First Week: Castles in Olsztyn, Bobolice, Mirów, Ogrodzieniec, and Siewierz

August 30, 2009

One of my favorite things to do in Poland is visit old castle ruins. They’re pretty much all over the country. I’ve been to the one in Olsztyn every time I’ve come to Poland… it’s sort of a tradition. Being only 15-20 min from my family’s home in Częstochowa, you can probably understand why. It’s quite beautiful, too.

OLSZTYN

FAM IN OLSZ

After visiting Olsztyn, we drove to the next castle, in Mirów (meer-oof) – about 45 min from Częstochowa.

BOB

The castles in Mirów and Bobolice (bobo-lee-tzeh) are only 2 km apart and date back to the 14th century. We hiked over to the one in Bobolice.

TREK TO MIR

Legend has it that the two castles were once connected by an underground tunnel and that they belonged to two brothers. One of them brought back a beautiful girl as a spoil of war, making the other one deeply covetous of her. Upon finding them together after returning from a trip or battle or something, the first brother killed the second and locked up the girl in the tower.

MIR FROM AFAR

I was pretty shocked to see the castle in Bobolice being renovated to look like it did back in the 14th century. It’s been bought by a developer… they’re probably going to turn it into a hotel or restaurant or something. It looks so weird! I remember it quite differently…

bobo orig

Oh, well. Nevertheless, it’s great to sit down on a bench and take it all in…

MIR

By the way, this is one of the only decent photos I have with my cousin Rafał… he doesn’t like taking pictures.

Anyway, after Bobolice and Mirów, we drove over to the next castle, in Ogrodzieniec (ogro-dj-yen-yetz). This is probably my favorite castle in Poland. It dates back to the 12th century and it’s in pretty good condition. There’s something completely genuine about castle ruins- you’re totally aware that you’re looking at something that’s been around for centuries- in this case 900+ years (that’s why I was so upset about the one in Bobolice). But dusk is definitely the best time to visit creepy old castles…

OGRODZIENIEC

NEAR OGR

On the way back home, we stopped by the 13th century castle in Siewierz, as well. However, none of the pictures came out… it was too dark! But here’s what it normally looks like during the day.

SIEWIERZ

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