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Tourist Information Centre in Oświęcim
Tourist Information Centre in Oświęcim
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The Castle

The present castle was built at the beginning of the 16th century  and later it was converted  and rebuilt many times because of numerous fires and floods, which affected Oświęcim.
 After the fire in 1503 the castle was rebuild and such restoration and toughening of the preserved fortification wall  lasted till 1534. At the beginning of the 17th century the building was again destroyed by fire. As result of renovation  the building was widened about 2 meters in the east direction. During the Swedish wars it fell into ruin and Sejm decided about the urgent restoration works. At the beginning of the 19th century it was devastated by two floods, which took place  in 1805 and 1813. After this Austrian authorities decided to pull it down. Luckily Kajetan Russocki  bought it on the auction,  saved it and organized there the salt storehouse. Later it belonged to Jewish merchants: Landau, Schonker and Schnitzer who changed it in the warehouse.  In 1904  Karol Kaszny became the owner,  restored the building and changed it in the vine tavern and the Zamek Hotel.  In this period the second floor was added and on the east side of shield with the Piast eagle was placed. In 1910 Kaszny rented the castle to the Oświęcim community authorities. Jacob Haberfeld, the next owner of the castle changed it into the warehouse of vodka and vine from his factory. In 1926 it was bought by the Country Department in Biała Krakowska. Between the tower and the castle instead of the detached one ?storey buildings, a two-storey building with additional part topped with a neo-Renaissance attic was erected. During the II World War the was the seat of German occupation authorities. After the war it was the seat of the Collective Community Office and then since 1952  the County People?s Council. From 1975-87 it was the seat of the Municipal Council of Oświęcim. In 1993  The Historical and Ethnographical Museum was opened there and on 1 January  2010 the Castle Museum started its operations there.

Defense tower

Construction of the tower began after 1241, raising it up probably within the reconstruction of the castle burned by the Tatars. The basement of the construction is the plinth of the stone blocks.  The construction was completed at the beginning of the fourteenth century  - but instead of stone hand-molded bricks  were used . The tower is built on a square plan with a side length of about 10 m, the thickness of the walls on the level of courtyard is about 4 meters.
The original entrance to the tower is at now 10 m above the courtyard's level. The external wooden staircase led there. Inside the tower there was a dungeon without the outside exit and without the walking route inside. Sometimes prisoners were kept there. During the Swedish wars the tower, similary to the rest of the building on the castle hill, was destroyed and for over 200 years remained in a state of ruin. At  the beginning of the 20th century, Karol Kaszny, then owner of the castle, conducted renovation of the building. It was then supplemented with defects in the wall of the tower and the upper level roofed pavilion.
In the years 1928 - 1931 the castle was combined with a tower.In 2007 - 2010 the maintenance works were undertaken on the tower.
Currently the tower is one of the tourist attractions of the city, open for visitors.

The Synagogue

It was founded in 1912 on the plot, which was bought from Józef and Gishele Glass and  functioned until 1939.  During  II World War all synagogues in Oświęcim were destroyed by Nazists except this one, which was changed into the ammunition depot. After the war the survived Jewish residents of the town restored the building sacral function. In the years 1992-1997  in the building there was a warehouse of carpets. In 1998 the synagogue was given back to the Jewish Centre in Oświęcim. On 12th of September 2000 it was officially opened and made available to the tourists.

The synagogue is a one-storey building on rectangular plan covered with a gable roof. The asymmetrically windows  reffering to the division of the interior into two rooms. The bigger one for the men and the smaller one for the women. In the men hall there are  two tablets in Hebrew. The  tablet from 1928 is the only preserved element of the original interior of the synagogue. The second comes from 1907 and was founded by Hinda Cwetl to commemorate her dead husband ? rabbi Shlomo Zalman Pelcman from Kęty. Completely destroyed furnishings of the  synagogue were reconstructed and the building was restored after 1997.

Memorial and Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau

The Museum was founded in 1947 on the site of the former Konzentrationslager Auschwitz-Birkenau. The museum consists of two integral parts: the former mother camp in Oświęcim (KL Auschwitz Stamlager) and the former camp in Brzezinka. Visitors can visit  the sites of both camps with their reminded buildings, structures and equipment and see the permanent exhibitions displayed in select  blocks. Visitors can see the museum on their own or hire a foreign-language speaking guide.


It was marked out in the middle of the sixteenth century as the main market square in Oświęcim. On frontages of market was wooden buildings. Layout of the land, in many cases, is in line with the current architecture. It is known that in the sixteenth century the storied town hall was built, but the buildings around the market were still wooden. In the middle of the market, according to the account of Jan Nepomucen Gątkowski, there was a storey town hall with a clock. The market was surrounded by the three houses, the figure of St. Jan Niepomucen and deep town well. On the market, next to the town hall there was also the little pond, which was used during fires. In the second half of the nineteenth century, after two fires, buildings on the market were rebuilt, mostly from brick.
During World War II, the market has been partially rebuilt by the Germans. Street arcades at Plebańska str. and on the corner of the former Hotel "Herz" forms partially realized part of the project a comprehensive redevelopment of the market. At that time  the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and figure of St. Jan Niepomucen have been removed from the market. Also the trees planted in the interwar period, were cut. Revitalization works made on the market square during 2012-13 give the opportunity to see the history of the town through showing and backlighting walls of  town hall from sixteen  century and restoration pre-war municipal well.

The Ślebarski's House

The extensive storey house was erected at the beginning of the XIX century by priest Michał Ślebarski. This is a one-story brick building, which was built in neoclassical style. During World War II Germany slightly changed the look of the building, bringing it to a new feature - the seat of their local authorities. Added then small tower on the roof and the interior has been rebuilt . After the war the house was the residence of, among others, The Communist Party, later and so it is today, the District Court in Oświęcim.

The Herz Hotel

Dating from the nineteenth century storey brick house, which housed the Hotel "Herz". On the 7th of February 1915, on the occasion of celebration in Oświęcim the anniversary of the January Uprising 1863, the contemporary brigadier Józef Pilsudski was staying there together with officer corps of the Polish Legions. During the Second World War it was converted into a so called "Heimastil" with typical arcades. Currently, the building houses a pizzeria.

The Wedding Palace

Villa initially belonging to dr. Anthony Ślosarczyk was built between 1903-1912. It is a one-storey brick building with history like style characteristics with the predominance of neo-Renaissance and neo-Baroque elements. From the east, to the building adjoined a large garden - now the parking place is there. This villa is often called "small castle" or "palace" because of the richness of decoration dormer windows and projection, reminiscent of a turret. Currently, the building is also known as "Wedding Palace" because after renovation, it is a seat of the Register Office. On the first floor, with a separate entrance from the garden, there is a beautiful wedding hall. For several years in this building Town Council in Oświęcim has also its seat there.

Town Hall

Dating from the second half of the nineteenth century building. It has predominantly neo-Gothic style features.  The asymmetric facade of the town hall is distinctive, with a tower in the axis of the main entrance. "Tower" is topped with a parapet with crenellations and two corner towers. On the "tower" Town Hall in 1876 was placed clock - replaced with a new one in 2001. The old Town Hall building for many years no longer meets its function, but since 1993 it flutters the city crest flag and from here you can hear at noon the bugle call Oświęcim - a fragment of a polonaise composed by Alexander Orłowski.
The original building of the town hall was in the center of the market since mid-sixteenth century, renovated in 1792, burned down in a fire in 1863. Works on the new headquarters of municipal oversaw architect Leopold Michla. Since 1875 the municipal office was operated already in the new building until the Second World War and after its end the municipality was located in the Castle. Since 1987 the municipal office is located in the building at Zaborska str.

Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

It is a three-nave building with rectangular closed chancel and tower on the axis of the western facade and a chapel on the north wall of the nave. Inside the church ceiling and pillars are decorated with stucco decorations. The main altar, late Baroque, with life-size statues of St. Peter and Paul from the eighteenth century,  was rebuilt in the second half of the nineteenth century. In the passage from the nave to the chancel is a marble baptistery with a metal lid from 1613.  On the west wall of the nave and on the south pillar are visible embedded in the walls, marble epitaphs. The oldest of them - the epitaph of black marble, dedicated to Father Jerome Russocki comes from 1681.  The rest come from the nineteenth century. In the church are stored also three post-Dominican images from the eighteenth century: Our Lady of the Rosary, St. Jack and St. Dominic feretory and vestments - also from the eighteenth century and antique chalices. Presently in the place where there is a Church of the Assumption of the Blessed  Virgin Mary , probably as early as the twelfth century there was a wooden parish church, which was burned during the tartar invasion. Destroyed by fire, rebuilt many times the church received its final form in 1881 - after the last reconstruction.

Convent Complex of Seraphic Sisters in Oświęcim

It is a small building erected in Neo-Gothic style, with unplastered brick with narrower and lower chancel closed by apse, nave. The interior of the church has a cross-ribbed vaulting. The Neo-Gothic main altar dates from the late nineteenth century, like the pulpit and pews. The side altars with pictures of St. Francis of Assisi and St. St. Anthony of Padua, a sculpture of the Pieta, the confessional and the chandelier come from the beginning of the twentieth century. During the Second World War the church was partially destroyed. After the war it was rebuilt and in 1947 the statue of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception has been set on the front of it.  The oldest building of the monastery in the neoclassical style is connected presently  with the church by ground floor lobby. The second building, adapted to its style, was built in the 50s of the XX century. Within the monastery there is also building  of "Caritas" built in the 1905-1910, and two kindergarten buildings from the 30s of the XX century. Buildings of the Seraphic Sisters Monastery are surrounded by orchard and garden from the east and west side. Part of the  tombstone of Mother Foundress - Mary Margaret Szewczyk is located in the interior of the church Our Lady of Sorrows.

Parish Cemetery

It is close to the Church Assumption of Blessed Virgin Mary in Oświęcim and is situated on the eastern side of the city center. It was established in the first half of the nineteenth century. Plan of the parish cemetery is an irregular quadrilateral - the cemetery chapel, mortuary, the main avenue and a row of old trees along the former eastern border. Cemetery chapel is from the interwar period. In the middle of the cemetery there are about 200 the oldest historic gravestones such as remnant of the Russocki and Dąbski family crypt and the obelisk memorizing the Austrian soldiers killed in the Austrian ? Prussian Battle of Oświęcim in 1866. Since 1986 the parish cemetery in Oswiecim is inscribed in the register of monuments.

The Mausoleum of the Haller Family in Dwory

Well-preserved part of the old manor complex derived from the first half the nineteenth century. Located in the eastern part of Dwory (north-eastern district of Oświęcim) It is a classical detached chapel in a rotunda shape, covered with a semi-circular dome with a metal cross. Originally in the  altar, which is located in the middle of the chapel, was placed a wooden statue of St. Barbara. A few years ago, replaced it with a statue of Our Lady (the statue of St. Barbara is placed now next to the altar). On both sides of the altar, the epitaphs are embedded in the walls. One of the marble tablet is dedicated to the memory of Major Haller de Hallenburg Cezary, and the second - for Cezary Antoni Haller, the last family member buried here -  (died on 8 July 1972). At the front door, in the floor is the entrance to the crypt of the Haller Family. The last family burial took place in 1972, when Cezary Antoni Haller, the son of Major Cezary Haller died. The chapel is surrounded by residue of the manor park. Nowadays this chapel belongs to the  Parish of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. You can participate in the Mass on Sundays and holidays. In 2009, the chapel was renovated.

  • @http://mosir.oswiecim.pl
  • @http://oswiecim.pl
  • @http://www.muzeum-zamek.pl/
  • @http://ajcf.pl/
  • @http://www.auschwitz.org.pl/
  • @http://ock.org.pl
  • @http://mbp-oswiecim.pl/
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