One of the most picturesque castles in Wielkopolska. Built in renaissance style it resembles the beautiful chateaus from the Loire Valley in France. Today the castle houses a branch of the National Museum in Poznań and is surrounded by a charming park with a wisent (European bison) reserve.
The castles history dates back to the 16th century, when a deffensive castle was erected for the noble Leszczyński family. Later the castle passed to the Działyński family. When Jan Działyński married Izabella Czartoryska the newlyweds got the castle as their wedding present. The couple rarely spent time together so Izabella was solely responsible for the refurbishment of the castle. She hired best French and Polish architects and turned it into a romantic residence.
The exhibition inside encompasses historic interiors, mosaics, tapestries, antic furniture and one of the largest in Poland collection of ancient Greek vases. The outbuildings house the Museum of Forestry and a restaurant. The castle is surrounded by a huge park with many ancient trees, ponds and flower beds. The most significant attraction are the animal pens, where deer, wild boars and first of all wisents (one of animal symbols of Poland) are kept.
Not far away from the castle, in the middle of the forest, stands the Queen Jadwiga Stone, the largest erratic boulder in Wielkopolska. According to the legend, some queen’s knights, fallen in battle, lay under the castle. The legend says that in times of great need they will rise to defend their homeland.
Text: Jacek Cieślewicz