Reszel is a little town in Warmia, where time seems to have stopped. It has hardly changed its appearance since the Middle Ages. Quiet, narrow streets, extensive parks, and a stunning Gothic castle create an almost idyllic atmosphere. Today, the castle in Reszel is a true gem of the defensive architecture of the Middle Ages and the town hallmark.
The history of the Reszel castle dates back to the mid-13th century when the Teutonic Knights built the first wooden and earth stronghold. From 1281, Reszel was ruled by Warmian bishops, who, around 1350, began the construction of a stone castle, which operated as a defensive fortress.
In the 15th century, the castle passed into Polish hands and lost its defensive significance. A hundred years later, it was transformed into a hunting lodge by its then-owner, Cardinal Andrzej Batory. In the 18th century, a prison was located in the building, where many hostages died in terrifying conditions.
During this challenging period for Poles, the castle mentioned above was hit by great fires twice. The first destroyed all the internal wooden buildings, the town hall, and the eastern part of the castle, while the second disaster contributed to the total destruction of the object.
The ruined building was handed over to the Evangelical Church in 1822. The renovation carried out at that time largely obliterated its medieval character because the two-story cloisters were demolished, and the southern wing was transformed into a contemplative chamber with light walls and high windows.
In 1958, the castle was re-commissioned for cultural purposes under the management of the “Lakeland” Social and Cultural Association. Throughout the seventies and eighties, research was carried out at the castle – first archeological, then conservation and adaptive.
Today in the southern wing, there is a branch of the Museum of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn. A hotel and restaurant have also been opened in the castle buildings since 2001.
Read more: Teutonic Knights’ Castle in Torun
One thing though understandably, this castle is not very popular amongst travelers, so you shouldn’t meet the crowds. If you get a chance to, be sure to pop in the fascinating and thought-provoking Torture Exhibition, where you can see “Armchair of the Witch, “” Iron Maiden, “” or even “Cradle of Judas.”
Once you’re done with the Torture Exhibition, make sure you head to the courtyard, scary dungeons, and tower overlooking the medieval town. The castle has a contemporary art museum which art lovers will appreciate. The gallery showcases work by emerging artists and established artists, mostly from Poland and Germany.
It is definitely worth visiting the inside of Reszel castle, but if you don’t have enough time to pop in, take a walk in the area around the castle and admire its beauty.
Read more: Malbork Castle
Reszel castle is uniquely decorated, and cozy medieval chambers offer a glimpse back in time, meaning you may fancy to spend your stay in Reszel inside the castle instead of taking in the usual tourist sights.
- From 9:00 to 17:00 (September-March),
- From 9:00 to 19:00 (April-August).
- Castle Website click here.
- Regular 12 PLN
- Reduced 8 PLN