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The Castle:
Past and Present

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KEY HISTORICAL EVENTS

Part 1
1288 – 1292

Bolko I "The Strict", Prince of Świdnica and Jawor from the Piast Dynasty, orders the construction of the "Key to Silesia", today's Książ Castle

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I 1288 – 1292

Bolko I, known as "The Strict", Prince of Świdnica and Jawor from the Piast Dynasty, ordered the construction of the "Key to Silesia", today's Książ Castle.

One legend holds that the prince, as a young squire, lost his way in the surrounding woods. Long searching for his way back, he came across the heights of Książ where, as he gazed at the surrounding expanse of forest, they aroused an uncanny, enchanted feeling. In this place of wonders, he found a black stone (a coal) that he gave to the king. For this gift, his master authorized him to build defensive fortifications on these unusual heights which, according to this legend, thus received the later name of "Fürstenstein": the Prince's Stone. In another account, it was Aphrodite herself who led Bollko I to this sublime place. Many similar stories emphasize Ksiaz Castle's magical origins.

1382

The first appearance of “Fürstenstein” (The Prince’s Stone), the castle’s name until 1945

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II 1382

The first appearance of “Fürstenstein”, the castle’s name until 1945.

Until the beginning of the 1950s the designation “Księżno” also appeared; this name later changed to today’s “Książ”..

1509

The beginnings of the von Hochberg family’s rule over Książ, spanning over 400 years

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III 1509

This year marked the beginning of the von Hochberg family’s rule over Książ, which lasted until 1938, thus over 400 years.

This year marked the beginning of the von Hochberg family’s rule over Książ, which lasted until 1938, thus over 400 years. The Książ dynastic line began with the knight Konrad von Hoberg (until 1714, the name was spelled without the letters “ch”), also known as Kunz von Hoberg, who took over the entire property for an unknown sum in gold. The purchased estate included the strongly fortified Fürstenstein chateau; the Hornsberg and Freudenburg manor stables, destroyed during the Hussite wars; a part of the territory of Gottesberg (today the nearby town of Boguszów) and a series of villages, the oldest of which was probably Salzbrunn (today’s Szczawno-Zdrój, adjacent to Wałbrzych). The nobles’ income came largely from taxes paid in cash and in kind by the town (and especially by the peasantry). Konrad von Hoberg was very pious, as is best demonstrated by his generous donations to the monasteries in nearby Liebenthal (Lubomierz) and Striegau (Strzegom), and his two-year pilgrimage to Palestine, beginning in 1504. When he took possession of Fürstenstein, Konrad (Kunz) von Hoberg was almost 60, a venerable age for these times.

After Konrad passed away in Fürstenstein Castle on June 30, 1520, his estate was jointly managed by his three sons, Georg, Christoph and Hans. Konrad had had, notably, as many as 11 children by his first wife. After some time, the estate was settled: Hans von Hoberg inherited Fürstenstein along with the properties of Freiburg (the neighbouring town of Świebodzice), Friedland and Hornsberg, while Georg took control of Rohnstock (Roztoka), and Christoph the possessions of Liebhau, Arnsdorf (Miłków), Olse, Halbendorf and Rauder, lying near Fürstenstein.

1548 –1565

Christoph’s eldest son, Konrad II, takes possession of the estate and introduces a new order to the mines of the region

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IV 1548 –1565

Christoph’s eldest son, Konrad II, took over the estate after numerous troubles. He would meet with various difficulties, mostly involving King Władysław.

Konrad II von Hoberg was the castle’s owner until 1565. This young knight first involved himself in the development of the mining activity that his father had begun. In 1550, as a result of this work, he brought new order to the local mining industry. In doing so, he was mindful of the needs of the workers, as well as those of lower status. His fatherly concern was reflected in the growth in population in the Waldenburg region’s nearly-deserted villages, such as Donnerau and Raspenau. It is owing to him that the area began to teem with new life. New settlers came to places which people had left following the Hussite wars and the conflicts between kings Władysław and Matthias; Steinau (Nowy Kamień), Steingrund (today Kamieńsk, a district of Jedlina Zdrój) and Bärengrund (Niedźwiedzica) came to life again.

Konrad II’s colonization efforts won the notice of the Emperor Ferdinand, who nominated him to the Imperial Council in 1560; two years later his accession to this prestigious rank was confirmed. He is credited with the addition of further possessions to the Fürstenstein estate. At that time there arose, among other villages, Fellhammer (Kużnice) and Lehmwasser (Glinica), both first mentioned in 1557; and Neu-Liebichau. On July 1, 1555, Konrad II reached a milestone in the strengthening of his title to Fürstenstein: on the strength of a royal act of that date, the castle’s relationship with the Crown was renewed. For a substantial amount in mortgage bonds, Konrad received the assurance that Fürstenstein would belong to him, or to his sons or to their heirs, as long as they lived. The king’s positive disposition was brought about by Konrad’s payment of 5,000 Rhenish guilders to the king’s account, as well as his assurance that the rights to the mines, as a Hoberg possession, would also be reserved for the crown. So as long as the royal stamp and letter were a guarantee, Fürstenstein appeared to be assured for Konrad and his male heirs.

March 17, 1683

Hans Heinrich II receives the hereditary title of count, strengthening the Hochberg line.

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V March 17, 1683

Hans Heinrich II von Hoberg, on the authority of a diploma signed by Emperor Leopold II, received the hereditary title of Count, or Reichsgraf (count of the Empire), thus strengthening the Hochberg family line. From this time, the family was part of the German aristocracy.

Hans Heinrich II’s exceptional courage distinguished him during the Swedish wars. He also belonged to the movement known as Silesian mysticism, which in those times had numerous followers. His inclinations were expressed not only in particular writings that he published, but also in his establishment of associations with curious names and orientations. They may have also pursued political objectives. Notably, mysticism was based on the conviction that good prevails in the world, manifesting itself both as God and humanity.

1705

The first great castle reconstruction, known as the Baroque reconstruction, under Count Konrad Ernst Maximilian.

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VI 1722 – 1732

1705 – 1742 – The first great castle reconstruction, known as the Baroque reconstruction.

The work began with the reconstruction of the distinctive entrance to the castle area: the twin-towered gate building, of which one of the towers was part of the previous fortifications. As a result of the first reconstruction, the castle gained the character of a palace. The east wing was added at this time, in which there was created a series of rooms, representative of the Baroque: the Portrait Salon (today, the Green Salon), the Red Salon (today, the White Salon), today’s Chinese Salon (which once served as a waiting room for the Hochbergs’ less important guests), the Games Room (previously a music room) the Baroque Salon (also called the Italian Salon), and above all the distinctive Maximilian Hall, known then as the Marble Hall. During the reconstruction, the area previously outside the castle grounds was developed, becoming the parade courtyard.

The reconstruction took place under Count Konrad Ernst Maximilian, who also enriched the castle library with costly collections. He further provided the basis of a large archive and established an art study in which there were collections devoted to science and nature, and instruments for physics and optics, all of huge historical value – a veritable Kunstkammer, or hall of curiosities. Inventories of the castle collections in December 1924 and June 1925 show the diversity of the collections that included the Hochbergs’ family keepsakes: portraits of family members, orders (such as the order of Hans Heinrich XI, the Prince of Pless, and among them the Order of the Hohenzollerns, the Order of the Black Eagle, the Great Cross of the Knights of St. John, the Star of the Red Cross), coin collections, containing among other specimens , five tynf silver coins of 1753 bearing Frederick the Great’s likeness, a Polish grosz coin from Breslau (Wrocław) from the year 1668, and two Polish silver coins from 1622 to 1623, during Zygmunt III’s reign, and practical items (a two-piece spittoon belonging to Napoleon II, a dish with streamers and a gold- and pearl-studded cup), weapons and parts of weapons: a sword in a leather scabbard in a gilded hilt, and found in the nearby Sowa Mountains, a cannonball and musical instruments, such as a bamboo flute and a five-part flute.

Konrad Ernst Maximilian von Hochberg was also a tireless researcher of his own family’s history. It is thanks to the material that he put together in the Breslau Royal Archives, that we now have so much information about the line. Further, he met with the best-known genealogists and administrative specialists of his time to determine even the smallest facts concerning his family. Count Konrad Ernst Maximilian commissioned the treatment of the entirety of the collected material to Johann Gottlieb Milch and then, following his death, to Johann Gottlieb Kloss. The results of the work were collected in a manuscript titled Fürstensteinische Denkwürdigkeit (Memoirs of Fürstenstein). On the basis of this work commissioned by the Count of Pless, the castle librarian Paul Kerber assembled the history of the family in two extensive volumes.

1734

The Summer Pavilion is built near the castle, today the Hochberg Mausoleum with the frescoes of
F. Scheffler

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VII 1734

The Summer Pavilion, today the Hochberg Mausoleum, was constructed on the Poplar Heights near the Castle.

Until 1883, the pavilion fulfilled the role of a belvedere: a scenic lookout, as well as a place for entertainment and enjoying the natural surroundings. In the Mausoleum may be admired the frescoes of the well-known artist Feliks Scheffler, presenting Książ Castle from the four corners of the world.

1794 – 1797

Not far from Książ, Old Książ is built, in the style of romantic castle ruins

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VIII 1794 – 1797

Near Książ, “Old Książ” was built, in the style of romantic castle ruins, designed by Wilhelm Christian Tischbein.

A restaurant operated in the area of the Old Castle until the end of World War II; guests also had four rooms at their disposal, and within the structure the collection of the Hochberg Museum was displayed. To this day, those who view drawings of the former Old Książ find this arrangement remarkable. It comes as no surprise that many people visited the castle, among others Karl May (the author of Winnetou and numerous other works).

August 19, 1800

In the courtyard of Old Książ, the last Silesian tournament of knights in honour of the royal couple of Prussia

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IX August 19, 1800

The courtyard of Old Książ witnessed the last Silesian tournament of knights in honour of the Prussian royal couple: King Friedrich Wilhelm III and Queen Luise.

During the tournament, representatives of Silesia’s leading families appeared in the knightly outfits of the fourteenth century. Each nobleman appeared with his squire and horse, and Queen Luise decorated the victors with medals on blue sash.

1848 – 1850

Hans Heinrich X receives, for his successors as well as himself, the title of Prince of Pless. The prestige and material significance of the Hochberg line grows.

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X 1848 – 1850

Hans Heinrich X von Hochberg received, by the authority of two imperial decrees, the title of Prince of Pless – for himself and his successors.

Because of the trust that others placed in him, he was chosen the first president of Prussia’s House of Lords. After Hans Heinrich X’s death in 1855, no less a figure than King Friedrich Wilhelm IV wrote, in consolation: “The Lord knows that I mourn him with all my heart: as my trusted friend, as the highest example of his station in life, and as a human being who, wherever he went, sowed love and in return reaped love, attention, respect and gratitude.” (Zivier, E.: Fürstenstein 1509- 1909, p. 24).

1856

Hans Heinrich XI, the most illustrious of the Hochbergs, becomes the master of Książ.

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XI 1856

Count von Hochberg and the Prince of Pless; in his final years, even the Herzog von Pleß.

The title of Archduke was the highest princely title that one could receive, outside of the ruling family. It was not, unfortunately for this magnate, a hereditary title, and so granted only for his own life. On 20 December, 1905, the Emperor’s adjutant travelled by special train to Pless, bearing the document that granted the title. The good wishes of the Emperor himself were expressed in a telegram that arrived some hours later. A special reception took place in the evening in the palace in Pless, and the next day, the town’s residents expressed their joy in a festive march, marking the occasion of their prince receiving this title.

They cheered Hans Heinrich XI as a figure who was well ahead of his time. He brought about substantial development in industry in the region and for over half a century, with the tolerant and compassionate eyes that he inherited from his father, saw not only to the physical growth of the area, but also to the nurturing of its “inner value”. Above all, he brought about numerous changes and improvements; for example, the establishment of roads, parks and wooded areas made the family property, already well endowed by nature, all the more charming.

Hochberg’s benevolence supported social organizations, churches (and, what was truly unusual, regardless of the religious denomination) and schools. On July 1, 1982, at the initiative of Hans Heinrich XI, a cooking school was established, in the present-day Podgórza district of Wałbrzych, for the daughters of the region’s miners. By the end of 1900, 347 girls had attended the school, of whom 129 received their instruction free of charge. They learned not only cooking, but also home economics, subsequently being employed in the wealthy homes of the area. Evening classes were organized for young workers, who benefitted from 90-minute lessons, three times a week, in German, accounting, geography and history, as well as mining safety regulations. These classes were obligatory for young people under 16 years of age.

Hans Heinrich also provided for burials, for help for those who needed medical care, and for the widowed, disabled and elderly. Women who had just given birth would receive, for three weeks, nutritious soup, free of charge. Hans Heinrich’s work in this area became, later, the basis of Chancellor Otto von Bismarck’s social reforms. He financed the construction of blocks of flats for miners and the establishment of a pre-school and workers’ libraries. In 1891 the prince’s charity supported an inexpensive pre-school, where a child could stay for a day with two meals for only five German pfennigs (at the time, a pound of margarine cost 75 pfennigs, and eight medium-sized herring, 20 pfennigs).

Poor school-age children were supported through the Ida Foundation (the Count von Hochberg Foundation), which had existed since the middle of the 19th century, when Hans Heinrich X established it in honour of his first wife, Ida (de domo Stechow). At the end of the nineteenth century, the family members' charity amounted to 60,000 marks per year.

He contributed significantly to the construction of Wałbrzych’s Catholic Church of the Guardian Angels, built according to Alexis Lange’s design and consecrated by Cardinal Georg Kopp.

Hans Heinrich XI von Hochberg financed improvements to the sanitary conditions of Walbrzych’s residents. At the beginning of the twentieth century, Hans Heinrich XI allocated 300,000 German marks to partial reconstruction of the channelling of the local stream, the Pełcznica, and its tributary, the Szczawnik. (The whole cost would amount to 1,250,000 marks.)

During his rule, the library in Książ was expanded, becoming the second-largest private library in Silesia (second only to the Schaffgotsch Library in Cieplica). In 1897 the library was moved to a gate building, rebuilt and adapted to this purpose.

In the middle of the year 1900, Hans Heinrich XI organized, with all his workers, the giving of a silver watch to each person who had been in the prince’s service for 25 years. The watch was engraved with the dedication: “For 25 years of faithful service, the Prince of Pless.” The choice of award, however, was up to the worker; those who did not prefer to receive a watch could receive cash of the equivalent value. The award ceremony took place in the business office of the Prince of Pless in Wałbrzych, usually in January, during a meeting to celebrate the new year.

Hans Heinrich XI’s son was Hans Heinrich XV, who married the castle’s famous princess, Daisy. Although this British beauty’s marriage is considered to have been unhappy, she maintained a great friendship with her father-in-law whom she viewed, not without reason, as a wonderful person.

Hans Heinrich XI passed away on August 14, 1907, following a long illness, in Albrechtsberg Castle, one of the small castles along the Elbe River near Dresden. What he did and left behind were a most beautiful mark of his presence on earth.

1883

The Hochberg’s Summer Pavilion is transformed into a sepulchral chapel, or Mausoleum.

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XII 1883

The Hochberg’s Summer Pavilion was transformed into a sepulchral chapel, also called the Mausoleum.

A capacious crypt was dug on the rock where the mausoleum stands, and where burials took place. The first to be laid to rest in the Mausoleum was the unnamed daughter of the castle’s last owners, Princess Daisy and Hans Heinrich XV. Hans Heinrich XI Hochberg von Pless and his two wives, Maria von Kleist and Mathilde, and finally Książ’s last mistress, Daisy von Pless, also found here their place of rest. When the Red Army occupied the area in 1945, the Hochberg’s servants took Daisy, and the other members of her line, from the Mausoleum. It is not known where they were reburied.

Because of a legend that Princess Daisy was buried along with her pearl necklace, over six metres long, a number of treasure hunters have tried to locate the place where her body was laid.

It is likely that Konrad, the four-year old son of Hans Heinrich XV and his second wife, Clotilde, was also buried by the Mausoleum, in 1934, after dying of meningitis. Why was the young master not buried in the same crypt? It is believed that the reason was Clotilde’s status: she never had the title of Princess of Pless. Likewise, Konrad’s body was never found.

At present, there are four empty sarcophagi: three large stone coffins, connected to one another (in which there lay Hans Heinrich XI, and on either side his wives), and one tiny coffin, for Daisy’s baby daughter.

December 8, 1891

Princess Daisy and Hans Heinrich XV are married in St. Margaret’s Church

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XIII December 8, 1891

In St. Margaret’s Church of London’s Westminster Abbey, Maria Theresa Olivia Cornwallis-West, known as Daisy, was married to Hans Heinrich XV Hochberg von Pless.

The wedding vows were witnessed by Edward, the Prince of Wales (and later the King of England) and his wife, Princess Alexandra; Queen Victoria herself conferred her personal blessings on the married couple.

After the wedding, which was the talk of all of Europe’s powerful nobility, the couple set off on a honeymoon which lasted not the usual one month, but seven. Not surprisingly, the first place they travelled to was romantic Paris. It was there where Hans Heinrich XV bought his bride the famous pearl necklace, which cost 3,500,000 German marks in gold. Next, they went to explore the extraordinary lands of North Africa. The newlyweds arrived in Książ Castle in July, 1892: the first time when the young Daisy saw Książ.

1895

Princess Daisy von Pless begins keeping her diary, published later as Better Left Unsaid

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XIV 1895

Princess Daisy von Pless began keeping a diary, which today serves as a valuable source of information about the relations that prevailed in the Hochberg family, as well as the character of the epoch that the princess lived through

On October 15, 1902, we can read: „Hans [Hans Heinrich XV - ZK] is very anxious to have, some day, the Embassy in Vienna; they would all like it there: but Berlin I suppose think us to young to be given it now. Hans (…) said tonight: „the best way to get what we want is for me to make a rumpus in the House of Lords, or for you to make the Crown Prince fall in love with you; that will make them anxious to get us out of the country!” I do not see either of these schemes a success. The Crown Prince has a very careful and jealous mama; and Hans, I am afraid, could not make the requisite rumpus to save his life”. ( Daisy. Princess of Pless „Better left unsaid”, New York 1931, str. 62 – 63).

The diaries of this remarkable and defiant princess were published in the U.S. in 1931, under the title Better Left Unsaid; a Polish version, titled Lepiej przemilczeć, is available from the Książ Castle internet store..

1897

The famous Hochberg library, numbering 60 thousand volumes, is taken from the castle to the gate building

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XV 1897

The Hochberg’s famous library was moved from the castle to the gate building, which was rebuilt and adapted to the needs of a collection of books.

The collection, numbering over 60 thousand volumes, remained in the gate building until the end of the Second World War. A part of the collection was destroyed or stolen after the war; some volumes may be found in various places in Poland, such as the National Ossoliński Institute (Ossolineum) in Wrocław and the National Library in Warsaw; one work may be found in the Museum in Wałbrzych. To this day, the fate of most of the Hochberg library collection remains unknown.

February 2, 1900

Hans Heinrich XVII, the eldest son of Princess Daisy and Hans Heinrich XV, is born

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XVI February 2, 1900

The birth of the eldest son of Princess Daisy and Hans Heinrich XV, Hans Heinrich XVIII.

His upbringing was carefully planned by his father, whom he took after, in any case, more than did his two siblings. Hansel communicated in English with his mother, Princess Daisy; he spoke German and Polish with his father; and with his teacher, in German and French. A further part of his education involved preparing himself to take up the responsibilities of the head of the von Hochberg dynasty. At the age of 16, Hans Heinrcih XVII entered his father’s regiment as a volunteer; later, he was decorated with the Iron Cross First Class for his courage on the Eastern Front, in World War I. After the war ended he finished his university studies in Berlin and took over the management of his father’s properties in Upper Silesia. In 1924 he married Maria Katharine, Countess of Schönborn- Wiesentheid; the marriage was dissolved by mutual agreement after World War II.

In 1922, Hans Heinrich XVII took Polish citizenship. After World War II broke out, he volunteered in the Scots Guards but instead of being taken into the army, Hochberg was interned for three years. He was freed only after the intervention of his uncle, the Duke of Westminster, and Prime Minister Winston Churchill. His internment was acknowledged to have been a mistake. After his release, Hans Heinrich XVII voluntarily put himself at the disposal of the British Army. During the bombing of London, the Prince of Pless lost his entire fortune. He later lived modestly as Mr. Henry Pless. In 1958 he married Mary Elisabeth Minchin, a union which ended formally in 1971.

February 1, 1905

Alexander, the middle son of Princess Daisy and Hans Heinrich XV, is born.

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XVII February 1, 1905

Alexander, the middle son of Princess Daisy and Hans Heinrich XV, was born.

He spent his childhood at Książ. Most like his mother of the three children, he was known to his friends and family as Lexel. He spent the First World War safely in Partenkirchen, but the figure of this handsome youth was to arouse numerous controversies. In the 1930s, his homosexuality was considered scandalous. His loving mother tried to support her son to the extent that conventional etiquette allowed her to.

The most sensational scandal, which shook Europe’s elite, was Lexel’s engagement to a Romanian beauty, Princess Ileana. Queen Marie of Romania was a close friend of Princess Daisy (both were English), which allowed for an arranged meeting of their children. The young Ileana fell in love at once with the tall, handsome, blond, blue-eyed Alexander, while he was taken by her charm. This led to a secret engagement. When the princess, under the influence of deep emotions, let out her secret at a gathering of Bucharest university students, the Romanian government was confronted by a fait accompli. This German-Romanian marriage was not viewed negatively in any case, as Lexel had a suitable title, while Ileana was far down in the line for the throne.

Obviously, a wedding could not take place until the future royal husband was vetted. The Romanian special services scrutinized the young aristocrat’s past, thereby encountering a series of scandals involving Lexel’s lovers. As homosexuality was forbidden in Germany at the time, Hochberg was put on trial even before his engagement to Ileana. After an appeal of his two-month prison sentence, the case was dismissed. However, the Romanian government and queen withdrew their support for the planned marriage.

Lexel himself claimed that it was the Berlin Press, as well as his enemies, who had spread these damaging rumours. He suspected even his older brother, Hans Heinrich XVII, of stirring up the scandal. The last goodbyes of the ill-starred couple, Ileana and Alexander, took place at the railway station in Bucharest, where the defiant aristocrat boarded the Orient Express, heading from Istanbul to Vienna.

Alexander left Poland in 1939, escaping to Great Britain, and served in the British Army. After World War II ended, he bought a piece of land in Majorca. He created a country estate which, with its house, terraces and gardens, became a miniature Książ. Lexel never married, while Ileana became an Orthodox nun after two unsuccessful marriages.

August 14, 1907

Hans Heinrich XI dies in Albrechtsberg Castle near Dresden. Hans Heinrich XV inherits the family’s extensive wealth.

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XVIII August 14, 1907

Hans Heinrich XI, the most prominent and longest-reigning head of the Hochberg dynasty, died in Albrechtsberg Castle near Dresden. His oldest son, Hans Heinrich XV, inherited his family’s extensive wealth.

The figure of this ambitious aristocrat would prove difficult to judge. Almost certainly, Hans Heinrich XV had a serious complex, finding himself in the shadow of his remarkable father. Even the costly reconstruction of Książ Castle testified to this: he wanted it to be of a truly royal standard and rank. This led, however, along with the advent of World War I and the economic crisis of the 1920s, to the gradual bankruptcy of the Hochberg family.

His unhappy marriage to Princess Daisy also aroused considerable speculation. It is believed that when this union was dissolved, Hans Heinrich XV was guided by his needs rather than by the desires of his heart. Probably Hochberg’s numerous romantic affairs – although he lacked a passionate temperament, he was not unmoved by women’s charms - were covered up.

Certainly Hans Heinrich XV was a good father and, at the beginning of his first marriage, a solicitous partner. Notably, he gave the Princess a pearl necklace, and built a true winter garden, the Wałbrzych Palm House, for her.

1908

Construction begins of the Wałbrzych Palm House, a present from Hans Heinrich XV to Princess Daisy.

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XIV 1908

Construction of the Wałbrzych Palm House began, and continued until 1911.

There arose on the site, 1,900 square metres, a greenhouse, a garden maintained in the Japanese style, a rose garden, and a fruit and vegetable garden. Its centrepiece was a 15-metre building, whose interior was lined with volcanic tuff from Mt. Etna. Not much is said about this now, but before the main entrance to the building there was a small pond with a miniature Książ Catle on the dais. The vestibule itself was decorated with busts of Daisy, Hans Heinrich XV and his three sons.

As World War II approached, the palm house was taken over by the German state, and lost its connection to Kziąż Castle. The facilities were to be merged again only after 70 years.

1909

The second great castle reconstruction: the west and north wings rise, as well as the tower.

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XX 1909

The second great castle reconstruction, ending only in 1923.

The second great castle reconstruction, ending only in 1923. At this time there arose the castle’s two monumental, eclectic, neo-Renaissance wings: the west and the north. Part of the interior was enhanced by stylish fireplaces, which enchant visitors to this day. The castle tower also gained its present height (48 metres) and form, covered by a neo-Renaissance helmet. The largest castle room, the ballroom, was also created during this time. It was designed as an octagon, topped by a ceiling of larch wood. Unfortunately, a less elegant reconstruction also began with the arrival of the Nazis during World War II . Although the ballroom lost its unique form and vaulting, it continues to enchant tourists and those organizing events at the Conference Centre. zamku.

The costs incurred by the second reconstruction, the shadow of World War I and the economic crisis of the 1920s led to the Hochbergs’ financial ruin.

September 23, 1910

The youngest son of Princess Daisy and Hans Heinrich XV, Bolko Konrad, comes into the world.

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XXI September 23, 1910

The youngest son of Princess Daisy and Hans Heinrich XV, Bolko Konrad, was born. His life was unusually difficult: not only was he born with a heart defect, but he also, with the coming of World War I, was brought up after the age of four under the care of a so-called nursemaid.

This was not because Daisy lacked maternal sensitivity; however, the war put the princess in a difficult situation. The outbreak of hostilities found her in England, where she had gone in 1914. The return home of someone so strongly associated with the Allies met with the objections of the German authorities, who went as far as to suspect her of spying. For this reason, Daisy chose to travel to Berlin, joining her husband, Hans Heinrich XV, as well as her eldest son, Hans Heinrich XVII. The subject of growing rumours and speculation, Daisy became involved in work for the Red Cross. In this way she hoped to distance herself from political ideology and to help those who were suffering most during the war.

The absence of the young Bolko Konrad’s mother during these years would prove, in later years, to have indeed affected him psychologically.

1923

Princess Daisy and Hans Heinrich XV divorce. Today, the marriage is considered to have been unhappy.

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XXII 1923

The divorce of Princess Daisy and Hans Heinrich XV.

World War I left the princess alone. Książ’s defiant mistress had, on the one hand, British roots; on the other hand, her husband was from the German aristocracy. As a result, at a time when people suspected and accused one another, she was shunned by those on both sides. When she returned to her native land in 1919, not one of her English friends welcomed her; in the next year her mother, known as Patsy, died.

In 1920, Daisy returned to Książ. She received a grand welcome from her husband, which to her was his announcement that she had posed no threat to the Empire, rather than an expression of love. Six years of separation had made them strangers to each other. In this atmosphere of mutual bitterness and numerous recriminations, they decided to divorce.

1925

Hans Heinrich XV, at 64, marries Clotilde, a 28-year-old Spanish aristocrat.

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XXIII 1925

The marriage of the sexagenarian Hans Heinrich XV to a Spanish aristocrat in her twenties, Clotilde de Silva y Gonzales de Candomo.

The last master of Książ fell in love with this beauty at a ball in Vienna. She has been described as a solicitous partner, seeing to the needs of her 64-year-old husband, but she was also extravagant, and later proved to be... unfaithful.

It turned out that the passionate Spaniard and the Hochbergs’ youngest son were having an affair, which could not be hidden from aristocratic salons. The relationship may have produced two children. At first, Hans Heinrich XV endured the whole situation with an air of indifference; when it erupted into an open scandal in 1934, Hochberg decided to divorce Clotilde.

1934

Bolko Konrad marries his stepmother Clotilde, after his father discovers their liaison and threatens him with disinheritance.

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XXIV 1934

The marriage of Clotilde de Silva y Gonzales de Candomo to Bolko. Ś

Hans Heinrich decided to deal with the Hochbergs’ family problems and ordered his frivolous son (involved in yet another affair at the time) to marry his ex-stepmother, on pain of disinheritance. The newlyweds, along with their children (whom Bolko recognized as his own) moved to the Pless family residence in Munich.

There, he fathered two more children:Hedwig, in October 1934 (known in the family asGiogia), and in 1936 the present holder of the title, the sixth Prince of PlessBolko Constantine von Pless.

In 1936, the Gestapo arrested Bolko, in circumstances that have remained secret, in a hotel in Gleiwitz (now Gliwice, near Katowice). Daisy, wanting to save her son at all costs, begged her former husband to intercede with the Polish ambassador in Berlin, Lipski. She drew on her own network of contacts; she was related, after all, to Winston Churchill himself. It is said that Daisy, who had been struggling for some time with financial difficulties, paid a substantial sum to the Gestapo. It is thus suspected that the loving mother sold her famous pearl necklace at that time.

In the spring of 1936, she managed to have Bolko brought to Pless. Sickly and exhausted – it is even suspected that he had been tortured – he hardly lived two months after his confinement ended. He died suddenly in unexplained circumstances on June 22, 1936.

September 8, 1937

The German state becomes the legal trustee of Książ Castle. Hans Heinrich XV dies some months later

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XXV September 8, 1937

The German state was established as the trustee of the estate of the Prince of Pless.

The castle’s last master, Hans Heinrich XV, died on January 31, 1938. Because of the high costs of keeping Princess Daisy in Munich, he had brought her to the castle three years before his death. The remaining Hochbergs were scattered throughout the world: the oldest son, Hans Heinrich XVII, was interned in Britain, Alexander became a sharpshooter and translator in General Anders’ Polish army (he fought at Monte Cassino, among other places), and Bolko died following his arrest by the Gestapo.

This period set in train the slow confiscation of the Hochbergs’ wealth.

1941

The Nazis Take Daisy from Książ to a villa in Friedländerstrasse in Waldenburg. What is to become of the castle?

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XXVI 1941

The Nazis take Daisy from the castle to a villa in Friedländerstrasse in Waldenburg, now at Number 43 Stanisław Moniuszki Street, in Wałbrzych. Unofficially it is said that she was under supervision because of her British origins and her personal connections to Winston Churchill.

Daisy spent her last years in a wheelchair; the likely cause of her poor health was multiple sclerosis. Throughout this time Dolly, a loyal servant, was near her. The princess died at 7.30 p.m. on June 29, 1943, in her dwelling.

In the meantime, the German authorities took over Książ Castle completely. As it was expensive to maintain, it was proposed that the castle be used as a school for non-commissioned officers of the Luftwaffe. This plan was vetoed by the Chief Conservator of the province of Lower Silesia, Prof. Günther Grundmann. It is alleged that he already knew, at that time, of plans to turn Książ into Hitler’s headquarters.

1942

The “safeguarding” of the Hochbergs’ collections – their gradual removal from the castle – begins.

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XXVII 1942

The “safeguarding” of the Hochbergs’ collection – their gradual removal from the castle – began.

Noteworthy works of art, sets of china, sculptures, and exhibits of blade weapons disappeared from the castle. Książ itself began to empty. No one there could have foreseen that over 70 years would pass before the castle rooms were filled, once again, with exhibited items.

June 1943

The Hochberg family’s fidei-commission (right to appoint heirs) is abolished, and Książ Castle itself is confiscated by the Third Reich

1943 - 1945

The Todt paramilitary organization begins work to adapt the castle to new uses, and a network of tunnels is dug under the castle grounds.

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XXIX 1943 - 1945

The Todt paramilitary organization began to change the castle, probably to transform it into quarters for Adolf Hitler.

According to some hypotheses, it was also to have housed the headquarters of the Third Reich’s Foreign Ministry, and its apartments were to be allocated to leaders of the Nazi state. Why was Książ to fulfill such an important function? Silesia was, at that time, well away from war-stricken areas; the eastern front was to stop, after all, only at Strzegom. Further, the castle was situated far from cities and main roads, and hidden in the forested heights, would be a safe place for the Führer himself.

At this time, concentration camp prisoners were digging a network of tunnels under the castle and courtyard. It is certain that they were to serve as substitute bunkers to protect the German authorities during bombing raids. For lack of clear documentation about the purpose of the tunnel, the following conjectures have been made:

- some presume that they was part of the Riese (“Giant”) project, which was to create subterranean cities connected by an underground highway;

- according to some hypotheses, V1 and V2 rockets were to be kept there;

- in connection with numerous Nazi experiments, especially those on human subjects, procedures involving genetic modifications were taking place. Some suggest that biological weapons were being tested there, extreme versions taking extreme forms: according to some, the development of Übermenschen or supermen, and even werewolves. A further hypothesis suggests that these Werwölfe were not wolf-people, but brilliantly specialized German forces, who have been guarding the underground to this day;

- the theory has also been aired that in this place lies the famous Amber Chamber. This is not the only treasure which the Nazis, reportedly, laid underground: there is also a well-known suggestion that a German train, laden with the gold and priceless jewellery of the people of Breslau (Wrocław), disappeared during the war (said to be from a place 65 or 67 kilometres north, which would accord with the distance from Wrocław to Książ);

The true purpose of this underground activity remains a secret to this day.

1967

The lift shaft, dug in the years 1944 to 1945 under the Honorary Courtyard, is filled in.

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XXX 1967

The lift shaft, dug in the years 1944 to 1945 under the Honorary Courtyard, was filled in. It extended as far as 50 metres into the ground. It probably was intended to be a shaft for an external lift of such proportions that a whole automobile could be transported to the underground complex.

Meanwhile, Książ Castle had been substantial destroyed. In the years 1950 to 1967 the facility was unguarded, robbed and vandalized by the local population, who plundered it. During the war and directly afterwards, the castle was rebuilt but almost 90 per cent of it suffered destruction (only the Baroque rooms and the ceilings on the first and second floors were untouched).

The previous splendour of the Hochberg’s time was to become a memory – at that, already only for a few people.

1970

The Polish People’s Army enters the area of Książ. Its first renovation takes place during this period.

1991

Książ Castle is placed under the management of the local government of the Wałbrzych region.

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XXXII 1991

Książ Castle was placed under the management of the local government of the Wałbrzych region. A management company was created, Przedsiębiorstwo Zamek Książ w Wałbrzychu Sp. z o.o., (“Private Limited Company for the Enterprises of Książ Castle in Wałbrzch”), renamed in 2012 as Zamek Książ w Wałbrzychu Sp. z o.o. (“Private Limited Company of Książ Castle in Wałbrzych”). (See: About us).

September 2012

The City of Wałbrzych buys back the Wałbrzych Palm House.

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XXXIII September 2012

The City of Wałbrzych bought back the Palm House in Wałbrzych, and the Książ management company began to administer it. After 70 years, the castle and the Palm House are “together again”.

The Palm House was, after all, a present from Hans Heinrich XV Hochberg, the last master of Książ, to his beloved spouse, known as Princess Daisy. This splendid winter garden was to be an expression of love for the beautiful aristocrat. In later times, the Palm House became not only a place of rest among exotic flowers, but also the source of ingredients for the cuisine of the Hochbergs’ kitchens.

In the context of local tourism and culture, the merging of the two facilities is a fine example of the reconstruction of the heritage of the Hochberg dynasty in Wałbrzych.

December 2012

The official opening of the modernized third floor of the castle, creating the Conference and Cultural Centre.

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XXXIV December 2012

The official opening of the modernized third floor took place. Once the location of the Hochbergs’ private apartments, it had lain in horrifying ruin for many years.

Thanks to financing by the European Union and the European Regional Development Fund, guests at the opening could view a remarkable exhibition and conference area: the modern Conference and Cultural Centre, with a total area of about 2,000 square metres. In eleven conference rooms on the third floor, as many as 350 conference participants may be accommodated, and in each of the unique rotundas with round tables, it is possible to organize exceptional meetings with business partners, for as many as 20 people.

The opening of the Conference and Cultural Centre has made it possible for the management group to offer larger meeting spaces, of a European standard. Today, 18 rooms, with a total capacity of 1,000 people, are available.

With the modernization of the third floor, the former Hochberg residence has become an ideal venue for unique and special events, making use of the latest technological facilities in a setting imbued with history and tradition.

October 2014

A system of reversible pumps, replacing the obsolete coal-fired boiler, is installed in the Palm House.

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XXXV October 2014

In the Palm House in Wałbrzych, the installation of a system of reversible pumps was completed, replacing a coal-fired boiler which was aging and costly to maintain. The new system has ended the dangers associated with heating the facility in winter (especially in view of its exotic plants) and with maintaining a suitable level of humidity in the summer.

Funding for this investment, estimated at about five million złoties, has been provided by the City of Wałbrzych. For two years it has been the owner of the Palm House – in Poland, the only facility of its kind maintained in its historic construction.

January 19, 2015, 6 p.m.

The ceremonial presentation of Książ Castle’s new night illumination

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XXXVI January 19, 2015, 6 p.m.

In a ceremony, the new night illumination system of Książ Castle was presented.

Marking the beginning of the year 2015, the castle’s new lighting was to approximate the colours of the rising or setting sun (with a Colour Rendering Index or CRI factor of at least 80). The project covered the distinctive east and south walls, the Honorary Courtyard and the inner castle terraces. With almost 100 lamps in place, the whole structure was uniformly lit, while selected architectural details were highlighted. The illumination applied a singular Philips lighting system, based on unique optics that make use of a LED light source as well as world-class equipment. Thanks to this choice, the consumption of electricity for the whole lighting project has amounted to fewer than four kilowatts, or not much more than an electric oven.

The kind of lighting used, along with the reflection of light from the east wall, had a spectacular effect: visitors could at once take in the charm of the Hochberg dynasty’s former aristocratic residence.

This system has also been used in the lighting of such buildings as the castle in Malbork, the palace in Wilanów, and lighthouses in places such as Świnoujście and Niechorze.

The whole cost of the illumination project, including the lighting of the inner Black and Red Courtyards, amounted to about 455,000 złoties. With the help of the Tauron Group, the exclusive partner for the illumination project, the castle has become “the shimmering pearl of Lower Silesia”, dazzling visitors from dusk to 10 p.m.

April 30, 2015

End of the first stage of the castle renovation

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XXXVII April 30, 2015

The first stage of the castle’s renovation ended. It began at the beginning of January, 2015.

As a result of the works, one of the castle parking lots was changed to a brilliant garden, and its asphalt was replaced by paving. In the documentation for the project, one may read: “The main element of the lookout terrace is a reservoir pond, fulfilling an important natural function: a place for protected species of amphibians. The pond lies within a low, simple boxwood hedge square, for relaxation and enjoying views. The terrace decoration will be the symbolically presented, legendary necklace of Princess Daisy, in which the pearls are represented by boxwood balls. The balls are to be sunk among the white-and-green creeping spindles which will gently surround them. The flower beds along the walls are to be planted with one of the Princess’ favourites: hydrangea macrophylla (Hortensia). Woody hydrangeas, in turn, will surround the terrace on the northwest side. To reinforce the slopes, there will be ivy and spindles”. Most of the new plants (in total, about 47 thousand) may be viewed from the park next to the castle: “It was most important to fill the preserved parts of the linden avenue, as well as to recreate types of plants that are typical of the park in Książ: a group of bushes surrounding the side walkways, and extensive patches of undergrowth.” The work was carried out by BD Projekt of Warsaw, a landscape architecture service.

July 10, 2015

“The Metamorphoses of Książ Castle”: the opening ceremony of the exhibition of the National Museum in Warsaw, at the castle

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XXXVIII 10 lipca 2015

“The Metamorphoses of Książ Castle”: the official opening of the Exhibition of the National Museum in Wrocław at Książ Castle in Wałbrzych.

The co-operation of the museum and the Książ Castle Management Group has allowed as many as 38 works of art to return to the castle’s rooms. They include ten works from the collection of the aristocratic Hochberg family, who ruled the castle for over 400 years, and four eighteenth-century portraits of members of the line. The remaining works have been selected to decorate other areas of the former residence, including 20 that were once in Książ (taken away in 1942).

The “Metamorphoses of Książ Castle” exhibition consists of three parts, explained Dr. Beata Lejman, custodian of the National Museum in Wrocław and the exhibition curator. “We begin the presentation in the Exhibition Hall, where we are showing, among other works, a scene from the Metamorphoses of Ovid, with the image of Pan chasing the nymph Syrinx, and a series of works by Stephan Kessler presenting the biblical story of the prodigal son. The second part of the exhibition will be in the representative salons of the first floor (the Baroque Route), marked by works that were part of a substantial series created in the eighteenth century by a group of artists engaged by Konrad Ernst Maximilian von Hochberg. We will be able to view portraits, still life works, landscapes and works with mythological, animal, and allegoric themes. The next part of the exhibition will be found in the Konrad Room, where we are creating a Hall of Fame. It will be possible to view portraits of the legendary masters of the Přemyslid and Piast dynasties, who laid the basis of culture in Silesia. Relations between the Hochbergs and the Habsburgs and Hohenzollerns will be presented against the background of the myth of empire, important for the feudal epoch, up to its totalitarian phase in the twentieth century.”

Since July 11, 2015, the exhibition has been open to tourists as part of the regular castle visit. The castle, replete with such remarkable exhibits and paintings, is experiencing anew its age of splendour.

To learn more about the “Metamorphoses of Książ Castle”, go to Exhibition bookmark.

History
of Książ Castle

Książ’s first centuries were marked by a number of stormy events. It changed hands often, belonged to various states, and was destroyed during the numerous wars that were waged there. We indeed know little about the beginnings of today's castle, and much is missing and unclear, and even contradictory, in its earliest records.

We present below some key historical events which have had a particular influence on the castle's appearance and cultural significance.

more 1288 – 1292

The first written mention of today's Książ Castle (in German, Fursteinstein). During these years, one of the many strategically significant defensive castles of Bolko I "the Strict", Prince of Świdnica and Jawor, was being built; the construction was thus acknowledged to be the "key to Silesia". The newly-built fortress, known from the beginning as “Książęca Góra” or "The Prince’s Heights", was distinguished from other buildings of this type not only by its militarily advantageous setting, but also for its picturesque location, in the heart of the forest. Bolko I also conferred upon himself the title "Lord of Książ," which his successors also held.

more 1392 - 1463

After the extinction of the Piasts from the Świdnica-Jawor line, Czech kings from the Luxembourg dynasty became the castle's owners, by virtue of the succession treaty. Later, from 1463 to be exact, Książ belonged to the Czech King Jiř (George) of Poděbrady.

more 1482 – 1490

Książ came under the authority of the Hungarian king Matthias Corvinus, and was governed by the commander of his army, Georg von Stein. It was this officer who first brought about changes in Ksiaz's character, from that of a fortress to one of a castle, transforming the majority of its defensive areas into residential ones. During this period, the south part of the castle arose, known from that time as the Matthias Wing in honour of the sovereign.

From 1497 to 1508 the castle belonged to Vladislaus II (Władysław Jagiellończyk), the Czech and Hungarian king. Later, the ruler transferred the Książ property to his chancellor, Johann von Haugwitz.

more 11 June 1509

For an undisclosed sum, Johann von Haugwitz transferred the castle, and its neighbouring property, to the knight Konrad I von Hoberg (until 1714, the name was written without the letters "ch"), also known as Kunz von Hoberg. It was his line that most influenced the history of Książ (which stayed in the hands of the von Hochberg family until its confiscation by the Nazis in 1941). It is thanks to this powerful Silesian family that the castle experienced numerous "metamorphoses." They began with Hans Heinrich I, who brought about the creation of the French gardens, replacing the ramparts, trenches and moats, as well as part of the walls.

Two dates stand out among the most important for the Hochbergs: they received the hereditary title of count in 1683 and, in 1848, the hereditary title of prince.

more 5 April 1605

Konrad III von Hochberg received, from the Emperor Rudolf III, the right of inheritance to the castle, in place of a lease. The castle became the hereditary property of the Hochberg line.

more 1705 – 1742

Konrad Ernest Maximilian von Hochberg initiated what became known as the first great castle reconstruction. During that time, there arose: the distinctively Baroque extension, the Honorary Courtyard and buildings near the entrance to the castle (outbuildings, baths, gate building, sentry post and library). On the Poplar Heights, the summer pavilion was also constructed, becoming the family mausoleum in the second half of the nineteenth century (the sepulchral chapel).

more 1789 – 1833

Hans Heinrich VI developed the castle's immediate surroundings. Christian Wilhelm Tischbein's plan provided for new structures, as well as imitation ruins on medieval foundations, known as Old Książ.

more 1856

Hans Heinrich XI became the new master of Książ, and would go on to be one of the outstanding figures in the castle's history: Count von Hochberg, the Prince of Pless and, in his final years, Herzog von Pless. The title of archduke was one of the highest ducal titles that one could receive outside of the governing family; unfortunately it was not a hereditary privilege.

It is difficult to number, today, the projects and changes that Hans Heinrich XI brought about. However, the following stand out: the establishment of roads, parks, and wooded areas; the creation of free cooking schools for the daughters of Walbrzych's miners; the organization of evening classes for young workers; and support for those in the parish, regardless of their faith or financial means. He provided for burials, for help for those who needed medical care, and for the widowed, disabled and elderly. The Hochberg family was strongly committed to helping the poorest; at the end of the nineteenth century, the family members' charity amounted to 60,000 marks per year.

Hans Heinrich XI's reforms became the basis of German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck's later social reforms.

more 8 December 1891

In London Hans Heinrich XV, Hans Heinrich XI's son, married Mary Theresa Cornwallis-West, known today as Princess Daisy. Queen Victoria herself conferred her personal blessings upon the newly married couple.

Princess Daisy, a woman well ahead of her time, was to become one of the best-known figures in the history of Książ Castle. To this day, her story fascinates visitors. She wrote her thoughts in her memoirs, Better Left Unsaid (published in Polish as Lepiej przemilczeć by the Książ Castle Management Group, in Walbrzych, and available in its internet shop. Her memoirs contain an unusual description of the relations that prevailed in the Hochberg family, as well as a great deal of information about the character of the epoch that the princess lived through.

more 1907- 1938

The period when Hans Heinrich XV ruled the castle. The son of Hans Heinrich XI, he brought about what is known as the second great castle reconstruction. In the years 1908 to 1923, there arose the neo-Renaissance west and north wings. The tower was to reach a height of 47 metres, covered by a domed helmet with a lantern. The castle terraces took their present shape. In 1908, Hochberg also began the construction of the Walbrzych Palm House, a present for his wife, Princess Daisy.

more 1941

The Nazi regime confiscated the castle. During the Second World War, the collection of Berlin’s Royal Prussian Library was kept in Książ. It should be pointed out that Daisy and Hans Heinrich XV's sons fought against Hitler: Hans Heinrich XVII in the British forces, and Alexander in the Polish army.

more 1943 – 1945

"Todt", a Nazi paramilitary organization, occupied Książ Castle. Intensive works were carried out including, apparently, what was meant to be one of Hitler's main quarters. The changes brought about by Hitler's soldiers are called the third castle reconstruction, though owing to their barbaric character, this reconstruction is not designated as "great".

During this time, underground tunnels were also dug below the castle and the Honorary Courtyard. Historians have various opinions as to what purpose was intended for the land under the castle, as well as for the tunnels which were built in the nearby Sowa Mountains at the same time.

more 1945 – 1946

The Russian army was stationed here and lay further waste. The library, part of Książ’s entailment, was plundered. It is probable that the better part of the collection, which had numbered over 64,000 volumes, was transported to what was then the Soviet Union.

In April 2015, one of these volumes, the "XVIIIth-century Saxon Chronicles" by Johann Christian Crell(ius), returned to Książ. The management group dares to hope that it will succeed in recovering part of the remaining lost library volumes, as well as other articles associated with the castle in general. It is worth adding that the management group has also found in its collection a stamp made by Alvin Kaiser, in Wrocław at the beginning of the XXth century, in which the following words appear: PRIVAT SEKRETARIAT DES FURSTEN VON PLESS”(translated from German: "private secretary of the Prince of Pless"). According to the donors, Mr. and Mrs. Zbigniew and Gabriela Pecherzewski, the stamp belonged to Hans Heinrich XV, the last lord of the castle and the husband of the legendary Princess Daisy. In May 2015, the famousporcelain of Carl Tielsch, dating from 1873, was also returned to the castle. It probably was in the castle at the beginning of the XXth century. This authentically Silesian (even Walbrzych) porcelain was taken away in the war's confused aftermath, and was returned by anonymous donors. The castle has had to wait over 70 years for its collections to be restored, gradually, to it.

more 1946 -1967

The castle fell into further ruin, plundered by local people. As it was considered a legacy of the Germans, it attracted looters. Only from  1956 - 1962 was protection provided for Książ, gradually, by the Provincial Conservator of Monuments in Wrocław. Damaged and missing parts of exterior doors and windows were repaired and replaced, so that break-ins were no longer possible. During this period there was found, under the Honorary Courtyard, a huge lift shaft dug by the Nazis; it was filled in in 1967.

more 1974

A team lead by Professor Zofia Wnuk, of the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk, began extensive renovation works in the Baroque rooms. The beautiful wall tapestries in the Baroque salons were designed; today these rooms are the most distinctive areas of Ksiaz Castle.

more 1991

The Walbrzych district government (gmina) became the owner of the castle. The building was in the hands of the Walbrzych Książ Castle Management Group (Zamek Książ w Walbrzychu Sp. z.o.o.). Among the most important transformations that have taken place to 2015 are:

changes to the east face of the castle (reconstructing the North Terrace, and making it accessible to visitors); the modernization of the third floor, creating the Conference-Cultural Centre there; the merging, once again, of the management of Walbrzych's Palm House with that of the castle, forming one complex of facilities, two stages of the Hochberg mausoleum's renovation (the sepulchral chapel); installation of new castle lighting; the many-staged renovation of the roof (changed from a copper sheet to ceramic tile), and the reconstruction of the area in front of the castle (the terrace lookout and Ida's Gardens).

more 2015

The opening of the exhibition titled "The Metamorphoses of Książ Castle", organized with the National Museum in Wroclaw. The former Hochberg works have returned to the castle after 70 years. The opening of the exhibition to visitors, on 11 July 2015, has been recognized as the most important event in Ksiaz Castle's post-war history: ten works of art, from the collection of Hans Heinrich XV von Hochberg and his wife Princess Daisy, have returned to the castle after several decades. Up to 38 works may be found, each associated either with the history of the building or the pursuits of the former owners. All the works are from the collections of the National Museum in Wrocław, and have been selected to decorate the castle rooms.

To learn more about "The Metamorphoses of Ksiaz Castle", go to the Exhibition bookmark..

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Tour

A virtual tour: 360° from the air.

Take in a bird's-eye view of the majestic Książ Castle: an impressive look at its unique setting, on a rocky promontory amidst an expanse of verdant forest.

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The Famous Visitors
of the Castle

Patrons
of the Castle

The title of Patron of Książ Castle is the highest status that we confer. With the title, we offer a range of possibilities to present the Patron’s organization, to make use of the services of the Castle, and to take part in further activities related to culture, tourism and the protection of Poland’s heritage. 

With thanks for their support in helping the Castle complex to fulfill its mission, and for their help in the protection of our cultural heritage, the Chief Executive Officer of Książ Castle, Krzystof Urbański, has conferred the title of Honorary Patron 2015, to the following companies:

 

ŚNIEŻKA-INVEST

HOW DID IT ALL BEGIN?

It is difficult to imagine a sweeter partner than Śnieżka-Invest Inc., an Honorary Patron of Książ Castle since 2012: one of the best-known producers of sweets, it has taken an active part in our projects. It is thanks to Śnieżka-Invest that we have been able, so generously, to provide a range of sweets to our youngest visitors during theatre presentations and other animated activities, Hallowe’en and such magical events as our Christmas presentation.

To celebrate our partnership agreement, the signing took place on the night of 2 to 3 March, 2012, thus immortalizing one of the first editions of the Książ By Night tour. We wanted first to frighten our guests from the media, so that we could then, by the light of candles and blazing fireplaces, light up the Maximilian Hall and enchant them with… a true chocolate fountain.

“We would like to join a small pearl, our well-known local sweets factory, to the huge pearl that is Książ Castle”, asserted the Chief Executive Officer of Książ Castle, Krzystof Urbański.

Our common magic has inspired a new product: Daisy Chocolates. With thanks to our partner, we are pleased to present a truly princely truffle candy, a couverture chocolate with a hint of peanut. The chocolate may be purchased online, at the castle ticket office, or at Książ Hotel.

A FEW WORD ABOUT OUR PATRON: ŚNIEŻKA-INVEST

The firm is known for Michałki sweets, one of the best-known confections. Despite traditions that go back many years, the company is always developing its product line. Recently “Owocowe graffiti” (“Fruit graffiti”) – natural fruit cubes in chocolate – appeared on the market, along with “Trufla z maczkiem” – rum-flavoured chocolate sweets, sprinkled with cocoa. Śnieżka is boldly experimenting with new tastes that will satisfy even the most fastidious palate. Many of its products may be purchased at the Książ ticket office – presented with our wishes that a visit to the castle may be a sweet pleasure.

Are sweets unhealthy? Too much sugar, not enough nourishment? Śnieżki’s new product, frozen yoghurt, gives the lie to this assumption. During the 24th Flowers and Art Festival, it was clear that ice cream has already gone out of fashion. Rather, our yoghurt – no preservatives, naturally sweetened and enriched with vitamins – was the true success. The date of its appearance in shops is the manufacturers’ sweet secret. For now, it will be worthwhile to haunt the Śnieżki-Invest company store in Świebodzice: you can read more at  http://www.sniezka-invest.pl.

 

BECOME OUR PATRON!

It is thanks to our Patrons that we may undertake the organization of spectacular public performances and innovative projects, enhancing the image of the castle and our region. Support Książ Castle and our cultural, community and touristic initiatives: thanks to your organization’s help, we can do even more. Companies and institutions who are interested in the status of Patron of Książ Castle are kindly invited to contact our Marketing Division.   

 

Partners
of the Castle

Our success would not be possible without the work we do with our partners! We have accomplished much thanks to the companies and institutions presented here. We thank them for their committed support for our work.

We recognize the Partners of Książ Castle as both Long-term Partners (taking part in more than one project), and Partners of the Flower and Art Festival (involved in the organization of the largest castle event).

 

 

Long-term Partners

 

 

 

 

Partners of the Flower and Art Festival

Sponsors:

Partners

Media Patrons:

 

Become our Partner!
 

We are always carrying out new projects. Each year, their number increases, drawing more and more visitors eager to get to know the castle’s history and enjoy its culture. We know very well that thanks to common efforts with our partners, we can do still more. If you wish to become our Partner, you are kindly invited to contact our Marketing Division.

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