The hill situated at the confluence of the rivers Bystrzyca and Czechówka and surrounded by pools was hard to conquer. The natural assets of this location determined that an early-medieval fortified settlement was erected here, probably as early as the 6th century. The Gothic castle was built on the hill in the 1st half of the 14th century by Casimir the Great. In 1569, the castle was the venue of the parliamentary session that led to the signing of the Polish-Lithuanian Union of Lublin. In the 17th century, as a result of wars, the castle was destroyed and finally demolished in the 18th century. From the entire castle complex only the 13th-century Romanesque tower, known as Donjon, the Gothic chapel of the Holy Trinity and a section of the Gothic tower, known as the Jewish Tower, have survived to this day.
In the years 1824-1826, at the initiative of S. Staszic and according to the design of S. Stompf, a new English Gothic Revival style building was erected on the hill to serve as a prison of the Congress Kingdom. It was the prison for 128 years. In the years 1831-1915 there was the tsarist prison here, mainly for participants of the struggles for independence, among others for Insurrectionists of January 1863. In the period 1918-1939, alongside the prisoners convicted for criminal offenses, the members of communist movement acting against the Polish state were serving their sentences here.
World War II and occupation is the period of the Nazi prison, in which over 40,000 people, mainly members of the resistance movement, were held. A large part of the prisoners died in executions and death camps. On July 22, 1944, before leaving Lublin, the Nazis murdered 300 prisoners of the castle.
After liberation from the Nazi occupation, in August 1944, a political criminal-investigative prison was established in the castle subordinate to the Soviet authorities and then the Public Security Bureau. In the years 1944-1954 about 35,000 Poles who opposed the communist enslavement were imprisoned here.
After liquidation of the prison in 1954 and renovation works, the castle was intended for cultural purposes. From 1957 it is the headquarters of the Lublin Museum founded in 1906.