Milicz – castle


   In Milicz from the 12th century there was the seat of the castellany, then the local property belonged to the archbishopric of Gniezno, and then to the Wrocław chapter. Until now it was thought that the castle was built after the mid-fourteenth century for the Prince of Oleśnica Konrad I, but it probably was erected in the thirteenth century, and Konrad only expanded it. The prince bought MIlicz in 1358, because for previous owners the costs of living and the necessity to pay castellan (capitaneus) were too high. Still, however, “castrum Militz” was to be opened by Konrad of Oleśnica at the request of the bishop or king of Bohemia. In 1432 the castle was destroyed by the Hussites. It was rebuilt and since 1494 it was the property of Zygmunt Kurzbach, who received the Milicz goods from King Vladislaus II of Hungary. The new owner began construction work in the castle in 1508, carried out by master Leonhart Gogel, and further modernization took place after the fire in 1536. In 1590 the castle came under the control of the von Maltzans, to which it belonged until 1945. Further rebuilding took place in the 17th century, and at the end of the 18th century a cotton mill was established in the former stronghold. In 1797 a fire destroyed the castle.


   The castle was built of brick on an irregular polygon plan, surrounded by a earth rampart and a moat, and perhaps a timber palisade. The main element was a quadrilateral, three-story building with dimensions of 14.5 x 25-26.3 meters in the southern part of the courtyard. It had a two-bay interior and four external, massive buttresses, located on the extension of the longer sides. It was built of stone in the ground floor (which was partly hollowed in the embankment of the hill) and brick (in the flemish bond) on the level of the two upper storeys.
Most important room od the building was a large representative chamber on the second floor, warmed by a fireplace set in the middle of the wall. The kitchen and basement were located below, all separated from each other with timber ceilings. From the representative room, it had access to a bedroom or a private room next to it,  under which utility rooms were located, and in one of the south buttresses a latrine, which was reached by a narrow passage. The litter were releaseed in a vertical shaft directly into the moat.
In the 14th century, the castle was extended with a brick circumference of defensive walls and a gatehouse. The residential building, after enlarging the mound’s plateau, obtained the form of a three-bay palace with a length of about 36.3 meters. In the 16th century, its southern part was raised to a tower form, while three small, oval towers could be built at the perimeter wall.

Current state

   The fragments of brick walls of the 13/14th-century residential building and the remains of buildings erected at a later time have survived to our times. The walls of the southern part survived almost to the full height, the center to about half, and the outline of the northern part was unveiled during archaeological excavations. There are also visible traces of the moat surrounding the castle. The monument urgently needs renovation, thanks to which it would be possible to visit it.

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Atlas historyczny miast polskich. Tom IV Śląsk, red. R.Czaja, red. M.Młynarska-Kaletynowa, red. R.Eysmontt, zeszyt 7 Milicz, Wrocław 2017.

Chorowska M., Rezydencje średniowieczne na Śląsku, Wrocław 2003.
Kolenda J., Medieval bishops palace in Milicz, “Studies in Digital Heritage”, vol. 1, no. 2,  2017.
Leksykon zamków w Polsce, red. L.Kajzer, Warszawa 2003.
Nowakowski D., Śląskie obiekty typu motte, Wrocław 2017.