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We have quite a lot of ruins in Holy Cross region (Poland), and several castles are waiting for tourists! The closest to Kielce are the ruins that are visible from the road connecting Warsaw with Krakow! The Royal Castle in Chęciny, because we are talking about it, invite you to visit!
Localisation and parking
As you can easily guess, the Royal Castle in Chęciny is located in the town of Chęciny.
You can leave your car in the parking lot under the castle (on the opposite side of the city) or in Chęciny and go to the castle on foot. You can see castle clearly from both places, so you should not have a problem getting there.
History of the castle
The history of the castle in Chęciny dates back to the turn of the 13th and 14th centuries. The first mention about the building on the hill (367 m.a.s.l.) dates back to 1306. Then bishop Jan Muskata received the castle and surrounding villages from Władysław Łokietek. Over the years, the building was the centre of the prince’s administration and hosted knights’ conventions several times. Probably the treasury of the Gniezno archdiocese (for fear of the Teutonic Knights) and the treasury of the castle were also deposited there.
Originally, the building covered only the eastern part, the rest was added in later years. For many years, there was a prison in the castle, in which in addition to the Crusaders were imprisoned brother of Władysław Jagiełło and Hincz from Rogów. Queen Bona Sforza also lived in the castle.
In 1619, the castle was renovated and expanded by the executive of Chęciny, Stanisław Branicki. However, the building suffered during the Swedish Deluge, which in 1707 ceased to be the residence.
The castle was abandoned at the beginning of the 18th century, and the last salvos from the castle cannon sounded in welcome to King Stanisław August Poniatowski in 1787.
Over time, the castle became a source of building material for nearby residents. It was damaged during World War II, and the launch of a quarry on Castle Hill did not improve his situation. Fortunately, mining work was suspended and the castle was gradually reconstructed (1940-60s).
At the end of the 1960s, “Pan Wołodyjowski” movie was filmed near Chęciny. A mock-up of the castle in Kamieniec Podolski was created on the hill, which for some time was an interesting tourist attraction.
The next revitalization took place in 2013-2015, and its cost amounted to over PLN 8 million. The castle was better adapted for tourists and archaeological research was made.
The castle is open to tourists. It is open every day from 9.00. Depending on the month, closing times differ (January and December – 15.00, February and November – 16.00, March and October – 17.00, other months until 19.00).
Ticket prices depend on the season. Adult in-season pay PLN 13 (PLN 9 offseason), and the reduced ticket is PLN 10 (PLN 7 off). If you are residents of the commune of Chęciny or come for sightseeing in period costumes (9th-18th century), the ticket costs you 1 zloty!
Despite the fact that the castle is the most common reason for visiting Chęciny, the city also has something to offer for tourists. Monasteries, churches, synagogue and Jewish cemetery are just some of the attractions that await you on the spot.
The area around Chęciny is also worth attention. It’s very close to the Zelejowa or Miedzianka mountain. Located near the open-air museum in Tokarnia or the Science Center in Podzamcze Chęcińskie are just one of the reasons why you should consider visiting Chęciny.
Worth to visit?
Both Chęciny and the castle itself are places that are worth visiting. It is a building definitely worth attention. I regularly come to Chęciny and take a walk!
If you like night sightseeing, it is worth finding Dominik Kowalski on the Internet and taking part in night sightseeing with him!