Hillfort, Bardo
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

An example of late-medieval defensive architecture.

Location and description

The archaeological site is located in the Bardo Mountains, in the south-western part of the town of Bardo, west of the town centre, on the top of a hill located in the Eastern Neisse river meander.

The now-vanished fortified complex is believed to have been designed on an irregular oval plan, its size being approximately 350 x 250 metres, its longer side being situated alongside the north-south axis. The site sustained severe damage as a result of the construction project (earthen fort) implemented here during the 18th century, with the encroaching urban devel-opment and the construction of monastery buildings taking their toll as well.


As a result of the archaeological research performed, two distinct phases of existence of the fortified complex have been identified. The first of these phases is believed to have taken place between the turn and the end of the 10th century, while the second phase lasted from the 11th to the 13th century.

The first mentions of the hillfort in Bardo in written sources date back to 1096, when the fort is known to have been razed to the ground by the invading forces led by duke Bretislav II. The hillfort was rebuilt shortly afterwards, however, with further mentions of this boundary fortress having been made both in 1155 and 1245. In 1203, references were made to a man called Sobiesław - the first castellan of Bardo whom we know by name. Documents dating back to 1261, on the other hand, refer to another local castellan - Bogusław Jarosławowic. In 1301, duke Bolko I sold the lands comprising the former hillfort to the abbot of the Canons Regular from Kamieniec Pomorski, to whom the church in Bardo - previously in the hands of the Order of Saint John - had been allocated by bishop Wawrzyniec back in 1210. The Can-ons Regular have also been allowed by duke Bolko I to build an ensemble of six market stalls on the site of the former hillfort. The former hillfort has thus lost its former function, its re-mains slowly succumbing to inexorable decay. During the 18th century, an earthen fort was built in the central part of the site.

Condition and results of archaeological research

The site was known to archaeologists back in the 19th century. During the pre-war period, site surveys were performed on the site by M. Hellmich and F. Geschwendt, among others. After 1945, various researchers have explored the site in different periods: 1951-1952 - A. Gałuszka; 1959, 1962 - J. Lodowski; 1982-1986 - J. Romanow, Z. Lissak, W. Piszczałowski; 1991 - J. Bronowicki, T. Płonka. Surface surveys of the site within the framework of the ‘Archaeologi-cal Picture of Poland’ project were carried out in 1984.

The analyses performed have allowed researchers to conclude that the hillfort’s existence can be subdivided into two phases. There is not enough available data to determine the original layout of the complex during the first phase of its existence. Neither do we know anything about the fortifications which may have protected the site at the time. During the second phase, a hillfort was established in the northern part of the complex, its dimensions being about 30-40 metres, with the remaining part of the site performing the function of an ancillary settlement. The hillfort was surrounded by a box rampart (i.e. earthen rampart with an inner core made of timber box-like structures filled with clay and gravel), with an addition rein-forcement in the form of an inner wall made of split limestone bound with clay mortar. A moat up to 5.4 metres deep was located at a distance of about 2.8 metres from the outer side of the wall; the depth of the moat in the vicinity of the ancillary settlement, on the other hand, was up to 3.2 metres. In the course of excavation research, apart from remnants of the defen-sive structures, various other items have been unearthed, including pottery fragments, animal bones, pugging, iron objects as well as pieces of weaponry.

The historic site is accessible to visitors. The town of Bardo forms part of the Cistercian Trail, Amber Trail and Napoleonic Trail.

Compiled by Donata Trenkler, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Wrocław, 22-10-2014 r.


  • Archeologiczne Zdjęcie Polski, obszar 93-26, karta: 1/1.
  • Boguszewicz A., Corona Silesiae. Zamki Piastów fürstenberskich na południowym pograniczu księstwa jaworskiego, świdnickiego i ziębickiego do połowy XIV wieku, Wrocław 2010, s. 191-192
  • Grodziska wczesnośredniowieczne - karta stanowiska [archiwum Wojewódzkiego Urzędu Ochrony Zabytków we Wrocławiu]

General information

  • Type: hillfort
  • Chronology: koniec IX - koniec X w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Bardo
  • Location: Voivodeship dolnośląskie, district ząbkowicki, commune Bardo - miasto
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland


report issue with this site

Geoportal Map

Google Map

See also in this area