"Achieving a Balance Between Commercial Development, Tourism Requirements and Historic PreservationIntroductionPolish Tourist Authority (POT) surveys, that historical heritage is one of the main country's attraction for domestic tourists and overseas visitors It seems, that the key is a rational balance between commercial development, tourism requirements and historic preservation. In Poland there are now about 60 000 historic monuments (officially registered by Ministry of Culture) of different "tourist value". Comparing to the other architectural monuments - historic castles act as a real magnets to overseas and domestic tourist alike. The problem is catering for the needs of the visitors without destroying the character of the unique historic environment. As tourism continues to grow, the management of this problem in historic castles becomes more crucial. Study Problem and MethodIt is difficult to state how many castles came into being in Poland; at present their state is estimated on about half thousand objects, coming from different historical epochs. Without regard on their technical state - the Polish castles, by their picturesque ness, secular history, connection with events and heroes of our past - create today interesting " touristy space" of the almost always strong value and make possible the development of the sustainable forms of tourism: sight - sees tourism as well as cultural tourism. Which method these historic monuments are prepared for such expectations and if the touristy functions are convergent with principles of protection of cultural environment - on these questions had to answer a research undertaken in the year 2002 by the Institute of Tourism and Recreation in Warsaw. In the first stage of this research studies (2002/2003), field investigations in selected castles were completed with the help of about one hundred of students from the Institute of Tourism and Recreation in Warsaw. Especially due to the students' share questionnaire investigations were conducted in some historic monuments of Mazovia Region. The study covered a dozen of castles of Mazovia Region, all which have a tourist function. The research was focused on the analyze of the following questions:-castle main functions-tourist movement (per year) -management activity to create a cultural/educative event, -cooperation with local authorities and non-government institutions-accessibility for handicapped persons-legal and technical state -conservatory programmed requirementsFirst Results Accordingly to the present records of the Ministry of Culture - on terrain of Mazovia Region there is more than a dozen of historic castles, having supplied documentary evidence which is led by a Mazovia Province Conservator of Historic Monuments in Warsaw in the Official Register and dependent legal protection at present. Some of them are kept in good technical state, but several survived to our times only partly. Apart from inaccessible for tourists Castle in £owicz, other Mazovian castles are adapted for tourist function, as museums, galleries, preserved ruins (then often with special "route touristy"); and also as conference bases, as hostels and gastronomy. The majority of investigated objects have function of museum or gallery. It is the function, it seems, welcomed both from the point of view of historic relics protection needs, and the development of sustainable tourism: first of all the sight - sees tourism (as the educational activity) and cultural tourism (concerts, theatre performances, competitions, festivals). Museums are organized in all Warsaw castles (Royal, Ujazdowski, Ostrorogski), and also in castles in Opinogóra, Oporow, Ciechanow, Plock and in Liw - fulfilling this way simultaneously several tasks: historic monuments conservatory activity, educational programs as well as scientifically - investigative programs.Two of Mazovia castles were transformed into hotel function after 1945 year.On the base of our researches, it seems that most of the castles of Mazovia Region are prepared for tourist function in creative way, becoming strong magnet and important attraction for tourists, as real "show-places". What is very important - unfortunately only few castles in Mazovian Region are technically adapted for the handicapped guests' needs and requirements. DiscussionDescribed castles in Mazovia Region are varying in many ways: tourist functions and range of touristy services as well as historic values and elements of Conservatory Program With attention on this differentiation it seems possible to divide castles into three following groups:1. Probably to the first group we could include all the castles which are preserved in a good technical state, which are located in the important touristy centers, of settled prestige and the renown, and with rich cultural-educative programs (museums, exhibitions, concerts). It seems that they have both the high rank as tourist attraction and that they effectively contribute to the cultural life as well for the tourist and the local community (Warsaw, Pultusk, Oporów).2. Castles included into the second group are the objects which technical state or location do not permit development of so many functions, but in which thanks to the initiative of managers and local authorities, are organized (mainly in summer season on the historical courtyards) varied open-air events: concerts, theatrical and opera performances, knights tournaments and feasts, also the arrangements of the type "light and sound" (Ciechanów, Czersk, Liw). These programs are attracting both local community and tourists resting in neighborhood; we may say that these castles are acting as important centers of cultural life.3. We can include into the third group (fortunately comparatively small) some Mazovian castles which are both in poor technical state and located on the areas of small touristy movement. Most of them have very passive managers, which restrain to keep open the object for sightseers, but not taking an effort to overcome the stereotype programs and to create a valuable touristy attraction (Rawa Mazovian).It seems, that in some of the castles of Mazovia Region, particularly in these located outside much frequented touristy routs, it still exists a chance to create interesting and important centers influencing on the cultural life of local societies. Also a chance of implementing some education programs on the subject of tradition and history of given region (with accentuation the local identity). Such liveliness of the cultural life (thanks to initiative of local authorities as well as the administrator the historic castle), the proposal of attractive outdoor events in summer period - would be simultaneously a chance of promotion the region, a chance of development some sustainable, pro-ecological forms of tourism (sight - sees tourism and cultural tourism)."