With its rich history, from regal residences in Krakow to the ruined castles off the beaten path, Poland bosts over 500 castles and 2,5 thousand of palaces around the country. These charming buildings are not only witnesses of Poland’s history, but also the best recorders of the long history of Poland.
We like to share with you the most peculiar ruined castle in Poland, which is also one of my favorite attractions. Located in the little village of Ujazd, Krzyżtopór castle is a grand but dilapidated structure from many centuries ago, one of the largest buildings in Poland. It’s a little known fact that the castle was the largest palace complex in Europe until the famous French Versailles was built.
The Krzyżtopór castle was erected in the years 1631-1644 as the aristocratic residence of Krzysztof Ossoliński, designed by Italian architect Lorenzo Muretto and cost the enormous sum of 30 million Polish złotys and took 13 years to complete. The grandeur and splendor of the castle exceeded the assumption of all other buildings during the same time period.
For defensive purposes, the castle was built upon a rocky hill, with bastions at the five corners. It is said that the eccentric governor Krzysztof Ossoliński was obsessed with magic and astrology which was also infused in the design of the castle. The unique symmetry of the castle is really obvious even from different perspectives. This majestic castle embodied the structure of the calendar, with four towers representing the four seasons, 12 halls symbolizing the 12 months of the year, 52 rooms for the 52 weeks, 365 windows for 365 days, and there’s another one used only in leap years. It is said that the ceiling of the ballroom was replaced by a transparent aquarium in which various exotic fishes were swimming above people‘s heads, while marble and mirrors were used in the interiors of the underground stables to illuminate the rooms. In terms of equipment, Krzyżtopór was furnished with amenities that were rarely seen in the 17th century, such as ventilation and heating system, and unique waterworks that provided all rooms with fresh water. Though it is regarded as a permanent ruin due to the destruction by war, there’s about 90% of the walls have been preserved and that is enough to inspire our imagination to recreate how splendid Krzyżtopór was in the 17th century.
To this day, the magnificence and spectacularity of Krzyżtopór castle captivate all who visit here. Its dimensions and architecture are still unique in many places. In addition, some interesting activities are organized here include artillery shows, concerts, dancing classes and staged knights’ battles, every few months. With this magic atmosphere and imposing views, Krzyżtopór Castle is definately worth a visit.
There’s plenty of splendid landscape to discover in Poland, contact us to find out more fantastic attractions in Poland.😉
Photo by zloteprzeboje.tuba.pl