Kożuchów – castle

History

   The brick castle was erected the place of hillfort by the dukes of Głogów at the turn of the 13th and 14th centuries. Probably the transformation of the timber-earth hillfort into a stone stronghold took place parallel to the work on the city walls and it was a long process that could last even several dozen years. At the turn of the 14th and 15th centuries, the castle was expanded, which was connected with the moving of the headquarter of the dukes from Głogów to Kożuchów. After being occupied by the Czech Crown, the stronghold was leased. In the years 1491-1506 it was a fief in the hands of Jan Olbracht and subsequent Polish rulers. Early modern times have brought the castle’s expansion, but also its gradual fall. During the Thirty Years’ War in the 17th century it was occupied several times by the fighting troops. After the war, it was seriously damaged as a result of artillery fire. Abandoned, it was then sold to the Carmelites who rebuilt it into a modern monastery. After the dissolution of the order in 1810, it was taken over by the Prussian army. There was an armory in the castle, and then until 1945 an evangelical commune.

Architecture

   The original castle consisted of a quadrilateral perimeter wall with dimensions in the plan of 39×41 meters and occupying an area of ​​about 1900 m2. The stone defensive wall was about 2.7 meters thick and 10-11 meters high. Probably from the inside it had a timber defenders porch with a parapet in which there were arrowslits. The defenders porch could be roofed along its entire length.
  
At the south-east corner stood a free-standing tower of the last defense (bergdried), the base of which was built on a square plan with a side of 10 meters and a wall thickness of 2.4 meters. At the height of about 8 meters it went into a cylindrical shape. It probably had four floors. The entrance to it was at the height of about 8 meters, at the level of the second floor. In the lowest storey there was a prison cell, and on higher, rooms were equipped with arrowslits. The top of the tower initially did not have a roof and was probably topped with a battlement.
  
In the southern curtain there was a gate to which a bridge led from the city side. Along the eastern curtain stood a three-bay, two-storey residential house with dimensions of 12×27.5 meters. The second, smaller building was located in the north-west corner. The castle was connected with the system of city fortifications from the east and west. It was separated from the city by a 20 m wide moat, providing the possibility of defending the castle even in the case of city occupation.
  
At the turn of the 14th and 15th century, a new gate building was erected, measuring 13×8 meters, which was built inside the perimeter of the walls along the axis of the entrance to the castle. The passage width was 5 meters, and it was closed with wooden doors and a portcullis. In addition, a new domestic building was erected in the castle, the main residential house was rebuilt and a chapel was built. The defense of the stronghold was then raised by building a second circumference of the walls with corner bastions. A new, external wall encircled the castle from the east, north and west, 8-10 meters from the curtain wall of the castle.

Current state

   Currently, the heavily rebuilt castle has three wings, two-storey each. The tower is embedded in the west wing and goes above the roof with only one floor. The castle is surrounded by a dry but relatively well-preserved moat. The building is the seat of the Kożuchów Center for Culture and Sport.

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bibliography:
Andrzejewski T., Szukiełowicz Z., Mury obronne Kożuchowa, Kożuchów 2008.
Leksykon zamków w Polsce, L.Kajzer, S.Kołodziejski, J.Salm, Warszawa 2003.
Nowakowski D., Siedziby książęce i rycerskie księstwa głogowskiego w średniowieczu, Wrocław 2008.