Hillfort, Cieszanowice
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

The magnificent ring fort in Cieszanowice is among the best preserved early mediaeval defence structures in the Opole region.

Location and description

The hillfort is located on the west side of the railway track, approx. 500 m to the north-west from the boundary of the village, on top of a wooded elevation.

The early mediaeval settlement in Cieszanowice sits on the top of a hill, its slopes much steeper on the west and south-west sides, which meant a defensive advantage. It is oval in shape and encircled by a 2-metre-high rampart. The width of the rampart at its base is approx. 4 metres. The rampart is enclosed in the moats: the inner moat of the width of about 6 m and the outer moat with the width of 5 m. The area of the inner yard is irregular. The site is completely covered with a deciduous forest; there is a deep and unused sand extraction pit in within the site limits.


The fort dates back to the Early Middle Ages, i.e. between the 10th and 12th century.

The top part of the hill was fortified by the surrounding earthen rampart, probably formed by the material extracted from the two side moats. A closer analysis of the settlement shows that the inhabitants launched the construction of a fort but, for reasons that remain unknown, did not manage to complete it. Possibly, it coincided with the forced annexation of Silesia to the state of the Piast dynasty. Conquered by the Piasts, the locals did not have enough time to bring their defensive plans to the end successfully.

Condition and results of archaeological research

The site was discovered in the pre-war period. The surface examination held in 1960 by Józef Kaźmierczyk, Klemens Macewicz and A. Szczodrak accumulated archaeological material, such as fragmented early mediaeval dishes. Ever since, the existence of the settlement has been confirmed in subsequent surface tests.

The historic monument is accessible to visitors. It is located on the grounds of the State Forests and in the vicinity of a number of dirt roads leading from the railway crossing in Cieszanowice.

Compiled by dr Magdalena Przysiężna-Pizarska and Ewa Kalbarczyk-Klak, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Opole, 17-11-2014.


  • Kaźmierczyk J., Sprawozdanie z weryfikacji wczesnośredniowiecznych i średniowiecznych grodzisk na terenie woj. Opolskiego w 1960 roku. Śląskie Sprawozdania Archeologiczne, t. 3, 1960, s. 34.
  • Kozłowska W., Wczesnośredniowieczne grody woj. Opolskiego na tle warunków fizjograficzno - gospodarczych, KO, t. 1, s. 6 - 23, poz. 70; 1956.

General information

  • Type: hillfort
  • Chronology: X-XII w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Cieszanowice
  • Location: Voivodeship opolskie, district nyski, commune Kamiennik
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland


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