Grzmiąca – Castle Rogowiec


   The beginnings of the castle date back to the end of the 13th century and are connected with the prince Bolko I of Świdnica, who ordered it to be built as one of the links in the chain of fortifications along the Czech border. The castellan was then a courtier Reinczko. In 1316, it became the base of prince Władysław of Legnica, in his conflict with Bolesław of Brzeg. From Grzmiąca he raided the brother’s duchy, along with a knight from Rogowiec of unknown name and a, armed team formed of outlaws. The stronghold was probably destroyed before the mid-14th century during the war of Bolko II of Świdnica with John of Bohemia. Putting fire under the defensive circuit, significantly weakened the structure of the building and probably contributed to the break of the main tower – bergfried in three parts. In 1392, the castle together with the whole Duchy of Świdnica and Jawor went under Czech rule, and then became private property, due to the loss of strategic importance. During the Hussite wars according to tradition it was taken over and devastated by the Hussites, then it became the seat of knights-robbers. This provoked the expedition of the army of king Matthias Corvinus, who captured the stronghold in 1497 and destroyed it, so that the ruins did not rise again.


   The castle, located on a rocky hill, consisted of the upper castle, the zwinger and the lower castle. The upper castle had a shape similar to a triangle with an area of about 700 m2. A cylindrical tower with a diameter of 10 meters and a wall width of 3.6 meters stood on its western top. The thickness of the perimeter wall was varied and ranged from 1-1.3 meters above the western cliff, up to 2.5 meters in the remaining sections. In the first phase of use in the thirteenth century, the buildings formed a two-wing house at the north and east walls. In the ground floor, its two entrances leading from the courtyard have been preserved.
   In the second stage, in the 14th century, a four-sided building with dimensions of the interior of the ground floor 7 x 15 meters, was erected on the site of the demolished building. It had a vaulted cellar of 6 x 12 meters carved into the rock, which was led by a stone corridor from the southern side. Starting from the ground floor, the brickwork elements were northern and eastern walls, common with the perimeter wall. From the south and west side, the building probably had walls built in a half-timbered construction. An additional stone element was a cylindrical staircase located in the north-east corner of the perimeter wall. The defense circuit was also strengthened by adding in north-east corner of half-rounded tower. There were two towers on the low castle, a building with an entrance gate, and a second line of stronghold fortifications. At that time a gatehouse at zwinger was also built. This object was located in the line of the fortified circuit, taking the form of a tower with an internal dimensions of 2 x 2 meters, open from the side of the upper castle.
   The third phase of the fortress development took place in the fifteenth century. In the upper castle, in the place of the destroyed four-sided building, a courtyard began to function, connected by a gate with zwinger. At the top of the hill a new residential building was erected, probably with the proportions of the tower. The building with external dimensions of 9.2 x 11 meters had an entrance on the ground floor level. On the eastern side, there was a hearth on the stone foundation. Within the zwinger area, the gatehouse was extended more than twice and probably obtained a half-timbered wall on a stone foundation from the side of the upper castle. The largest investments in this phase of the expansion of the castle are visible at the lower castle, which for the first time was surrounded by a stone defensive circuit.

Current state

   Currently, only fragments consisting of relics of perimeter walls, small remains of towers and a fragment of a cylindrical tower with a height of about 3 meters are preserved from the castle. Admission to Rogowiec area is free, but it is worth remembering that it is considered the highest castle in Poland. The mountain on which it was built rises 870 meters above sea level.

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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.

Leksykon zamków w Polsce, red. L.Kajzer, Warszawa 2003.
Rozpędowski J., Zamek Grodno w Zagórzu Śląskim i zamki Nowy Dwór, Radosno, Rogowiec, Wrocław 1960.