this 700 year old castle is one of the most interesting and important private houses in Southern Poland. The beautiful countryside is great for biking, hiking, riding, swimming, skiing - and also for relaxing. It's a wonderful welcoming place for children
Although we've been Airbnb “Superhosts” for several years now, be aware before you book; not everything is perfect here. It’s a private family house, not a hotel. Don’t expect too much! We are slowly rescuing and restoring a piece of 700 year old heritage. It is a great responsibility, being custodians of this house, and, we hope, preparing it for the next 700 years. The money you pay to stay helps us do this.
If Airbnb says we are booked, send us a message. We may have space. This website only allows one booking per listing.
There is always work going on. We do our best for it not to spoil a guest’s stay, and from their reactions, it seems they find it interesting (it is! – craftsmen at work).
The geese help keep the grass short. But they also poop.
This was once a Prince-Bishop of Wroclaw's private palace. It’s great for a romantic break, for a small family, or for a large reunion, and we can also do really big parties – up to 200 in the Big Party barn, weddings, or example. A recent group was 20 people from five families, all good friends, so they didn't mind a bit of sharing. Currently we have three apartments, with a fourth nearing completion.
Ideal too for company team-building – there is a lot do in the surrounding area, and obviously massive space here.
We encourage workshops. You quite often do concerts here, and musicians love our conservatory standard piano and ballroom. It’s a great place to write, rehearse, perform and record with a rewarding acoustic. We had 15 acoustic engineering students from London doing interesting experiment with their professor for a week, and they now come back regularly.
Every year there is a tango group of about 50 from Berlin, and a similar sized group of Blues dancers from all over. They love the near perfect dance floor.
Our rugby festival in July has been going for 8 years. The Emerging Artists Festival for 200 people is in its 3rd year, and runs for two weeks of residencies, exhibitions and performances in July, mostly outdoors in the barns.
No writers so far (apart from the owner - I'm an author), but there are few distractions. It is unusually peaceful. It would be ideal for residential workshops for photography, painting or writing.
Just a note about winter. It can be very cold outside. Inside, it's cosy, but lighting the wood burning stoves and keeping them going involves a little work. We can do it for you, though many city-bound guests love the opportunity to light the fire themselves. One metre thick walls hold the heat once warm. They can take a day to warm up, so the earlier we know you are coming, the better. We also offer gas and electric heaters.
When we have really big groups, we find extra rooms in the village, and the price is lower. In this way we can accept groups up to 30. It gets more difficult if everyone wants individual rooms, but we don't mind when lots of people share a room. Rooms have nice beds, but extra people can stay if you are happy with mattresses on the floor.
The house dates from around 1300, but with a rebuild every 100 years or so, it’s hard to say which bit was built when. Architectural historians and archaeologists love the questions this building asks, and we don’t yet have all the answers. There are frescoes, glorious Renaissance painted ceilings, and sgraffito (a plaster technique). The working chapel (it’s the village church, Mass twice a week) has an impressive baroque altar-piece, recently restored.
In 2012, our on-going restoration was short-listed for a prestigious Europa Nostra/European Union Award for the Protection of Cultural Heritage (the only Polish project so honoured). There is still work in progress, so we didn’t win. Nonetheless, we are proud of getting close, and we love to talk about our Big House Project with guests.
Our price is per person. It gets a little cheaper after two people.
Set in a private park with magnificent, mature trees, a grass tennis court and swimming pond (skating in winter), the surrounding countryside is glorious, with both flat and steep terrain for cycling, the Sudety Mountains for hiking (skiing in winter), museums, adventure activities. Nearby is one of Europe's longest zip-wire and tree top agility courses. On the Czech side just 5 km away are 60 km of prepared mountain bike trails for experts to beginners. You can rent a top of the range mountain bike. There are some interesting small towns. And some wonderful swimming holes in old quarries.
A car gives you independence, otherwise we shop every day and can take our guests to the town. Otmuchow (6 km) for provisions, or to the next village, Kałków (2 km – and we can lend you a bicycle).
Depending on the time of year, there may be organic vegetables from our garden available, and our chickens usually produce enough eggs for us to share. We can buy local honey, unpasteurised milk, butter, venison, wild boar. We can order home-made bacon or sausages from a man in the village. We make jams and traditional pickles. Our chickens, geese, turkeys, guinea fowl and sheep wander where they want. Some guests like to buy a goose or some turkey for roasting. Our turkey is a different experience from anything you will buy in a shop.
The nearest airport is Wroclaw, a 75 minute drive. In a car, it is 5 hours from Vienna, Bratislava or Warsaw, 4 hours from Berlin, 3.5 hours from Krakow, Prague and Dresden, 2 hours from Ostrava airport. A bus is quicker than train from Wroclaw, train is better from Katowice and Krakow. We can meet you at Nysa station. On the Czech side (Horni Hermanice) there's a small train (hourly departures) which will take you off into the mountains, or on to Brno, Prague, Vienna or Budapest if you want.
A lot of our guests come because they are taking a countryside break half way between city breaks in Prague or Berlin and Krakow. Piotrowice Nyskie is an ideal place from where to experience the Polish and Czech countryside.
History: the house is likely to have been built before 1300, but is first mentioned as "Castro Petrowicz" (Castle Peterwitz) in 1369 - when it was probably a moated fortification, owned by a knight, with the duty to fight for the bishops when called upon. Quite likely it was destroyed by Hussite invaders from Bohemia in 1428. Most of the house dates from after 1600, when it was in the ownership of a noble family called von Hundt. Recently discovered is a stunning and important painted ceiling in the ballroom, unique in Poland, dating from 1620. The chapel has artefacts from that date too, and still serves as the village church, the only such private chapel in Silesia, and an impressive baroque altar, just restored. A picture on the ballroom ceiling of Queen Elizabeth of Bohemia, "The Winter Queen" suggests she may have visited in 1620, when it's known she went to nearby Nysa with her husband Frederick V of Bohemia. Elizabeth, daughter of James I of England, and VI of Scotland, was a Stuart.
The house became the private residence of Sebastian von Rostock, the Prince-Bishop of Breslau (now Wroclaw) in 1665. The bishop left it to a nephew, then, in 1744, Baron von Wimmersberg acquired it, and it stayed in the family until a later Baron lost it in a game of cards to his estate manager, Julius Lorenz in 1858. The Lorenz family owned the house until 1945.
During Polish communist times the house was used by five families from the local collective farm, but was badly neglected. Only since Anna and I started rescuing it from dereliction in 2007 has its beauty more become apparent. Conservation work continues, we think we are 10 years into a 20 year restoration, so be prepared for a little restoration work going on around you. If you are lucky, your visit might co-incide with work by a skilled conservationist.
As a side business, we also restore old cars in one of the barns. Old car people love it here. But if your newer car is looking scruffy, now’s the time to have the paintwork fixed at a fraction of the price you’d pay in Germany or the UK. We are starting other “micro-industries.” We sell some antiques. And we can make interesting commissions out of metal or wood if you have ideas. We have an upcycling business making things out of scrap metal. Sometimes our guests like them so much they buy them!
There are plenty of action-adventure activities nearby, but the house is quiet, ideal for winding down from City stress. We find that many of our guests do a lot of sleeping. It is an unusually peaceful place. Our new guest flats - two of them, with fully equipped kitchens - are beautiful, and give you a sense of history when you stay, with exposed stonework, and old wooden beams. They have efficient, ecological modern wood burning stoves for winter heat. We burn our own wood. We don't normally provide meals, but can do so if asked. Breakfast from our own eggs and with home-made bacon from the village is a treat.
Children love it too. We have six, and they are so lucky to be growing up here.
Detailed description of our accommodation
With a bit of sharing, and using other rooms in the village, we can take a group of up to 30 people. We have extra folding beds, air beds and children’s cots. All flats are heated by ecological wood-burning stoves. We use wood from our own trees. Extra electric heaters, and gas heaters are available. On hot summer days, the house is very cool inside, as if there is air conditioning. Which there isn’t!
Location: downstairs, off the internal courtyard. Mostly original wooden floors, apart from a marble area with underfloor heating
History: this was the house-keeper’s flat many years ago.
Bedroom 1: double bed
Room 2: two single beds
Room 3: a large living room with two double sofa beds
Living area, kitchen, with underfloor heating and wood burning stove
Marble bathroom with underfloor heating.
Faces West and looks over the pond
Location: downstairs, off the internal courtyard. It has a view over the park.
It has a wood burning stove, with gas and electric heaters if needed in winter, and underfloor heating in the bathroom
History: this used to be the castle kitchen. We’ve put a carpet on the original 19th century tiles to preserve them
Room 1: large living room and basic kitchen, then, through an arch, an area with double bed in a separate area, and the bathroom and toilet there too.
Room 2: a separate room through a door. The room can be completely separated from the apartment. It has it’s own independent door to the courtyard. Our unique bendy floor boards with oak from our own park. The Hobbit Room, we call it.
Faces North and looks over the park
Location: is not in the palace but in the building opposite, with a view onto the palace. Décor is modern. It’s basic accommodation, we do not make high claims for it!
Room 1: A large living room with two double sofa beds
Room 2: A small bedroom with a double bed
Kitchen with a table and a nice view of the palace. There is a traditional wood burning cooker, and a gas cooker
The bathroom and toilet are together. There is a washing machine
The Master Bedroom: Upstairs in the palace is a very large bedroom with a large bathroom en suite with a huge bath. Not everything is finished in this room – it will be the owners’ bedroom in due course. Parquet floor. There is some antique furniture
The Safe Room: through double doors from the master bedroom is the Safe Room, so called because it has the old house safe in it. It’s a big room, currently unfurnished, but we quite often put extra beds in there for guests. Wooden floor
The Sun-dial Room: from the Safe Room through more double doors. Called the Sun-dial Room because it is on the corner of the house with the sun-dial. Unfurnished, but we often put extra beds in it for big parties. Parquet floor, high ceilings with historic wooden beams. The Sun-dial Room is next to the upstairs kitchen
The upstairs kitchen is a very large kitchen with historic beams, original oak parquet. It will be the owners’ kitchen when they move upstairs. Formerly it was a grand salon.
Guests can use this kitchen too, and up to 100 people can dine in the ballroom.
In the ballroom is an excellent Yamaha grand piano, the best instrument in the region and much loved by our visiting musicians. The room has a good acoustic for all sorts of music making and we often hold concerts there.
There is also a lot of clean floor space in the attic. Members of a large party can camp up there. Popular with children…
There is dormitory space in the barns too
There are other rooms in the village. Single and double rooms in private houses.
And there is an empty, unmodernised flat opposite that we can use with three rooms and some beds in each and space for airbeds. It is heated with a traditional wood stove on which you can also cook
the region is soft and scenic, there's lots to do, good horses on the Czech side, skiing too, and cycling terrain both for serious athletes and mountain bikers and flat ground for people who don't want anything too strenuous. There are some great natural swimming holes. Our own park is lovely and of course we are very proud of our house