The last great ruin on the trail, Olsztyn Castle occupies a hill overlooking the town of the same name just outside Częstochowa. Dating back a bit earlier to the late 13th century, the castle was one of the most important strongholds along the Silesia-Małopolska border and the site of frequent clashes during which the defenders proved their mettle. Eventually, same story folks – the Swedes dismantled it like an IKEA kit in 1656, and several of the ruined walls were pulled down to provide material for a new church in town. The remains are primarily of the upper castle, while an adjacent middle castle has all but vanished and little remains of an administrative lower castle. The 35m tower of the upper castle can be climbed for enchanting views of the valley below and distant mountains; it was here that one of Kazimierz the Great’s disobedient barons was starved to death in 1360 during its days as a pitiless prison tower. Other highlights include the large cave beneath the remains of the residential quarters and the square watchtower of the lower castle.
Olsztyn is located only 15km from Częstochowa and reachable by buses 57, 58, 59 or 67.