Fun and games for you dealers in dread. For one night of the year the spirits roam the land of the living. The spooky atmosphere, the doom and gloom of the towers and walls of the ruined castle, and the ghosts and ghouls lurking in dark corners make this a fright night that will chill you to your very core. And when you can take no more, come sit by the fireside, warm up, eat up and drink your fill.
History, tradition and culture, a great celebration of the monuments of the Old Continent. Admission is free. This is the largest social and educational project in the European Union, and Czersk Castle has been full in since 1997. Every year we join in the celebrations across Europe, showcasing the historical and cultural legacy bequeathed to us by the Princes of Mazovia.
See what it was like in Czersk during the devastating Swedish invasion of the 1650s, when the army of King Karol Gustav rampaged through the country, slaughtering, pillaging and destroying everything in their path. Many places that fell into ruin at that time never recovered. One of them was Czersk.
On April 7, 1656 Polish forces under the command of Stefan Czarniecki defeated the Swedish army commanded by Grand Duke Frederick of Baden. A company of Swedish dragoons fleeing towards Warsaw seized Czersk. When they left three days later, they burned down the town and blew up parts of the castle. Czersk never recovered from this destruction and was soon overshadowed by the ‘New Jerusalem’ township, built a few years later ─ now called Góra Kalwaria (meaning Calvary Hill).
The SWEDES AT THE GATE event shows the Swedish attack on the castle. It features skilled re-enactors, cavalry and artillery demonstrations by the Swedish regiment and a muster of pikemen. You’ll smell the black powder weapons in action and get your hands on a sabre.
Experimental archaeology is a fun way of bringing the past to life. Craftsmen and women show you how it’s done. You’ll come face-to-face with a potter, a knotter, a blacksmith and a salter, a woodcarver and others. Some things simply look easy, but others you can have a real go at ─ setting a fire, baking flatbread and making your own pot.
JAZZAMEK CZERSK is where new music meets old walls. Jazz of all types, sometimes old songs in new arrangements, sometimes global hits, and all played live in a relaxed atmosphere in the castle courtyard, under the stars.
Join us under a starry sky, at the height of activity of the Perseids, a swarm of meteors that burn up when they enter the Earth's atmosphere at astronomical speeds. You can’t fail to be moved by the ‘falling stars’ ─ the peak astronomical event of the summer. Hear stories about the stars, given by members of the Society of Astronomy Lovers (PTMA), sit back and enjoy a light show and listen to smooth, atmospheric music.
MUSICA VIVA! is a series of encounters with mediaeval music. Music has always accompanied people in daily life and feast days, in times of peace and war. And you too will hear music performed by early music ensembles on replicas of historical instruments at evening concerts in the castle courtyard.
A two-day knight event set in the 13th century ─ Czersk's golden years. Knightly tournaments were the medieval way of testing the skills and bravery of knights without going to war. They were great entertainment and highly competitive, with combat taking place according to strict rules. Tournaments were an important part of the courtly and knightly culture of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. And the Princes of Mazovia lay on extravagant knightly entertainment! In the tournament tiltyard at Czersk, you will see displays by knights on horseback and on foot, swordplay and other games that formed part of the training regime, fighting between light and heavily armoured knights, steely one-on-one combat and raucous mass mêlées.
The castle courtyard will be full of ladies, knights and ordinary folk, with craft stalls all around. The castle in all its glory, living as it used to. Your ears will buzz with the clashing of swords, the cries of men fighting and the fairground bustle. You’ll see a medieval knights’ camp, take part in peasant style games, hear mediaeval music, bargain with merchants at the fair and taste the cuisine of yore - all reproduced with painstaking care.
Nobly handling our tournament since 2009 is Brotherhood of Knights - Dragon Company, archaically supported by re-enactor groups from all over Poland and further afield.
MAYDAYS is a multi-day event that kicks off the program HISTORY VIVA! This is very much a hands-on event where you go beyond just seeing the clothes and armour, tools and equipment used by people in the Middle Ages. With us you can touch them, try them on and try them out, and turn your hand to making rope or weaving selvedges. And why not make your own flatbread and taste the dishes of yesteryear?
HISTORY VIVA! is a series of meetings with ‘living’ history, grounded in the rich past of Czersk. We have a series of weekends devoted to particular times in history ─ from the early Middle Ages to the 17th century. A gamut of re-enactors share their passions through shows, educational presentations and workshops on everyday life, activities, entertainment and customs of people from all layers of society. Come and see how people used to live here in Czersk, in the old days.
(weekends from May to September)
The uncertainty caused by the pandemic means we are not giving fixed dates for events in 2021. We’ll post them as soon as we can. Thank you for your support.
Delivered by the Cultural Centre in Góra Kalwaria
Subsidised by the National Centre for Culture under the programme Kultura w sieci