Hillfort, Wiślica
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

In the early Middle Ages (10th - 13th century) Wiślica was one of the most important administrative centres of Małopolska. They were two settlement here, each of which was able to play the role mentioned above, though the discussed settlement was perhaps of a military nature with a permanently stationed military garrison. The oldest rampart with the outer wall made of the so-called dry wall (built from gypsum shale joined with clay) is the only such structure in Małopolska. In Poland, there are but a few examples of use of this technique, all in Lower Silesia. Yet, it was a common way of making ramparts and embankments in Bohemia, Moravia and Slovakia.

Location and description

The hill fort lies in an overgrown oxbow of the Nida River, about 410 m south-east of Wiślica. The settlement is well preserved and visible; it has a triangular shape with rounded corners. The preserved rampart is 3.8 m high. The traces of the moat are visible. The complex is a single module of the area of approximately 1 ha.


The hill fort was probably erected at the turn of the 10th century. It probably marked the beginning of the Piast rule in Małopolska. The motte was destroyed during a fire, possibly during the siege of Wiślica by the Ruthenian and Polovts tribes in 1135, although it is uncertain which of the forts in Wiślica (i.e. the hill fort, the settlement in the meadows or the one in regia - on the headland of the town island) was attacked. At the turn of the 13th century, probably during the Czech reign in the Małopolska region, a stone wall was erected in connection with the attempts of Władysław the Short to seize Wiślica. The are no signs of use of the hill fort afterwards. During WWI, the hill was the Russian army artillery position. After WWI, the local population rebuilding their houses used the stone from the defensive wall of the fort, which was sold by one of the local construction entrepreneurs. The site also suffered through agricultural activity carried out for several years until 1929, that is, the date of creating a reserve of the State Archaeological Museum in Warsaw.

Condition and results of archaeological research

The first information along with a sketch was provided in 1821 by Henryk Potocki. In 1948 the engineer Karol Jastrzębski performed land surveying and drew up a contour plan. In the years 1955-1968, Włodzimierz Antoniewicz and Zofia Wartołowska conducted research; it was resumed between 1996 and 1998 by Waldemar Gliński. The first rampart was built as an earthen structure finished with dry wall. Later, a timber-and-earth structure was added outside. A wooden bridge led to the gate from the west. Inside, more 20 half-earth lodges were discovered, mostly built as pillar structures, and a dozen of other buildings, including outbuildings, a well and a tank.The wall was built of partly dimensioned stone and single Romanesque bossages (one bears a sign resembling the Greek letter π or λ). Some of most interesting items are a horn knife or sickle holder with the representations of six female busts, probably water sprites, typical of pagan beliefs. Also a treasure was found of coins hidden at the turn of the 11th century in a small vessel, inside a cloth bag, and a treasure of gold and silver coins and silver items, probably hidden during the Polish-Swedish War.

The historic material is in the collections of the Institute of Archaeology, Warsaw University, and of the Voivodeship Office for the Protection of Monuments in Kielce.

Compiled by Nina Glińska, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Kielce, 02.10.2014.


  • Antoniewicz W., Skarb w Wiślicy, „Dawna Kultura”, 1954, t.1, s. 85-91.
  • Antoniewicz W., Znaczenie odkryć w Wiślicy, „Silesia Antiqua”, 1968, t. 10, s. 105-115.
  • Antoniewicz W., Wartołowska Z., Badania grodziska w Wiślicy, pow. Pińczów w r. 1949, „Materiały Wczesnośredniowieczne”, 1950, t. 1, s. 73-81.
  • Antoniewicz W., Wartołowska Z., Badania grodziska w Wiślicy (pow. Pińczów) w r. 1950,   „Materiały Wczesnośredniowieczne”, 1952, t. 2, s. 45-57.
  • Antoniewicz W., Wartołowska Z., Prace wykopaliskowe w Wiślicy w latach 1953 i 1954, „Sprawozdania Archeologiczne”, 1955, t. 1, s. 235-250
  • Antoniewicz W., Wartołowska Z., Sprawozdanie z prac wykopaliskowych na grodzisku w Wiślicy pow. Pińczów za lata 1951 i 1952, „Materiały Wczesnośredniowieczne”, 1956, t. 4, s. 149-161.
  • Gliński W., Koj. J., Z nowszych badań nad wczesnośredniowieczną Wiślicą, „Slavia Antiqua”, 1999, t. 40, s. 119-150.
  • Górna D., Drewniana zabudowa grodu wiślickiego, „Światowit”, 1982, t. 35, s. 129-160.
  • Pianowski Z., W sprawie datowania muru obronnego na grodzisku wiślickim, „Sprawozdania z posiedzeń komisji PAN”, 1983, t. 27, s. 7-8.
  • Wartołowska Z., Sprawozdanie z badań wykopaliskowych w Wiślicy, pow. Pińczów w 1955 r, „Sprawozdania Archeologiczne”, 1959, t. 5, s. 237-250.
  • Wartołowska Z., Oprawka rogowa z Wiślicy, „Światowit”, 1962, t. 24, s. 485-492.
  • Wartołowska Z., Gród wiślicki, Sprawozdania Zespołu do Badań nad Polskim Średniowieczem Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego i Politechniki Warszawskiej, 1961, s. 31-36.
  • Wartołowska Z., Górska I., Graba - Lęcka L., Okulicz Ł., Badania grodziska w Wiślicy w 1956 r., „Sprawozdania Archeologiczne, 1959, t. 7, s. 49-56.
  • Ziębińska N., Wczesnośredniowieczna ceramika z badań przeprowadzonych w 1996 roku na grodzisku w Wiślicy, „Materiały i Sprawozdania Rzeszowskiego Ośrodka Archeologicznego”, 2008, t. 29, s. 37-177.

General information

  • Type: hillfort
  • Chronology: 1. poł. XII w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Wiślica
  • Location: Voivodeship świętokrzyskie, district buski, commune Wiślica
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland


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