Making use of the last days of my summer holidays I decided to go on a day trip out of my town. And it was a really great thing to do! Sometimes we live somewhere from our birth without knowing what’s hidden in our immediate surroundings. I haven’t spent my summer holidays abroad for two years, which favours exploring my neighbourhood. My friend talked me into visiting Pieskowa Skała Castle and some other interesting tourist attractions. Here are some of them!
1.Pieskowa Skała Castle
Pieskowa Skała Castle is a branch of Wawel Royal Castle and is situated in the valley of river Prądnik near Kraków, within the boundaries of the Ojców National Park. The castle was first mentioned in 1315, in the document published by Władysław I the Elbow-High, in which the castle existed under a German sounding name of Peskenstein.
What made the biggest impression on me? The whole place looked just beautiful. The old architecture has always stimulated my imagination, and it was the same this time. It’s worth paying attention to interesting seventeenth-century bastion fortifications, which make a real impression on the visitors. While looking at the building, I started wondering which parts of the castle were occupied by the representatives of gentry and upper class, and which parts were intended for servants, as well as other people working in the castle. The annex building, which included apartments of the burgrave and some guest rooms, was beautifully covered in the leaves of ivy, which added a somewhat irresistible air of mystery to this venue.
What would that mansion be without its gardens? Probably, it would lack some depth, that’s why the visitors have the opportunity to take a stroll along the paths of a small, yet a well-maintained garden following the sixteenth-century thought, which allows its tourists to travel back in time. This spot occurred to be very eagerly used for wedding photoshoots, as during our short stay there were two couples posing for moody wedding photos. Some other architectural treasures of this castle were a gothic bastille and an arcade courtyard.
Me and my friend chose tickets for 18 zl (for adults), which allowed us to see all the exhibitions and the garden. The expositions were very interesting, and every chamber was devoted to a different art period, which helped its visitors to get to know better the history of the castle. I was hugely impressed by the tapestry, furniture, paintings, sculptures, clocks and other objects of everyday use, which were preserved in a very good condition and surprised me with great attention to every detail.
It’s good to remember that from May to September admission to the castle is possible at different hours depending on the day. The ticket office is closed an our before the whole castle is closed for its visitors.
After finishing your visit to the castle, it’s a great idea to rest a little bit before continuing your trip. The ideal place for this purpose is Herbova Restaurant, in which one can eat well, as well as make use of the tables placed on the terrace, which allows you to drink a cup of coffee in the beautiful castle surroundings.
2. Hercules’ Club
While visiting Pieskowa Skała Castle you cannot forget about Hercules’ Club, which is nothing else than limestone stack, situated in Ojców National Park near Pieskowa Skała. You can get to that place if you follow a path leading from the castle straight to the Hercules’ Club. The whole walk takes just a few minutes, but it’s a good idea to change your sandals to sneakers for that short moment, as the path, which we chose, was quite steep. That’s why, it’s safer and more convenient to be equipped with more reliable shoes.
3. Ojców Castle
On the way back from Pieskowa Skała it’s a good idea to visit the ruins of the castle in Ojców. Maybe they are not as impressive as one could imagine, but it’s really worth visiting that spot. Those ruins can truly stimulate your imagination, as the whole construction is a bit stark and you can allow your creativity and imagination to run wild. The prices of the tickets aren’t too high both for kids and adults (2 and 4 zl).
4.The Błędów Desert
On our way home we also visited the Błędów Desert, which I imagined to look totally different. I thought that in front of my eyes would appear something similar to the Sahara Desert, and that I’ll step into a lonely wanderer’s shoes harried by fatamorgana and vultures flying just above my head. The Błędów Desert occurred to be a small piece of land covered in sand and surrounded by the forest and some thick brush. To compensate for this little disappointment we also visited a viewpoint called Flower of the Winds, whose wooden construction moved us to the seaside, and the only thing we missed was water and the calming sound of the waves.
If you don’t have much time for travelling, I encourage you to have a closer look at your immediate neighbourhood. Every place hides some mysteries, which are really worth being unraveled. I can truly recommend you visiting Pieskowa Skała Castle and Ojców National Park, which won’t only allow you to get to know some history, but also to stay in touch with nature and breathtaking scenery.
See you around!