Hillfort, Bielsko-Biała
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl
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The medieval ring fort in Bielsko-Biała (site 1, AZP 107-47/1) was inhabited from the 12th century to the end of the 14th century, and possibly even in the 15th century. It is the oldest historic site in Bielsko-Biała and a highly valuable archeological site. It is one of the few fortified settlements discovered in Upper Silesia. The remains of the ring fort have discernible — to a certain degree — topography indicating the existence of fortifications of a defence settlement. In the yard of the ring fort, there are historic cultural strata and immovable and movable archaeological finds — sources allowing insights into the most ancient times of the city and the region.

Location and description

The site is situated along the upper edge of the small Starobielski Stream valley. It is located in the west part of the city, in the Stare Bielsko (“Old Bielsko”) district, at Wał Szwedzki Street and Pod Grodziskiem Street.

It is a ring fort settlement with a roughly circular plan, the diameter being approx. 210 m. The area of the ring fort is about 3.5 ha when measured within the circumference of the preserved inner rampart and about 4.3 ha when measured within the circumference of the moat.

According to J. Bartys, the ring fort was surrounded by a double ring of wood and earth ramparts, with a wide moat in between. Only the inner rampart has survived to this day. The southern quarter of the ring fort, in which the 19th century Evangelical church with the associated buildings and a garden are located, is also destroyed to a considerable degree. In this part of the historic site, the ramparts and the moat are completely even and unnoticeable.

History

The fort was constructed in the 12th century and was used at least until the end of the 14th century, and possibly also in the 15th century. Currently, in the south part of the site, there is a 19th century Evangelical church with associated facilities and a garden.

Condition and results of archaeological research

The first excavations on this site were carried out by Jan Bartys as early as before World War II, i.e. in 1938. In the 1970s and early 1980s (1973-1979 and 1981), the research works were continued by Małgorzata Płazak. Moreover, a geophysical survey was conducted on this site in 1978. The archaeological works enabled the identification of the remains of wooden houses and facilities (workshops, forges?). A wooden well, waste and production pits, and bloomery holes were discovered. A large number of fragments of ceramics and metal artefacts (including weapon elements and tools) and animal bones were also found.

The site is accessible all year round.

compiled by Michał Bugaj, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Katowice, 20.08.2014.

Bibliography

  • Bartys J. 1939. Sprawozdanie z badań na grodzisku w Starym Bielsku w powiecie bielskim, przeprowadzonych w roku 1938. Badania Prehistoryczne w województwie śląskim w latach 1937-1938. Prace Prehistoryczne 5, 61-78.
  • Informator Archeologiczny. 1974. Badania rok 1973. Warszawa, 218.
  • Informator Archeologiczny. 1975. Badania rok 1974. Warszawa, 200, 201.
  • Informator Archeologiczny. 1976. Badania rok 1975, Warszawa, 213.
  • Informator Archeologiczny. 1977. Badania rok 1976. Warszawa, 233, 234.
  • Informator Archeologiczny. 1978. Badania rok 1977. Warszawa, 197.
  • Informator Archeologiczny. 1979. Badania rok 1978. Warszawa, 202.
  • Informator Archeologiczny. 1980. Badania rok 1979. Warszawa, 186, 187.
  • Informator Archeologiczny. 1982. Badania rok 1981. Warszawa, 201, 202.
  • Jakimowicz R., Bąk S. 1939. Atlas grodzisk i zamczysk śląskich. Kraków, 17-19.

General information

  • Type: hillfort
  • Chronology: XII – XIV w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Wał Szwedzki, Pod Grodziskiem , Bielsko-Biała
  • Location: Voivodeship śląskie, district Bielsko-Biała, commune Bielsko-Biała
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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