Not far from the town of Leszno, exploring the castle's many nooks and corners the sensation is of walking through a magical, dreamlike kingdom that’s not entirely of this world.
The tunnels, built 15-to-50m below ground level and supervised by senior Nazi Fritz Todt, could contain looted treasure, secret documents and even chemical weapons laboratories.
With towers, countless rooms, a labyrinth of cellars, a phantom horseman and legends of buried treasure, Krzyżtopór Castle has more than enough to entertain a visitor.
Nestled on a rocky promontory, surrounded by dense, moody forests, there’s an element of mysticism that comes unshakably attached. Looking at it from afar, its everything a castle should be: ominous and striking but with a fairy tale dazzle.
Funded by King Władysław Jagiełło, the medieval ruler of Lithuania and Poland, and painted by a small group of masters, the polychromes were completed in 1418.
Who can fail to be enraptured rolling into Reszel. As far as arrivals go, it’s the kind of entrance that sends spirits soaring: puttering across an arcing Gothic bridge that spans the River Sajna, cars pootle past neat lines of townhouses before coming to a standstill in front of a hulking fortress. Even in the warm glow of a summer sunset, there’s something about it that feels ominous and heavy.
The First News talks to Brit who turned Polish palace into family home – and more.