Rabsztyn – ruins of the Gothic castle

Rabsztyn – ruins of the Gothic castle

The white limestone crags on a hill near Olkusz, surrounded by fields and woods, are the favourite spot of ravens. This seems to be confirmed by the name of the ruins of the Rabsztyn Castle that can be found here. The name comes from German and means “The Raven Rock”. The castle’s history is a mystery. It is believed that the fortified tower on the top of the rock was erected by Silesian Prince Henry I the Bearded in the first half of the 13th century. Rabsztyn was made famous by Cossack Hawryło Hołubka, the commander of the castle’s defence. His soldiers, together with the coal miners from Olkusz, defeated the troops that were marching towards Kraków to support Archduke Maximilian I of Habsburg, who besieged the capital of the kingdom. At the beginning of the 17th century, Mikołaj Wolski conducted major Renaissance style extension work. Unfortunately, the Swedish invasion in 1657 left the fortress devastated. Work aimed at protecting the ruins has been going on for the last couple of years. A wooden bridge was constructed over the moat and the gate tower was reconstructed. Every year at the beginning July, a medieval tournament is held at the foot of the castle.

Rabsztyn Castle,, until protection works are not completed the sightseeing is only available from the outside.

Other local attractions

Olkusz, old centre of silver and lead mining, with the market square in the Old Town, and the splendid nearby Gothic Basilica of St. Andrew. In this temple can be found, among other things, organs from the beginning of the 17th  century, believed to be one of the oldest in Europe which remained in the original state 

Błędów Desert, the only such area in Poland and an attractive hiking route  

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