Castle, Przewodziszowice
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl
photo

The structure in Przewodziszowice is one of the few of the so-called watchtowers erected on the Cracow-Częstochowa Upland in the late Middle Ages. These structures are rare examples of highland fortifications designed on a relatively small scale. The remnants of masonry, cultural layers as well as moveable artefacts preserved on the site in Przewodziszowice remain a valuable source of knowledge about both the castle itself, the surrounding region and the defensive architecture of the late Middle Ages.

Location and description

The historical monument is located about 750 metres north-east of the village. The remnants of the castle (watchtower) are perched atop an inaccessible limestone outcropping (inselberg), rising about 19 metres above the surrounding terrain, with the absolute height of the rock formation being approximately 390 metres above sea level. The small castle is believed to have consisted of two distinct sections. The upper part of the structure sat atop the rock formation itself, its total surface being approximately 1650 m². The remnants of the high castle consist of a fragment of a peripheral wall with a total length of approximately 26 metres, its thickness and height being 1-1.8 metres and 1.2-9.6 metres respectively. One may conclude that the total surface of the structure perched atop the rock formation was approximately 125 m². It is also suspected that the limestone outcropping was surrounded by castle grounds, circumscribed by earthen and wooden revetments.

History

Information on the historical monument remains scarce at best. No mentions of the structure in historical sources have been identified, and the site itself has never been subject to archaeological surveys. In the older literature on the subject, the prevailing view is that, much like other watchtowers erected in the region, the structure in Przewodziszowice was established somewhere around the mid-14th century by King Casimir the Great (born 1310, died 1370) and formed part of the system of border fortifications which the monarch ordered to be constructed during his reign. More recent theories, however, suggest that the castle/watchtower may have in fact been erected by duke Władysław Opolczyk (born 1326-1332 (?) - died1401), with the structure itself only being constructed towards the end of the 14th century, specifically in the years 1370-1391. In addition, it is now known that the village of Przewodziszowice was already in existence in 1382, with Mikołaj Kornicz, also known as “Siestrzeniec”, being the owner of the castle in the years 1424-1444, who was also the burgrave of the Będzin castle, having received the latter for his victories in the war against the Teutonic Order. However, there was also a darker side to his story, for he was known to have used his castles as outposts from which he and his rogue knights made incursions into the surrounding areas, revelling in plunder. It was for these and other crimes that in 1434, he was sentenced by the royal court, losing some of his properties and influence. The exact date of the destruction and abandonment of the castle-watchtower in Przewodziszowice is unknown.

Condition and results of archaeological research

The site is accessible all year round.

compiled by Michał Bugaj, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Katowice, 08-10-2014.

Bibliography

  • Antoniewicz M., Mikołaj Kornicz Siestrzeniec - sławny burgrabia będziński, Katowice 1987.
  • 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
  • Kajzer L., Kołodziejski S., Salm J., Leksykon zamków w Polsce, Warsaw 2007.
  • Kołodziejski S., Średniowieczne rezydencje obronne możnowładztwa na terenie województwa krakowskiego, Cracow 1994.

General information

  • Type: castle
  • Chronology: poł. XIV w. – XV w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Przewodziszowice
  • Location: Voivodeship śląskie, district myszkowski, commune Żarki - miasto
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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