There are places that we need to grow up to appreciate properly and one of such places for me is Lancut Castle in Poland.
The first time I had a chance to visit Lancut Castle was on a school trip when I was barely a teenager and I still remember how bored I was. But as I learned when visiting Malbork Castle, time really can change the perspective and so I’ve decided to give Lancut a second chance.
Now I truly believe this is one of the most beautiful castles in Poland that shouldn’t be missed!
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A brief history of Lancut Castle
The first building that appeared in the place of today’s Lancut Castle was the fortified tower in the second half of the 16th century. Shortly after, around 1610, the castle in the shape of the horseshoe was built.
Between 1629 and 1641 when the castle belonged to the Lubomirski family, the building went through a major renovation and was changed into the palace-manor style with fortifications around (it saved the castle on numerous occasions when the area was under attack). At the end of the 18th century, the fortifications were changed into the pleasant gardens surrounding the castle.
During World War 2 Lancut Castle served as the headquarters of Wehrmacht which saved the place from destruction (unlike many castles in Poland), the Nazis also agreed to save numerous goods from the castle’s collection when the current owner of Lancut Castle fled the country, taking valuables with him. After WW2 Lancut Castle was changed into a museum and serves this purpose still today.
How to visit Lancut Castle
The castle is located in the center of Lancut and getting there is rather easy. If you travel by car there are a few parking spaces not far from the castle.
I arrived in Lancut by train from Przemysl (and then continued my journey to Rzeszow) so it was a bit more tricky as the train station is a bit away from the castle, around 2 km walking. If you use public transport when visiting Lancut Castle plan your trip accordingly.
The Lancut Castle is open every day between February 1st and November 30th except for the Easter holidays, May 1st and November 1st and 11th. On Mondays, the entrance is free of charge but you need to get a complimentary ticket in the ticket office.
It is possible to get online tickets to visit Lancut Castle and I recommend doing it, especially in the high season. This way you are certain you will tour the castle inside.
When I visited the place in mid-August I got my online ticket a week before the visit and it was one of the last available tickets (but it was during summer holidays and a weekend plus due to the pandemic the group size was smaller so that might have been a reason). Here is the official website of the castle.
Besides the castle, you can visit more interesting places located on the property’s grounds: stables, the carriage collection, the park, or orchids greenhouse.
A tour of Lancut Castle
In the pre-pandemic times, you could tour the Lancut Castle independently, with a tour guide. These days visiting Lancut Castle looks a bit different but not necessarily bad.
When I was there the tickets were sold for a specific time and every 10 minutes the group of 5 tourists toured the castle with the guide (who basically played in each room the information from the sound system). I actually really enjoyed touring the castle in such a small group as the place wasn’t overcrowded and the tour wasn’t very rushed, the timing was just fine.
During the tour, you will see a big part of the castle, including some of the magnificent interiors from the 17th century. Lancut Castle is one of the very few castles in Poland that survived World War Two intact and most of what you can see inside the castle is original, mostly from the time of renovation in the 19th century (however, the most valuable items are placed in the National Museum in Warsaw).
Some of the rooms are really incredible with all the details and decor, they really can give you a look into the high life of the aristocracy. Besides the living quarters, you will also see the Ballroom, the Great Dining Room, or the on-site theater.
The tour of the castle takes around one hour and afterward you visit the carriage collection (the largest one in Poland) located a short walk away from the castle (it’s included in your ticket). There are over 100 carriages here and some of them are really impressive, yet again giving you a glimpse into the old times.
Once you are done with the activities included in your ticket you can return to the park surrounding the castle. It was designed in English style and is a perfectly pleasant place to wander around in all the greenery.
What else to see in Lancut
While the castle and its grounds are the biggest attraction of Lancut and the main reason everyone visits the city, there is one more highlight that is a bit overlooked.
The local synagogue is a real masterpiece, one of the most impressive examples of the Jewish heritage in Poland. It was built in 1761 and survived WW2 with only minor damage. Today you can visit the synagogue to admire its beautiful and rich decor and to learn more about the history of the local Jewish community.
Final thoughts on visiting Lancut
After not so stellar first experience with visiting Lancut Castle (though I blame it on my young age) I was a bit reluctant about going there again but since I was passing the city on my way from Przemysl to Rzeszow I’ve decided to give the place another chance. And I’m so glad I did.
The castle was so much better than I remembered and I was really impressed with its beauty. Not to mention the synagogue that was a cherry on top of my visit to Lancut.
If you enjoy visiting castles/palaces then don’t miss the one in Lancut, you won’t be disappointed.
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