The oldest in the Lviv region, the Olesko Castle was founded in the beginning of the 14th century.
Mentioned in writing for the first time in 1327, initially it was built as a fortification surrounded with a moat and standing atop of a 50-meter hill.
By the 15th century the Olesko citadel was converted into a castle and has lost its fortification value. A handsome manor for rich Polish, Lithuanian and Hungarian landowners, the Olesko Castle has become a birthplace for Polish King John Sobieski III, famous for stopping Turkish expansion in Europe in the battle for Vienna. The years of John Sobieski III have brought the castle to its height. The castle already having a fashionable at that time Italian Renaissance look has undergone one of the most profound renovations. Many beautiful artworks were collected here, some of them are in the nowadays museum exhibition. Before the long years of negligence, the Olesko Castle has been a favorite residence for the King and his family. Two other Sobieski’s manors, in Pidhirtsi and Zolochiv, were easily accessible from the Olesko Castle and located in his preferred hunting area. A popular tourist route named Lviv Golden Horseshoe includes all the three castles of John Sobieski III.
Tartar invasion in the end the 17th century marked a page of annihilation for the castle. It was followed by devastating wars, an earthquake and even a lightning that has stroke the castle. Destruction was alternated with renovations, latter ones undone with the next disruption. Finally, the Olesko Castle becomes a museum, an annex of the Lviv Art Gallery.
Nowadays it features a vast collection of decorative and applied medieval arts, tapestries, sculptures and paintings. The castle is deservedly considered a Polish national monument and exhibits the richest Polish art collection outside of Poland.