Drzewica – Bishop’s Castle


   The castle was built in the years 1527-1535 from the foundation of the archbishop of Gniezno Maciej Drzewicki. After more than two centuries, the castle was taken over by the Sołtyk family, then by the Szaniawscy, and in the second half of the 18th century, it was donated to Bernardines. The decline of the defensive residence occurred after the fire in 1814. According to one of the legends, after the finished rorats, Bernardines did not extinguish candles, from which the whole building burned down. From that time, no one else lived in the castle, which fell into more and more ruin.


   The castle was built of local sandstone, only some structural elements and gables were made of brick. The building was erected on the plan of a regular rectangle measuring 37×43 meters. At the corners there are square towers, set diagonally to the wings of the building. Tower of north-east, slightly larger than the others, was strengthened with two corner buttresses. There was a gate opening and wicket pedestrian gate. The western part of the courtyard was occupied by a two-story, one-bay palace with basement, housed four rooms on each floor. From the side of the courtyard, two avant-corps were adjacent to the facade of the building. In front of the palace stood a three-storey building of an economic nature, converted in the nineteenth century to the chapel. The remaining sections of the circuit were a high defensive wall with a guard porch and arrowslits. The lower floors of the corner towers were also equipped with the arrowslits. The entirety was surrounded by a moat, irrigated by the nearby Drzewiczka river.

Current state

   The castle in Drzewica has been preserved in the form of a massive, gothic-renaissance permanent ruin. As it has not undergone any major alterations, its appearance is a great example of a sixteenth-century residence with small defensive qualities. Currently, it is in private hands and due to its technical condition there is no possibility of sightseeing from the inside.

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