Muszyna – castle

History

   In 1301 Muszyna was given to the Cracow bishop Jan Muskata by the scholastic Wysz. Probably at that time a timber and earth castle was built about 100 meters to the north, away from the present ruins. Muskata lost his property, as a result of the confiscation of the Polish king Władysław Łokietek. In 1391, during the reign of Władysław Jagiełło, property was recovered for the bishopric of Cracow by bishop Jan of Radliczyce.
   The stone castle was built in the fourteenth or even the fifteenth century. The castle was seriously damaged in 1474, when border areas were ravaged by the invasion of Hungarians led by Thomas Tarczay. King Matthias Corvinus, however, undertook to return the castle and help in its reconstruction. Some researchers claim, that only then did the construction of a stone building begin, but the results of the research lead to the assumption that it existed earlier.
    At the end of the 16th or at the beginning of the 17th century, the castle burnt down again. After this disaster, no residential buildings were rebuilt, and the function of the castle was limited to the role of a watchtower. It is known that on the castle were recommended two-man guards, which were to grow five times in days of danger. The deteriorated stronghold was also prepared for defense during the Swedish invasion in 1655, gathering timber beams and boulders. Later documents fall silent about the castle. It probably played the role of the fortified seat of the bishop’s starosts and border stronghold until the middle of the 18th century, when it was abandoned and fell into disrepair.

Architecture

    The castle from the end of the 15th century consisted of a rectangular corpus and two four-sided towers set symmetrically from the east and west. The length of the castle was up to 80 meters and the width up to 20 meters. The western tower probably had a residential character, while the eastern one housed an entrance gate to which a timber bridge passed over the moat. In the corners, east tower was reinforced with powerful buttresses. It was probably one of the oldest elements of a stone castle, created together with the defensive wall circuit in the fourteenth century. The western tower was created later, probably only during the reconstruction of the castle in the second half of the fifteenth century. A residential building with three rooms in the lowest storey was added to the western wall and some rooms were built in the middle part of the castle. A two-room building was reconstructed along the eastern wall, whose partition and outer walls were built of wood and covered with clay. Remains of furnaces and open hearths were discovered in both its rooms.

Current state

    Until now, the relics of the stone walls of the ground floor and the east, four-sided tower have survived. In recent years, it have been slightly superstructured, and an observation platform has been created at the top of the tower. Entrance to the castle area is free.

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bibliography:
Leksykon zamków w Polsce, L.Kajzer, S.Kołodziejski, J.Salm, Warszawa 2003.
Website zamek.muszyna.pl, Muszyna.