Siewierz – bishop’s castle

History

    Urban rights Siewierz obtained in 1276 and probably then, in the bend of the Black Przemsza river, in the midst of its backwaters and marshes, a wooden-earthed castellan’s seat was erected. The origins of the brick castle have not been clearly defined. The 15th century is usually given, but probably the first brick fragment was created in the 14th century.
   
Since the 13th century Siewierz was governed by Opole princes. In 1443 the indebted prince of Cieszyn, Wacław I sold the castle together with the land of Siewierz to the bishop of Kraków, Zbigniew Oleśnicki. After a few years of dispute with other Silesian princes, the Cracovian bishops adopted the secular title of Siewierz princes, and the Duchy of Siewierz became an almost independent political organism. Castle became the administrative and political seat of this duchy.
   
In the sixteenth century the bishops expanded the fortress, giving it a renaissance decoration. Particular merit is attributed to Jan Konarski, Andrzej Zebrzydowski, Filip Padniewski and Franciszek Krasinski. In the 17th century the castle began to slowly decline, and the devastation deepened the invasion of the Swedes. After the war, the last major reconstruction was undertaken in 1681-1699 on the initiative of bishop Jan Małachowski. In 1790 the Great Sejm liquidated the Siewierz Duchy by incorporating them into the Polish Commonwealth. Abandoned by prince bishop Felix Turski the castle has since fallen into ruin. Even during the Napoleonic Wars, it was used militarily, but since 1807 it has remained unoccupied.

Architecture

    The oldest brick castle consisted of a cylindrical tower of 9 meters in diameter and a peripheral wall. Entrance to the fortress was in the southern part of the circuit. Around the middle of the 15th century it was fortified by a gatehouse. In the next phase, before 1518 a new gate tower was erected in the northern part of the foundation. A residential house, east of the tower was also erected. The tower was probably dismantled in the 30s of the 16th century. Of its material, the south and west wing of the castle were built. In 1575 a terrace for artillery was erected, and the entrance gate was fortified with a two-storey foregate.

Current state

     The castle is currently in the form of ruin. Survived the exterior walls of the living wings, with the exception of the southern wall, two, full walls of residential wings, the tower of the main gate, the barbican, the fragments of the original stonework and the 16th-century defensive walls.
     In the period from May to September the castle can be visited from Monday to Friday in the hours from 10.00 to 15.00. In the weekend from 10.00 to 18.00. On weekends in July and August, from 10.00 to 20.00. The tour takes place via the Tourist Information Center in Siewierz.

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