The construction of the stone castle was started in 1280-1283 by the bishop of Cracow, Paul of Przemanków, and completed by Jan Muskata. It then served as a bishop’s residence, administrative center and as a base for plundering expeditions during the bishop’s struggle with prince Władysław I the Elbow-high. Thetrfore, in 1309, the prince’s army captured Sławków, and the castle remained in the hands of the ruler probably until his death in 1320.
In 1327, the castle and the town were occupied by the Bohemian troops of John of Bohemia in his march to Cracow. Next over annual Hungarian occupation of the town and certainly also the castle took place. Bishop Jan Grot regained Sławków as a result of papal admonitions to the rulers of the Bohemia, Hungary and Poland. The 15th century brought numerous invasions and destruction. In 1433 Sławków was attacked and ransacked by the Hussites, one year later by the troops of raubritter and political adventurer Mikołaj Kornicz Sestrzeniec and in 1455 the castle and the town were destroyed by not paid Polish-Moravian troops of Jerzy Stosz and Jan Świeborowski. It was formerly considered that the castle, after this event, was not rebuilt, however, discovered in the 1990’s, the view of Sławków from 1536/1537, shows the castle tower in good condition. Over time, the bishops moved their residence from the castle to a nearby manor house and the medieval tower fell into total disrepair.
The castle was an extensive site consisting of a perimeter wall, made of dolomite stones on a quadrilateral of 124x90x75x90 meters. In the south-eastern section there was an inwardly opened half tower, which was protruded in front of the perimeter wall. Relics of a similar building were discovered in the north-east stretch of the wall.
At the end of the 13th century south-east tower was transformed into a defensive and residential tower which, after rebuilding, had dimensions of 11×12 meters. It was surrounded by a moat and a earth ramparts. The next work consisted in adding a stone annex to the north-east wall of the tower on a square plan with a side of 3.3 meters, reinforced with two corner buttresses. On the slight hill, on the west side of the tower, a gatehouse with dimensions of 7×9 meters was also added and a second, smaller tower’s annex on the south-western side.
To this day, ground walls of the residential tower and gatehouse have preserved. Visiting is possible throughout the year, but after prior notification to the City Cultural Center on the Sławków market. Sightseeing hours: Tuesday and Thursday 8am to 2pm, Wednesday and Friday 10am to 6pm and last Saturday and Sunday of month from 11am to 4pm.
Antoniewicz M., Zamki na Wyżynie Krakowsko – Częstochowskiej, Kielce 1998.
Leksykon zamków w Polsce, red. L.Kajzer, Warszawa 2003.