Cieszów – Castle Cisy


   The first mention of the defensive site, probably still timber, in the village of Cieszów comes from 1242, but it is placed in a forgery. The stone castle is traditionally connected with the turn of the 13th and 14th centuries and the initiative of the prince of Świdnica-Jawor, Bolek I. The castle was probably enlarged by his successor Bolko II. Cisy was one of the castles that Bolko II took in 1355 as part of a wider military action against the rebel strongholds in the area of today’s Wałbrzych. There is no information about who the prince has won, but in 1357 was mentioned Nicholas (Nickel) writing de Cyskberg from the Bolz family. After the death of Bolko II widow, duchess Agnieszka, it became the property of the Bohemia Kingdom and was the residence of powerful families, first Zeisperck, then Bolcze and Czettritz. The castle was destroyed during the Hussite wars, and once again in 1466. In the second half of the fifteenth century, the western bailey was added, then the eastern one, and in the sixteenth century, a semicircular tower defending the bridge. During the Thirty Years War in 1634, it was burned by the Swedes. Abandoned, it began to fall into ruin and serve the local peasants for free source of construction materials.


   The building consisted of two baileys and a main castle separating them, which was certainly the oldest part of the complex. It was erected on a plan of a quadrilateral of 22×28 meters, from local sandstone. Defensive wall was strengthened in the corners by buttresses. The gate was placed in a small tower on the north-west axis of curtain. The house with dimensions 9.5 x 19 meters had at least two and maybe three floors and a hypocaustum stove. In the ground floor there was a slightly sunk into the ground room with a 3.5-4 x 8 meters and a barrel vault, which was led by a ramp from the courtyard. The high ground floor was divided into two rooms. It was covered with a timber ceiling, like the first floor. In south-east corner a tower with a diameter of 10 meters was placed, partly going outside the face of the defense circuit. The entrance to the bergfried tower was at the height of the first floor.
The main castle was surrounded by external walls forming a small courtyard. In its corner there was an entrance gate to the outer ward. A water cistern remained at the perimeter wall. From the north, the ward was completed with a round tower or a bastion. The second, major outer bailey was communicated with the upper castle through the gate in the south-east corner of the external wall, at the foot of the main tower. A road to the eastern outer gate ran through the courtyard, preceded by a neck and a bridge over the moat.

Current state

   Currently, the castle is a stone ruin, within which the massif of the upper castle and the relics of the east and west baileys are preserved. Due to the difficult access road, it is avoided by most tourists.

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Boguszewicz A., Corona Silesiae. Zamki Piastów fürstenberskich na południowym pograniczu księstwa jaworskiego, świdnickiego i ziębickiego do połowy XIV wieku, Wrocław 2010.
Chorowska M., Rezydencje średniowieczne na Śląsku, Wrocław 2003.

Leksykon zamków w Polsce, red. L.Kajzer, Warszawa 2003.