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Historic Polish castle reopens to the public

PR dla Zagranicy
Nick Hodge 28.04.2016 12:11
The Castle of Pieskowa Skała in southern Poland reopened to the public on Thursday, following a two-year renovation programme.
The Castle of Pieskowa Skała, photographed on 27 April. Photo: PAP/Stanisław RozpędzikThe Castle of Pieskowa Skała, photographed on 27 April. Photo: PAP/Stanisław Rozpędzik

“We are very happy that we can once more open the gates,” enthused Olgierd Mikołajski, custodian of the castle museum, in an interview with Radio Poland.

“It was a really very extensive programme,” he noted.

Thanks to funding from the Norway Grants mechanism, supplemented by Poland's ministry of culture, the outer walls and roof have been renovated, together with the castle's arcaded courtyard.

Meanwhile, an educational centre has been created and the castle's collections are now on a digital database.

Built by King Kazimerz the Great (r.1333-1370), who as the adage goes “inherited a Poland of wood and left one of stone,” the castle passed through several noble families over the centuries.

It is the best surviving example of the so-called 'Eagle's Nests', a chain of castles built along Poland's 14th century border with Silesia, which then belonged to the Bohemian crown.

The castle's arcaded courtyard. Photo: PAP/Stanisław Rozpędzik

Pieskowa Skała has been a branch of Kraków's Wawel Royal Castle Museum since 1958, and it boasts one of the finest art collections in the country, bringing together artefacts from across Europe.

During an opening ceremony on Wednesday, Director of Wawel Museum Professor Jan Ostrowski quipped that everything had turned out very well “apart from the weather.” Umbrellas were out in force from dawn till dusk, although more clement weather greeted the castle's first guests on Thursday. (nh/pk)

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