The Czocha College of Wizardry (CoW) in Poland takes Hogwarts to a new level for grownup Harry Potter fans. The College opened in the medieval Czocha Castle in Poland for four days in November 2014, and attracted 190 participants from eleven countries. The next two sessions are scheduled in April 2015, basic wizard robe included.
The event is entirely volunteer-run and staffed by European role playing fans mad about Harry Potter. A crew from Denmark and from Poland collaborate and organize the event. Everyone attending participates in the larp (live action role playing) event. Participants must be age 18 or older and speak English. The fee of 280 Euro covers the event; participants pay their own travel costs.
With adult participants, the level of house rivalry, competition and drama moves to a higher level. Participants can advance their muggle studies, polish their Quidditch skills and craft new charms. Three levels of students – sophomores, juniors and seniors – choose one of five major areas of study – Aurors, Curse Breakers, Healers, Magizoologists and the Unspeakables. The areas of study determine which classes you’re enrolled in.
The castle, located near the border of Germany and Poland, lies surrounded by woods in a rural area, overlooking a river that grows misty in autumn. The castle has seen many rough times and multiple conquerors through the centuries. I’m sure pictures don’t do it justice – I’d like to visit during the college break.
Tickets went on sale December 11. Unfortunately, the event immediately sold out just before the ticket site crashed due to high international volume. Stay tuned for more college sessions. Links for further information and a preview are included below.
On a travel note, if you’ve thought about visiting to Poland, here’s one more item for the itinerary. You can still visit the castle (when college is not in session) and stay overnight. If you happened to bring a copy of any Harry Potter volume (okay, Kindle and Nook count), curl up under the sheets and pretend.
Photo of Czocha Castle by Rafal Konieczny, is licensed to copy under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.