Birów – hillfort


   The oldest settlement in caves of Mount Birów was associated with the people of the Funnelbeaker Culture and the Corded Ware Culture from the Neolithic era. In the Bronze Age and the beginning of the Iron Age, a settlement with strong natural defensive values was established on the mountain, associated with the population of the Lusatian Culture. After its disappearance around 600-500 BC, a settlement from the late Roman period developed, represented by the Przeworsk Culture from around the 3rd-4th century AD. Then, the settlement was continued from the 8th century by the Slavs, who in the 13th century fortified the top of the mountain with stone, clay and earth ramparts. This stronghold was burnt down in the first half of the 14th century, which was probably related to the fights between Władysław Łokietek and the Czech king, Wenceslaus II. Hillfort was never rebuilt, but settlement began to develop in Podzamcze and Ogrodzieniec.


   The Lusatian settlement and then the Slavic stronghold were located on a hill, the central, flat part of which was about 100×50 meters, bordered with rocksy on the north and south side, and from the north – west with steep slopes. The terrain formed in this way left the only relatively convenient approach in the south-east, although the entry path had to cross a high slope there as well.
   The settlement built by representatives of the Lusatian culture consisted of houses of pillar construction, but no traces of defensive structures, palisades or ramparts were found. Perhaps the inhabitants of the time decided that the natural conditions of the area were sufficient protection, or the later works contributed to the blurring of the oldest fortifications.
   The Slavs decided to fortify the mountain from the north-west side with several sections of ramparts of a stone and wooden structure reinforced with clay, and from the east side with a stone wall on lime mortar. In this way, the natural walls created by rocks were supplemented by fortifications.

Current state

   Currently on the Birów Hill is a reconstruction of a medieval fortified settlement, which unfortunately does not bring us closer to the actual appearance of the old fortifications. The objections are, among others, to the appearance of the hut, the location of the main gate or the watchtower. It is worth hoping that at least some of these elements will be improved in the future. At the foot of the mountain, there is a barrow necropolis and caves that were the residences of the first inhabitants.

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Cyrek K., Muzolf B., Madeyska T., Podzamcze, “Góra Birów”, gm. Ogrodzieniec, woj. katowickie, “Informator Archeologiczny”, badania 26, 4-5, 1992.

Sypek R., Zamki i obiekty warowne Jury Krakowsko-Częstochowskiej, Warszawa 2003.