Chudów – castle

History

   The first timber motte castle was built in Chudów in the first half of the fifteenth century. In its place in the 30s of the 16th century, Jan Gierałtowski from Saszowski family, built a brick castle. Gierałtowscy family ruled Chudów for over one hundred years, only from the seventeenth century, the owners began to change often. In 1657, the castle was plundered by the imperial army, which led it to ruin. Reconstruction was undertaken in 1840 by Alexander von Bally, abandoning the defensive nature of the castle. The end of the functioning of the residence was in 1875, when the castle was destroyed as a result of a fire. The then owner, Count Schaffgotsch, ordered to partially dismantle the walls to make the castle a picturesque ruin.

Architecture

  The castle from the fifteenth century was built on a natural hill with a diameter of about 30-40 meters, located on marshy and swampy terrain. It was a wooden building or tower with side lengths of 9 meters. To it south-west corner was added a small, also wooden economic building. Inside it, the remains of a timber floor were discovered. The tower, at a distance of about 2.5 meters, was surrounded by a palisade of round logs with a diameter of about 20 cm, put at intervals from 0.6 to 1 meter. In addition, the inner edge of the moat was reinforced by the fascine, and the three logs discovered in the moat suggested the functioning of a timber bridge.
   The castle from the sixteenth century was a two-story building on a square plan with a gate tower from the west. Inside, there was a courtyard with cloisters and a well. On the first floor there were four living rooms and two rooms for servants. Above there was a dining room, six living quarters and three other rooms. The courtyard was shielded by a curtain wall, its thickness reached 1,65 meters. A multi-storey tower built on a square plan was included in the perimeter of the castle walls. Two arrowslits flanked the door on the first floor. There were larger windows on the upper floors. On the second floor there was a castle chapel. The tower probably was crowned with timber hoarding, supported on the corbels, after which holes in the walls remained.

Current state

   In 1995, the care of the monument was taken over by the “Chudów Castle” Foundation. Reconstruction and excavation works began. The castle tower was rebuilt and covered, the walls were raised around the courtyard and the gates were renovated. The castle currently houses a small museum; open-air cultural and educational events, historical staging, concerts and medieval fairs are organized. Both the reconstruction of the building, the research undertaken and the use of buildings are an example of a professional and correct attitude to the protection of monuments, especially in comparison with other pseudo-reconstructions, that we can currently observe in Poland.

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bibliography:
Chorowska M., Rezydencje średniowieczne na Śląsku, Wrocław 2003.

Leksykon zamków w Polsce, L.Kajzer, S.Kołodziejski, J.Salm, Warszawa 2003.
Nowakowski D., Śląskie obiekty typu motte, Wrocław 2017.