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The Trail of the Eagles’ Nests

The Trail of the Eagles’ Nests is one of the longest and most interesting tourist routes in Poland. It connects Kraków and Czestochowa, cutting along the rocky highlands of the Jura.

The route owes its name to the numerous castles along it. This is a remnant of the time when the Jura was a borderland between Poland and Silesia, which belonged to the Bohemian crown. A total of 11 such strongholds were built in the Middle Ages, most of which are in ruins today.

Castles were usually erected on the tops of hills and mountains, resembling high-slung birds’ nests. The eagle in the trail’s name is already a direct reference to the bird featured in Poland’s emblem.

All of the “Eagles’ Nests” are easily reached within a day trip from Kraków or other towns in the region. Below are three castles that we particularly recommend to your attention.

Ogrodzieniec Castle

The monumental castle ruins in Ogrodzieniec rise on the edge of the highest elevation in the Polish Jura, reaching 515 meters above sea level. If there can be beauty hidden in a state of ruin, the example of Ogrodzieniec is great proof.

Sad to say, it was not invasions, but lack of care and thoughtlessness in the 19th century that led the castle to such a state. The castle experienced a period of splendor when a certain Seweryn Boner was the owner – a gigantic renaissance mansion grew then on the limestone inselbergs, the splendor of which is still the subject of legends.

A few years ago, the castle became the setting for the Netflix adaptation of Andrzej Sapkowski’s “The Witcher.”

Castle in Olsztyn near Częstochowa

The Jura landscape near Częstochowa is extremely picturesque, and the fantastic view of the castle ruins and the monuments on the hills near Olsztyn is long in the memory. During the reign of King Casimir the Great, the Olsten fortress was built here. The name derives from the German Hohlstein, translated as “hollow rock,” which has to do with the system of caves and cellars (now buried) under the fortress.

Pieskowa Skała Castle

The renaissance castle in Pieskowa Skała reigns over the upper part of the Prądnik River valley and, together with the nearby Hercules Mace, is the most characteristic element of the landscape of the Ojców National Park. It was fortified during the reign of Casimir the Great, but its real heyday is associated with the Szafraniec family, later owners of the fortress.

Part of the castle’s interiors and the beautiful arcaded courtyard are open to the public.





Startpunkt - Burg Ogrodzieniec

The Trail of the Eagles’ Nests