Lipowiec Castle is situated a bit far from other fortresses of Eagles’ Nests’ Trail. But these few kilometres do not really make the difference and the ruins are definitely worth visiting if you are in the area of Cracow. Beautiful green surrounding, wonderful views and of course a bit of history – all that makes the place really interesting.
The Lipowiec Castle in the little village of Wygielzow was erected in the 13th century – at first as a wooden but fortified manor house. Shortly after, it was rebuilt or better if we say – expanded by the Cracow’s bishop Jan Muskata. Bishop Muskata requested to build the impressive, round, stone tower which we may admire till today. The fortress was supposed to protect the old merchants’ route from Cracow to Silesia. The Lipowiec Castle was “protecting” Polish – Czech border at that time. It was the first purpose of expanding and fortifying the castle. The second one was quite surprising. For almost all the time between the 14th and the 18th century, Lipowiec fortress served as clergymen prison. The castle remained the possession of Cracow’s bishops till 1789.
In the 16th century, a lot of advocates of Reformation were put there – with the hope that they would change their beliefs. During the Swedish Deluge, in the year 1657, the Lipowiec Castle was burnt during the fights. It took more than 70 years to rebuild it. Afterwards, in the 18th century, it served as a prison again – this time for the priests who did not obey the moral rules.
From 1789 the fortress was occupied by Austrian troops. Austrian army took it over during the first partition of Poland. Eleven years later, the huge fire destroyed the stronghold. But for the next years, despite the damages, the castle was still lived-in. Until 1849 when last residents moved out from there.
After that, Lipowiec Castle slowly turned into complete ruin and only the works conducted within its premises after the II World War preserved the construction from further decay.
Nowadays, the castle is opened for tourist and it is mostly known from the astonishing view from its tower. At the foot of the castle, tourists may visit an open-air ethnographic museum, where many old wooden houses and constructions from the local area found their shelter. I strongly recommend a visit there, as it gives some valuable insights into the life of our ancestors.
The Lipowiec Castle has also own legends and ghosts. If you would like to know them, please read this article.