Otmuchów – bishop’s castle


The castle was erected on the site of the bishop’s hillfort, originally castellany in the second half of the 13th century. In 1287, prince Henry IV Probus during the conflict with bishop Thomas II, destroyed the stronghold. After the dispute had expired, the castle was rebuilt in 1295. In the fourteenth century, bishop Przecław of Pogorzela led a larger work, which shaped the entire defense. It worked during the Hussite wars, when the castle was not captured, although it was overrun by Hussite supporters and given into their hands for a few years. A thorough late-gothic reconstruction was carried out by bishop John IV Roth. At that time, the defense was modernized, adapting it to the fire fight. During the times of bishop Andrzej Jerin, at the end of the 16th century, the castle was transformed into a renaissance residence. Subsequent works changing the appearance of the building were carried out in the 17th century. The castle suffered during the Thirty Years War, in 1646 it was taken by the Swedes, and in 1741 destroyed by the Prussians. After the secularization of the episcopal estates and the takeover of the castle by the Humboldt family, in 1823 the south and west ranges were demolished.


The castle is located on a hill in the north-west part of the town with which it was combined by a defense system. The oldest site consisted of a stone building and a four-sided tower in the north-west corner. In the south-western part a chapel was placed. Irregular outline of the perimeter walls probably repeated the course of the older earth ramparts. In the 15th century, arrowslits were placed in the walls and the foregate was formed. The north-east range has also been expanded, which were lengthened to the tower and other auxiliary buildings were erected. In the sixteenth century, western and southern ranges were added with arcaded cloisters, and thus the inner courtyard was closed.

Current state

The tower and the northern range of the castle, which eastern part is the oldest part of the fortress, have survived to our times. Unfortunately, as a result of multiple transformations, it lost a lot of medieval features. Currently on the castle are a cultural center, restaurant and hotel.

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