I‘m not really sure where to start with Mozna Castle. The middle of old nowhere would probably be quite accurate, but to be more specific, this Baroque behemoth lies in old Bohemia, otherwise known as Upper Silesia, Poland. The castle has 365 rooms and 99 spires. Its historical records only date back to the 17th century but excavations in the 20th century revealed medieval burial crypts and remnants of a presumed Templar stronghold. Curious to know more about the site featured on numerous lists for “the most beautiful castles in the world“, I discovered that not only can you stay overnight in its rather peculiar brand of luxury hotel accommodation, but the historic building is also home to a real-life Hogwarts school of wizardry…
I google translated most of the website which is mostly in Polish to get a better idea of the program, which has several 10-day winter and summer sessions.
Classes and activities include alchemy, herbal medicine, cryptography and cryptanalysis (learning to encode and decode messages using ciphers), divination, the art of predicting the future and discovering the secrets of the past, studying spell books, history of magic and magicians, learning the types of wands and more.
For an admission fee of $650, participants live in castle dormitories, adopt wizard robes, wooden wands and receive diplomas upon completion of the semester at the School of Wizards…
I also noticed on the website that they’re looking for new professors– in case you have a few magic tricks up your sleeve and fancy teaching baby wizards in one of Europe’s most beautiful castles. But if wizardry isn’t quite your thing, the castle also operates as a hotel, albeit a curious one…
The Mozna Zamek Hotel offers vast rooms with names like “Golden Apartment”, opulently but sparsely decorated, as if there wasn’t enough furniture left to go round for the castle’s 365 rooms.
The central part of the castle is an old baroque palace and later became the family residence of industrial magnates from 1866 until 1945, when they were forced to flee to Germany as the Red Army moved in and occupied Mozna. The period of the Soviet control caused significant damage to the castle’s interiors in comparison to the minor damage caused during the war.
For many years after the war, Mozna did not have a permanent owner it became a private nursing home in the 1970s and later a public health institution for Neuroses. The hotel’s gigantic rooms start from just $50 a night, and you’re free to roam the incredible castle.
While some rooms are stuck in some strange Soviet time warp, squatting the Baroque bones of the castle, Mozna is truly a magnificent site to explore.
And if you can’t book a room or enroll in wizard school just yet, I’ve found an incredible virtual tour of Mozna put together by Polish photographer Jaroslaw Malkowski. I’ve spent the better part of my day following his lens through Harry Potter hallways, down into the medieval crypts, through the garden’s romantic Orangerie and up to the secret passageways of the rooftop. And that is why I love the internet. Start your tour here. Enjoy!