Krakow

Pieskowa Skała Castle

While sharing the same beginnings as Kazimierz’s Castle – that of an early 14th century defensive stronghold – the Pieskowa Skała castle has taken on quite a different character from its counterpart over the centuries and today stands as one of the most glorious examples of Renaissance residential architecture in Poland. Expanded and modernised with the changing trends of the ages, this well-preserved castle was most significantly updated in the 16th century when the original medieval tower was transformed into a beautiful two-level loggia (an arcaded open-air balcony) embellished with sgraffito wall decorations, a taller steepled tower with a large clock-face was added alongside it, and the courtyard was arcaded in north-Italian style. The princely entrance gate and gorgeous gardens surrounding the castle further contribute to why this is Ojców’s most popular attraction other than the landscape itself; located on the park’s northern border overlooking the scenic Prądnik River Valley, the magnificent rock formation Maczuga Herkulesa (Hercules’ Club) stands close nearby and together the two sights create some of the most iconic and unique views within Ojców National Park. At the base of the castle are two ponds between which is a mass grave for 65 insurgents killed during the 1863 January Uprising against the Russian Empire.

Following restoration works, Pieskowa Skała is now home to three permanent exhibits, each individually ticketed: Stylistic Shifts in European Art (11/9zł), the English Art Gallery (open May-Oct only, 10/6zł), and an exhibit on the castle's history (included with a ticket to the other two exhibits); a combined ticket to all three costs 18/11zł.

Pieskowa Skała has its own parking (8zł) and is linked to Kazimierz's Castle and the centre of Ojców via an 8km hike along the red trail. Some buses from Kraków also stop here; check www.e-podroznik.pl for up-to-date schedules (the name of the stop is 'Sułoszowa/ Pieskowa Skała/').

Website

Open

In Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, Nov, Dec visitors are admitted on the hour

Price/Additional Info

Admission 18/11zł, Family ticket 50zł

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