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Ksiaz Castle

The Kiasz Castle is located on a steep rock by the side of the Pelcznica River. It is Poland's third largest castle. The gothic structure was originally made for fortification, by Prince of Swinica and Jawor Bolko I. When the Hochberg family, one of the richest families in Prussia, got possession of the castle in the 17th century, it was converted into a luxurious palace by Ernest Maksymilian Hochberg.

The Ksiaz Castle was often called 'The Lower Silesian Versailles' because of its 400 chambers and over 200 fireplaces. In the year 1941, it was wrested from the Hochbergs by the Nazis in order to shelter Hitler's headquarters. The Soviet army destroyed the castle after World War II. However, extensive renovation work has restored much of the original rich interiors. The castle also has lovely terraced gardens, which are an added tourist attraction.

On the premises of the Ksiaz castle complex, you will also find the Ksiaz State Stallion Stud. This, at one time used to be the stables and carriage house of the castle. Today it is one of the finest indoor riding stables in Europe. International driving and dressage competitions and horse auctions are held here regularly.

A little distance away from the Ksiaz castle is the Palm House. It is a hothouse of about 80 species of tropical plant species from all over the world. The walls inside are covered with volcanic tuff from Etna. It is a favorite haunt of all plant lovers.

The Market Square is another interesting place in Walbrzych. In the middle of the square there used to be the Town hall around which there were stalls and arcaded tenements where weekly markets were held. Some of the oldest ones, which still stand today, are:
- The House With The Three Roses
- The House Under The Anchor and
- The Tenement House under Atlantas

These exist from the time of the greatest development of linen trade. In some of the houses, there were wine bars. The famous poet Goethe used to frequent them during his visit in 1790.

Besides these, there are a few more palaces like the former palace of the Czettritz family and the former palace of the Alberti family, which are of architectural and historical importance. The latter has been converted into a museum, which you may find interesting. It has geological, mining and ceramics collections and depicts the history of the town.

Among other structures, are the famous churches like the Neo-gothic Catholic Church of the Guardian Angels built in 1899-1944, and the Classical Evangelical Church built in 1785-1788.

The Museum of Industry and Technology, located in the mining unit of Julia, is a branch of the Walbrzych Museum. A visit to the museum gives you the mining history of Walbrzych.


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