Olsztyn Castle

The Olsztyn Castle was one of the first and most fortified castles of The Eagles’ Nests Trail in Cracow-Czestochowa Upland. In the past it was not only a fortress, temporal royal residence but also a prison for the nobles. Today it is a great example of the gothic fortified building in which construction were incorporated the monadnocks and limestone karts caves. 

It is believed that the original castel was built by the king Casimir the Great, although some historicians say that previously there was a brick fortress “Przymiłowice” owned by the bishop of Cracow – John Muskata. Its main task was to protect the south-west part of Poland against the invasion from Silesia and Bohemia. The great merit in the development and modernization of the royal fortress laid Mikołaj Szydłowiecki who transformed the gothic solid in the spirit of the fashionable Renaissance. Later the castle served as a prison for the nobles, for example in its gloomy dungeons died the Poznan governor Maciej Borkowic, who in 1358 was sentenced to death by starvation for the leadership in the confederation of lords of Wielkopolska region against the king. In 1587 the castle was destroyed by Maksimilian Habsburg’s army, which in the fact did not capture the fortress. Further destructions occured during the Swedish Deluge. Since then the castel felt into the ruins: the crumbling limestone rocks destroyed the walls and a lower parts of the castle were demolished by locals so as to obtain the material to build a church in Olsztyn. To this day remained the walls of the residential part, towers: cylindrical and quadratic, fragment of the farm buildings, partly cellars and discovered during the archeological research the foundations of the smithy.
Nearby the castle there is a monument commemorating 2 000 victims murdered by Nazis at this
area between 1940-1945.

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