Castle, Sanok
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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The structure is an example of a royal starost’s castle in the Renaissance style that served defensive functions in the 16th-18th centuries. The Sanok castle is one of several preserved Renaissance royal residences in Poland.

History

As early as in the 12th and 13th century, the area was occupied by a Russian wooden fortified settlement, on the site of which Casimir the Great erected a new wooden and masonry castle in the 1340s. In the last years of the reign of Władysław Jagiełło, the Sanok castle became the endowment of royal wives. In 1523-1548, as part of the wider modernisation of the royal castles located in the south-eastern crown lands, Sanok starosts Mikołaj Wolski and Stanisław Cikowski carried out a thorough modernisation of the old defensive system of the complex combined with the reconstruction of the Gothic castle. These works involved, including, but not limited to, demolishing a wooden fence surrounding the castle, replacing it with a wall and liquidating the Orthodox church of St. Demetrios, and erecting a masonry entrance gate and constructing a new one-bay residential building consisting of two storeys. In the second half of the 16th century, the castle complex also included an archives building, which was used for storing Sanok municipal and land books, masonry defensive tower adjoining the castle to the north, and wooden armoury and utility buildings, such as a granary, kitchen, bakery, carriage house, brewery and bathhouse, and prison building. From the first half of the 16th century to the early 1780s, the castle was used as the seat of the Sanok municipal court and land court. In the first half of the 18th century, the castle was increasingly neglected; renovations were carried out only after it had been taken over by the authorities of the town of Sanok. In 1799, the castle building became the seat of the circular office, and later it housed the tsarist and royal offices of the starosty. In 1912, the southern castle wing was demolished. Between 1934 and 1939, the castle was used as the Museum of the Sanok Land reopened in 1946. During World War 2, in 1940-1944 the castle building was used as the Museum of Lemkivshchyna run by the German authorities. From 1968, the castle building has housed the Historical Museum in Sanok. The southern wing of the castle complex that houses a permanent exhibition of works of Zdzisław Beksiński was rebuilt in 2010-2011.

Description

The castle is located in the central part of the town on a lofty hill in a nearly triangular shape, with an almost vertical slope towards the valley of the San River and its left tributary Płowiecki Stream. To the west, a promontory of the castle hill is separated from the town buildings by a moat, which is now partially backfilled and overgrown with trees and bushes. The old entrance to the castle complex in the form of a bridge on masonry pillars was replaced with an earthen structure, through which the road to the castle passed. The masonry castle building consisting of a basement and two storeys was built of stone on a rectangular floor plan, covered with a gable roof made of ceramic beaver tail tiles. The building features a single-bay interior layout of rooms arranged in an enfilade, with a corridor facing the courtyard. The stone façades of the castle building are characterised by the preserved Renaissance portal and window stonework reconstructed in a fragmented manner. The northern side of the castle building adjoins the remains of a quadrangular free-standing masonry defensive tower, which now serves as a viewing platform for tourists and visitors with a distant view of the valley of the San River and Słonne Mountains. Wooden stairs with a balcony face the courtyard, and the castle courtyard feature a stone well. The preserved interior design includes basements with barrel vaults, which originally were accessed via the stairs from the courtyard. To the east, the castle area was closed off by a retaining wall erected in 1825 to protect the castle building against sliding. Currently, the castle is the seat of the Historical Museum in Sanok.

Viewing of the castle is possible during the opening hours of the Historical Museum.

compiled by Andrzej Gliwa, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Rzeszów, 13-10-2014.

Bibliography

  • Czołowski A., Dawne zamki i twierdze na Rusi Halickiej, “Teka Konserwatorska”, Lviv 1892, pp. 105-106.
  • Frazik J. T., Zamki ziemi rzeszowskiej, Kraków 1971.
  • Guerquin B., Zamki w Polsce, Warszawa 1984, pp. 282-283.
  • Inwentarz zamku, folwarku i młynów starostwa sanockiego w 1558, A. Fastnacht (ed.), Warsaw 1948.
  • Kiryk F., Terytorium i zabudowa, in: Sanok. Dzieje miasta, F. Kiryka, Sanok 1995, pp. 99-114.
  • Marszałek J., Katalog grodzisk i zamczysk w Karpatach, Warsaw 1993, pp. 197-199.

General information

  • Type: castle
  • Chronology: l. 40. XIV w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Sanok
  • Location: Voivodeship podkarpackie, district sanocki, commune Sanok (gm. miejska)
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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