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Castle - Zabytek.pl


woj. śląskie, pow. myszkowski, gm. Koziegłowy - miasto

The vestigial remains of a castle, magnate’s fortified residence - or hillfort-castle, as others prefer to call it - remain a rare example of a fortified complex from the 14th-16th century.

What is known today is that the castle served as the main seat of the Koziegłowski noble family, its history being inextricably linked to the history of both the town of Koziegłowy and the entire region. The uniqueness of the complex stems from the fact that it combines elements of both a masonry structure and a wooden and earthen hillfort. Despite the absence of conspicuous, picturesque ruins, the archaeological site in Koziegłowy remains extremely valuable both from a research and historical standpoint.

Location and description

The site is located at the edge of the Cracow-Częstochowa Upland, about 1.25 kilometres to the north-west from the market square, surrounded by intermittently waterlogged meadows, south of the nearby Sarni Stok river. The total surface of the now-vanished magnates’ residence is approximately 1.7 hectares. All that remains of the once-resplendent castle today are earthen ramparts with moats as well as vestigial remnants of foundations concealed beneath the soil and grass.

In the light of studies performed so far, one may conclude that the main, masonry section of the castle was originally surrounded by a peripheral wall, with the castle complex being designed on a rectangular plan, its dimensions being 50 x 25 metres, hence the relatively small surface area of about 725 square metres. The castle was surrounded by two ring-shaped earthen ramparts, most likely crowned with wooden palisades, with a moat positioned between the ramparts. A small, oval-shaped auxiliary hillfort adjoined the eastern side of the main complex. One should also add at this stage that the maximum height of the remnants of the castle walls, virtually indiscernible among the surrounding terrain, is about 1 metre.


The construction of the castle is believed to have commenced back in the first half of the 14th century, although the identity of its founder remains a mystery. Włodzimierz Błaszczyk opines that the fortified structure may have in fact been erected even earlier than that, perhaps at the initiative of Mikołaj of the Lis coat of arms, whose date of birth remains unknown, but who is known to have died in 1206. In years 1176-1206 he performed the function of the voivode of Cracow, while years 1194-1199 saw him acting as the co-regent on behalf of duke Leszek I the White (born 1184 or 1185, died 1227). During the initial phase, the complex was intended as a wooden structure, perhaps a fortified tower or keep, perched atop an artificial hill (a conical motte). Stanisław Kołodziejski, on the other hand, believes that the castle was erected in the mid-14th century, most likely at the initiative of Mściwój (the son of Mściwój of Krzelów), whose is known to have served, among others, as the łowczy (master of the hunt) and chamberlain (podkomorzy) of Cracow, with numerous mentions of his actions being recorded in written sources dating back to the years 1336-1385. The very first owner of the castle expressly mentioned in written sources, however, is his son, Krystyn of Koziegłowy (year of birth unknown, year of death: 1437), the castellan of Sądecki region (1386-1417) and commander of the 42nd chorągiew (a historical military unit, translating literally as “banner”) during the Battle of Grunwald in 1410. The castle remained in the hands of the Koziegłowski family until 1519 and was subsequently acquired by Jan Konarski, the bishop of Cracow, thus becoming the property of the Cracow bishopric. It has also been determined that in by 1598, the castle has already been turned into ruin, while the remnants of the surviving walls were ultimately demolished in 1865. It should also be added at this stage that in 1426, the castle was visited by King Władysław Jagiełło (born ca. 1352 or ca. 1362, died 1434).

Condition and results of archaeological research

Excavation surveys of the site were performed in the years 1966-1969 (Włodzimierz Błaszczyk) and in 1978. In the course of these surveys, the main constituent parts of the complex have been identified and a substantial collection of moveable artefacts has been unearthed, believed to originate from the period between the 14th and the 16th century. The structures unearthed in the course of excavations included a gatehouse, designed on a square plan (9 x 9 metres), fragments of walls made of split limestone, a rectangular building most likely serving residential functions as well as fragments of a cobbled courtyard. It needs to be added at this stage that a document dating back to the year 1472 mentions the existence of a chapel, bakery, common room located next to the keep as well as earthen ramparts crowned with two rows of wooden structures (fences or palisades).

The site is accessible all year round.

compiled by Michał Bugaj, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Katowice, 31-10-2014.


  • Antoniewicz M., Zamki na Wyżynie Krakowsko-Częstochowskiej. Geneza - funkcje - konteksty, Kielce 1998.
  • Błaszczyk W., Inwentaryzacja średniowiecznych zamków i strażnic murowanych na wyżynie jurajskiej, “Rocznik Muzeum w Częstochowie” 1966, vol. 2, pp. 9-34.
  • Guerquin B., Zamki w Polsce, Warsaw 1984, pp. 282-283.
  • Kajzer L., Kołodziejski S., Salm J., Leksykon zamków w Polsce, Warsaw 2007.
  • Kołodziejski S., Średniowieczne rezydencje obronne możnowładztwa na terenie województwa krakowskiego, Cracow 1994.

Category: other

Protection: Register of monuments, Monuments records

Inspire id: PL.1.9.ZIPOZ.NID_A_24_AR.32871, PL.1.9.ZIPOZ.NID_E_24_AR.3247183