Not just Czocha Castle. Explore Charming Places in Lower Silesia

Leśna is one of the most popular towns in Lower Silesia, mainly because of the Czocha Castle. Thanks to its well-preserved walls and interiors, the fortress attracts crowds of visitors and offers a wide variety of events and forms of sightseeing. One of them are the regular night tours during the holidays. Many stories and legends told with eloquence, illustrated with skirmishes of knights or honey tasting, complete a 3-hour tour of the castle halls and corners.

Built in the 13th century on the Silesian-Czech border, the castle has seen many turbulent events since, often changing hands among knightly clans. The members of the Nostitz family were the hosts the longest and I linked many interesting stories with them. The castle fell into disrepair after a fire in 1793. At the beginning of the 20th century, the tobacco magnate Ernst Gütschow bought the fortress and rebuilt it. castle bibliophile traditions. It is estimated that their book collection numbered about 40 thousand. volumes that were largely looted during the war. They were also the last private owners.

A rich history, betrayal, wiles, legends are told in secret passages of the castle, which lead to the treasury, armory, arsenal and the numbers room recreated here. Since secret weapons factories were nearby during World War II and German scientists were stationed at Czocha Castle, the results of their technological experiments were discovered later. In the underground halls we see an oxygen device, a rocket launcher or a Messerschmitt turbine.

The Military Holiday Home was located here from 1952. The castle is still owned by the Military Property Agency, but has been open to tourists since 1996. Currently you can use the hotel and meeting facilities here and all the “magic” colonies and camps inspired by the Harry Potter series are very popular.

There is a beautiful artificial reservoir near the Czocha Castle: Leśniańskie Lake. You can drive there directly, but it is worth stopping at the car park next to the restaurant “Zielony Piec” and taking advantage of the hiking opportunities that the area offers. The picturesque route along Słomany Dwór leads through the forest along the Kwisa River to the foot of the Leśniańska Dam. This impressive structure was built in 1905 as Markliss’ Talsperre. The decision to build was made as a result of the flooding that ravaged the surrounding areas, damaging crops and buildings.

During that time, hotel buildings were also built and the rich photographic documentation from the early 20th century is in the collection of the portal, owned and managed by the Wratislaviae Amici Association. Among other things, we find archive postcards and the following description of the construction itself:

“The heavy type stone and concrete dam creates a reservoir with a total capacity of 15 million cubic meters and, when stacked to the height of the top of the dam, has a capacity of 18 million cubic meters. Considering the primary and energy function of flood protection, the energy capacity of the reservoir was set at 5 million cubic meters. . . “.

For people who like direct contact with nature, it is possible to take advantage of the charms of the lake and accommodation in the next resort called Camping Plaza Czocha.

Another interesting place for lovers of historic buildings is the Sword Castle in the nearby town of Świecie. Although it is often seen on maps as “ruins”, don’t be fooled! Reconstruction work has been going on there for 19 years and it is one of a kind as private owners rebuild the castle naturally to keep the character of the reconstruction as close to the original as possible. It is an extremely ambitious undertaking and the progress of the work is very impressive. You can find out everything on site after contacting the owner, who will give a tour of the area during the summer season, introduce the history of the place and the people associated with it.

Interestingly, the pre-war owner of the castle was the same Ernst Gütschow, who contributed to rebuilding Czocha Castle and regaining its splendor. Unfortunately, it came at the expense of the Sword Castle, where the building material and decorative elements came from.

The suggestion for the next stop is the Jizera Mountains with their beautiful hiking, trekking and cycling routes for the advanced. Thirsting for extreme experiences, Świeradów-Zdrój also offers Ski & Sun Coaster, a 720 m toboggan run all year round. Those who prefer to see the sights quietly can use the gondola lift. Another interesting option is SkyWalk, a walk on the 850 m long walkway with educational elements, which leads to the top of the 62 m high observation tower. From there you can admire not only the beautiful nature of the mountains, but also the panorama of the city, and the whole journey can be completed with a slide 105 meters long.

Świeradów itself impresses with its spa architecture with a beautiful building of the Spa House from 1899, which was built on the site of the Spring House from 1781, destroyed in a fire. On the promenade we can also see the historic Willa Szarlotta and many other interesting buildings, as well as plenty of inviting cafes and restaurants.

When visiting the region, it is also worth checking out Lubań, Lwówek Śląski or Lubomierz, where the film theme of the Kargul and Pawlak Museum reigns. These are just a handful of suggestions to get you started. And which regions and specific places in Lower Silesia do you recommend?

Katarzyna Szczepaniak /
Castle Czocha, AlkowaKatarzyna Szczepaniak /

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