Bolkow Castle

Attractions in Bolkow castle

Bolkow castle is popularly associated mainly with the Castle Party. This is not, however, the only event which takes place there. Apart from cyclical events, Bolkow is well worth a visit simply just for a walk.

All year around there is a lot going on in Bolkow castle. In June, it is the scene of knightly duels, in July the castle becomes the realm of gothic music, and in September a venue for the travel festival. If you are lucky, you can catch the History Picnic or special attractions prepared for the Night of Museums. This historic stronghold always has something interesting on offer.

The castle’s present life

Every July since 1997 the Castle is host to one of the biggest festivals of gothic music and the event Bolkow is best known for: the Castle Party. The event attracts fans of this genre from all over Europe. The city and the castle changes dramatically for the duration of these three days. Bolkow becomes populated with people wearing the characteristic clothes, jewellery and hairdos; the music is playing loud.  Even if you are not a fan of heavy music, Bolkow is definitely worth a visit during the festival, as the town acquires a unique climate then – the stage on the castle’s courtyard, surrounded by the towering old walls, seems to be ideally suited. Bolków is the perfect place for this type of festival.

September is when fans of travel come to Bolkow. For 3 days the castle becomes host to lectures, film screenings and conversations about travel, which are a part of the Three Elements Travellers’ Festival. The autumn edition of the festival has been organised in Bolkow since 2012, before, the festival was located for three years in a row in Srebrna Góra. When visiting the castle in Bolkow during the festival, you can not only see the stronghold itself, but also find inspiration for future travels and meet interesting people.

The castle’s history

The castle was first mentioned in 1277. The characteristic “beak” of the main tower of Bolkow, faces the gate which it meant to defend against intruders. It is the oldest element of the stronghold. The following years brought expansion of the fortifications and another set of external walls. In the 16th century the Women’s House was added to the complex, as well as further courtyards and fortifications. The castle was attacked and renovated many times; it became a ruin only in the 19th century, when its walls were partially demolished. In the first half of the 20th century the securing works commenced, but were halted by the turbulences of history. In 1994 they were picked up again and they continue until today. At the moment the castle belongs to the Karkonosze Museum in Jelenia Góra. The Fellowship of the Bolków Castle Knights is still cultivating the local knightly traditions including the organisation of tournaments.

The tournaments have the longest tradition of all the events organised in Bolkow – they started in 1995. Apart form the tournament itself, there is also the Historic Picnic in September, and on some weekends from spring to summer various events connected with knightly traditions are organised. It is best to choose one of these weekends to visit the castle, because then you may enjoy seeing the castle and take part in additional knightly attractions.

Practical information

The castle is open for tourists all year around, but the opening hours are longer from spring to autumn. On Mondays the entry is free, but the exhibition rooms are closed. The rest of the week the ticket costs PLN 4 (reduced) and PLN 7 (normal). After seeing the castle, make sure to take a walk on Bolkow square which has nice tenement houses. The trip is bound to be a success, especially in the summer or springtime when the sun fills the town and warms the faces of the visitors.

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