Molkenhaus, Molkenschloss., Jelenia Góra
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

Molkenhaus, Molkenschloss.

Jelenia Góra

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The burgstall (former watchtower) in Koziniec is an example of late-mediaeval fortified architecture.

Location and description

The remnants of the castle are located on the south-eastern slope of the Koziniec mountain (462 metres above sea level) which forms part of the Dziwiszowskie Range, inside a meander of the Bóbr river, about 5 kilometres east of the Jelenia Góra city centre.

Due to the severe damage done to the remnants of the castle, it is quite difficult to determine the initial layout thereof. All that remains of the structure today are small fragments of its walls, rising about 50-80 cm above the ground, as well as a retaining wall with the height of 2.2 metres. The walls are made of split stone (granite) bound with sand-lime mortar.

History

According to archaeological studies, the burgstall (watchtower) dates back to the 14th or 15th century.

According to Efraim Ignatius Naso (1667), the Koziniec castle was erected in 1198 by duke Bolesław the Tall, replacing a “pagan temple” that had once stood there. J. G. Knie, on the other hand, has stated that the structure was built somewhere around the year 1289, during the reign of Bolko I of Świdnica. However, the theories that the castle originates from such an early period appear largely unfounded. The pottery fragments unearthed in the course of the archaeological surveys are rather uniform in terms of age, indicating that the castle may not have been erected earlier than during the 14th century. It is said that the watchtower remained in use until 1428 (as stated in the Jelenia Góra chronicles), when its crew abandoned it and set it on fire in order to prevent it from being taken over and used for military purposes by the incoming Hussite forces.

Condition and results of archaeological research

In 1998, exploratory and surface surveys of the site were conducted (7 surveys in total). Further surveys of the site within the framework of the ‘Archaeological Picture of Poland’ project were carried out in 2001.

In the course of the exploratory surveys, pottery fragments originating from the 14th-15th century were discovered, as were some metal artefacts (three nails and a tear-shaped pendant made of lead), fragments of bricks and stove tiles, pieces of glass slag(?) and animal bones.

The location of the preserved fragments of the wall makes it possible to conclude that initially the defensive walls formed an enclosure 30 metres long and 14 metres wide. In the middle of this area there is a small plateau which may have served as the site of a building of some kind. The section circumscribed by a defensive wall and the top of the hill are separated by a depression which may have served as a natural moat. A stairway hewn in rock leads from the depression to the hilltop. No traces of structures related to the castle have been found at the top of the hill, although according to M. Chorowska and her team of researchers, this place surely must have served as an observation point due to the fact that it is the highest spot in all of the surrounding area, which means that some kind of structure - perhaps an observation tower - must have once existed here.

The historic monument is accessible to visitors. Koziniec forms part of the Piast Castle Trail (marked in green).

compiled by Donata Trenkler, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Wrocław, 01-10-2014.

Bibliography

  • Archaeological Picture of Poland, area 84-17, sheet 17/14; Chorowska M., Dudziak T., Jaworski K., Kwaśniewski A., Zamki i dwory obronne w Sudetach, vol. II: Księstwo jaworskie, Wrocław 2009, pp. 112-114;
  • Wilk S., Strażnica wojskowa na Kozińcu w świetle archeologicznych badań sondażowych, I Międzynarodowa Konferencja. Człowiek i środowisko w Sudetach, M. Boguszewicz, A. Boguszewicz, D. Wiśniewska (eds.), Wrocław 2000 pp. 243-250.

General information

  • Type: castle
  • Chronology: XIV-XV w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Jelenia Góra
  • Location: Voivodeship dolnośląskie, district Jelenia Góra, commune Jelenia Góra
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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