The Kotówka Burgstall, Lubomia
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

The Kotówka Burgstall

Lubomia

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The remnants of the medieval Kotówka castle in Lubomia are one of the most valuable archaeological sites in all of Upper Silesia. The structure is a relic of a fortified ducal residence from the 14th-15th century, with findings of its kind being extremely rare today. The primary features of the site are its distinctive form as well as the cultural layers present beneath the soil, containing numerous moveable artefacts - including from the Bronze Age.

Location and description

The site is located in the western part of the Silesian Upland, on the Rybnik Plateau. It occupies the apex of a small hill, partially surrounded by deep ravines. The historical monument itself is almost indistinguishable from the surrounding terrain, with the hill itself being heavily forested.

History

The medieval burgstall in Lubomia is an enigmatic historical monument, with virtually no information on its history available in source documents. It was most likely designed as a fortified ducal residence in the 14th-15th century and may be linked to duke John I from Racibórz (born ca. 1332 - died between 1380 and 1382) and his son, John II the Iron (born ca. 1365 - died 1424). The exact date of the destruction of the structure is likewise shrouded in mystery, although one may suspect that the castle was destroyed during the Hussite wars of the 1430s or between the 1450s and 1460s. It also should be mentioned at this stage that traces of Mesolithic, Neolithic and early Bronze Age settlement have also been discovered, as have remnants of a Bronze Age settlement of the Lusatian culture.

Our knowledge of John II the Iron - who he was and how his life was spent - would seem to match the legend of a man known as Executioner, linked to the Kotówka castle. According to legend, the Kotówka castle - which may also have been known as Katówka, a direct reference to the word “Kat” (Executioner) - was said to have been the abode of the Executioner - a cruel and mischievous duke. He has later engaged in a bitter struggle against one of the members of the House of Jagiellon. Unsuccessful, he impaled himself on his own sword out of sheer despair when he saw his Kotówka castle in flames.

Condition and results of archaeological research

In May 2005, exploratory surveys were conducted on the site by Mirosław Furmanek and Sławomir Kulpa. Five small excavations were made in total, their aggregate surface being a mere 15 square metres. Despite the limited scope of works, numerous moveable artefacts have been recovered; a cultural layer containing various archaeological objects has also been identified. In addition to medieval artefacts (14th century - first half of the 15th century) and early modern items (second half of the 16th century - 17th century), some Mesolithic flint objects have been discovered, as have a few fragments of Neolithic pottery (the Linear Pottery culture - ca. 5300-4900 B.C.) and early Bronze Age items (Mierzanowice Culture - ca. 2200-2050 B.C.). Numerous fragments of pottery from the middle and late Bronze Age (Lusatian culture, ca. 1300-900 B.C.) have likewise been unearthed on the site. These records of prehistoric settlement are all the more important because this part of Upper Silesia has yielded very few items of this kind so far.

The site is accessible all year round. Artefacts recovered during the archaeological excavations can be seen in the Wodzisław Śląski Museum.

compiled by Michał Bugaj, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Katowice, 16-09-2014.

Bibliography

  • Jakimowicz R., Bąk S. 1939. Atlas grodzisk i zamczysk śląskich. Cracow, 4-14.
  • Furmanek M., Kulpa S. 2006. Lubomia, pow. wodzisławski stan. „Kotówka”. Sprawozdanie z archeologicznych badań sondażowych (typescript available at the Archive of the Regional Monuments Protection Office in Katowice).

General information

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

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