Książ Castle (Wałbrzych, Poland) - third of the largest castles in country
Location show on map
Piastów Śląskich 1, Wałbrzych, Poland
Date of build
1288 - 1292
With over 400 rooms (including commercial buildings around 600) and the castle located in the Książański Landscape Park, it is the largest in the Lower Silesia, and the third largest castle in Poland, second only to zamkowi w Malborku and the Wawel Royal Castle.
The castle is built inside picturesque forests, in a ravine flowing down the Pełcznica river. It is located on a steep rocky promontory, at an altitude of 395 m above sea level. (about 80 m above the bottom of the valley).
The history of Książ Castle is very turbulent, passed from hand to hand, belonged to many countries and was repeatedly destroyed during wars.
The origins of the castle date back to the 13th century, when the Duke of Świdnica-Jaworski, Bolek and Raw created a fortress called "Książęca Góra".
In 1392, the building was ruled by the Czech king from the Luxembourg dynasty, Wacław II of Luxembourg. Over the next years, she changed hands, she was in power, including Bolko II of the Little, Bohemian monarch - Wacław IV, Jerzy von Stein (he rebuilt the castle by adding the southern wing which borders with the Black Courtyard), Władysław II Jagiellończyk - the Czech and Hungarian king and Jan von Schellenberg.
Then the castle was sold to the von Haugwitz family, and from 1603 to the Hoberg family (Hochberg), who ruled the castle for over 400 years.
During their reign, in 1908 Prince Henry XV built a large south-west castle wing with two corner towers and modernized terraces with fountains. The designer of the extension was Humbert Walcher von Moltchein, at which time the 48 meter main tower was probably rebuilt.
The most tragic period in the history of the castle is the period of the Second World War, when it was planned to rebuild it into the residence of Adolf Hitler. To this end, many modifications have been made, including a tunnel was excavated 50 meters underground and a station through which Hitler could get out in the event of an attack on Książ. According to rumors, Hitler never lived in it, but the Germans supposedly took all the trains full of precious objects from there.
In 1945, the soldiers of the Russian army began to station in the castle, who plundered further. For many years, the castle was not secured, it was only in 1956 that conservation works began, during which over 30 years, several rooms were restored and many old castle assets were renovated.
One of the greatest secrets of the Second World War took place in the basement of the castle, it is about the Riese project (translated by "Giant"), that is Hitler's new headquarters. For many years, and at the cost of the lives of several thousand prisoners and forced laborers, several kilometers of tunnels were carved out. To this day, the destination of this place has not been known, according to some opinions there was a treasury there, others say that a secret weapon was produced there.
On December 10, 2014, a fire broke out in the attic of the eastern part of the castle's wing. Despite the fact that 37 fire brigades participated in the rescue operation, the losses were high. Approximately 500 m² of roof and attic area were destroyed.
Fire was created as a result of improper maintenance work and employee error. Fortunately, no one suffered as a result of the fire, because tourists and staff were evacuated earlier. The repair of the damaged roof was completed in April 2015, and its cost amounted to PLN 520,000.
Since 1991, the castle has been managed by Przedsiębiorstwo "Zamek Książ" Sp. z o.o., which was established by its current owner, the municipality of Wałbrzych.
Currently, visitors can see beautifully decorated chambers, the most beautiful of which is Sala Maksymiliana, in which concerts and performances were organized, as well as Chinese, Italian, and Chinese salons. , Baroque and Green and Hunting Hall. In addition to them, the complex also has a gastronomic section, a hotel, horse farm and beautiful gardens.
In the vicinity of the castle there is a palm house, which grows over 100 species of exotic plants imported here from different continents.
The castle is visited annually by over 300,000 tourists, largely thanks to the annual "Festival of Flowers and Art" taking place in a few days. 100,000 people who admire the flower arrangements in the interiors of the castle prepared by artists from around the world.