Hillfort, Gardyny
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl
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An example of relics of a medieval stronghold with an exceptionally legible spatial form, situated in the vicinity of the Grunwald Plains where the grand battle was fought between the Polish and Lithuanian forces and the Teutonic Order on 15 July 1410.

Location and description

Owing to its location on a moraine uplift on the south bank of Lake Gardejki, the hillfort is a distinct dominant in the village landscape. The structure is situated on a road leading from Dąbrówno to Nidzica.

The truncated-pyramid shaped main core of the hillfort was built on a square floor plan, with a 69 x 69 metre base. The site is surrounded by a distinct moat of 4 to 6 metres in width. Outside the moat, there is a rampart of 2 to 3.5 metres in height. The rampart is not discernible from the south-east. The height of the main body of the hillfort is more than 11 metres above the moat bottom.

History

There are essential differences as when the fortified settlement in Gardyny was in use. Some archaeologists claim the stronghold was a Prussian, i.e. early medieval, defensive complex, whereas other researchers believe it was owned by the Teutonic Order and was built in the late Middle Ages (14th-15th century).

The village of Gardyny, within which the hillfort is situated, was first mentioned in written sources in 1328 as a knight’s estate. The Jan Długosz chronicle contains the information that the Gardyny stronghold and the nearby town of Dąbrówno were burned by the Polish-Lithuanian before the Battle of Grunwald. The hillfort is also called Szwedzka Góra (Swedish Hill) by the local population.

Condition and results of archaeological research

The site has not been subject to excavation so far. It was known to German researchers as an archaeological site. In 1827, Johann Guise carried out the first inspection of the hillfort and prepared its drawing documentation. In 1854-1855, the site was recorded in the first Prussian survey of monuments. Later, it was also examined by German researchers multiple times. In 1949, a surface survey of the site was carried out by Józef Antoniewicz. Surface surveys were last performed in September 2014, as part of an international expedition arranged by agreement between the Museum of the Battle of Grunwald and the Danish historical association Harja of Odense. The objective of the expedition was to perform another survey of the Grunwald Plains on which the historic battle was fought, as well as the areas and localities directly neighbouring on them.

The site is accessible to visitors.

Compiled by Adam Mackiewicz, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Olsztyn, 6.12.2014.

Bibliography

  • Antoniewicz J., Z zagadnień ochrony zabytków wczesnośredniowiecznego budownictwa obronnego na Warmii i Mazurach, „Sprawozdania P.M.A”, t. 3 (1950), s. 65, ryc. 13.
  • Hoffmann J. M., Mackiewicz A., Średniowieczne założenia obronne powiatu ostródzkiego, Ostróda 2004, s. 13-14, Ryc. IX, X.

General information

  • Type: hillfort
  • Chronology: 1301-1500
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Gardyny
  • Location: Voivodeship warmińsko-mazurskie, district ostródzki, commune Dąbrówno
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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