Castle ruins, Tworków
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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The castle in Tworków, presenting a considerable historical, research and artistic value, was originally erected in the 16th century, most likely on the pre-existing foundation of an even older, medieval structure. In the years 1871-1872, the castle was redesigned at the request of its erstwhile owners, the Saurma-Jeltsch family, with the design itself being the work of Karl Heidenreiche - the disciple of Karl Lüdecki, the designer behind many grand Silesian residences - who also designed numerous other buildings, including the Pławniowice palace.

The nearby church houses an impressive collection of sumptuously decorated sarcophagi of the von Reiswitz noble family, who had owned the castle at a certain point. This collection also includes another remarkable feature in the form of preserved children’s clothing; one should also mention at this stage that the display contains the greatest number of preserved children’s sarcophagi in Poland, their lavish painted decorations making them even more valuable today.


The very first mentions of the Tworków manor date back to the year 1525 and pertain to the acquisition of both the castle and the village by Jan Sup von Fullstein. Later on, the arduous task of remodelling the crumbling medieval structure was taken up by the new owner, Kasper Wyskota from Wodnik, who worked as a land judge, with the commonly accepted date of either commencement or completion of the project being the year 1567, due to the presence of the inscribed date on a piece of stone detailing adorning the tower. In 1574, the Renaissance complex was acquired by Jan von Beeß von Cӧln und Katowitz, a judge of the circuit court covering the area of Opole and Racibórz. After his death in 1585, the castle was sold to Hynek Petrowicz Charwat from Wilcza, who completed the construction works. Further extension works and modernisation of the interiors took place in the years 1621-1637; among the successive owners of the castle, one should mention the following: Wilhelm Boreck, Ewa Boreck, Wacław Reiswitz, Jan Władysław Reiswitz, Zofia Eleonora von Reiswitz, Bogumił von Tracht, the Curschwan family as well as Bogumił Leopold von Eichendorff. In the 1780s, Jan Eichendorff established a park around the castle and extended the existing ponds. Following the acquisition of the manor by the von Saurma-Jeltsch family in the years 1872-1874, the castle was thoroughly redesigned in the Renaissance Revival style based on the design produced by the architect Karl Heidenreich from Kupiz. In 1876, a tower clock with four dials was installed inside the tower. The interior layout remained unchanged, although a new study and billiard room were added in the north-western pavilion. A new, round fortified tower standing adjacent to the eastern wing was added, while the northern wing was now graced by a two-storey cloister. During the night hours on January 8, 1931, the castle was engulfed by a devastating fire which lasted well into the next day; from that moment onwards, the structure has remained in a state of ruin. In March 1945, during the three weeks of intense hostilities, what little remained of the palace was plundered and set on fire once again. For the years that followed, the structure continued to dilapidate, until it was taken over by the Krzyżanowice Commune from the Agricultural Property Agency of the State Treasury in 2003. The site was partially cleaned up, with the debris being removed and the self-sown vegetation cut back; from 2009 onwards, the ruins have been made available to tourists. According to legends, the castle had once been haunted by a ghost, the “white lady”, with the last known apparition recorded on Christmas Eve in 1930.


The building stands on an escarpment in the north-eastern part of the village. It is partially surrounded by a walled moat, whose remnants can still be seen along the southern façade, with the Psina river forming the northern boundary of the castle site. The immediate surroundings of the castle include the remains of the landscape park established in the 1780s in the form of plantings of old trees, with the represented species including linden, elm and beech, their trunks enveloped by common ivy; brick cellars from the 16th/17th century are still extant in the eastern part of the park. The entire site is surrounded by a wire fence.

In years 1872-1874, the castle underwent a comprehensive redesign based on the design produced by Karl Heidenreich, emerging as a Renaissance Revival palace with remnants of the original design created during the Renaissance period. The castle was designed on a roughly C-shaped plan consisting of three wings surrounding a courtyard with arcaded cloisters, opening towards the south. The western wing is longer than the rest and incorporates a quadrangular clock tower, with the second, cylindrical tower being positioned at the south-western corner of the edifice. The interior layout is irregular, with most sections of the palace featuring a single-bay layout. The castle is a brick structure with stone additions, its walls originally covered with plaster; the overall axial layout of the windows is largely irregular, with the exception of the arcaded courtyard. The most notable decorative flourishes include fragments of cornices, rustication as well as decorative surrounds and gables. Another significant feature is the pair of small niches in the front façade of the eastern wing, topped by a small, triangular pediment, which had once incorporated stone statues which have been preserved at the local church. From 1931 onwards, the castle has remained in a state of ruin; none of the original fixtures and fittings or other items of interior décor have been preserved to the present day.

The site is accessible for a fee. Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 11 AM - 7 PM, Saturday and Sunday, 1 PM - 7 PM, for more information please contact the site custodian (phone: 032 4196128).

compiled by Agata Mucha, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Katowice, 07-08-2014.


  • Chrzanowski T., Kornecki M., Katalog Zabytków Sztuki w Polsce, Vol. VII Województwo Opolskie, Issue 13 Powiat Raciborski, Warsaw 1967.
  • Pilch J., Leksykon zabytków architektury Dolnego Śląska, Warsaw 2008;
  • Newerla P., Wawoczny G., Zamki i pałace dorzecza górnej Odry, Racibórz 2007.
  • Binacz, Tworków wczoraj i dziś, Warszawa 2007.
  • Pracownia architektoniczna prof. arch. Jerzy Witeczek, Prace konserwatorskie i zabezpieczające ruin zamku w Tworkowie, Gliwice 2006, (Inventory number: 14209, Archive of the Silesian Regional Monuments Inspector).
  • Tworków Zamek. Inwentaryzacja wstępna. (Inventory number: 14416/x, Archive of the Silesian Regional Monuments Inspector).

General information

  • Type: castle
  • Chronology: 1525 r.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Parkowa , Tworków
  • Location: Voivodeship śląskie, district raciborski, commune Krzyżanowice
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland


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