Kórnik Castle's present-day appearance dates from the mid-19th century, when its owner, Tytus Działyński, gave the castle an outlandish mock-Gothic character, partly based on a design by German architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel. The building now looks as though two halves of completely different castles were spliced together, perhaps by force, and provides interesting photos from varying angles.
Part of it is now open as a museum. You can wander through its 19th-century interiors, dotted with items collected by the family.
The collection was expanded by Działyński’s son Jan and his nephew Władysław Zamoyski; the latter donated the castle and its contents to the state in 1924.
Its treasures are well presented in a surprisingly light-filled space, and include some intriguing pieces like elaborately designed furniture, medieval weaponry and centuries-old books, including a copy of Copernicus’ masterwork, De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres).
On the 1st floor a spectacular Moorish hall (clearly influenced by the Alhambra in Granada) was created as a memorable setting for the display of armour and military accessories.
Some of the castle’s outbuildings are also used for exhibitions. Galeria Klaudynówka, a servants' house from 1791, displays contemporary paintings, while the coach house on the opposite side of the road holds three London coaches, brought from Paris by Jan Działyński in 1856.