Ruins of the Sobień castle, Manasterzec
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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Ruins of the Sobień castle



The feature is an example of a Medieval private castle, performing an important role in the defensive system of the south-eastern areas of the Kingdom of Poland in the 15th century.


The castle complex was established in place of an early medieval Russian hill fort functioning in the 13th century, which was surrounded by earthen fortifications. The castle was erected in the second half of the 14th century and was founded by Casimir the Great as part of the process of reinforcing defensive potential of the country in a broad zone of the Polish-Hungarian borderland, on Red Ruthenian lands newly incorporated into the Kingdom of Poland. In 1389 the castle was passed over to the Castellan of Lublin, Piotr Kmita, by king Władysław Jagiełło and from that time onwards it constituted the main residence of the Kmita family of Sobień in the Sanok region. Probably in the early 15th century the gatehouse located in the eastern part of the complex was expanded and the eastern part of the castle was erected to house residential buildings. We know that in 1434 a castle chapel functioned within the complex. In the 15th century the castle was surrounded by a perimeter defensive wall and was still in use in the first quarter of the 16th century. After the erection of a castle in Lesko by the Kmita family and relocation of the main family residence there, the defensive castle in Sobień was abandoned and slowly began to dilapidate. Perhaps one of the reasons for leaving the castle by the Kmita family was its severe damage during the invasion of Hungarian troops in 1474. In the period between the 16th and the 19th century remains of the castle belonged to Stadnicki, Ossoliński, Mniszech and Krasicki magnate families.


Ruins of the castle are located on a high hill that constitutes one of the ranges of Słonne Mountains. Perfect defensive features of this place were enhanced by the castle’s location in the fork of the San river and its right-hand tributary - Sobienka. The castle was erected on an irregular quadrangular floor plan terminating in a sharp angle in the north-west, where a quadrangular gatehouse was located. The main residence was set on a rectangular floor plan and was located in the eastern part of the complex. It probably featured two storeys. Entrance to the castle led from the north-west through a stone gatehouse, preceded by an antecastrum surrounded by earthen ramparts. Parts of the wide gatehouse and a residential building have survived to our times. The northern part of the tower was probably erected already in the 14th century and features preserved walls on the northern and southern side. Currently, the eastern part of the tower consists of walls reaching the second storey and including two buttresses in the north. Two rectangular window openings have survived in the northern wall. The residence was erected on a rectangular floor plan and featured a single-bay layout. Traces of ceiling beams have survived on walls of this part of the castle. Window openings have survived on the lower and upper storeys; they terminated in semicircular arches on the lower storey. Two corbels, one of which originally supported a bay window, have survived on the southern façade. Since 1997 a viewing terrace has functioned in the southern, lower part of the castle complex, which provides a magnificent panoramic view of the San river valley and Słonne Mountains. Wooden stairs with handrails have been brought to the tower ruins from the antecastrum.

The site is open to visitors.

compiled by Andrzej Gliwa, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Rzeszow, 14.10.2014.


  • Czołowski A., Dawne zamki i twierdze na Rusi Halickiej, „Teka Konserwatorska”, Lwów 1892, s. 115-116.
  • Frazik J. T., Zamki ziemi rzeszowskiej, Kraków 1971.
  • Guerquin B., Zamki w Polsce, Warszawa 1984, s. 289-290.
  • Marszałek J., Katalog grodzisk i zamczysk w Karpatach, Warszawa 1993, s. 145-146.

General information

  • Type: castle
  • Chronology: II poł. XIV w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Manasterzec
  • Location: Voivodeship podkarpackie, district leski, commune Lesko - obszar wiejski
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland


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