The city Kalisz derives its name from a mention by Ptolemy in the 2nd century AD of the ancient Kalisii. It is known as one of the oldest Polish cities. It is believed that the first Polish rulers, the Piast dynasty had their cradle.
Archaeological research was conducted here 1958-1965 and 1983-1992. Cremation graves of the 7th – 8th century have been archaeologically determined as being of the Kurhan culture; a cult area is uncertain but could have been here. By the mid 9th century, there is a fortified settlement which grew until an important early medieval Polish castle: the Kaliski Gród Piastów (The Kalisz Castle of the Piast). The nature and layout of the city changed much over the 10th and 11th century. The Gród experienced its largest growth in the days of Prince Mieszko III the Old who also founded a large church where he was buried in 1202. At the end of the 12th century the castle was several times flooded. This, and the need to make stronger fortifications reduced the interior surface. In 1233, the Kalisz Piast castle was damaged during the invasion army of Prince Henry the Bearded of Silesia, who built a new castle about 1.5 km north. The old castle began to be gradually destroyed, and the final goal put his invasion of the Teutonic Order from 1331.
In 2007, with EU funding, part of the Gród was constructed again. On arrival, one sees the palisade with wooden bridge, ramparts and a wooden two-level tower. The ramparts have been planted with vegetation. Seven dwellings of various size and structure have been erected as well as a 7th century like tomb of the Kurhan Period. The interior outline of the Romanesque cathedral have been reconstructed as well as those of the first wooden church here. Hands on scale models of the way the gród might have originally looked like are on site. Three clogboats have been built as well.
A wooden residential building form the 18th century has been moved from the nearby old town in which an ethnographic exhibition is shown. There is also a multimedia presentation of the history of the Gród. Events include an "Archaeological Fair" and "Ivan Kupala" (in June), "Dinner Piast" (in August) and “drinking honeywine, the Prince's way" (in September).