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Castles in Poland

Poland is rich in its architectural monuments and old buildings of different eras. These also include numerous castles, located throughout Poland. These are mainly monuments of the Middle Ages, with the lapse of time upgraded in a renaissance and baroque styles. Medieval castles, witnesses of many events in the lives of Polish people, are the historical values of Poland, but now some of them converted into comfortable hotels or motels.Some of the earliest and most majestic castles were built in Poland by the crusaders, in particular by the Teutonic Knights’ Order and others.

The most famous monument of medieval military architecture is the citadel of Malbork, standing on the river Nogat. This sight will tell about the culture and tradition in Poland of the Middle Ages. This citadel was built in the XIII-XV centuries by the Order of Hospital Knights of Jerusalem of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which had later moved away and gave it as the residence to the Teutonic Order. Despite the defeat in the Battle of Grunwald the castle had been in the possession of the Order until 1457, when it was bought by the Polish authorities. Since then and until the first partition of Poland, in the castle served as the residence to the royal administration, as well as to the Polish kings who stopped here during the trips to Prussia. In addition it was one of the main fortresses of the country, and also possessed a powerful arsenal. After the occupation of Swedes the castle was almost abandoned. Currently, there is a museum, which displays a collection of military equipment, amber items, porcelain, earthenware, furniture and jewelry.

Slightly less famous but no less important in Poland is Lantsyut Castle, a medieval fortress, which for some time served as the king’s residence. By the XVII century the castle became one of the most expensive European castles; its interiors were famous for unprecedented luxury and taste. The castle is now a museum of carriages and sleighs. It also hosts an annual music festival with the representatives from many countries.

Another magnificent Castle of Poland is the fortress of Niedzica. Built in the XIV century, on a rock, it is the most important monument of defensive architecture in Poland. It is also worth mentioning the work of the great Italian architect, Santi Gucci, the fortress of Baranuv Sandomirsky, which served for some time as the residence of the magnates. Now every Thursday the tourists have the opportunity at to try national dishes of Poland and listen to the music of the Renaissance at the «Castle feast».

In Lublin there is the Lublin Castle of XIII-XIX century, which now serves as a wonderful museum.

The castles in Gnev and Golub-Dobrzyń now during the summer host the knights’ tournaments where participants come from all over Europe.

And at the foot of the castle Peskova Scala, built in 1542 - 1544 years, you can see the most unusual stone island, the Club of Hercules.

In the south of Poland is also unique, but now ruined The Path of Eagle’s Nests. It is combined from a few tens of defensive castles of XIV and XV centuries. Some of them were built under King Kazimir the Great, and the others were owned by the Polish princes and bishops. This mountainous terrain is perfect for climbing, mountain bikers and horse riding.

In Szczecin, the ancient capital of the Pomor principality, was formerly located the castle of Pomor princes of XIV, but these days there are Opera and operetta Theatre and exhibition halls.

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