Castle of the Pomeranian Dukes

Castle of the Pomeranian Dukes information

Szczecin , Poland
Address
Street ul Korsazy 34
Prices
free, Castle Museum adult/concession 4/3zł, free Thu
Opening hours
dawn-dusk, Castle Museum 10am-6pm Tue-Sun
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Lonely Planet review

The mother of all Szczecin monuments is the Castle of the Pomeranian Dukes. This vast, blocky building looms over the Old Town, but the square central courtyard and simple Renaissance-style decoration atop the walls have a certain understated grace (spot the repeated circular pattern that resembles the Yin and Yang symbol). The castle was originally built in the mid-14th century and grew into its current form by 1577, but was destroyed by Allied carpet-bombing in 1944 before being extensively restored. Admire the colourful historic clockface from the courtyard, with its jester figure chiming in each new hour, then climb to the top of the 58.6m bell tower (adult/concession 4/3zł) for a view of the city.

The castle also accommodates the Castle Museum . Its star exhibits are six spectacular sarcophagi of the Pomeranian dukes. These large tin boxes are decorated with a fine engraved ornamentation and were made between 1606 and 1637 by artists from Königsberg. Following the death of the last Pomeranian duke, Bogusław XIV, the crypt was walled up until the sarcophagi were discovered during restoration work in 1946, after the castle’s wartime destruction. The remains of the dukes were deposited in the cathedral, while the least-damaged sarcophagi were restored for display.

Various temporary exhibitions and displays of art take place in other rooms of the castle. In summer, concerts are held on Sunday in the courtyard or the former chapel, which occupies nearly half the northern side.