On the outskirts of the small Polish village of Lapalice lies a property so large it’s hard to believe it was built for just one family. Lapalice Castle, a 52-room property, is hidden away in the woods, on the very edge of the village overlooking a man-made pond and the surrounding countryside.
You may be forgiven for assuming that the castle is centuries-old like many found all over Europe. Lapalice Castle, however, isn’t centuries old, construction on the castle began in 1983 before a number of issues halted progress. Meaning nobody has ever actually lived in the property.
The story behind Lapalice Castle begins in the early 1980s when local sculptor Piotr Kazimierczak received a building permit for a single-family house with a studio.
Piotr obviously had a different vision for his home, as despite only having a permit for a small cottage, the project quickly increased from 170 square meters to 5,000 square meters.
Between 1983 and 1991 one of the largest privately owned homes in the country was built. Spread out over several floors was a 52 room property, featuring 365 windows, a giant ballroom, swimming pool, and 12 turrets that represented the 12 apostles.
However, in 1991 construction abruptly stopped when officials realized that what was being built wasn’t what the planning permission was granted for.
In the years after Piotr’s company got into financial difficulty and was unable to continue with the project. By 2002 however, Piotr was back on his feet and submitted new documentation.
However, the new documentation was incomplete and so the decision was made to demolish the castle. After numerous objections, more documentation was submitted in 2013 but once again was rejected.
As of now, construction work on the castle is suspended. The castle remains a shell, open to the elements, visited by tourists who explore the property at their own risk. Unfortunately, the property is not safe and much of it is now covered in graffiti.
Piotr hasn’t given up on the dream of completing his castle though. As recently as 2017 he stated that he is still fighting for it. He doesn’t believe the castle can be demolished as it has been standing for more than 20 years. After 20 years the property has some legal protection.
He is currently considering two possibilities. Complete his original vision for the property, or possibly sell it and watch it be turned into a hotel.