The incredibly beautiful and photogenic Ksiaz Castle was built in the late 13th century following the destruction of an earlier stronghold. Over the years the castle has been the home to many noble families including the Silesian Duke Bolko 1 (who built it) and the mighty House of Hochberg. The castle is situated in thick woodlands adding to its majesty and is at the heart of a rumour of a lost Nazi gold train believed to be buried in the vicinity of the castle.
During World War II, Ksiaz Castle was taken over by the occupying German forces and following Hitler’s direct orders, a system of tunnels was constructed underneath the castle and surrounding areas. The construction was one of seven underground structures all developed under the code name Project Riese.
The function of the tunnels underneath Ksiaz Castle remains unclear mainly due to a lack of documentation; however it is likely that they were going to be part of the Führer’s Headquarters network.
The construction of the tunnels within Project Riese was carried out by forced labourers, POWs and prisoners of concentration camps with many losing their lives due to disease and malnutrition.
In 2018, a 1.5km section of the tunnels was opened to the public as a tourist attraction and a 45 minute tour is available.
In true form, the Nazi occupiers deliberately destroyed many of the historic chambers within the castle and after the war, Ksiaz Castle was used as a barracks by the Red Army for a while before becoming largely abandoned. Thankfully, renovation work was undertaken in 1952 to restore the castle back to its former grandeur.
Since the 13th century, Ksiaz Castle has been remodeled numerous times and today you can see a variety of styles within its architecture including Romanesque, baroque and neo-Renaissance.
Visitors today can explore and admire numerous chambers, terraces and the surrounding gardens. The showpiece of the tour is Maximilian Hall with its painted ceiling depicting mythological scenes.
See information about other underground attractions in Poland.