The most beautiful six castles around PoznanDecember 16, 2018
AThe Greater Poland Voivodeship does not yet play a major role on the tourist map. With one exception: Poznan and surroundings. Because the region is rich in historical buildings.
Polish kings and bishops and – after the annexation of the area by Prussia – German dignitaries left their mark here. There are more than 50 castles, palaces and noble houses accessible to tourists. We visited six magnificent buildings and stayed in some.
Posen: Art at the King
The Piast Prince Mieszko I commissioned the construction of a castle and a church more than 1000 years ago on today’s cathedral island in Poznan. He united several Slavic tribes, converted to Christianity in 966 and thus laid the foundation for the Polish state; Since then, Poznan has been considered the cradle of the nation.
However, the royal palace was built later, in the 13th century. It is located in the middle of Poznan, not far from the market square. The neat residence was built in Romanesque style, but largely destroyed in World War II. From the original castle only the gothic cellar remains.
The reconstruction started in 2012; The restored part of the building now houses the Posens Museum of Applied Arts. A climb up the tower is also worthwhile, from there you have a good view of the fifth largest Polish city, whose medieval structure is still clearly visible in the street (mnp.art.pl).
Poznan: coffee with the emperor
Much younger than the royal residence is Europe’s last, built from 1905 to 1913 Emperor’s Castle in Poznan. The construction fell into the Prussian era, which had begun in 1793 with the second partition of Poland. Poznań belonged to the German Reich, and so Kaiser Wilhelm II was the principal and master of the imperial castle.
The chunky neo-Romanesque style springs from the Wilhelminian Zeitgeist, which makes the castle appear like a foreign body in the cityscape. After the First World War, the Polish state rebuilt, the imperial palace in Poznan served as the official residence of the Polish president until 1939.
After the German invasion of Poland Adolf Hitler had the walls rebuilt into a “Führer’s Residence”. For example, the former private chapel of the Emperor was converted into a 130 square meter study for Hitler, which he never used because he never stayed in the castle.
The massive structure survived the warfare relatively well, only the tower was badly damaged and has since been around 20 meters lower. The original plan to demolish the building was later dropped again. Today the old imperial castle serves as a cultural center with an integrated café.
The castle is open every day; the corridors, corridors and courtyards can be visited free of charge; Once a month there is a guided tour (ckzamek.pl).
Kórnik: Browsing in the castle
About 20 kilometers from Poznań is Kórnik, a small town in the middle of a lake district. Directly on the water is the eponymous neo-Gothic castle with turrets and battlements as from the picture book. It was built in the 15th century and has been the residence of many Polish noblemen over the centuries.
One of them was Tytus Dzialynski (1797-1861). It owes Kórnik his present look, because Dzialynski had it rebuilt by the Prussian star architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel.
Dzialynski loved books and passionately collected works on the history of the Polish state and people. This collection is the basis of the castle library, containing not only books but also parchment documents, letters from Polish kings, poets and musicians such as Frédéric Chopin, who in Poland is called Fryderyk. The oldest document dates from the 9th century.
The library is still located in the castle today and is administered by the Polish Academy of Sciences. Also exhibited in the castle: paintings, furniture, armor. After visiting the castle, it is best to walk through the park to the arboretum. 3500 species of plants can be seen here, including magnolias and rhododendrons, which bloom beautifully in May (bkpan.poznan.pl).
Rogalin: strolling on the estate
The village of Rogalin is ten kilometers from Kórnik. In the middle of Rogalin stands a late Baroque palace; It was built from 1768 to 1774 on behalf of the Polish nobleman Kazimierz Raczynski. Until 1939 the pompous residence was family owned; since 1949 it is owned by the National Museum Poznan and can be visited.
On a tour of the interiors you can immerse yourself in the pre-war atmosphere; In addition to the salons and dining rooms, the once private sleeping quarters are accessible. Particularly impressive is the library in the style of Neo-Rococo. It extends over two levels, which are connected by sweeping stairs.
The castle garden is a spacious facility in the French style with symmetrically arranged ornamental waters, trees, flowerbeds and hedges. Rogalin has the largest stock of Stileichen in Europe, they belong to a protected area established in 1997, which includes in addition to the castle and park large parts of the banks of the Warta.
Three of the 700-year-old oaks are called Lech, Cech and Rus, names that symbolize the similarities of Poland, Czechs and Russians. And then there is the mausoleum church of the family, which was built on the model of the ancient temple Maison Carrée in the French Nîmes. Also it can be visited (https://rogalin.mnp.art.pl/en).
Rydzyna: Concert in the garden
If you’ve always wanted to spend the night in a baroque palace, you can fulfill your dream in Rydzyna, a town in the Leszno district. The palace was built on the old foundations of a 15th century castle, it stands on an artificial island and is surrounded by a ditch – which means that the castle not only pleases tourists, but also a number of frogs that are well-rested interfere with her trepidation.
From the 15th to the beginning of the 20th century, the castle was owned by Polish aristocratic families, from 1927 it served as a grammar school and during the German occupation of Poland as a school of the Hitler Youth. In 1945 the complex burnt down completely.
In the post-war years it was initially repaired in plain form. In 1970, the Association of Polish Engineers and Technicians took over the facility and reconstructed it under the supervision of the Monument Protection Authority, which was honored in 1994 with the diploma Europa Nostra. The basis for the reconstruction were photographs from the early 1920s. The castle is today a hotel (zamek-rydzyna.com.pl).
Wasowo: Banquet at the banker
The castle in Wasowo about 45 kilometers west of Poznan is an eye-catcher. The Neogothic façade and the old trees in the park give the property something mystical.
The castle was built from 1870 to 1872 for the Berlin banker Richard von Hardt, until the end of World War II it was owned by the family. Poland nationalized the property; only since 1995 is it again privately owned.
Carefully restored, it has since served as a hotel. A Dachstuhlbrand 2011 caused great damage, which is now fixed. All rooms are individually decorated. Especially nice: the suite with a historic bathtub (wasowo.pl).
Tips and information on Poland’s castles
Getting there: From Berlin to Poznan in just over four hours with the Berlin-Warszawa-Express (bahn.de). From Berlin and Hamburg there are also long-distance buses to Poznan.
Accommodation: In Poznan: “Blow Up Hall 50 50”, design hotel, double room from 95 Euro, blowuphall5050.com. “Hotel Rzymski”, functional three-star alternative, double room with breakfast from 45 Euro, hotelrzymski.pl.
Castle Hotels: “Hotel Zamek Rydzyna” in Rydzyna Castle, double room from 60 Euro, zamek-rydzyna.com; “Palac Wąsowo”, double room from 50 Euro, wasowo.pl
Information desk: polen.travel/de
“Participation in the trip was supported by the Polish Tourist Board. Our standards of transparency and journalistic independence can be found at axelspringer.de/unabhaengigkeit.”
Source: Welt (DE)