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Ksiaz Castle

Piastow Slaskich 1, 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.
  • Excellent52%
  • Very good29%
  • Average14%
  • Poor4%
  • Terrible1%
Travelers talk about
“guided tour” (8 reviews)
“day trip” (6 reviews)
“lower silesia” (5 reviews)
Open Now
Hours Today: 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Suggested Duration: More than 3 hours
Piastow Slaskich 1, Walbrzych 58-316, Poland
+48 74 664 38 27
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"guided tour"
in 8 reviews
"day trip"
in 6 reviews
"lower silesia"
in 5 reviews
"interesting history"
in 5 reviews
"concentration camp"
in 4 reviews
"little bit"
in 3 reviews
"the bus"
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
"red army"
in 2 reviews
"lovely place"
in 2 reviews
"take photos"
in 2 reviews
"one of a kind"
in 2 reviews
"great attraction"
in 2 reviews

1 - 10 of 135 reviews

Reviewed 2 weeks ago

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.
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

It's an amazing castle in a picturesque location; all in a great shape and well kept. However, what I missed is an original setup of the rooms: when you look on the old pictures, the rooms are fitted with plenty of furniture, carpets, paintings and...More

Thank RJRobsoon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 10, 2018 via mobile

And with some interesting history behind. You can visit individually or with your guide. Better the latter - this way you will not miss facts about the castle. Mixture of past and more modern history. Definitely better to visit in spring or summer when the...More

Thank Ewelina M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 22, 2018

We were under a great impression of the castle and we deffinitely want to visit again in few months. That's because the 50 metres deep underground tunnels are going to be opened to public. Also, in winter the beautiful terrace gardens of the castle are...More

1  Thank SylverKa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 3, 2018

We visited the castle as a day trip from Wroclaw, without the guide. We knew it was closed ( 1st of January) but we wanted to see it. We loved the landscape, the castle itself and the gardens.

1  Thank Denilica
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 29, 2017

his is one of a kind castle! We know some history, we know the owners, but we don;t know where Daisy von Pless with her 7m pearls strand is buried. We know Hitler had a plan with it, but the exact plan was, no one...More

Thank Elena257
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 16, 2017 via mobile

Hello Książ castle is amazing! Build in the end of 13th century near Wrocław Poland by Bolko I, Duke of Świdnica and Jawor. Very worth it to visit

Thank Tom666UK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 14, 2017 via mobile

The castle looks beautiful at this time of the year. Lost of attractions available also great family day out.

Thank Kinga M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 13, 2017

So our first impression of this were a lot of cars, people, and a paid parking lot with no attendants who spoke English who could tell us if we were in the right place or not. We weren't expecting crowds on an October weekend, but...More

Thank Emily M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 3, 2017

I have been there many times but most recently had a tour of the underground tunnels which were reinforced by the Nazis for a Hitler hideout. Very interesting. You can book a tour in English. The history of Daisy Von Pless and family is fascinating...More

1  Thank lovetosnorkel54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Questions & Answers
January 7, 2018|
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
Google Translation
Jenny L
January 5, 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
Google Translation