Dębno – castle


   The founder of the brick castle in Dębno was the Crown Chancellor Jakub Dębiński of the Odrowąż coat of arms, who built his residence in the years 1470-1480. The late-gothic residence was erected on the site of an earlier castle from the second half of the 13th century, probably built by the Gryfits family.
   In 1586, the castle, already owned by Franciszek Wesselini, the secretary of king Stefan Batory, underwent a renovation in the renaissance style. Another reconstruction took place at the end of the 18th century, when the owners were members of the Tarło family. This is evidenced by the date 1772 on the baroque portal. At that time, a fragment of the northern range was added. Several renovations and restorations made by subsequent owners: Lanckorońscy, Rogawscy, Rudniccy, Spławscy and Jastrzębscy did not change its general appearance and the original characteristic shape. In the nineteenth century it was damaged by a fire, which mainly destroyed castle interiors. In 1970-1978 it was thoroughly restored.


   The castle is built of brick in the flemish bond on a foundation of glacial erratic boulders on a hill above the village. It has a plan of an irregular quadrangle and consists of four, two-story buildings, surrounding a trapezoidal courtyard. The west range is flanked by two towers, cylindrical at the bottom and octagonal at the top. In the eastern range there are two bay windows hanging on stone corbels. The living quarters of the floor were accessible from the timber porch, that ran around the inner courtyard. From the east there was a polygonal annexation, probably a chapel, which was demolished in 1777. The late-gothic castle is decorated with a rich stonework and decorative zendrówka brick with diamond patterns.

Current state

   The fully preserved castle in Dębno is considered a pearl of Polish architecture from the late gothic period. The original structure of the walls, the former interior layout and a part of the impressive design have been preserved. Since 1978, the castle houses a branch of the Regional Museum in Tarnów. There are also cultural and outdoor events organized, including International Knight’s Tournament “For the Tarło’s Golden Tress”. The dates and opening times can be checked on the official website here.

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Kołodziejski S., Średniowieczne rezydencje obronne możnowładztwa na terenie województwa krakowskiego, Warszawa 1994.

Leksykon zamków w Polsce, L.Kajzer, S.Kołodziejski, J.Salm, Warszawa 2003.
Moskal, K. Zamki w dziejach Polski i Słowacji, Nowy Sącz 2004.