Prince-Bishop of Wroclaw's Palace

Private room in castle hosted by Jim

  1. 16 guests
  2. 10 bedrooms
  3. 22 beds
  4. 5 shared bathrooms
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100% of recent guests gave the check-in process a 5-star rating.
Furry friends welcome
Bring your pets along for the stay.
Great communication
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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

The space
The house is currently full with refugees from Ukraine. So we've blocked bookings until June. Some people have offered to help us by booking us as a way of sending money. But Airbnb takes 20%, so, best not. Better, book somewhere in Ukraine itself, there Airbnb has waived their commission.

Dom jest obecnie pełen uchodźców z Ukrainy. Zablokowaliśmy więc rezerwacje do czerwca. Niektórzy ludzie zaoferowali, że mogą nam pomóc, rezerwując nas jako sposób na wysłanie pieniędzy. Ale Airbnb bierze 20%, więc lepiej tego nie robić. Lepiej zarezerwować gdzieś na samej Ukrainie, tam Airbnb zrzekło się prowizji.



The description below is LONG and detailed. Here is a short summary

Short summary:
The house has existed since before 1300. Its current appearance is 19th century with Renaissance and baroque elements, with 4 hectares of private park set in a small farming village, with the Czech Rychlebsky Mountains as backdrop. There are 10 bedrooms in the palace and two more apartments in the building opposite. That makes 5 kitchens. It is also possible to camp, indoor and out. We have a ballroom, ideal for parties - maximum 80 people. And Big Party Barn for very big parties, 200 or more. The WiFi will shortly be upgraded to optical fibre, but is already good enough for a workation or team building events. This place works best for family reunions, big number birthday parties - like 30ths - dance groups, music - we have an excellent grand piano loved by professionals. We have a classic car restoration business and some interesting old cars. The Czech border is 5 km distant for swimming, skiing, hiking, cycling. In Poland, Otmuchow is 6 km, there are 4 supermarkets. There is no shortage of activities.


Long description:
Be aware before you book; not everything is perfect here. It’s a private family house. OK, so we have 10 bedrooms, but it is not a hotel, and that is not what we want to be. We are slowly rescuing and restoring a piece of 750 year old heritage. It is a great responsibility, being custodians of this historic house, and, we hope, preparing it for the next 750 years. Your booking helps us save what is possibly the most historically important and interesting private building in the region. It is first mentioned in 1305, and we guess built around 1250 or before. It gets rebuilt once every 100 years or so. We are just the latest to do that. If you are looking for a modern hotel, don't book here! Though our beds are comfortable and our bathrooms are modern.
If Airbnb says we are booked, send us a message. We may have space. With couples sharing beds and some extra mattresses, we can take 25 or 30 people in the house, and there are other rooms in the village. With our barns - indoor camping on mattresses, and space to put up tents indoors if you want- we can accommodate over 100 people. But usually, if we have 10 or more people, we don’t take other bookings. The place is yours exclusively. (And ours, of course, we live here). Like we say, we are not trying to be a hotel.
Our unique selling point is – freedom! Within reason, you can do what you like here. No curfew. Children can have fun and charge around. You can dance in the ballroom until the small hours. You can explore the house, go anywhere, there are no roped off areas or signs saying "No admittance."
You get a kitchen with each apartment, but we can also cater if asked, for example at weddings, or quite often groups who are here for a purpose, maybe business, maybe a reunion, or for workshops. We have several rooms great for workshops. The ballroom is great for dance.
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. Maximum 80 people sitting down to eat in our ballroom in the palace, but up to 200 in the Big Party barn.
Ideal too for company team-building – there is a lot do in the surrounding area, and obviously massive space here. WiFi is OK. Not the best, but very soon it will be the best. Optical fibre just arrived in our village. We expect it to be connected in early 2022, and when that happens, this place will become an excellent cyber working venue.

Examples of groups we have hosted, some of whom come back year after year, because they love it. A tango week (50 people), A German political party (20), German internet entrepreneurs (30 people). Lots of big number birthday parties, like 30th and 40th or 60th parties. Artists and creatives - 150 people, they used all our bedrooms, while some camped outside or slept in the big granary barn we have.
We encourage workshops of every kind.
There is huge indoor and outdoor studio space for painters or craftspeople, including in our large barns and old granary. (We have 7 out-buildings, and some of them are ENORMOUS!).
Musicians love our conservatory standard Yamaha C3 grand piano and ballroom. It’s a great place to write, rehearse, perform and record with a rewarding acoustic, helped by a wooden floor and beamed ceiling, and walls which aren’t quite parallel with each other, which means no disturbing resonances.
Dancers love it here too. Every year there is a tango group of about 50 from Berlin, and a similar sized group of Blues dancers from all over. The ballroom floor dates from about 1750, is newly restored, and is perfect for dancing, luxurious in bare feet. Ideal for yoga too.
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 guests from the city love the opportunity to light the fire themselves. One metre thick walls hold the heat once warm. We also offer gas and electric heaters.
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). We are proud of getting close, and we love to talk about our Big House Project with guests.
Set in a private park with magnificent, mature trees, and a grass tennis court, 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 in Zloty Stok is one of Europe's longest zip-wire and tree top agility courses and a gold mining museum.
It’s a cycling paradise. Flat easy terrain with nice views for one kind of cyclist. Tour de France level difficulty if you want that. We can lend you an old bicycle for free. Or arrange some better ones for hire. On the Czech side just 5 km away are 60 km of prepared mountain bike trails for experts and 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.
Fans of classic cars can look our collection over. We usually have about 15 cars, ours, and clients' cars. We don’t rent them out, although are thinking about that for the future. Old Bentley, Mercedes limo, 1960s Tatra and Skoda cabrio, Mazda MX5 from 1990. We have a classic car restoration workshop. For guests we have done small jobs – fixing parking dings – and whole projects where they left the car behind for a year.
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).
Shopping: 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, venison, wild boar. We can order home-made bacon, ham or sausages from a man in the village. We make jams and traditional pickles. Our chickens, geese, turkeys, guinea fowl wander where they want.
Travel: 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 Katowice or Ostrava airports, 3 hours from Krakow. 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. Prague takes 6 hours, it's a beautiful trip for just 15 euros. We can pick you up from Nysa station, or the Czech Horni Hermanice station.
History: a stone house is mentioned in 1305, which means the house is likely to have been built before 1300. 1250 or before is a reasonable guess. It is first mentioned as "Castro Petrowicz" (Castle Peterwitz) in 1369 - when it was probably a moated fortification, owned by a knight, with the duty (an “allodium”) to fight for the bishops when called upon. Quite likely it was destroyed by Hussite invaders from Bohemia in 1428 – every other castle in the district was destroyed at this time.
The walls are mediaeval, but the fabric of the house mostly dates from after 1600, when it was in the ownership of a noble family called von Hundt. In our first summer here we discovered a stunning and important Renaissance painted ceiling in the ballroom, unique in Poland, dating from 1620. We think this painting was done for a visit by the King Friedrich V from Prague to Nysa. The chapel has artefacts from a little later, 1660s, when the house was owned by the Prince Bishop of Wrocław, and it still serves as the village church - mass on Wednesday and Saturday evenings - the only such private chapel in Silesia. It has an impressive baroque altar, just restored with new gold leaf. We believe that a picture on the ballroom ceiling is of Queen Elizabeth of Bohemia (born Stuart) , "The Winter Queen." We know that in 1620 her husband, Friedrich V of Bohemia, visited nearby Nysa accompanied by Gabriel von Hundt, owner of our house. Elizabeth was daughter of James I of England, and VI of Scotland, and was grandmother of the United Kingdom’s George I.
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, maybe as a reward for being on the right side in the Silesian War between Frederick the Great of Prussia and Maria-Theresa of Austria, 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. They left with the approach of the Red Army.
During Polish communist times the house was used by five families from the local collective farm (PGR), but was badly neglected. There was also a kindergarten and the village hall.
Only since Anna and I started rescuing it from dereliction in 2007 has its beauty once more become apparent. Conservation work continues, we think we are 14 years into a 25 year restoration, so be prepared for a little restoration work going on around you. If you are lucky, your visit might coincide with work by a skilled conservationist.
Activities: 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 guest flats - 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.
Children love it too. We have six, ages 16 down to 7, and they are so lucky to be growing up here. The freedom to explore the buildings and park, build dens, look at the animals, climb a tree or a stack of straw. Make a noise, kick a football, ride bikes, charge about, and all in relative safety, and nearby are some good wild swimming options with rocks to jump off, and one place with a beach for smaller and non-swimming children. If you have children, they can do all this here too.

Accommodation: 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. If your group doesn’t mind mattresses in the attic, then 40 people. 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!

Flat 1
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.
Separate toilet
Faces West and looks over the pond


Flat 2. The Old Kitchen Flat
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 its 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

Flat 3. The Arch Room
Location: downstairs, off the courtyard. It’s suitable couple, or a couple with small children, all in the same large, arched room, with its own bathroom and toilet. There’s a double bed and we sometimes put extra beds in there.
There is no kitchen, you can use the one upstairs.
Other rooms
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. There is also a balcony.
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 Tower Room
The tower has been made into a bedroom. It has its own bathroom and toilet underneath. Ideal for a couple, or a family with small children who would enjoy the adventure of sleeping in a tower.

Other accommodation, not in the palace
Flat 4
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

Flat 5
Location: also in the building opposite. Unmodernised 2 bedroom flat with a kitchen.

The upstairs kitchen in the palace 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. We use it for catering to our larger groups. Guests can use this kitchen too, and up to 80 people can dine in the ballroom.

In the ballroom is an excellent Yamaha grand piano, the best instrument in the region, regularly maintained by the top piano technician from Wroclaw, 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, and larger groups often put their tents in the park, or sleep in camper vans.
There are other rooms in the village. Single and double rooms in private houses.

What this place offers

Kitchen
Wifi
Dedicated workspace
Free parking on premises
Pets allowed
EV charger
Washing machine
Bath
Private patio or balcony
Private backyard – Not fully fenced

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4.83 out of 5 stars from 153 reviews

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Where you’ll be

Otmuchow, Poland

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 is great wild swimming in old quarries, the nearest is 6 km. . Our own park is lovely and of course we are very proud of our house. Beautiful landscapes with the Czech Rychlebsky Mountains as backdrop, and often, spectacular skies. Many bird species, for example, 3 types of owl in our park.

Hosted by Jim

  1. Joined in April 2011
  • 153 Reviews
  • Identity verified
I'm an English author turned historic house restorer (and I'll write about this amazing Big House adventure soon too).
My wife Anna is Polish. We have six small children, a dog, a cat and a lot of geese and chickens

English is my native language,
Je parle couramment le français
I speak Japanese 私は日本に3年住んでいた。私は日本語を話す. また、私は日本語を読むことができ
I can also speak and read enough German. Ich lese Deutsch ohne Problem. Ich bin nicht fließend, aber ich spreche genug
Anna's native language is Polish. She speaks fluent English. And understands Czech
I'm an English author turned historic house restorer (and I'll write about this amazing Big House adventure soon too).
My wife Anna is Polish. We have six small children, a d…

During your stay

We like to meet our guests. Though, in these Covid times, we keep our distance. Airbnb is wonderful for meeting interesting people and some have become good friends and regular visitors. We do advertise elsewhere, but the best people are from Airbnb! I like to show people around and explain our ongoing Big House Rescue Project. It’s a big house, so you might have to come looking for us if you want a tour. We have a lovely professional standard Yamaha C3 grand piano for musicians, recently reconditioned. We have six bilingual (English-Polish) children - they like meeting guest-children - and are learning German in school. There’s huge outdoor space and barns, ideal for going a little wild if you want to. Kids love it
We like to meet our guests. Though, in these Covid times, we keep our distance. Airbnb is wonderful for meeting interesting people and some have become good friends and regular vis…
  • Languages: Čeština, English, Français, Deutsch, 日本語, Polski, Español
  • Response rate: 86%
  • Response time: within a few hours
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Things to know

House rules

No smoking
Pets are allowed

Health & safety

Airbnb's COVID-19 safety practices apply
Nearby lake, river, other body of water
Carbon monoxide alarm
Smoke alarm

Cancellation policy