Korzkiew – castle

History

   The beginnings of the castle should be dated to the third quarter of the fourteenth century. Its founder was Cracow judge Jan of Syrokomla. The next owners were Szczepan Świętopęłk from Irządz and the Cracow townsman Piotr Krupka. From the 16th century, Korzkiew was successively owned by Zborowscy, Ługowscy, Jordan and Wessel families. At the end of the fifteenth century and in the sixteenth century, the castle was rebuilt, and at the end of the nineteenth century fell into disrepair. In 1997, the building was rebuilt by a private investor.

Architecture

   The oldest castle was created by a defensive-residential tower erected on the edge of a hill. From the north, east and west sides, the rocky hill was protected high slopes, and from the south the castle was additionally secured with a ditch. Tower was a free-standing building, two-storied, with a cellar, built of stones on a rectangular plan with dimensions of 9,5×12 meters. Thickness of the walls reached 2.5 meters. A little later, the tower was surrounded by a perimeter wall separating the courtyard from the south. Its thickness oscillated between 1 and 1.1 meters, and from the safest north side it was only 0.9 meters. The entrance to the castle led through a openning in the southern part of the wall. Perhaps it was preceded by a drawbridge over the moat, which would have been indicated by a wall discovered a few meters outside the gate.
  
In the second phase dated to the 15th century, two rectangular towers were added to the outer face of the southern section of the wall.
The western tower stood 5 meters in front of the wall, while the eastern one stood at 6 meters, which allowed for effective wing defense just in front of the gate. The defense of the main tower, which received an attic gallery with a number of keyhole arrowslits for hand firearms, was also improved (16 keyholes were discovered). Similar arrowslits were also placed in the defense wall, on the crown of which was mounted (on a 16 cm offset), roofed, timber porch for defenders. At the end of the 15th or the beginning of the 16th century, stairwell and economic outbuilding were erected from the north-east side.

Current state

   The currently rebuilt castle in Korzkiew serves as a hotel and conference center. Unfortunately, the method of reconstruction and materials used for it (hollow bricks, concrete, polystyrene) fit into the ever-long, infamous list of destroyed Polish monuments. Trash, daub and following the cheapest methods is unfortunately today the norm when rebuilding medieval strongholds. The question is, where the supervision of conservator was.

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

Leksykon zamków w Polsce, L.Kajzer, S.Kołodziejski, J.Salm, Warszawa 2003.
Szlezynger P., Zamek w Korzkwi i jego otoczenie, Kraków 2005.