Castle, Suliszowice
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl
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The late medieval castle in Suliszowice was one of the so-called watchtowers erected in the 14th century in the Cracow-Częstochowa Upland in order to provide additional protection to the border between Silesia and Lesser Poland (Małopolska). Remnants of structures of this kind, designed as small-scale fortified outposts scattered around the mountainous, rocky terrain, are now relatively rare. The remnants of masonry, cultural layers as well as moveable artefacts preserved on the site in Suliszowice 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 ruins of the small castle are perched on a tall monadnock located at the eastern edge of the village, to the north and the east of the Suliszowice-Zastudnie road (ca. 70 metres east from the road itself, right after the sharp right turn leading towards Suliszowice. Today, the entire area is heavily forested, making the rock outcropping almost inaccessible. The remnants of the structure are situated at a level of approximately 400 metres above sea level. The upper section of the castle-watchtower was perched atop the monadnock, standing about 30 metres tall and towering above the surrounding area; the total space of the upper part of the castle is estimated at about 600 square metres. A large fragment of a wall made of split stone, 19.5 metres in length, has been preserved at the top of the rock outcropping, with the width and height of the wall being 1.2-1.8 and 0.5-3.3 metres respectively. A courtyard surrounded by a stone wall is believed to have once stretched at the foot of the monadnock, on the eastern side thereof, while remnants of an earthen rampart and moat can clearly be seen on the northern side of the complex, the almost inevitable conclusion being that these structures also formed part of the fortifications designed to protect the castle against intruders. The site has not been examined by archaeologists so far.

History

No references to the castle in Suliszowice have been identified so far in the existing medieval sources. It is only in the late 16th century that we find a mention of the village of Suliszowice, forming part of the Przybynów parish and remaining under the control of the administration based in the Olsztyn castle; nevertheless, even this particular document contains no references to the structure itself. Two main theories exist as to the date of construction and the founder of the watchtowers scattered around the Cracow-Częstochowa Upland. According to the older of these theories, the watchtowers were constructed in the mid- 14th century by King Casimir the Great (born 1310 - died 1370) and formed a system of fortifications protecting the border between the Kingdom of Poland and Silesia which also included larger, heavily fortified castles such as the one whose ruins survive in Olsztyn. A more recent theory, however, suggests that these watchtowers may have been built at a slightly later date, i.e. towards the end of the 14th century (years 1370-1391), with the man responsible for the implementation of the scheme being duke Władysław Opolczyk (Vladislaus II of Opole) (born 1326-1332 (?) - died 1401). It needs to be added at this stage that the site has not been examined by archaeologists, which means that neither of the theories referred to above has been confirmed so far. The period during which the castle remained inhabited is likewise unknown.

Condition and results of archaeological research

The ruins of the castle-watchtower are located on private land. The site is protected by a fence and inaccessible, with the entire site being heavily forested, making the ruins practically invisible.

compiled by Michał Bugaj, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Katowice, 12-10-2014.

Bibliography

  • 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.

General information

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

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