The Olsztyn castle, rising proudly on the tall hill among limestone rocks, is situated in the northern part of the Eagles’ Nests Trail, around 10 kilometers from Czestochowa. It is important not to confuse it with another Olsztyn (where also medieval castle is situated) in north-east Poland.
The name Olsztyn has its roots in German word Holstein, which means “hollowed in the rock”. Local legend says that there were Germans between the castle’s builders which gave it this name…
The medieval fortress of Olsztyn belonged to a system of fortifications, built by Polish King Casimir the Great in the XIV century, to protect the Lesser Poland with Cracow from Czechs. Although it is believed, like by most of Eagles Nests, that first wooden castle was erected here already during the reign time of Casimir’s father – Wladyslaw Lokietek. Or maybe even earlier…. In 1396, the castle was then handed by King Wladyslaw II Jagiello to a local nobleman, Jan Odrowaz of Szczekociny. The castle was invaded several times by Silesian princes in the 15th-century, by the prince Maximilian of Habsburgs in the 1587 and in 1655 it was captured by the Swedes during the deluge. During the XVII century with the advancement of warfare castle’s fortifications became obsolete and since then it became a ruin. In 1722, it was partly demolished, with bricks used to build a parish church at Olsztyn.
Currently, only fragments of defensive walls remain. The most impressive still standing part of the castle is a 35-metre round tower, built in the 13th-century, which served as a prison.
Olsztyn castle is famous for its legends and ghosts… If you wish to read a bit more about them, please continue here….