Bedzin Castle is located in Bedzin in southern Poland and dates back to the 14th century. Originally the site was home to an early medieval wooden hill fort; which was then transformed into a stone castle. Early documentation attributes the building of the stone fortification to King Casimir the Great and the construction of the stone castle was an important factor in securing the Polish-Czech border and trade routes into Poland.
Bedzin Castle was partially destroyed during the Swedish invasions of 1655 and was rebuilt in 1855 with the castle’s last major restoration taking place in 1956. The castle is now home to the Zagłębie Museum.
The castle was ordered to be demolished in 1825 when a piece of the stone structure fell off and crushed a person; however before demolition started, the castle was declared a monument and was saved.
The museum has several collections: one of armament, from medieval to World War II times; the second dedicated to the history of the Będzin Castle; the third to the castles of the other nearby castles founded by Casimir the Great (Eagle Nests Trail or Szlak Orlich Gniazd) and the final one, to the military history of the Będzin region.
The town of Bedzin has a dark history linked to WWII. It was once a vibrant Jewish community. According to the Polish census of 1921, the town’s Jewish population consisted of 17,298 people, or 62.1 percent of its total population however this was devastated in 1939 by the Nazi SS who destroyed the synagogue and sent 10,000 Jewish residents to Auschwitz to be exterminated.
On January 27, 1945, the town was captured by the Red Army. Subsequently, the castle was rebuilt.
Today, the renovated and partially rebuilt castle is one of the most impressive medieval structures in southern Poland.
Visit the official website for further information.