The historic center of Pszczyna, Poland
Pszczyna is a city in the Silesia region in Poland, quite close to the Czech borders. From Ostrava it’s around 70 kilometres, which make it a perfect destination for a one-day trip, but from Brno it’s more than 200 km, so unless you like spending in the car 4 hours one day, better take a weekend off to see a small part of Poland.
WHAT’S THERE TO SEE
Obviously, many tourists come here for the Castle Museum and while I agree it truly is a masterpiece I have to say: GO BEYOND. Only the castle’s park is enormous with many attractions like the buildings of Eiskeller, Tea House or Chinese Gate. Not to mention the time capsule, which will open in 2118. Vast green area invites cyclists and those on foot.
If you’re into architecture and old building, you may find it interesting to visit an Open-Air Museum: Zagroda Wsi Pszczyńskiej. There’re wooden buildings dating back to the 18th and 19th century.
A bit further away, but still within walking distance you may find a surprising attraction: bisons. Once you read about Prince Hans Heinrich XI you’ll definitely connect the dots. It’s quite a bizarre experience to see those wild animals almost in the heart of the city.
The good news is that the castle’s park is properly marked, you’ll easily find signs directing to each and every place I mentioned.
Pszczyna also has an impressive main square with a church, princess Daisy memorial and fountain with pigeons. Back in 2004 the city of Pszczyna installed the monitoring system, as according to inhabitants the main square was the place with the highest crime rate. Fortunately, I didn’t see anyone suspicious.
Let’s get a closer look at the Castle Museum in Pszczyna and its history
The castle was constructed in the first half of the XV century as a two-wing Gothic building. Over the centuries the building has changed several times. In second half of the XVI century into renaissance style. While in the second half of the XVII century transformed into late Renaissance. Finally, in XVIII century changing to baroque. The last restyling between 1870-1876 gave the castle the French baroque look
The last family who occupied the Pszczyna castle were Hochberg. Prince Hans Heinrich XI von Pless decided to move there in XVI century. The main reason was his admiration for hunting. He saw potential in the surrounding forests. He even bought bisons to enrich hunting for other crowned heads from all over Europe in 1867. His other hobby: horse riding also left a mark on the building. These days we see stables on the castle’s premisses.
It was the first time we took our little girls inside. They’re old enough to enjoy we though, but how terribly wrong we were. They’re both extremely uninterested, tired and stubborn. Thankfully we could set our own pace, as there’re no guided tours. We tried to keep up with the kids, who rushed from one room to another, just to get it over with. From an adult perspective I may say it is a fine example of art and architecture. Let’s just take a look at Queen Daisy, the most beautiful lady of the era. Her apple-blossom pink and green sitting room can be an inspiration even today. All of the chambers are spacious, elegantly decorated, with a taste. My favorite room was definitely the one with the piano, with balconies ups high and beautiful ornaments on the walls. I was wondering what the little black cupid was doing there. Overall, the tour can take you between half an hour up to 2-3 hours, depending how thorough you are.
WHERE TO EAT
There’re few places worth visiting. During the summer season you can have not only a cup of tea at the Prince’s teahouse on an island in the palace park. Next on the list if famous Café: Dolce Vita. People traverse hundreds of kilometres just to try delicious desserts or spaghetti ice creams. There’re two Cafes in the city centre, find address here. Of course, you also need to try out polish doughnut and here on the main square you may find: Pączkarnia jak dawniej, tradycyjne pączki.
To fill up your stomach try Frykowka, if you crave for a traditional Polish cuisine experience or Sztamfer if you’re following the cult of modern living.