In the vicinity of approx. 800 m from Książ, on a steep cliff, on the left shore of Pełcznica, you can discover the Old Książ Castle, built in the years 1794–1797 from the initiative of Hans Heinrich VI von Hochberg. This 18th century construction was designed by Christian Wilhelm Tischbein as gothic style ruins, fashionable at that time.
Artificial ruins were erected in the place of a fortified castle that probably existed in the Middle Ages. The castle offers the visitor a number of rooms, including a prison with a chamber of torture, court room, arsenal, bedroom, paintings gallery. The castle served as a place where the Książ owners could receive visitors and organize receptions and entertainment.
A tournament square constituted one of the castle’s elements. The first tournament was held on 20 May 1799. The show was observed by around 1000 people, among whom was John Quincy Adams – American minister at the court in Berlin, the later president of the United States of America, as well as the Prussian royal couple, which came to Książ from Bukowiec.
In the half of the 19th century, the castle was practically transformed into a tourist facility. There were a restaurant, kitchen and sleeping rooms on the ground floor, and in summer season tables were placed on the courtyard.
The developed tourist route from Świebodzice to Szczawno Zdrój crossed the Old Książ. Vantage points with granite benches and several inns were situated along the way and roads were constantly improved. For a long time the Old Książ Castle played the role of a museum with richly furnished interior. Guests were guided around the museum by a castellan, at first for a tip and later for a small fee.
On May 1945, when Książ was taken over by soldiers of the Soviet Army, the castle burnt entirely. Only minor fragments of the main building, chapel and tower, two Renaissance portals and pointed-arched windows have been preserved until today. But they're still very charming.
When I revocer, I'm going back there!
Old Książ Castle, Wałbrzych, Poland.
Familie von Hochberg?