The castle-manor complex in Liw is the oldest example of the architecture in the Siedlce Region. In the Middle Ages the wooden castle protected the eastern part of the Mazovia Duchy from the attacks of the Russian, Lithuanian and Baltic tribes. In the first quarter of the XV century Janusz I Prince of Mazovia founded a new castle of brick made by the architect named Niclos on the artificially raised island surrounded by the swamps of the Liwiec River, which was the border of the state these times.
The Gothic castle possessed crenellated walls, a drawbridge and 2 buildings for the knights crew. The walls and the tower were heightened in 1437, 1512 and 1550-55. Nearby there was a settlement of the craftsmen and court servants. Before 1421 this village gained the town rights. In the XVI century, from 1526, the Mazovian Princess Anna was the owner the castle. She was the last member of the Piast Dynasty which ruled the Mazovia Duchy for almost 300 years.. The next owner of the castle and all of Mazovia Duchy was the Kingdom of Poland represented by another lady - Bona Sforza, the Queen of Poland. During her governing of the province.
The great disaster for Liw were the so-called Swedish Wars. In 1656 and in 1703 the Swedish Army conquered and plundered the town and the fortress, which was ruined after the second invasion. In 1782 the foreman of Liw County Tadeusz Grabianka built up the Baroque-style manor for his office. It was burnt by the accident in the half of the XIX century. During the II World War the German foreman of this area wanted to turn the ruins into the bricks and the next use it for building concentration camp in Treblinka, but young Polish archeologist, Otto Warpechowski, persuaded him, that Liw castle used to be the fortress of Teutonic Order Knights. And, it so happened, that Liw was the only castle in Poland renovated by Nazi occupants during the war!
Since 1963 there exist the Museum Armoury which presents the old weapons from the XV - XX century: the firearms, the sidearms and about 100 bayonets. In the museum it is also could be seen a brilliant collection of the sarmatian style Polish portraits and old furniture. Our Museum organizes concerts of classical and pop music. As with every old castle, Liw is visited by ghosts. The most important is the ghost of Ludwika Kuczyńska, innocently accused of conjugal infidelity and beheaded. So-called Yellow Lady (in yellow long dress) appears herself over the castle walls at midnight.
Liw is situated 80 km to the east of Warsaw. In 2004, Liw celebrates the 700th anniversary of it’s existing (first document with “Liw” name was written in the year of 1304 ) . The Castle is a seat of the Knights Order of Mazowsze and Podlasie Area. Since 2001, annually, Liw has hosted knights from all other the country who have come to take part in the Knight Contest of the Ring of Princess Anna. The warrior`s fights and the battles is organized simultaneously with other cultural events: shows of old-age dance and outfit, concerts of old and modem music, exhibition in the Tower Gallery, artistic acts and performances.
From the 2003 In June Museum Armoury organizes an Archaeological Feast. As part of celebrations, visitors could attend the following shows and events: Roman legions (shows of fight, armours, fortifications), barbarian warriors, Polish history (2004), Napoleon Army (2005) the Vikings (2006), pottery, manufacturing and use of wood tar, wattling, bronze manufacturing, archaeological workshops, weaving, exhibition concerning a choosen period of the history influence, archery, and. spear hurling. Presentation and arrangement of all the events allowed visitors to enjoy close contact with history and archaeology. The Feast was mainly addressed to the school youth and kids.
Both, the Contests and the Feast have been organized by young, enthusiastic people, full of entrepreneurial fleur and willing to co-operate and exchange experience.
In the castle`s Knights Room meetings and lectures may be held for approximately 60 attendants. The Tower Gallery, located in the gothic tower, offers a magnificent and severe atmosphere. It provides room for 20 medium size works. Stairs leading to the Gallery saw the time of the Queen of Poland, Bona Sforza.
The accommodation for visitors is provided in a hotel located 4 km from Liw. The Liw Castle copes with two problems - cracking walls and lack of funds to maintain them.