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Prince-Bishop of Wroclaw's Palace

SuperhostOtmuchow, Polen
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Jim er SuperHost-vært
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this 700 year old castle is one of the most interesting and important private houses in Southern Poland. The beautiful countryside is great for biking, hiking, riding, swimming, skiing - and also for relaxing. It's a wonderful welcoming place for children

Updated for Autumn and Winter 2020

Although we've been Airbnb “Superhosts” for several years now, be aware before you book; not everything is perfect here. It’s a private family house, and although we have 12 bedrooms, it is not a hotel, and that is not what we want to be. Don’t expect too much! We are slowly rescuing and restoring a piece of 700 year old heritage. It is a great responsibility, being custodians of this house, and, we hope, preparing it for the next 700 years. Your booking helps us save what is possibly the most historically important and interesting private building in the region. It is first mentioned in 1305, and we guess built around 1250 or before. It gets rebuilt once every 100 years or so. We are just the latest to do that.
If Airbnb says we are booked, send us a message. We may have space. But with couples sharing beds and some extra mattresses, we can take 25 or 30 people in the house. With our barns - indoor camping on mattresses, and space to put up tents indoors if you want- we can accommodate over 100 people. Usually, if we have 15 or more people, we don’t take other bookings. The place is yours exclusively. (And ours, of course, we live here).
Our unique selling point is – freedom! Within reason, you can do what you like here. It’s not a hotel. No curfew. Children can have fun and charge around. You can dance until the small hours.
You get a kitchen with each apartment, but we can also cater if asked, for example at weddings, or quite often groups who are here for a purpose, maybe business, maybe a reunion ask us to do the food.
This was once a Prince-Bishop of Wroclaw's private palace. It’s great for a romantic break, for a small family, or for a large reunion. Maximum 80 people sitting down to eat in our ballroom in the palace, but up to 200 in the Big Party barn.
Ideal too for company team-building – there is a lot do in the surrounding area, and obviously massive space here. We have good internet. Examples of groups we have hosted, some of whom come back year after year, because they love it. A tango week (50 people), A German political party (20), German internet entrepreneurs (30 people). Lots of big number birthday parties, like 30th and 40th or 60th parties.
We encourage workshops of every kind.

There is huge indoor and outdoor studio space for painters or craftspeople, including in our large barns and old granary. (We have 7 out-buildings, and some of them are ENORMOUS!).

Musicians love our conservatory standard Yamaga C3 grand piano and ballroom. It’s a great place to write, rehearse, perform and record with a rewarding acoustic, helped by a wooden floor and beamed ceiling, and walls which aren’t quite parallel with each other, which means no disturbing resonances.
Dancers love it here too. Every year there is a tango group of about 50 from Berlin, and a similar sized group of Blues dancers from all over. The ballroom floor dates from about 1750, is newly restored is perfect for dancing, especially in bare feet. Ideal for yoga too.
Just a note about winter. It can be very cold outside. Inside, it's cosy, but lighting the wood burning stoves and keeping them going involves a little work. We can do it for you, though many guests from the city love the opportunity to light the fire themselves. One metre thick walls hold the heat once warm. They can take a day to warm up, so the earlier we know you are coming, the better. We also offer gas and electric heaters.
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.
Set in a private park with magnificent, mature trees, and a grass tennis court, 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.
It’s a cycling paradise. Flat easy terrain with nice views for one kind of cyclist. Tour de France level difficulty if you want that. We can lend you an old bicycle. Or arrange some better ones for hire. On the Czech side just 5 km away are 60 km of prepared mountain bike trails for experts and beginners. You can rent a top of the range mountain bike. There are some interesting small towns. And some wonderful swimming holes in old quarries.
Fans of classic cars can look our collection over. We have about 10. We don’t rent them out, although are thinking about that for the future. Old Bentley, Mercedes limo, 1960s Tatra and Skoda. We have a classic car restoration workshop. For guests we have done small jobs – fixing parking dings – and whole projects where they left the car behind for a year.
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).
Depending on the time of year, there may be organic vegetables from our garden available, and our chickens usually produce enough eggs for us to share. We can buy local honey, venison, wild boar. We can order home-made bacon, ham or sausages from a man in the village. We make jams and traditional pickles. Our chickens, geese, turkeys, guinea fowl wander where they want.
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) 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.
History: a stone house is mentioned in 1305, which means the house is likely to have been built before 1300. 1250 or before is a reasonable guess. It is first mentioned as "Castro Petrowicz" (Castle Peterwitz) in 1369 - when it was probably a moated fortification, owned by a knight, with the duty (an “allodium”) to fight for the bishops when called upon. Quite likely it was destroyed by Hussite invaders from Bohemia in 1428 – every other castle in the district was destroyed at this time.

Most of the house dates from after 1600, when it was in the ownership of a noble family called von Hundt. In our first summer here we discovered 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 with an impressive baroque altar, just restored with new gold leaf. We believe that a picture on the ballroom ceiling is of Queen Elizabeth of Bohemia (born Stuart) , "The Winter Queen." We know that in 1620 her husband, Frederick V of Bohemia, visited nearby Nysa accompanied by Gabriel von Hundt, owner of our house. Elizabeth was daughter of James I of England, and VI of Scotland, and was grandmother of the United Kingdom’s George I.
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, maybe as a reward for being on the right side in the Silesian War between Frederick the Great of Prussia and Maria-Theresa of Austria, 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. They left with the approach of the Red Army.
During Polish communist times the house was used by five families from the local collective farm (PGR), but was badly neglected. There was also a kindergarten and the village hall. 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 12 years into a 20 year restoration, so be prepared for a little restoration work going on around you. If you are lucky, your visit might coincide with work by a skilled conservationist.
There are 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 an unusually peaceful place. Our guest flats - 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. A note of warning. Not everything is perfect.
Children love it too. We have six, ages 15 down to 6, and they are so lucky to be growing up here. The freedom to explore the buildings and park, build dens, look at the animals, climb a tree or a stack of straw. Make a noise, kick a football, ride bikes, charge about, and all in relative safety, and nearby are some good wild swimming options with rocks to jump off, and one place with a beach for smaller and non-swimming children. If you have children, they can do all this here too.

Detailed description of our accommodation
With a bit of sharing, and using other rooms in the village, we can take a group of up to 30 people. We have extra folding beds, air beds and children’s cots. If your group doesn’t mind mattresses in the attic, then 40 people. All flats are heated by ecological wood-burning stoves. We use wood from our own trees. Extra electric heaters, and gas heaters are available. On hot summer days, the house is very cool inside, as if there is air conditioning. Which there isn’t!

Flat 1
Location: downstairs, off the internal courtyard. Mostly original wooden floors, apart from a marble area with underfloor heating
History: this was the house-keeper’s flat many years ago.
Bedroom 1: double bed
Room 2: two single beds
Room 3: a large living room with two double sofa beds
Living area, kitchen, with underfloor heating and wood burning stove
Marble bathroom with underfloor heating.
Separate toilet
Faces West and looks over the pond

Flat 2
Location: downstairs, off the internal courtyard. It has a view over the park.
It has a wood burning stove, with gas and electric heaters if needed in winter, and underfloor heating in the bathroom
History: this used to be the castle kitchen. We’ve put a carpet on the original 19th century tiles to preserve them
Room 1: large living room and basic kitchen, then, through an arch, an area with double bed in a separate area, and the bathroom and toilet there too.
Room 2: a separate room through a door. The room can be completely separated from the apartment. It has its own independent door to the courtyard. Our unique bendy floor boards with oak from our own park. The Hobbit Room, we call it.
Faces North and looks over the park

Flat 3
Location: downstairs, off the courtyard. The Arch Room. It’s suitable couple, or a couple with small children, all in the same large, arched room, with its own bathroom and toilet. There’s a double bed and we sometimes put extra beds in there.
There is no kitchen, you can use the one upstairs.
Other rooms
The Master Bedroom: Upstairs in the palace is a very large bedroom with a large bathroom en suite with a huge bath. Not everything is finished in this room – it will be the owners’ bedroom in due course. Parquet floor. There is some antique furniture. There is also a balcony.

The Safe Room: through double doors from the master bedroom is the Safe Room, so called because it has the old house safe in it. It’s a big room, currently unfurnished, but we quite often put extra beds in there for guests. Wooden floor

The Sun-dial Room: from the Safe Room through more double doors. Called the Sun-dial Room because it is on the corner of the house with the sun-dial. Unfurnished, but we often put extra beds in it for big parties. Parquet floor, high ceilings with historic wooden beams. The Sun-dial Room is next to the upstairs kitchen

Other accommodation, not in the palace
Flat 4
Location: is not in the palace but in the building opposite, with a view onto the palace. Décor is modern. It’s basic accommodation, we do not make high claims for it!
Room 1: A large living room with two double sofa beds
Room 2: A small bedroom with a double bed
Kitchen with a table and a nice view of the palace. There is a traditional wood burning cooker, and a gas cooker
The bathroom and toilet are together. There is a washing machine

The upstairs kitchen in the palace is a very large kitchen with historic beams, original oak parquet. It will be the owners’ kitchen when they move upstairs. Formerly it was a grand salon.
Guests can use this kitchen too, and up to 80 people can dine in the ballroom.

In the ballroom is an excellent Yamaha grand piano, the best instrument in the region and much loved by our visiting musicians. The room has a good acoustic for all sorts of music making and we often hold concerts there.
There is also a lot of clean floor space in the attic. Members of a large party can camp up there. Popular with children…
There is dormitory space in the barns too
There are other rooms in the village. Single and double rooms in private houses.
The Time Capsule Flat
And there is an empty, unmodernised flat opposite that we can use with three rooms and some beds in each. Bathroom, hot water, toilet.

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? Freedom is what makes this place different

Andre ting, der er værd at bemærke
This is an intimate place for a couple, or a family but perhaps this house is best of all for parties. Including business-related team-building – the informality suits young groups. Or, maybe for a Big Number anniversary, we’ve almost become specialists in 30th to 60th birthday parties, family reunions (your grandparents will be fine here) and random gatherings of friends (20 years since you went to university?). We like these occasions, it gives us the chance to meet the guests. We do the cooking if asked or help out. There is also a professional caterer working from one of our barns. Big groups like the freedom we give them to do more or less what they want, the fact this is not a hotel, it’s a home. We have experience of parties for up to 200 in the Big Party Barn too. From, time to time we do weddings, and 80 can people sit for dinner in the ballroom.
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). The most we have had stay here is 200.
We love to meet classic car people. We have a classic car restoration business in one of the barns, and have a side-line in fixing the scratches and little bumps that cost too much to do in Germany or Britain.
this 700 year old castle is one of the most interesting and important private houses in Southern Poland. The beautiful countryside is great for biking, hiking, riding, swimming, skiing - and also for relaxing. It's a wonderful welcoming place for children

Updated for Autumn and Winter 2020

Although we've been Airbnb “Superhosts” for several years now, be aware before you boo…


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Otmuchow, Polen

the region is soft and scenic, there's lots to do, good horses on the Czech side, skiing too, and cycling terrain both for serious athletes and mountain bikers and flat ground for people who don't want anything too strenuous. There are some great natural swimming holes. Our own park is lovely and of course we are very proud of our house. Beautiful landscapes with the Czech Rychlebsky Mountains as backdrop, and often, spectacular skies. Many bird species, for example, 3 types of owl in our park.
the region is soft and scenic, there's lots to do, good horses on the Czech side, skiing too, and cycling terrain both for serious athletes and mountain bikers and flat ground for people who don't want anything…

Vært: Jim

Tilmeldte sig i april 2011
  • 150 omtaler
  • Identitet bekræftet
  • Superhost
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 six small children, a dog, a cat and a lot of geese and chickens 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 language is Polish. She speaks fluent English. And understands Czech
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 six small children, a dog, a…
Under dit ophold
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. It’s a big house, so you might have to come looking for u if you want a tour. We have a lovely professional standard Yamaha C3 grand piano for musicians, recently reconditioned. We have six bilingual (English-Polish) children - they like meeting guest-children - and are learning German in school. There’s huge outdoor space and barns, ideal for going a little wild if you want to. Kids love it
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 peopl…
Jim er Superhost
Superhosts er erfarne værter med gode anmeldelser, der dedikerer deres tid til at give deres gæster et godt ophold.
  • Sprog: Čeština, English, Français, Deutsch, 日本語, Polski, Español
  • Svarrate: 90%
  • Svartid: inden for en time
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