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Among the white Jurassic cliffs

Among the white Jurassic cliffs

Ojców Castle

Practical information

Ojców Castle:

open daily,
from the 2nd half of Apr. – May and Aug. – Sept.: 10.00 AM – 4.45 PM;
Jul. – Aug.: 10.00 AM - 5.45 PM;
Oct.: 10.00 AM – 3.45 PM;
1st half Nov.: 10.00 AM – 2.45 PM.

Getting there
The castle lies 30 km from Krakow: take Road No. 94 north and head toward Olkusz. Then follow the side road through Sąspów. Other routes: take Road No. 794 to Skała and then follow Road No. 773 in the direction of Olkusz, to the Prądnik Valley and Ojców. There is a car park at the foot of Castle Hill. Minibuses run from Krakow, as do ordinary buses at weekends from May to September.
Legend has it that the place name, Ojców, meaning ‘fathers’, came about thanks to Kazimierz the Great. He is supposed to have named the castle, built at his bidding, ‘Father on the Cliff’, in connection with an event in the life of his father, Władysław the Elbow-High (King Władysław I). The legend tells of how he took refuge in the Prądnik Valley during the battle for Krakow being fought out with the Czech king, Wenceslas II. There is a grain of truth inherent in the legend; the stone castle standing on the site of an earlier stronghold was, indeed, built at the command of Kazimierz the Great. It was one of the more important of the fortresses lining the Krakow-Częstochowa Jurassic Highland Chain and it was here that the Starosta of Ojców, the royal official, lived. The castle was occupied until the end of the 18th century; indeed, in 1787, the last king of Poland, Stanisław August Poniatowski, was received as a guest here. However, following the Partitions, the building fell into ruins. Fragments of the walls survive to this day, as does one of the towers and the gate tower, which houses a small museum. The land on which Ojców Castle stands is now part of the Ojców National Park.

What else is worth seeing?
The legend of the origins of Ojców, the place name, is bound up with a cave on Mount Chelmowa. Known as Elbow-High’s Grotto or Elbow-High’s Cave, it was here that the future king took refuge from his foes. The cave can be reached by ascending from Ojców along the black trail. On the way, it is well worth choosing the route which leads by a pass carved into the limestone and known as the Krakovian Gate.

Elbow-High’s Cave (Jaskinia Łokietka),

open daily,
from the 2nd half of Apr.: 9.00 AM – 3.30 PM
May – Aug.: 9.00 AM – 6.30 PM
Sept.: 9.00 AM – 5.30 PM
Oct.: 9.00 AM – 4.30 PM
  • Program regionalny
  • województwo maloposkie
  • Unia Europejska
The following Project is cofinanced by the European Union under the Małopolska Regional Operational Programme for the years 2007 – 2013