It is in the 14 century already, that the castle has been built in Kórnik by the brother of the bishop of the nearby Poznań. The medieval defensive castle has been throughout centuries changed and rebuilt by the consecutive aristocratic owners, the noble families Górka, Nałęcz Czarnkowski, Grudziński and Szołdrski. Inherited in 1801 by the Działyński family, the Kórnik Castle has been rebuilt (1843-1861) in the neo-gothic style by the famous architect from not so far away Berlin - Karl Friedrich Schinkel. Death of the owner - Tytus Działyński interrupted the construction, but just a few years later, his son Jan Kanty Działyński continued the works. Unfortunately, because of the Jan Kanty Działyński participation in the National Insurrection of 1863, he had to flee the country. He was in 1864 in his absence sentenced to death, and it took him several years to reverse this conviction and connected with it confiscation of the Kórnik castle. In 1880, the property has been inherited by Władysław Zamoyski, who before his death gave the castle and the park to the Polish nation. In 1924, a foundation has been created called Zakłady Kórnickie, which till today manages the property.
The Arboretum of Kórnik
The romantic castle in Kórnik is surrounding by a beautiful park called Arboretum with the big old trees, blossoming bushes, lawns, and meadows. On the place of the old, originally established in 17 century and further constructed in 18-century French Style Park, the new owner of Kórnik - Tytus Działyński established an impressive big park. Arboretum is organized in a free English style with open spaces of lawns, quiet meadows, interesting trees, and bushes. It is now one of the richest parks in number of species – around 3500 with the biggest in Poland collection of rhododendrons and azaleas. Some of the big, old trees growing here date parks beginning in the 17 century so many trees have now almost 200 years. In the years 1960-1970, the park has been extended further east and behind the Kórnickie Lake. The best time to visit the park is in late spring when the rhododendrons and magnolias blossom or in early autumn, when the plants leaves turn yellow and red. You may buy a ticket just to visit the park for less than 1 euro. Especially in the summer, you will find here a deep shadow, fresh air, beautiful light.
The town of Kórnik
Nearby small town of Kórnik (pop.6500) is a typical small Polish town with its characteristic central square, old City Hall Parochial church, traditional architecture of its houses. Today it forms one municipality with the equally small Bnin, similar in character. It is in Bnin that the Nobel Prize in Literature, 1996 - Wisława Szymborska was born in 1923. Kórnik is surrounded largely by forests and lakes. Nearby Poznań is a big, old city full of vibrant cultural and commercial activity.