Chojnik Castle has been standing proudly on the hill above Sobieszów city for centuries overlooking the stunning area. You can see the Karkonosze Mountains, the Izerskie Mountains, the Jelenia Góra Valley, the Kaczawskie Mountains from the castle.
Chojnik Castle was built in 1292 by Piast Duke Bolko I the Strict in place of a former hunting lodge. His grandson, Bolko II, in the 14 century, reconstructed the castle. After his death, the castle was sold to the Schaffgotsch family and stayed in the family until the 16th century.
The stronghold was a fortification, and its location significantly strengthened its defensive value. Not only was the castle located on the top of Chojnik Mountain, but also it was located by a cliff falling into a 150-meter deep abyss, overlooking the Hell’s Valley. The castle withstood the turmoil of times and was never conquered; however, in 1675, it burnt down entirely after being struck by lightning and was not reconstructed afterward.
The ruins of Chojnik are tied to the myth of Kunegunda, a castle lord’s daughter desired by many knights. She was picky and didn’t want to marry an unremarkable knight, so she came up with an idea of how to escape the unwanted marriage. She promised her hand to the brave man who would complete round along the castle’s walls on horseback. The quest was tricky as the castle was standing on a cliffside, and the chances of survival for the knights were negligible. Many tried and died until a handsome daredevil came along. At first sight, she fell in love with him and was willing to forgo the quest, afraid he would perish like the others before him. He declined the offer and went to complete the task. After finishing the obstacle, instead of marrying her, he scolded her for her cruelty and departed. Kunegunda, deeply humiliated and heartbroken, lunged herself into the abyss.
It takes around 30 minutes to an hour to get to the castle with any of the trails. Even if you are in as bad shape as us (thanks Corona kilos) and have to roll very slowly up the hill 🙂
A couple of trails will take you to the castle, but in order not to backtrack, I would suggest going up with the black trail, which later connects to the red one on the way up. Afterward, use a yellow-green-red route to go back. We were delighted we did it in that order, as on the way back we went down many stairs, that for our out of shape bodies, would be torture if we were to climb them up :p
While going up with the black trail, check out Zbójnickie Rocks. After climbing a couple of the stones, you can see a 20-meter-long narrow crevice cave called Dziurawy Kamień. The black trail is not difficult; there are some rocks you need to hike up, but nothing challenging. The red path is paved, making it easier to walk up but taking some charm out of a stroll in a forest. I like stepping past roots and stones; it makes hiking more interesting 🙂
You need to pay a fee at the entrance to Karkonosze National Park (card or cash) and then at the castle. However, at the castle entrance, you need to have some money; they don’t take cards.
When you are in the castle, in the courtyard, you can listen to some stories about the place (only in Polish, though). Take a stroll through the castle and marvel at the amazing landscapes you can see from the castle.
Check out the old chapel and climb the tower with a beautiful view of the Karkonosze and Jelenia Góra Valley.