Stara Kamienica – castle


   The first known but unconfirmed (coming from a later counterfeit) information about the castle, probably wooden, recorded that in 1242 it was handed over by prince Bolesław Rogatka to the knight Siboto, the progenitor of the Schaffgotsch family. However, the relationship of this family with the region of the Karkonosze Mountains began in the second half of the 14th century. Gotsche I Schoff treated Chojnik Castle as his main, prestigious seat, and his son Gotsche II treated the Kemnitz estate (the Old, New and Small Kamienica) as a lifetime endowment for his wife Anna.
   Only in the last quarter of the 15th century, as a result of inheritance divisions between the sons of Hans I, the tenement estates were separated, becoming, together with Chojnik, the property of Ernst Schoff. From 1487, he held the office of the chancellor of the Świdnica-Jawor Duchy and was the first representative of the Schaffgotsch family, who wrote himself as von Kemnitz. Probably he was the founder of the oldest stone castle, built before 1511, when he sold Chojnik to Ulrich Schoff from Gryf.
   Around the middle of the 16th century, thanks to Casper von Schaffgotsch, the castle was thoroughly rebuilt. These works were most likely completed in 1562, when a dated stone was placed on the portal of the castle gate. After 1573, the castle was not the main seat of the owners, but was inhabited by members of the family. In 1616 the building burnt down but was rebuilt by Hans Ulrich. The castle burned down again in 1758, but this time the damages were so great that it was not rebuilt, and the burned walls were mostly demolished before the mid-nineteenth century.


   The 15th-century castle was probably a regular complex, surrounded by a moat. The Gothic-Renaissance castle was a regular building on a rectangular plan with dimensions of 40×30 meters, built of erratic stone. A gate in a multi-story tower led to the courtyard. There were residential buildings with cellars at the northern and eastern curtains. The perimeter walls were surrounded by an watered moat through which a drawbridge was placed, leading to the courtyard from the east.

Current state

   Only modest relics have survived from the 15th-century castle: a fragment of the wall on the north side of the later courtyard and architectural details in the form of several portal jambs embedded in the tower’s ground floor.  From the 16th-century castle have survived until today the ruins of a gate tower and relics of living wings with collapsed cellars. The neglected facility was in a bad state, but recently it was taken over by the Chudów Foundation known for saving the monuments and professional care. Already in the process of arranging the area, a great four-span bridge was discovered, preserved in good condition.

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Chorowska M., Dudziak T., Jaworski K., Kwaśniewski A., Zamki i dwory obronne w Sudetach. Tom II, księstwo jaworskie, Wrocław 2009.

Leksykon zamków w Polsce, red. L.Kajzer, Warszawa 2003.