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Oświęcim – the castle by the Soła river

Oświęcim – the castle by the Soła river

Right next to the Old Town in Oświęcim, on a steep slope above the waters of the Soła river, there is an impressive tower that remained after a fortified medieval seat of knights. It is a symbol of the town’s long history.

Nothing remains from the former castle apart from the massive, square-shaped, 13th century brick tower. The remaining part of the complex was claimed by a fire in 1503. The castle edifices were rebuilt several times and hosted eminent figures, such as: Elżbieta Rakuszanka (the future wife of King Casimir IV Jagiellon), Czech King Ladislaus Jagiellon or Bona Sforza d’Aragona (the future wife of King Sigimund I the Old). Currently, the main chamber of the castle is the Museum in Oświęcim with historical and ethnographical collections. It is also possible to visit two underground tunnels located under the castle: one of them was created during World War I, while the second one was built during World War II by the Germans and used as an air-raid shelter.

Oświęcim Castle Museum, ul. Zamkowa 1, phone: +48 33 842 4427; opening hours: Mon–Fri 10am–3pm, Sun 11am–3pm; admission: PLN 2, admission + permission to take photographs and/or record video: PLN 6.

Other local attractions

Oświęcim, where it is worth visiting the historic monuments of the Old Town (one preserved synagogue, a Gothic parish church, the market square with 19th century tenement buildings, the church and the Salesian monastery), and, above all, the Auschwitz Birkenau Memorial and Museum inscribed on the UNESCO list.  

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