Smolen / Pilcza Castle

Smolen castle is also known or was known as Pilcza castle or castle in Pilica. The fortress seems to be outside this city but it is only because during last few hundreds years the city moved to the north – west direction and only the castle’s ruins indicate its original position.

First castle on this picturesque top of rocky hill is dated to back the XIII century but it is very probable that the first settlement was built there much earlier to protect the route between Cracow and Wroclaw.

Smolen castle

The fortress consists of an oval upper castle, a cylindrical tower of a diameter of about 7,5 meters and two adjacent baileys. The interior of the upper castle also included a house on the plan of an irregular rectangle. The main part of the upper castle was built of local limestone.

The castle belonged from the XIV to XVI century to powerful and very wealthy family Toporczyk – Pilecki. Unfortunately together with the end of this family, the castle lost its importance. The last member of Pilecki family died in 1577 and so finished also grandness of Pilcza castle…

Ruins of Smolen Castle in Polish Jurassic Upland
Smolen Castle

If you decide to visit Smolen, please stop for the moment near the castle’s well. The well seems to be very deep, forged in limestone rock. It was never really explored. Local legend says that it was forged by Mongolian prisoners and that they also built or better to say – forged the secret passage between Smolen and Ogrodzieniec Castle… In the passage, which is of course really well hidden, there is still incredible treasure to be found…

You may of course feel free to make some trekking and exploring around the ruins in search for the passage… The whole hill is a nature reserve with some old (around 250 years old) sycamores and larches with beautiful wild roses and orchids, nut-trees and junipers. Just at the beginning of spring the whole hill is covered with snowdrops and a bit later with liver-leafs.

Climbing over the castle’s hill is worth also due to the beautiful views from its top. Just to mention – most of the Polish Jura’s hills have great views, so whenever, wherever you decide to climb you should not be disappointed to take an effort…

Not far from Smolen castle’s ruins there is picturesque limestone rocks’ range called Skaly Zegarowe (Clock’s Rocks) with mysterious Clock’s Cave. If you wish to learn about the origin of this particular name and understand why it is mysterious – please read the legend about it here.

Map of Smolen and Pilica area
Map of Smolen and Pilica area