Castle of Uniejow
Other names: Zamek w Uniejowie (Castle of Uniejów), Gotycki Zamek w Uniejowie (Gotic Castle of Uniejów), Zamek Biskupi w Uniejowie (the Bishop’s Castle of Uniejów).
In the very center of Poland, on the on the left bank of the river Warta, the Bishop’s Castle of Uniejów has been built, while the small town of Uniejów was located on the right, higher bank of the river. Originally, a gothic defensive fortress a characteristic mediaeval donjon, later rebuilt as a Renaissance Bishop’s residence. Huge park of ca 36 ha. with many exotic trees, partly maintained by three gardeners, partly wild, is situated around and behind the castle. Today a hotel and a conference centre.
History: The Uniejów castle has been originally built between 1360-1365, at the request by the Gniezno archbishop Jarosław Bogoria Skotnicki, on the small artificial hill as a gothic fortress. The castle had been constructed on the place where probably the wooden castle stood before, burnt by the Teutonic knights. The castle has been a part of the whole system of defence of Polish Kingdom under Casimir the Great. Additionally it had served as protected place to store the jewels from the Gniezno cathedral in case of war. It had in the 14th century three cannons, ten guns and a number of other defensive arms. Between 1525-1534 the castle had been rebuilt into the Renaissance Bishops residence and the chapel added by Stanisław from Gomolina. In the 17th century, the castle has been again rebuilt. As this part of Poland had been taken at the end of the 18th century by Prussia and its government confiscated bishop’s property, the castle stood empty until the Napoleon wars, when first, the Princedom of Poland and later Kingdom of Poland with the Russian Tsar as a King has been created and Uniejów found itself within the Kingdom borders. In 1836 the castle of Uniejów had been given to the Russian army general Karol Toll, together with the whole town of the Uniejów, surrounding farmlands and the title of a count for his merits in suppressing the Polish November Uprising of 1830. Estonian born general Toll, inhabited the castle with his family and in 1848, his son Alexander Toll rebuilt the castle, adding the classicist style western façade to it and creating the big park behind. In 1918 as Poland regained independence, the castle became Polish state property and served as a high school. Devastated by the Germans during the WWII, the castle has been renovated 1957-1967 to its present form.
The feel: A nice to visit, provincial castle with the huge park behind. The management driven by hospitality and ambition to maintain the castle. Modest but nice, clean and reasonably priced place to visit or to stay for a short or long period of time.
Today: A hotel, a conference centre, restaurant, and café presently managed by Polish Union of Students. Hotel is of a basic level, but clean and not expensive. The place is very quiet, except for the conferences, which happen here few times in a year. Huge park behind the castle, though mostly neglected, remains a good area for walks or bicycle rides.
Opening hours: Always open.
Admission: No admission charge.
How to get there: By car – from Łódź ca. 40 km direction Poznań, by the national road no.72 (exit from Łódź via Aleksandrów); at the town Uniejów pass the town and after the bridge over the river Warta, turn right, you will see the castle behind the park lane. From Poznań ca. 160km by the freeway A2, direction Warsaw, in Konin turn South East on the national road no.72 direction Turek, Łódź. The A2 now in construction should be ready by 2006 until Uniejów. From Kalisz by a viovodship road no.470 direction Skarszew, Ceków, Malanów, Turek. In Turek turn right into the road no.72 direction Łódź.
Facilities and attractions: Hotel, restaurant, café, cinema hall, conference rooms, sauna, billiard table, table tennis. The castle management also offers to organize bicycle rides, canoeing trips on the river Warta, excursions to a stud farm, bonfires, violin concerts or even knight tournaments and meetings with the ghost White Lady living at the castle (at € 100.- for a meeting).
Castle Uniejow pictures
Nearby cities: Łódź, Konin, Poznań.
Nearby castles: Kings Castle in Łęczyca
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