th century because it is open to tourists, and besides, it houses a hotel.
As part of the admission ticket, you can visit the courtyard, chambers, enter the porches and the tower and see an exhibition of torture tools in the basement. Grodziec Castle is part of the green Trail of Piast Castles and the European Trail of Castles and Palaces.
The castle can be visited alone, or you can go on a journey in the company of a guide. The rooms contain collections of items related to the castle – furniture, clothes, everyday objects, and tools.
While visiting, we can feel here as if we once lived in these chambers. The medieval atmosphere of the castle strongly appears here. A lot of secret passages, turrets, nooks, tunnels, and shallow ceilings enhances the impression.
In the castle courtyard, there is also a ticket office, souvenir shop, and several stands with products of local artists and food farmers. In the spring and summer season, the number of stalls is much larger. In the middle of the courtyard, there are also lots of benches and tables at which every visitor can rest and eat.
Grodziec Castle is open for visitors throughout the week, from Monday to Sunday. Every year, exciting regional and international events take place in the castle courtyard. Among the many of them, the most famous is the Silesian Song Festival or Agrotourism Feast of Wine and Mead.
You can also spend the night at Grodziec Castle in one of the 47-bedrooms. The rooms are located in the castle tower, and there is also parking for guests next to the property. You can also order hot meals during your stay. A castle is an animal-friendly object so that you can take your dog or cat with you.
November to February 15
- from 10:00 to 15:00
16 February to 30 March
- from 10:00 to 16:00 – weekends to 17:00
April to October
- from 10:00 to 18:00
- Regular price: PLN 15.00
- Reduced price: PLN 10.00
Photos: Wojciech Orligóra Wikimedia Commons