Janowice Wielkie – castle Bolczów


It is assumed that the castle Bolczów was built around 1375 by the hofmeister of the Świdnica princes, Mikołaj Bolcze. He supported the Hussite movement, and the stronghold became the robber knights nest. In 1433, it was destroyed by the townsmen of Świdnica. The castle was rebuilt only in 1517-1518 by Hans Dippold von Burghaus. Then a new ward was built, and a defensive tower was erected in the southern corner. In the years 1537-1543 Just Dietz, courtier of Zygmunt the Old, modernized the defensive system by building a barbican and a bastion. The fall of the castle took place in 1645 thanks to the Swedes, who captured it during the Thirty Years War and then burnt it. From that time, the building was not inhabited.


The oldest part of the stronghold is the upper castle, occupying the area between two rock formations. A stone dwelling house stood on a north-west elevation called the Kapelania. Another house placed from the north was rectangular in plan, with dimensions 7.8 x 20 meters and had cellar with vaulted chamber and vestibule. It had two rooms in the ground floor. On the opposite side, from the south-west, a corner, four-sided defensive tower was built. The gate was located in the southern curtain. It led to irregular bailey, probably created after 1433. Two courtyards formed it, separated by a group of rocks. The early modern development phase is presented by the extensive gate complex from the south-eastern side. The late medieval tower with passage completes from the north the bastion and semi-circular foregate leading to the bridge.

Current state

Of the three main parts of the castle, the 16th century part has been preserved best to this day, with the barbican wall, the bastion and the entrance gatehouse. You can also see a series of perimeter walls with arrowslits, a water cistern, and fragments of a residential house on an upper castle. The ruin area is open to visitors.

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Leksykon zamków w Polsce, L.Kajzer, S.Kołodziejski, J.Salm, Warszawa 2003.