Tour of the Zolochiv Castle

Of all the castles in Galicia, the Zolochiv Castle is the most romantic. The fortress on this site is known since ancient times, but gained its modern look in 1634, when the noble Jakub Sobieski was its owner. There are still his initials and coats of arms on the guarding towers. Life began to blossom here though in times of his daughter-in-law.

Jakub Sobieski

Maria Kazimiera d'Arquien – a French “Cinderella” that became a Polish queen. Officially, she was a daughter of a captain of the Royal Guard and a royal governess, but rumour spread at court that she was really an illegitimate daughter of the queen. No wonder then, that she was sent away with the retinue of the princess Marie Louise to the distant Poland…

Maria Kazimiera d'Arquien

There, a young noble Jan Sobieski fell in love with her at first sight. They were able to marry however only after the deaths of his stern mother Teofilia and the old prince – Maria’s first husband. From the first meeting and until death, Jan and “Marysenka” kept their affection, as evidenced by their tender letters.

The nobility though hated and mistrusted the alien-born queen. That’s why Marysenka loved the Zolochiv Castle so much – it was her refuge from intrigues at the court. Jan built a “Chinese” palace for her here, as was then in fashion. It hosts now an exhibition of the Oriental art, and tea ceremonies are held here. In the main palace, the rooms were furnished for him and for her. These rooms are connected with a secret passage. Some say it’s so that the master doesn’t become a cuckold; but it’s also possible that the royal couple was looking for ways to meet in private, ignoring the strict rules of the royal etiquette.

the Zolochiv Castle

The rooms of Maria Kazimiera are located next to the treasury, as it was she who managed the castle, and maybe even took part in the defence of Zolochiv from the Turks. There also were examples of the state-of-art engineering in the castle – real toilets.

After Jan’s death, Marysenka went abroad and managed her mansions from there. They say she came back after death as a ghost to her favourite Zolochiv. And lately there have been sightings of another ghost – the mysterious Black Knight. Is it Jan visiting her beloved in her palace?..

Tour of the Zolochiv Castle

All of our tours may be organized individually, in English, German, Polish and other languages. We offer the service of guides-interpreters or interpreters with knowledge of the required language, who will interpret the information given by a Ukrainian guide. If you are willing to join a Ukrainian tourist group, but don’t understand Ukrainian, we may provide you with a personal interpreter or a written description of the tour, according to your wishes.