The unforgettable Ksiaz Castle

There are many great castles in Poland waiting to be explored. Many have a chequered past, stories of legend, family tragedy, conquered and then left to the elements only then to be rediscovered, reimagined and restored. Ksiaz Castle is no different with its unique history and links to the Nazis in World War 2. Today Zamek Książ in Poland welcomes visitors from all over the world.

As you approach the grounds of Książ Castle in Poland through the forest, you can see why the Royals picked this location. Surrounded by dense forest with steep hillsides, it could easily be protected from any advancing parties.

Where is Książ Castle (Zamak Książ) in Poland?

Książ Castle (in German Schloss Fürstenstein) lies in Wałbrzych in Lower Silesian Voivodeship, Poland. It was built in 1288-1292 under Bolko I the Strict. The Castles location is in a protected area called Książ Landscape Park in the Owl Mountains Poland

Ksiaz Castle in the Owl Mountains of Poland
The first view of Castle Ksiaz

Ksiaz Castle opening hours

If you are planning on visiting Ksiaz Castle there are some things that you may need to consider before you make the trip there. To visit Zamek Książ in winter is very different to visiting Książ Castle in summer.

June – August
Monday – Sunday: 09.00 – 18.00

April – May, September – October
Monday – Friday: 09.00 – 17.00
Saturday – Sunday: 09.00 – 18.00

November – March
Monday – Friday: 10.00 – 15.00
Saturday – Sunday: 10.00 – 16.00

Castle Terraces

are available for sightseeing from April to September

Times to be aware of when visiting Ksiaz Castle

You need to check if the day you plan to visit Ksiaz Castle is a Monday. On some Mondays, maintenance is performed on the castle. These can include all the Mondays of January and the first Mondays of February, March, November and December

You will also find that Zamek Ksiaz is closed on New Year’s Day, the first day of Easter and Christmas as well as All Saints’ Day.

Discover more Polish castles: Stay the night at the amazing Czocha Castle

Książ Castle History

When you visit Zamek Książ you learn it was originally a defensive fortress that was in the perfect spot on the river to see anyone coming down it to invade. From early records, there was a fortification on the site of the castle from as early as 1263 but it was destroyed by Bohemian forces as they invaded Poland.

After it was destroyed another fortification was built and passed through many conquerors’ and King’s hands. Families were raised, ruled countries and died in the castle. In 1482 the castle was again destroyed this time by fire and this is when the current style of the castle started to take shape.

After it was no longer needed as only a defensive structure that it was made into a grand home. Grand is a complete understatement, Castle Książ is simply stunning.

Kzias Castle from above
The amazing location of the castle

Castle Ksiaz Poland and WWII

In WWII Castle Ksiaz was taken by the Nazis when they invaded Poland and Adolf Hitler had grand plans for the magnificent Polish castle. It was here that the castle became a nightmare for Prisoners of War as they were forced to build tunnels under the castle. Even with its beautiful and colourful exterior, this is a section of the castle’s life that no one can understand or fully comprehend.

In 1945 the Red Army seized the castle back and some of the remaining rooms and many of the precious items inside were looted or simply taken to provide for families in the area. Some of the castle was also destroyed again during this time.

What about Ksiaz Castle now?

Since the end of the war, there has been an extraordinary effort to get back the items that were taken and have some of the rooms fully restored incorporating these items. Ksiaz Castle Poland is once again a treasure and glorious place with a history like no other.

Zamek Książ library

The library that it had was very extensive and so much was thought to be lost forever. It was with pride that our guide told us that 5 books had been returned to the castle from the people who had them. Now they are back where they belong and hopefully, it inspires others that may have a book from Ksaiz Castle Poland to return it as well.

It is an absolute delight that it not only survived these times but now Zamek Ksaiz is being cared for by a legion of people dedicated to its full restoration.

Ksiaz Castle in Poland
Ksiaz Castle’s interior was very elegant

How much is a visit to Ksiaz Castle?

There are two ways you can visit Castle Ksiaz. You can tour the castle on your own or you can go on a guided tour. We highly suggest that you go on the guided tour as it gives you information about the castle and its past inhabitants that you would completely miss if you wandered around by yourself.

Guided tour of Ksiaz Castle prices

Our guide was passionate about how well it is all going and it is people like him that inspire others to love a place like this just as much.

Adult 39 Zloty (PLN)

Concession 29 Zloty (PLN)

You will need to check and join a Ksiaz Castle tour that is in your prefered language. There is information available when you purchase your tickets and the seller will be able to direct you to when the best time is for you.

Guided tours run for approximately 90 minutes.

Is a guided tour of Castle Ksiaz Poland worth it?

On our visits to Poland, we have found that the language has been very hard to master and with a guided tour we had no issues with trying to work out the timeline of events.

We had organised a private tour with Marceij of the castle and it was a brilliant experience for us. After we purchased our tickets one of our group went ahead to find our guide Marceij while we waited in the lobby area.

Marceji our tour guide told us about how the Ksiaz was originally a fortress, became a ruined castle and then turned into a grand palace for a family to live in. It was nearly tripled in size for the family to live in and call home.

Read More: Epic festivals in Poland you can’t miss

What do you see on the guided tour of Ksiaz Castle Poland?

We went from room to room, the Książ Castle’s interior was beautiful everywhere you looked. As we mentioned before Ksiaz Castle was that it had been taken over by the Nazis in WWII. It was reported that it had many adjustments done to it in preparation for Adolf Hitler to live there or have it as one of his residences.

Marceji showed us a room that may have been his bedroom and a very well hidden elevator shaft located right across the hall from that room. This is one of the reasons many people visit Ksiaz Castle and find it beyond belief that it still exists.

The infamous Ksiaz Castle Tunnels

From there we went up the hallway and we were taken down beneath the castle. Down here was where the true sadness and mystery of Książ Castle really became evident and why it is becoming one of the most famous castles in Poland.

Ksiaz Castle in the Owl Mountains of Poland

There are so many tunnels under Zamek Książ and they were mainly dug during WWII by Prisoners of War from a Concentration Camp that was close by. There are actually so many that they still have not figured out what all of their purposes of them are.

Elevator shaft

From the tunnels underneath the castle, you could also see the elevator shaft that went all the way up to the hallway near the bedroom. It was not finished, and they do think that it may have been damaged on purpose by the retreating army. As we wandered around under the Książ Castle it was the first time I couldn’t understand the history that it held. All castles have a dark history, that is not deniable, but this one seemed to be a little darker in my view.

Top-level of the castle: the kitchens

As a part of this private tour as well we got the absolute pleasure of going right up to the top of the castle to where the kitchens used to be. This area was completely off to any other visitors at the time as it is under complete construction and in some parts has areas that are not safe. It had some of the old kitchen chimneys in it and some old stoves.

Ksiaz gardens
The gardens at Książ were amazing

Ksiaz Castle gardens and terraces

Just before our tour ended we went to have a look at the Terraces and the gardens outside. We stopped by the rock that you had to touch to see if you would return. We all touched the rock! It is said that it will tell you if you will be lucky in love, become rich or return to the castle.

We went down to the gardens, and they were beautiful. They were high up with beautiful views over the river Pełcznica and the Owl Mountains Poland. With the trees having no leaves on them, you could see the shape of all of the hills around the Ksiaz, it really showed you the beautiful Polish landscape. The gardens were really well looked after, and I would love to see them in the summer. We were visiting Ksiaz castle in winter, so we did not last that long outside in the cold.

Small WWII museum

Ksiaz has so many hidden sections that need so much explanation. Leading off from the terraces and gardens is another small tunnel. You are greeted with a short tunnel with a concrete block at the end with a small slit in it. Behind this concrete slab was a machine gun so anyone who came through that door without permission was in a serious amount of trouble. There was a small door off to the side that led to another tunnel that we took. It was another section that was built by the prisoners and had some war memorabilia in it.

The gift shop

As we went back into Książ Castle there were two little gift shops that the girls loved. Marley got her princess certificate and Willow bought a gorgeous necklace. Our time with Marceji was over and we thanked him so much for showing us around the castle, it was one of our favourite Poland attractions. His knowledge was brilliant and you could really hear the love for the castle in his voice. A guided tour like this is invaluable to getting a good knowledge of a place and a true understanding.

Ksiaz Castle in the Owl Mountains of Poland
Looking out over the Owl Mountains Poland

Is there a Nazi Gold Train at Ksiaz Castle?

Many reports suggest that the Nazi Gold Train was hidden near here and that some of these tunnels were hiding the Polish Gold Train. Our guide assured us that there was nothing like that that he knew he had not seen Hitler’s gold train in any of the tunnels.

Love food? Here are all the Polish foods you have to try!

Distances from the closest cities to Ksiaz are

EN Castle Brochure 01

Wroclaw to Ksiaz Castle – 1hour 3 minutes 70 km

Dresden to Ksiaz Castle – 2 hours 45 minutes 252km

Katowice to Ksiaz Castle – 2 hours 39 minutes 255km

Prague to Ksiaz Castle –  3 hours and 5 minutes 180km

How to get to Ksiaz castle from Wroclaw

Ksiaz Castle is so far away from everything and perched on a hill overlooking a river (from the river called Pelcznica or Pełcznica in Polish, below) it must have been a beautiful view over their piece of beautiful Poland.

Ksiaz Castle is located in a rural countryside setting, not in an urban area.  Wroclaw to Ksiaz castle is still easily accessed by public transport. Take the Wroclaw to Walbrzych train and get off at  Walbrzych-Miasto station.

Ksiaz Castle at night

The Wroclaw to Walbrzych train journey will take you a little over an hour. Zamek książ is 7.8 km away from Walbrzych train station. You can take a bus or grab a taxi. So how to get to Ksiaz Castle from Wroclaw is pretty easy. Maybe you can find the Polish Gold Train.

I left with the hope that more people will love it as much as Marceji and it will come along in leaps and bounds in its amazing transformation. It is one of the most beautiful castles in Poland and it should be high on your list of places to visit on your trips to Poland!

Poland Travel Expert is your ultimate guide to all things Poland. Your next trip to Poland will not be complete without our detailed Poland guides, Poland itineraries and Poland travel tips.


More travel inspiration for your trip to Poland


Leave a Comment