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Ksiaz Castle

Piastow Slaskich 1 | Wałbrzych, Walbrzych 58-316, Poland
+48 74 664 38 27
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Ksiaz, a blend of many architectural styles, is the third-largest castle in Poland. In Europe, it is considered distinctive because its setting – proudly perched on a rock face, 395 metres above sea level – is as striking as its size. At first a defensive fortification, raised at the end of the thirteenth century by the Piast duke Bolka I (“the Strict”), it has changed hands many times. Only in 1590 was the castle given to the aristocratic Hochberg dynasty which, after receiving title to the castle in 1605, maintained the property as their residence for the following three centuries. During that time, they became one of the most influential and wealthiest Prussian dynasties; in the 19th century, the head of the family received the hereditary title of Prince. With the marriage of Hans Heinrich VI to Anna Anhalt-Pless, the dynasty came to own the estate of the Duchy of Pless, in Upper Silesia. From that time on, the owners of Ksiaz held the title Hochberg von Pless. Before World War II, Ksiaz underwent two significant reconstructions. The first, called the Baroque Reconstruction, took place at the beginning of the 18th century, when Konrad Ernest Maximilan ruled. This included the creation of the huge east face and the main entrance, the splendid Maximilian Hall and several Baroque rooms, and also the gate building, where the library could be found. The Second Castle reconstruction took place between 1909 and 1923. The intention of the owner at the time, Hans Heinrich XV, was to transform Ksiaz into a true baronial mansion. The castle was enlarged at the time by the north and west wings, to which two tours were built. Unfavourable political circumstances (the First World War and economic crisis), and the Hochbergs’ personal problems, prevented the reconstruction from being finished; difficulties in Germany led to financial collapse. During the Second World War, when the paramilitary Todt Organization turned the Castle into solidiers’ quarters, part of the former Hochberg residence was drastically destroyed, and its furnishings were removed. At two levels under the Castle (15 and 50 metres), prisoners from the Gross-Rosen Concentration Camp dug huge tunnels, part of the Riese (Giant) complex that was built in the Sowa Mountains. To this day, the purpose of the tunnels is shrouded in mystery. It has been assumed that a munitions factory or chemical laboratory was to be founded there, and that Ksiaz itself was to become one of the Fuhrer’s quarters. The underground works were partly hidden by Hitler’s soldiers in the war’s final months. On 8 May 1945, the Castle was taken over by the Red Army, which set about causing further destruction, including the removal of part of the library collection. In the years after the war, the Castle experienced still more devastation. Only in the 1950s did Ksiaz receive protection from the regional conservator of Historic Monuments, and during the 1970s the first renovation work began. Since 1991, the Castle has been managed, on behalf of Wałbrzych’s local government, by Ksiaz Castle in Wałbrzych Ltd. The duality of Ksiaz Castle: an essential tourist asset: Ksiaz Castle has often been identified with the Ksiaz Landscape Park, the forest expanse from which it appears, like a ship sailing on an endless green sea. To this day, the former residence of the Hochbergs bears the hallmarks of the times when aristocrats ruled: the castle gates are protected by royal lions, the wide Honorary Courtyard is surrounded by the figures of mythological gods, and the castle exterior suggests that an enchanted dwelling lies within. The Maximilian Hall, resplendent with gold, is used for official purposes: honorary galas, official openings, and prestigious award ceremonies. A short distance from the Castle, there is a further suggestion of the days of nobility at the Ksiaz Stud Farm, where the most illustrious specimens of horses (those bought by Arab sheiks), may be found. Ksiaz Castle, however, has yet another face – dark and impenetrable. It is viewed as one of Lower Silesia’s great mysteries. The ultimate purpose of the Nazi reconstruction work has never been identified, although it is known that Adolf Hitler himself wanted to turn it into his headquarters. The tunnel network, dug by prisoners, has been the subject of stories, legends and conspiracy theories – clouding the picture even further. Without a doubt, one of the firmest beliefs that have taken hold is that the stolen treasure of the region’s people is buried under the courtyard.
  • Excellent53%
  • Very good28%
  • Average14%
  • Poor4%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“guided tour” (10 reviews)
“day trip” (6 reviews)
“lower silesia” (6 reviews)
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Hours
Hours Today: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Suggested Duration: More than 3 hours
LOCATION
Piastow Slaskich 1 | Wałbrzych, Walbrzych 58-316, Poland
CONTACT
Website
+48 74 664 38 27
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"guided tour"
in 10 reviews
"day trip"
in 6 reviews
"lower silesia"
in 6 reviews
"concentration camp"
in 4 reviews
"interesting history"
in 4 reviews
"little bit"
in 3 reviews
"definitely worth a visit"
in 3 reviews
"for sale"
in 3 reviews
"ticket office"
in 3 reviews
"nazi occupation"
in 3 reviews
"entrance fee"
in 3 reviews
"palm house"
in 7 reviews
"two hours"
in 2 reviews
"red army"
in 2 reviews
"nature park"
in 2 reviews
"great potential"
in 2 reviews
"i'm sure"
in 2 reviews
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1 - 10 of 144 reviews

Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

The castle itself is undoubtedly worth seeing but for this price the guide (named Marcin) should do much better than only throwing short remarks and show his irritation to members of the group. I can't say that I learned anything about the history of the...More

Thank Kokosek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Had a good visit here. The location is lovely with some great views and cool even on a hot day. The inside of the castle is quite bare but the audio tour is interesting and enjoyable. There is also a good restaurant, the food takes...More

Thank ianf22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 July 2018

Spectacular castle, great views, and the history of the last 150 or so years is fascinating. Set in a lovely nature park.

1  Thank 416Traveller2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 2 July 2018 via mobile

The first floor has the best rooms saved for the later part of the tour. The upper floors are fairly empty but still filled with historical information. First floor rooms were restored to their full splendor and are enjoyable to look at. Ksiaz is not...More

1  Thank Eric F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 June 2018

We visited Książ castle on beautiful sunny day and enjoyed touring it , visiting room by room, restored to it's so-so original furnishings and finish. Castle consists of older, 13th century part when it was built on a cliff over river as a defensive stronghold....More

Thank Art K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 June 2018 via mobile

So beautiful and full of history place ... there is possibility to visit underground structure but for groups not individuals yet ... but they say in near future this will be possible ...I can't wait ... I will come back there I'm sure of that

Thank magix666
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 June 2018 via mobile

I walked from Walbzrych Szcavienko railway station through the forest park, first to the the old ruined castle, then to the lookout and finally to Zamek Ksiaz itself. No queue to buy a ticket and get in and I looked around myself (guided tours are...More

Thank Simon C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 June 2018 via mobile

This late XIII century castle saw a lot. It has really great but sad history. It shares the same fate of many castles and palaces in Poland. Whatever wasn't destroyed by wars, stolen by Russians or later ruined by communist government is currently being restored...More

Thank 4xAZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 April 2018

Ksiaz Castle was plundered and destroyed several times throughout history. The effects of this activity are visible today. You will be shocked by the view of some rooms, once richly decorated, now completely empty. Perhaps now the castle is in the best period of its...More

Thank Acidov
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 April 2018

The castle is incredibly big and beautiful from the outside, unfortunately the inside is a bit poor (except from the Maximilian Hall). Good for them that they have amazing guides with a great sense of humour who do their best to learn the history but...More

Thank ZuzannaMi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Questions & Answers
zvag
7 January 2018|
Answer
Response from Zamek_Ksiaz | Property representative |
Good morning, it's not possible to walk around the castle without an entrance ticket. Tourists can reach the castle and relax on the Honorary Courtyard without a charge. You can find information about the attraction in the... More
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Jenny L
5 January 2018|
AnswerShow all 4 answers
Response from Zamek_Ksiaz | Property representative |
nformation for tourists arriving by public transit or on foot The address of Książ Castle in Wałbrzych is ul. Piastów Śląskich 1, and the Wałbrzych Palm House is located at ul. Wrocławskiej 158. KSIĄŻ CASTLE – getting... More
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