The history of Silesian castles in Poland always seems to have a point of connection with the Nazis, but few have it as strong as Książ Castle . Think that a room was prepared in it for Hitler himself.

A little history of Poland’s Książ Castle

The first written mention of Książ Castle appears in the 13th century, so you can already imagine that it is not exactly lacking in history. Of course, we are going to go very tiptoe, more than anything so that you know the number of stamps in the passport it has… of course without moving its foundations one centimeter.

Why do we mark that date? Because since then, 1509, Książ Castle belonged to the Hoberg family – later Hochberg – until it was requisitioned by the Nazis during World War II, in 1941, when Silesia was German territory.After the Nazis, who destroyed almost everything, came the Russian troops who looted what little remained. Until 1974 the place remained abandoned and used as a quarry by the inhabitants of the nearby towns. That year the first of its restorations began, the last one was in 2015.

The changes of the castle

From a medieval castle with a totally military intention, we moved on to a palace in an idyllic landscape surrounded by landscaped terraces and administrative buildings – today converted into a hotel and restaurant. And it is that more than 800 years is enough time for a few changes.

Do not miss the opportunity to enjoy the sunset and sleep in the castle of Książ . Spend the night at the Książ Hotel and feel like one of the many kings and presidents of countries who passed through the castle. We did it and, although the room was very sober, the possibility of sleeping in such a place, of seeing the sunset and strolling through the terraces in solitude before the arrival of the tours is very worthwhile. In addition, it is very cheap.

At the visit

The first thing you have to know is that, as we have said, after the Second World War the castle was razed to the ground and abandoned. Everything you will see is restored and almost rebuilt… except some paintings that were hidden before the arrival of the Nazis and that were saved and treasures that have been returned.

But thanks to the cook of the family of Hans Heinrich XV , it is known precisely what it was like. Did he have a photographic memory and did he tell the restorers? No, it was not necessary. What he had was a camera , and when he left the country fleeing the Nazis on his way to Canada, he took the photos with him. Today you can see them on display in various rooms of the castle. The life of one of the richest families in Silesia at the beginning of the 20th century in photos… 3D!

The rococo marble fireplace, the Silesian baroque style –a variation of the Austrian baroque–, a Chinese room –decorated at the time with Flemish tapestries–, an Italian room , the Maximilian room –I told you to keep the name– , the hunting room , the knights’ room , the dance room… Luxury was not lacking in the castle. Ksiaz Castle Interior Princess Daisy ApartmentsAt the beginning of the 20th century, few buildings had elevators, mainly due to the lack of electricity. Well, in the castle of Książ there were eight! Moreover, it is believed that there were sixteen! Some of them made to measure, such as a six-sided one installed in 1908.

All this in a building that, seen from the outside, seems relatively small? Yes, that and more, because it has a “trap”: to the five floors above ground that can be seen from the door, you have to add another seven below.

Hitler’s room

It is believed that he never set foot in Książ Castle , but, with the arrival of the Nazis, a room was prepared to house Hitler himself . The Italian hall was chosen and a 50-meter-high elevator shaft was built next to it. Not only did it reach the ground floor of the castle, but it was introduced through the mountain on which it is built to the tunnels, to be able to escape in case of need.

The terraces

Not only in the middle of a forest, Książ Castle has plenty of green areas. Beginning with the courtyard of honour , in front of the main castle building, and continuing with eleven terraces! landscaped in different styles. Landscaped and staggered, when we reach the western terrace we confirm that of the seven floors below ground level at the entrance.Ksiaz Castle Rear Fish EyeGeometric designs, fountains, meadows with flowers… a true sample of the art of gardening , which arrived at the castle with the second great reconstruction, that of Hans Heinrich XV and his wife, Princess Daisy.

Such was the power of the family that Hans Heinrich XV married an English aristocrat, Mary Theresa Cornwallis-West , with the wedding blessed by Queen Victoria herself. Well, that she was known as Princess Daisy also gives clues…

The tunnels and the Nazi treasure train

Under the Książ castle are part of the Nazi tunnels that formed the Der Reise project – if you want to know more, take a look at The Nazi tunnels in Poland: the Der Reise project and the visit to Osówka. The prisoners of the Gross-Rosen concentration camp were forced to chip away at the living rock… and for what purpose is not known.Castillo Ksiaz TunnelesWhen we visited the castle, some work was being carried out to refurbish its tunnels. After 70 years closed, they were going to open their doors a few days after we passed through, so we couldn’t visit them and we had to settle for seeing their entrance on one of the terraces. You don’t miss them… who knows, maybe you’ll find the Nazi treasure train.

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