The unforgettable Ksiaz Castle in Poland

There are many great castles in Poland waiting to be explored. Many have a chequered past, stories of legend, and family tragedy, conquered and then left to the elements only then to be rediscovered, reimagined, and restored.

Ksiaz Castle (sometimes known as Walbrzych Castle) is no different with its unique history and links to the Nazis in World War ii. Today, the famous castle, 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. The castle grounds are 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
Zamek Ksiaz in Poland is a magnificent castle located in the Lower Silesian Voivodeship.

Ksiaz Castle’s 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. Visit Zamek Książ in winter is very different from 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.

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Książ Castle History

Ksiaz Castle, located in Walbrzych, Poland, has a rich and captivating history. Built in the 13th century, it served as a defensive stronghold for the medieval Piast dynasty. Over the centuries, the castle underwent numerous renovations and expansions, resulting in a unique blend of architectural styles such as Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque.

Throughout its existence, Ksiaz Castle witnessed various notable events and changes in ownership. It was notably inhabited by the influential Hochberg family, who acquired the castle in the 16th century and held it until the end of World War II.

During the war, the castle was seized by the Nazis and used as a strategic outpost. The Książ Castle in Poland is famous for its intricate underground tunnels. The Ksiaz Castle tunnels have been suspected as the location of stolen Nazi loot.

In recent years, Ksiaz Castle has been restored to its former glory, attracting thousands of visitors each year who are eager to explore its grand halls, and intricate gardens, and delve into the intriguing tales of its history.

Kzias Castle from above
The amazing location of the castle

Castle Ksiaz Poland and WWII

In WWII Castle Ksiaz Poland 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 underground 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 Polish 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 castles were 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
Zamek Ksiaz Walbrzych Poland castle interior was very elegant

How much is a visit to Ksiaz Castle in Poland?

Zamek Książ in Poland is one of the largest castles in the country. 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.

There are a number of different options available to visit the castle from All Day Ticket that includes entry to the castle, palm house, stables, underground and mausoleum or just visiting the castle with an audio guide. Tickets start from 89 (PLN)

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

Guided tours run for approximately 90 minutes. Książ Castle tickets can be purchased online or at the castle’s ticket office.

Is a guided tour of Castle Ksiaz Poland worth it?

On our visits to Poland, we 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 Zamek Poland 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.

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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
Are the tunnels under Ksiaz castle in Poland hiding anything

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. The 9 kilometres of tunnels known as Project Riese were never finished and still unknown to us what the tunnels were for.

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 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. Książ Landscape Park is a protected area in Poland. 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.

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The Palm House

The Palm House at Ksiaz Castle was built in the years of 1911-1994, in the surrounding area of the castle Ksiaz, from the command of Duke of Pless and John Henry Ksiaz XV von Pless, heirs to a fortune of Hochberg (owner of one of the largest estates in Europe at that time).

The Walbrzych Palm House was built on the initiative of Prince Hans Heinrich XV for his wife in the early 1900s. The Palm House is located around 2 km away from Ksiaz castle. Nowadays you can find over 80 plant species including Dracaena, spiny spurge, prickly pear, banana, coffee trees, lemon and tangerines are grown within the palm house from all over the world

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 there and that some of these tunnels were hiding the Polish Gold Train. Our guide assured us that there was nothing like that and that he knew he had not seen Hitler’s gold train in any of the tunnels built for the Riese Project.

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Distances from the closest cities to Zamek Ksiaz Poland are

EN Castle Brochure 01

Wroclaw to Ksiaz Castle – 1 hour 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 visit Zamek Książ from Wroclaw

Ksiaz Castle in Lower Silesia 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.

Castle Książ with its interesting architectural styles 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 the Walbrzych train and get off at  Walbrzych-Miasto station.

Ksiaz Castle at night
The Walbrzych Castle is known for its impressive architectural design and rich history.

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.

Zamek Książ, is a magnificent castle, 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!

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Author Bio: Mark Wyld

Mark Wyld is a Father, husband, traveller, and writer at Poland Travel Expert and other blogs. I have accumulated a wealth of experience over multiple visits to Poland. Thanks to our friends in Poland, we stay connected to the nation’s pulse, ensuring that our content is up to date with our first-hand experience. The information on this website is backed by genuine expertise.