Inside the real-life 'Harry Potter'-inspired wizard school that takes place in an actual castle

For those of us who didn’t get a Hogwarts letter, there’s some good news.

There’s a real-life castle in Poland where you can learn the magical arts. 

At the College of Wizardry located in Leśna, “long-flowing robes and dragontooth wands meet jeans and leather jackets.” Enrolled students can cast spells, learn about Ancient Runes, and be the star of their own “Harry Potter”-esque experience.

Scroll down to see what it’s like to be a student at the College of Wizardry. 

The College of Wizardry is a 'live action role play' (LARP) event. Each person involved plays the character of a witch or wizard for the weekend.

College of Wizardry

It's kind of like pretending you're in a fantasy movie.

College of Wizardry

Tickets for a 3-night stay at the Hogwarts-esque castle (called Czocha) starts at 390 Euros, or about $436.

Christina Molbech/College of Wizardry

The price includes room and board, with dormitories and group meals served Hogwarts-style.

College of Wizardry

You'll have to get yourself to Poland, though, and it's BYO-wand.

Christina Molbech/College of Wizardry

Your adventure might include sinister creatures and dark wizards ...

College of Wizardry

... epic romance ...

College of Wizardry

... and new friends.

College of Wizardry

But remember: You're also there to learn magic.

College of Wizardry

The College is inspired by 'Harry Potter,' but it isn't endorsed by J.K. Rowling or Warner Bros.

Christina Molbech/College of Wizardry

As it says on the website: 'This is an event about witches and wizards, not a Harry Potter event. We think the Harry Potter stories are great, though!'

College of Wizardry

The 'students' behave as if they have already graduated from Hogwarts, and are attending college.

College of Wizardry

Instead of 'Muggles,' non-magic folk are referred to as 'Mundane.'

Christina Molbech/College of Wizardry

Students must bring their own wands, and 'mundane' clothes. School robes are provided.

College of Wizardry

As you can imagine, they take things very seriously. There's a 560-page student handbook that's written in character.

College of Wizardry

You can order a leather bound copy, or get the PDF here.

The main handbook is an 88-page 'design document,' which helps players create and play their characters.

Christina Molbech/College of Wizardry

Read the full design document here.

There's also a special 'midterm madness' edition of the design document, and another book about magical animals.

Even the professors in charge of classes are LARPers, not professional actors.

Christina Molbech/College of Wizardry

Everyone at college speaks English, despite the homebase in southwestern Poland.

College of Wizardry

Parts of the school resemble Hogwarts and the players are sorted into houses.

College of Wizardry

Some students are assigned Prefect duty (similar to college RAs), and points are awarded to students.

College of Wizardry

The Czocha castle has five houses, each based on a different Eastern European culture.

College of Wizardry

The school teaches 13 different subjects.

Christina Molbech/College of Wizardry

They include Alchemy (potions), Beastology (similar to care of magical creatures), Herbology, and Magical Theory.

College of Wizardry

Students are taught how to cast spells, which work on each other if they agree to imagine them working on each other.

Source: Cosmic Joke UK

It's up to the the LARPer on the receiving end of a spell to have the right reaction, whether it's falling to ground or dodging the incantation.

Source: Cosmic Joke UK

Some of the experienced role-players use makeup and elaborate costumes to bring depth to their characters.

College of Wizardry

This guy looks like he's role playing as a rock.

College of Wizardry

The food is pretty normal, but the setting is magical.

College of Wizardry

At the end of the weekend, there's a celebration similar to the Yule Ball from 'Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.'

Christina Molbech/College of Wizardry

And of course, there's Quidditch. The real life version of the game is similar to dodgeball, soccer, and rugby all in one.


Source: Cosmic Joke UK

The College of Wizardry has a whole team of creative people working behind the scenes on props, costumes, and set designs to make the setting as magical as possible.

Christina Molbech/College of Wizardry

College of Wizardry is in session three times a year, and enrollment for March 2017 is open now.

Christina Molbech/College of Wizardry

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