Castle ruins, Czorsztyn
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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Preserved relics of a castle of the upland type, showing evolution of military architecture from a wooden-earthen complex to a multi-section defensive and residential complex.


The wooden-earthen defensive complex, located at the edge of an upland promontory on the left bank of Dunajec, was built most probably in the end of 13th century by the monastery of Poor Clare sisters in Stary Sącz. Its relics, in the form of a section of a rampart, were discovered during excavation works in 2014. The castle, called then Wronin (castrum Wronyn), is referenced in a document of 1320 which is a duplicate of the chartering act of Kluszkowiec from 1307, which has not survived.


At the turn of the 13th and 14th century, at the site of the present castle, a stone cylindrical tower with base diameter of approx. 10 m was built. The tower was probably surrounded by wooden and earthen fortifications. At the third stage, they were replaced by a stone wall perimeter, separating the upper castle from the middle castle. When Poland was ruled by Casimir the Great, the castle, used as a starostry and already called Czorsztyn (first reference in 1348) was comprised of a one-bay, tripartite building made of local lime, and a narrow courtyard. In the fourth stage of construction (before 1477), on the north-western part of the hill slope, a stone quadrangular gate house was erected, and the fortification system from the north was extended. At the fifth stage (16th century until 1629), the lower castle, circumscribed by brick wall, was built. In the middle castle, kitchen, bakery, and a brick porch with two arcades were built, and in the front of the castle gate, a five-sided fortified tower was erected. Another extension and modernisation of the castle took place in the 1630s. The then staroste Jan Baranowski founded a quadrangular, four-storey stone fortified tower in the place of the one situated in front of the gate. In the middle castle, he founded a two-storey western wing, and in the south-western corner of the yard, a round staircase leading to the upper castle. He also extended the utility facilities in the lower castle. The fall of the castle was started by damages inflicted by the Cossack army (1735 and 1790). In 1790, roofs of the castle were destroyed by fire caused by a lightning strike. At the turn of the 19th and 20th century, the then owners of Czorsztyn, the Drohojowski family, cleaned the interior of the castle and secured endangered walls. From 1955 on, research and conservation works were carried out within the ruins. After 1992, when the historic monument was looked after by the Pieniny National Park, the implementation of an adaptation and reconstruction programme for the castle was commenced, as a result of which the remains of the upper and middle castle were made accessible for visitors. Currently, research works are under way in the lower castle, aimed at identification of the relics of the original castle (Wronin) and recreation of the functional and spatial layout of the utility facilities present here.

The structure is accessible all year round.

compiled by Stanisław Kołodziejski, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Krakow, 24.10.2014.


  • Deptuła C., Czorsztyn czyli Wronin. Studium z najstarszych dziejów osadnictwa na pograniczu polsko-węgierskim w rejonie Pienin, Lublin 1992.
  • Kołodziejski S., Wronin czyli Czorsztyn, „Teki Krakowskie”, t. II, 1995, s. 178-180.
  • Kajzer L., Kołodziejski S., Salm J., Leksykon zamków w Polsce, Warszawa 2001, s. 146-148.
  • Michalczuk S. K., Czorsztyn był i jest, Kraków, 2003.
  • Niewalda W. Rojkowska H., Historia i stan dzisiejszy zamku w Czorsztynie, „Pieniny - Przyroda i Człowiek”, t. 8, 2003, s. 107-110.
  • Stępień P., Zamek Czorsztyn. Zabytkowa ruina w parku narodowym, „Ochrona Zabytków”, nr 1:2005, s. 5-28.

General information

  • Type: castle
  • Chronology: XIII/XIV w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Czorsztyn
  • Location: Voivodeship małopolskie, district nowotarski, commune Czorsztyn
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland


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