Kazimierz Dolny – castle and tower

History

   The complex of medieval fortifications in Kazimierz Dolny consists of a royal castle and a cylindrical tower located 180 meters away. Their creation can be associated with the existence of a customs chamber in the settlement from the 13th century. The tower, commonly known as the Łokietek Tower, was built at the turn of the 13th and 14th centuries, possibly because of the foundation of this ruler. The castle was erected a bit later, in the reign of king Casimir the Great. They served primarily an administrative function as a starost and later remained in the hands of tenants. For the longest time, from 1509 to 1644, the starost was held by the Firlejs family. At that time, thanks to Mikołaj Firlej, the renaissance reconstruction of the castle took place. Its slow demise began after the destruction made by the Swedes in 1655-1657 and 1707-1714. From 1774, the stronghold was already abandoned.

Architecture

  The original castle complex consisted of perimeter walls in the shape of an elongated polygon with dimensions of 30x65m. The entrance to the castle was in the north-east stretch of walls. Then, a four or five-storey tower was erected, open to the interior of the courtyard and extended slightly in front of the north-west face of wall. It was built on a square plan with a side of 10 meters, and its corners were reinforced with buttresses. Another expansion in the fifteenth century consisted on an erection in the south-west part of the courtyard, a three-storey residential wing. Its internal division is currently unreadable. A little later, but still in the fifteenth century, a second residential wing, one-storeyed and finished with a small tower, was added. The dry moat also comes from this period, cutting off access to the castle from the south.
   
The Łokietek Tower is made of stone on a plan of a circle with a diameter of 10 m. Its height reaches 20 meters and the thickness reaches 4 m. The entrance is located at a height of six meters above the ground level. The oldest source messages indicate that it could be covered with a conical roof supported by wooden pillars. In its interior traces of three utility storeys have survived: the entrance, the higher defensive and the most extensive residential and business with preserved traces of the fireplace. The lowest storey houses a dungeon. The upper floors were equipped with single slotted window openings with stone benches.

Current state

   The castle is currently secured as a ruin with a readable layout. However, the XIII / XIV century tower has been fully preserved, being one of the most valuable monuments of this type in Poland. Both recently renovated buildings are adapted for sightseeing. Dates and opening times can be checked on the official website of the castle here.

show castle on map

show tower on map

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