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Published Date:
Thu, 20 Aug 2015 13:21:55 +0000
Blog Post Category:
Arts & Culture
<p>Palaces and castles are the stuff of fairy tales, usually, but Poland has a host of them in varying degrees of decay. Once a powerful corner of Eastern Europe, the country suffered a Swedish invasion in the 17th century, devastation by both Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union during World War II and <a href="">neglect during the Communist era</a>. Over time, that’s led to a lot of ruined castles in the country.</p><p>In some cases, developers are now <a href="">trying to reinvigorate</a> these grand properties, turning them into museums where visitors can gaze at the ornate details and learn more about Polish history. Some are now hotels. But others are simply a shell, a ruin, merely hinting at what was there hundreds of years before. And while fans of decay may enjoy these the most, Polish developers are looking to turn things around, motivated by a sense of national pride in addition to profit. “Why should the Germans have their castles on the Rhine, the French their castles on the Loire, why should the Czechs have so many castles open to the visitors and why should the Poles have only ruins?” one of the rebuilders of a medieval castle <a href="">told the Associated Press</a> in 2011. Another developer noted that the medieval and Renaissance periods, from which many of the castles date, were a golden age for the country—“a time when Poland was known in Europe, <a href="">when Poland mattered</a>.”</p><p>Today, each of Poland’s castles bears the stories of a slew of owners and inhabitants. After all, a structure that’s lasted five, six, or even seven centuries has seen hundreds of people live and die there. Read on for seven of Poland’s most interesting sites of ruin and repair:</p>
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