Friday, April 18, 2014

Day Trip from Warsaw

What do you do on a dismal, rainy Sunday when you just want to escape Warsaw for the day?

Why, you find the nearest medieval castle in Poland to explore, of course!

Thanks to this list of Polish castles, I’ve been able to map out day trips we can do from Warsaw and plan for longer roadtrips. So the other weekend, we drove about 45 minutes to the tiny town of Czersk, located about 40 km south of Warsaw. (Note: Not to be confused with another Czersk located in the opposite direction and about a 4 hour drive away.)

The Ruins of the Mazovian Dukes’ Castle in Czersk (Ruiny Zamku Książąt Mazowieckich) are the remains of a Gothic castle built between the 14th-16th centuries for the Mazovian princes. The castle was originally built in the 13th century; and during that time, Prince Konrad Mazowiecki, who brought the Teutonic Knights to Poland in 1226, imprisoned the future Prince of Krakow and Prince Henryk Brodaty, the Prince of Wroclaw, in the south tower.
Unfortunately, the ugly skies did not make for pretty pictures as you can see here.
Same location, but taken about 2 weeks apart. What a difference!
Yesterday, I woke up to absolutely brilliant blue skies, and I decided to drive back to Czersk by myself to take better photos. I didn’t mind the nearly hour drive, because of traffic, and was happy to spend a relaxing afternoon on a mini roadtrip. The photos turned out stunningly!
Crossing the medieval bridge and moat on a beautiful spring day in Czersk, Poland.
If you visit this medieval castle, you can access two of the three towers and enjoy magnificent views over the Vistula River, situated about 1 km away, and the countryside. The stairs are steep and well worn, but the views are worth the effort.
Czersk was the first capital of the Mazovian region, but in 1413, the town was succeeded by Warsaw when the route of the river apparently changed. As with most of Poland’s castles, this one was destroyed by the Swedes in the mid-1700s. Eventually the castle was abandoned in the late 1800s and served as a quarry for many years.
The Czersk Castle reminded me of the one we saw in Ciechanów last summer; and not ironically, they both met similar fates. But the Czersk Castle still plays an active role in the community and hosts a  number of summer events. For example, on May 10 and 11, the annual VI Knights Tournament will be held here. This event draws hundreds of participants to watch the knights perform re-enactments such as jousting. Here’s also a link to a list of the Knights Tournaments that will take place throughout Poland in 2014.
Not sure if hubby should be allowed to play with medieval weapons like this one! :-)
Luckily for us, we have many historical buildings that are located practically in our backyard from Warsaw! This won’t be the last time you hear about our adventures in Polish castles!
I love water reflections like this one!
One of the former crests used by the Mazovian knights.
Don't forget to peak into the quaint Catholic Church located just outside the castle walls.
Zamek w Czersku
Plac Tysiąclecia 1
Czersk, Poland

Admission: 10 PLN for adults/7 PLN reduced

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Julia said...

Well it looks a thought you've got no shortage of castles to explore, then, where you are. :) The Catholic churches really stick in my mind from Poland and Lithuania. So ornate.

jaz@octoberfarm said...

what a beautiful area! have a wonderful easter weekend!

Joy said...

Definitely! Poland may not be as "exotic" as Turkey, but there's plenty to see! We always try to explore. :-)

Joy said...

Yes! Springtime in Poland is absolutely beautiful! I'm loving it!

Have a wonderful Easter too!

Magda said...

How many Polish castles have you seen Joy? Have you been to Ogrodzieniec and Malbork? I think they are my favourite ones :)

Joy said...

@Magda, yes, we saw the Malbork Castle last August during our Baltic Sea vacation. Others so far: Wawel in Kraków, Ciechanów and Opinogora. The one in Ogrodzieniec looks lovely! May have to include grandma and grandpa on that adventure this summer! :-)