this 700 year old castle is one of the most interesting and important houses in Southern Poland. The beautiful countryside is great for hiking, horse riding, swimming, skiing - and also for relaxing. It's a wonderful welcoming place for children
We have several newly renovated self-catering apartments and rooms in this house, once the Prince-Bishop of Wroclaw's private palace. It’s nice 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. Quite often we host 15 people from a family, say, or a group of friends, or people looking for a retreat. Several musicians have stayed here to compose, and a writer looking to hide away somewhere would find this place to be ideal.
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.
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.
If Airbnb says we are booked, send us a message. We may have space. This website only allows one booking per listing. Our price is per person. It gets a little cheaper after two people. Prices are higher in high season. This is a very big house - a schloss, a palace, a chateau. There is usually space somewhere. It's great for a reunion for up to 30 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 we're only 3 km from the Czech Republic.
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).
Also, in summer, there is an organic vegetable garden, and our chickens usually produce enough eggs for us to share. We can buy local honey, unpasteurised milk, butter, venison, wild boar, meat, bacon, sausages. We make jams and traditional pickles. Our chickens, geese, turkeys 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 or Vidnava) 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 a stunning 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 7 years into a 10 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.
There 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 a very 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.
Or, if you are planning a big event, we can cater, using vegetables from our own garden, home made sausages and hams from the village and local cooks. For example, each year we entertain 200 people to the the Piotrowice Nyskie International Rugby Festival in mid-August. This was short-listed for Rugby Event if the Year in 2012 (beaten by the USA 7s in Las Vegas!).
We quite often host family reunions, and this is a perfect place for a wedding. 100 people can be sat for dinner in the house. Or up to 200 in one of the enormous barns.
This is also a great place for kids. We have five, and they are so lucky to be growing up here.
Arguably, this the finest private house in Opolski Silesia. We do our best to preserve as much of the ancient fabric as possible. We are very proud of it and want to show it off. Not all the work is finished, and so this is an opportunity to see craftsmen at work on an important historic building. There is occasional disruption, but we always try not to inconvenience guests.
We don't restrict guests. There are no "roped off areas" in this house. What's the point of staying in a castle if you can't go exploring the tower and the cellars and the barns?
Interaction with Guests
We like to meet our guests. 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. We have a lovely professional standard grand piano for musicians
the region is soft and scenic, there's lots to do, good horses on the Czech side, skiing too, and cycling terrain for serious athletes, or families who don't want to go too far. Our own park is lovely and of course we are very proud of our house
there are local busses, a train and busses (eg from Krakow) to Nysa. On the Czech side, there's a train to Horni Hermanice only 5 km away from Prague. (It's a lovely trip).
Nearest airport is Wroclaw, a 75 minute drive, further are Katowice and Ostrava (2 hours), Krakow and Prague (3 hours)
Other Things to Note
a countryside stay between city breaks. We get a lot of visitors going from Krakow to Prague, or Berlin to Krakow. There are few better houses for a big reunion, family or friends. Or a party. We can for parties for up to 200 in the Big Party Barn. There is other accommodation locally for big groups, and also space for tents, and dry indoor camping in our barns too (we have 7 enormous buildings). We love to meet old car people. If you want a little work done on your car while here, we can do it
This is a family home not a hotel. Relax, and don't be too demanding! Well mannered people don't need to be told a set of rules, so we have none, apart from no smoking in the rooms.
We have small children, who speak English and Polish, a dog who barks - but never bites, six sheep and a cat.
You will have your own kitchen, access to a washing machine and so on, your own private space. There are also four hectares (10 acres) of grounds.
You can keep yourselves to yourselves, but we're friendly helpful people too, and very proud of what we have achieved in the rescue of this important, historic old house, and keen to share our enthusiasm for it.
Celebramos el cumpleaños de un amigo en esta casa. Es enorme. Eramos unas 25 personas y dormimos todos sin problemas, incluso si hubieramos sido más, podríamos haber dormido bien tambien.
Jim y su mujer son muy agradables, y sus hijos encantadores.
Casa recomendada 100%.
Замечательное место, с потрясающей атмосферой! Мы провели там прекрасное время двумя семьями. С нами было 5 детей и никому не было скучно. Большая территория, хорошие условия проживания, красивая природа вокруг. Джим и Анна - чудесные гостеприимные и дружественные люди. Нам посчастливилось попасть во Дворец, когда старший сын Джима давал концерт. Это было волшебно - и это украсило наш Рождественский вечер, который мы встретили там. Было очень приятно прикоснуться к частичке истории в этом Дворце. Хотя прошло только 2 дня, но уже мечтаю попасть туда еще раз - летом.
We (group of 11 people) spend 5 days around the New Years Eve at the castle, incl the ballroom party. Its was really peaceful and quiet here. The apartments are really nice & comfortable, it was very cosy sitting around the fireplace in the kitchen/livingroom.
We thinking about revisiting Jim in summer!
What a find! We loved our stay here. A beautiful place in a lovely quiet spot. Jim was the perfect host and we enjoyed hearing about the history of the building , the renovations, and life in a quiet Polish village. We will definitely be back and can highly recommend a stay here.
This airbnb listing is a palace, exactly as stated. We have spent a night here on our location scouting trip for a large family camp in August 2015 and we where so impressed with the efforts that Jim and Anna have made in restoring the palace to it's former beauty, that we have choose to have that event here. The Fotos are not giving the whole extent of the palace rooms and grounds, just be assured that there is much more to see, than your guest rooms.
Jim has been an excellent host, friendly and caring. We felt very welcomed and really enjoyed staying in the palace for a couple of days. The surroundings are lovely, a bit secluded and perfect for a nature retreat. Would recommend anytime.
Jim and Anna made us feel really welcome and Jim was kind enough to pick us up and bring us to his lovely house. We stayed in an apartment made up of one wing of the lower floor of the house. We had a kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and living room (with fireplace) to ourselves. We came to work on writing projects and we were very productive as the area is very quiet. The house is about 7km from the nearest shop, so stock up on your way.
Thanks Jim and Anna!
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 five small children, a dog, several cats and half a dozen sheep
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 languag is Polish. She speaks fluent English. And understands Czech