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IMG BORDER=1 style=

CASTLE RUIN IN 名INY



he history of settlement in 安iny da­tes back at least to the 11th cen­tu­ry, when a wood­en for­ti­fied cast­le was e­rec­ted he­re to guard the tra­de ro­ad to Bo­he­mia. Pos­sib­ly it re­pla­ced an old­er, early me­die­val ham­let, which, ac­cor­ding to so­me re­se­arch­ers, was sup­po­sed to be lo­ca­ted in the east­ern part of cast­le hill un­til it was de­stro­yed by Czech troops. Exist­en­ce of the cast­le in the ti­mes of Bo­le­s豉w Krzy­wo­usty is con­fir­med by re­la­tion of chro­nic­ler Kos­mas from Pra­gue (d. 1125), ac­cord­ing to which Czech ru­ler Mu­ti­na, pre­tend­ing to go hunt­ing wild bo­ars, met se­cret­ly in 1108 with his un­cle Nie­moj at the cast­le Zvi­ni In Po­lo­nia to dis­cuss plans for a con­spi­ra­cy to over­throw Prin­ce Sve­to­po­luk. It is the old­est sur­vi­ving his­to­ri­cal sour­ce text men­tio­ning by na­me the me­die­val strong­hold in 安i­ny. It is men­tio­ned a­gain in a pa­pal bull for the dio­ce­se of Bre­slau, sign­ed by Had­rian IV (d. 1159), which de­scri­bes the cast­le as a ca­stel­la­ny - an ad­mi­ni­stra­ti­ve unit un­der the au­tho­ri­ty of Si­le­sian Du­ke Bo­le­s豉w Ro­gat­ka (d. 1278) or his son, the Ja­wor Du­ke Hen­rik Brzu­cha­ty (d. 1296). Be­tween 1230 and 1248, ca­stel­lans Ta­der ca­stel­la­nus de Swi­na (1230), co­mes Ja­xa ca­stel­la­nus de Swi­na (1242) and Pe­tri­co ca­stel­la­nus de Zu­ini (1248) are men­tio­ned. Ho­we­ver, the de­tail­ed his­to­ry of the cast­le from this per­iod is un­known. Ac­cor­ding to one of the hy­po­the­ses, when a new ad­mi­ni­stra­ti­ve cen­tre was for­med in ne­ar­by Bol­k闚, the cast­le lost its im­por­tan­ce for prin­ces and be­ca­me pri­va­te. By ano­ther, 安i­ny was the se­at of Sla­vic ru­lers of the 安i­ska G這­wa (Pig's he­ad) fa­mi­ly in pa­gan ti­mes. When Si­le­sia was con­quer­ed by the Po­lish prin­ce Mie­szko I, they be­ca­me vas­sals of the Piasts, re­cei­ving the fun­ction of ca­stel­lans, which they held un­til Bol­ko I built a fort­ress in the ne­ar­by town of Hain (now Bol­k闚).


IMG BORDER=1 style=

NORTHERN ELEVATION OF PALACE, CURRENT STATE



The oldest preserved name of the settlement is Zvi­ni (in Po­lo­nia) used by Kos­mas in chro­nic­le from 1108. The term has evol­ved over ti­me, and so the pa­pal bull of 1155 still points to Zpi­ni, whi­le the do­cu­ment of 1245 al­re­ady shows its mo­di­fied form Su­ini. In 1272 the ex­pres­sion Swin ap­pe­ars, fol­lo­wed by Swi­ni­no (1311), Swyn (1313), Swei­na (1325) and Swey­ne (1407). Start­ing from the 15th cen­tu­ry, with ar­ri­val of Ger­man set­tlers, Ger­man de­fi­ni­tions we­re for­med: Schwein­hau­­sen (1668), Schwein­haus (1726), Schwein­haus­burg (1827). Be­fo­re the Se­cond World War, lo­cal pe­ople cal­led the cast­le das al­te Sau­hau­sel, and for a short ti­me after the war it was cal­led 安i­nio­gr鏚 (the Swi­ne Cast­le).



CASTLE IN THE PICTURE PAINTED BY FLIEGL IN THE LODGE OF THE LORDS VON SCHWEINICHEN IN THE CHURCH OF PEACE IN JAWOR, 1655
THIS IS THE OLDEST KNOWN IMAGE OF RESIDENCE IN 名INY


t is likely that even before 1272 the prince's strong­hold pas­sed in­to the hands of a knight, sin­ce do­mi­nus Jan de Swin al­re­ady ap­pe­ars in a do­cu­ment from this ye­ar. So­me la­ter sour­ces men­tion Pe­ter, Kon­rad and Gun­ze­lin de Swy­ne (d. 1327/28) as the next own­ers of an esta­te of mo­re than twen­ty vil­la­ges. In 1323 it was ad­mi­ni­ste­red by Hen­ri­cus de Swyn (d. c. 1355), a court­ier of Hen­rik Ja­wor­ski and Bol­ko Zi­bi­cki, a par­ti­ci­pant of the Cru­sa­de to Rho­des as well as a re­pre­sen­ta­ti­ve of Si­le­sian knights du­ring the tri­bu­te paid to Czech King Jo­hann von Lux­em­burg. Pre­su­ma­bly it was that knight who in the first half of the 14th cen­tu­ry built a re­si­den­tial sto­ne to­wer sur­roun­ded by a wall. Sin­ce then, this mas­si­ve Go­thic buil­ding, re­pe­ated­ly ex­pan­ded, mo­der­ni­zed and trans­for­med ac­cor­ding to cur­rent trends and needs, ser­ved as the main se­at of the Si­le­sian li­ne of fa­mi­ly un­til 1769 and was a sym­bol of its cen­tur­ies-long reign on this land. The son of Hen­rik, Nic­kel (d. 1370) had three ma­le des­cen­dants: Gun­czil (d. 1407/09), Ja­mo vom Sweyn (d. c. 1400) and Hein­rich (d. 1441) cal­led Ody­niec, a pro­to­plast of the Jä­gen­dorf fa­mi­ly li­ne, who­se re­pre­sen­ta­ti­ves still li­ve in Ger­ma­ny, Ita­ly and even in dis­tant Bra­zil. The found­er of young­er Schwei­ni­chen fa­mi­ly li­ne was Gun­czil vom Swey­ne (d. be­fo­re 1443), ta­king o­ver the land from his un­cle, al­so Gun­czil (son of Nic­kel, d. 1407/09). He was fol­lo­wed by Gun­czil Swei­ni­chen von Swein (d. 1503 at the age of 83 or 93), a rob­ber-knight who kil­led his ri­val Hans von Tschirn (d. ca. 1455) from ne­ar­by P這­ni­na, and among mo­re cre­ati­ve achieve­ments, he ex­tend­ed the cast­le by ad­ding a west­ern re­si­dent­ial buil­ding and new for­ti­fi­ca­tions.



名INY IN DRAWINGS BY F. B. WEHRNER, TOPOGRAPHIA SEU COMPENDIUM SILESIAE 1744-68
IN THE LOWER FIGURE, IN FOREGROUND YOU CAN SEE THE CASTLE CHURCH OF ST. NICHOLAS, IN BACKGROUND - THE CASTLE IN BOLK紟



According to the coat of arms legend, the surname 安inka co­mes from a wild bo­ar, for­mer­ly cal­led a pig. As the le­gend says, it was first used by a cer­tain Bi­w鎩, who in 721 ga­ve the queen Li­bu­sza a hand-hun­ted wild bo­ar (ac­cor­ding to ano­ther ver­sion caught ali­ve), which was re­war­ded with a c­oat of arms with that ani­mal, the sur­roun­ding lands and prin­cess Ka­zia as his bri­de.

The 安inka family took over the name from 安iny, a ca­stel­lan's cast­le, which in the mid­dle of 13th cen­tu­ry lost its im­por­tan­ce for the new ad­mi­ni­stra­ti­ve and po­li­ti­cal cen­ter in Bol­k闚. The fa­mi­ly was known not on­ly in Si­le­sia, but al­so in Po­land, Bo­he­mia and Ger­ma­ny - from its Wiel­ko­pol­ska li­ne (with a dif­fe­rent co­at of arms) ca­me the arch­bi­shop of Gnie­zno Ja­kub 安in­ka (died 1314). Ac­cor­ding to the­ory of the Si­le­sian his­to­rian Kon­stan­tin von Schwei­ni­chen, in the early Mid­dle Ages, the­re we­re ma­ny fa­mil­ies with the com­mon na­me of 安i­ska G這­wa (Pig's he­ad). By de­cree of one of the Czech kings, they we­re la­ter gi­ven se­pa­ra­te co­ats of arms with si­mi­lar mo­tifs. The 安in­ka from Si­le­sia, as the main and the old­est fa­mi­ly li­ne, re­cei­ved a co­at of arms de­pic­ting the wild boar in most ma­gni­fi­cent form. In the four­teenth cen­tu­ry, with the fall of Po­lish cus­toms at du­cal court, the Sla­vic-sound­ing sur­na­me be­gan to be gra­du­al­ly ger­ma­ni­zed, and so the terms Swyn, Zu­ini and Swi­ni­no we­re trans­for­med in­to Swin and Swein, and by the end of fif­teenth cen­tu­ry the ful­ly Ger­man form of Schwei­ni­chen was al­re­ady ob­tain­ed.



CASTLE IN 名INY ON ENDLER'S GRAPHICS FROM THE END OF 18TH CENTURY


urgmann von Schweinichen (d. 1566) was born in 1456 and re­ached the in­cre­di­ble age of 110, dy­ing of a sim­ple cold and not be­cau­se of old age. His son Jo­hann Si­gis­mund the El­der (d. 1606) ap­pa­rent­ly in­he­ri­ted his fa­ther's good ge­nes, be­cau­se he al­so en­jo­yed a long li­fe. Ho­we­ver, he could not ta­ste all his charms with­out li­mi­ta­tions, be­cau­se his wi­fe Bar­ba­ra von Roth­kirch (d. 1586), brought up in a strict pro­te­stant ru­le, li­mi­ted the amount of wi­ne he con­su­med to one cup a day, pro­vi­ded that he had pre­vious­ly was ab­le to sum­ma­ri­ze the who­le pa­ge of Ho­ly Bi­ble. They had an on­ly son, Adam, as well as a step-daugh­ter, Ur­su­la von Zeid­litz (d. 1588), who pas­sed a­way at the age of 17 af­ter swal­low­ing a need­le. After Bar­ba­ra's death, Jo­hann en­te­red re­pre­hen­si­ble - ac­cor­ding to to­day's stan­dards - re­la­tion­ship with 15-ye­ar-old Ka­tha­rin­a von Som­mer­feldt und Fal­ken­hain (d. 1630). De­spi­te the fact that at the ti­me of his wed­ding the "groom" was al­re­ady 81 ye­ars old, he was ab­le to spend the next 15 ye­ars with his young wi­fe, keep­ing two sons. One of them, Jo­hann Si­gis­mund the Young­er (d. 1664), in the first half of 17th cen­tu­ry ma­de a gre­at re­con­stru­ction of the cast­le in Re­nais­san­ce sty­le, gi­ving it a form si­mi­lar to the Ital­ian re­si­den­ces from that per­iod. The von Schwei­ni­chen fa­mi­ly se­at was then di­vi­ded in­to an up­per cast­le with a Go­thic to­wer and a lo­wer cast­le with a new re­pre­sen­ta­ti­ve pa­la­ce and bast­ion-ty­pe for­ti­fi­ca­tions. Aes­the­tic am­bi­tions of the own­er ha­ve been re­flec­ted in re­no­va­ted in­ter­iors of old­er buil­dings and their paint­ing de­co­ra­tions, new fa­ca­des, as well as Re­nais­san­ce roofs, por­tals and win­dow fra­mes. Jo­hann Si­gis­mund was a tra­ve­ler and the­oso­phist. Thanks to his wi­de-rang­ing con­tacts with mys­tics, al­che­mists and Ro­si­cru­cians, he found­ed a mys­tic-the­oso­phi­cal li­bra­ry; he al­so brought to the cast­le the fa­mous mys­tic Ja­cob Boeh­me, who wro­te his three works he­re in 1624, among them The Mes­sa­ge to thir­sty and hung­ry soul. When he died, it was writ­ten on his tomb­sto­ne: At the best ma­le age, he mo­ved away from the tem­po­ral world and spent most of his li­fe alo­ne re­se­arch­ing the my­ster­ies of God and na­tu­re, whi­le at the sa­me ti­me he be­au­ti­fied and ex­pand­ed his cast­le at gre­at cost.


ANONYMOUS GRAPHICS WITH AN IMAGE OF THE CASTLE, BEGINNING OF THE 19TH CENTURY


ohann Sigismund the Younger never married and did not have a le­gi­ti­ma­te heir, so after his death the cast­le pas­sed in­to hands of his ne­phew, Ernst von Schwei­ni­chen (d. 1695), and then his son, Prus­sian Lieu­te­nant Ge­or­ge Ernst (d. 1702). When he died, the esta­te was ta­ken o­ver joint­ly by wi­dow Erd­mu­the So­phia (d. 1729) and his el­dest bro­ther Hans Ernst (d. 1704). Even­tu­al­ly, the cast­le was han­ded o­ver to Sieg­mund Sey­fried von Zed­litz, who in 1713 sold it to Ge­org Ernst's son-in-law Se­bas­tian Hein­rich von Schwei­nitz (d. 1721) for 24,000 tha­lers. When Se­bas­tian Hein­rich died, his on­ly son Ernst Fer­di­nand sold the cast­le to Hans Fried­rich von Schwei­nitz from Cie­cha­no­wi­ce (d. 1769). The reign of Hans Fried­rich in 安i­ny was mark­ed by the Se­ven Ye­ars' War, du­ring which in 1761 the strong­hold was in­va­ded and plun­de­red by Rus­sian troops, de­stroy­ing and rob­bing its fur­nish­ings and de­co­ra­tion. In 1769, the esta­te was pur­cha­sed in an au­ction by Prus­sian Mi­ni­ster of Sta­te Jo­hann Hein­rich, Count von Chur­schwandt of Sto­lec. Ho­we­ver, the new ow­ner did not ma­na­ge to ta­ke any ac­tion to sa­ve the al­re­ady a­ban­do­ned re­si­den­ce, as he un­ex­pect­ed­ly died less than two ye­ars after tran­sac­tion. The wi­dow, Mar­ia The­re­sa de do­mo Count­ess von Nimptsch (d. 1806), ga­ve the cast­le to her se­cond hus­band, Lud­wig the Count von Schla­bren­dorf (d. 1803), and then it was hand­ed o­ver to their el­dest daugh­ter Ma­rie The­re­sie von Schla­bren­dorf (d. 1862). Sin­ce then, un­til World War II, 安i­ny we­re in­he­ri­ted in a straight li­ne by des­cen­dants of Mar­ie The­re­sie and her hus­band, Count Hans Ern­est Ho­yos von Sprin­zen­stein (d. 1849).


WOODCUT WITH VIEW OF THE CASTLE FROM EAST, TYGODNIK ILUSTROWANY 1881


STEEL ENGRAVING BY HUBNER ACCORDING TO T. BLATTERBAUER'S DRAWING, 1885


t that time, the owners of 安iny resided main­ly in Vien­na or on their e­sta­tes in Lo­wer Aus­tria, and they did not pay too much at­ten­tion to the cast­le and its im­me­dia­te sur­roun­dings. The buil­ding, li­ke other von Ho­yos' re­si­den­ces in Jas­tro­wiec and Sta­re Ro­cho­wi­ce, was le­ased and used as a grain and straw wa­re­hou­se. Un­der the te­nant's ad­mi­ni­stra­tion, the cast­le was being de­va­sta­ted quick­ly, but the re­al da­ma­ge was cau­sed by hur­ri­ca­nes that hit the vil­la­ge in 1840 and 1868, bre­ak­ing the roof of the to­wer and its ceil­ings. De­stru­ction was com­ple­men­ted by fi­re of 1875, which ra­va­ged the cast­le's in­ter­iors, and a mas­si­ve thun­der­storm which re­sul­ted in the col­lap­se of to­wer stair­ca­se. De­spi­te the fact that the cast­le be­lon­ged to Ru­dolph von Ho­yos (d. 1896), a phi­lan­thro­pist and a gre­at lo­ver of an­ti­qui­ties, he ra­re­ly vi­si­ted Si­le­sia and didn't pay much at­ten­tion to it. When in 1875 the counts Ho­yos von Sprin­zen­stein, who had pre­vious­ly re­si­ded in Aus­tria, mo­ved to Si­le­sia, it was too la­te to sa­ve the cast­le. Ap­pa­rent­ly, no res­cue o­pe­ra­tions we­re e­ven plan­ned, sin­ce as ear­ly as in the 1880s the then own­er Sta­nis­laus Count von Ho­yos (d. 1918) al­lo­wed to use the sto­ne from ru­ins to build a guest­hou­se, and he rent­ed the cast­le cel­lars ...for cul­ti­va­tion of mush­rooms.



RUIN BEFORE THE BEGINNING OF FIRST RESTORATION WORKS, PHOTOGRAPHS FROM THE TURN OF 19TH AND 20TH CENTURY


t the turn of the 19th and 20th century the owners fi­nal­ly de­ci­ded to sa­ve the ru­ins, as a re­sult of which the to­wer was gi­ven a new roof, which, ho­we­ver, was de­scri­bed as not ve­ry ni­ce. In 1905, by de­ci­sion of Sta­nis­laus von Ho­yos, the cast­le was put un­der ca­re of Hei­mat­ver­ein Bol­ken­hain or­ga­ni­za­tion, and in the 1920s a re­no­va­tion be­gan - the cast­le walls we­re strength­ened, the vaults we­re se­cu­red, and roof of the to­wer was chan­ged. The cast­le was o­pe­ned to tour­ists - in the 1930s, Au­gust Föst, a hi­red key­man, ma­de the ru­in a­vail­ab­le for a small fee of 20 phen­igs. At that per­iod, the 安i­ny e­sta­te no long­er ex­ist­ed, be­cau­se in ti­mes of gre­at cri­sis, Count Ru­dolph Alois von Ho­yos - Sprin­zen­stein (d. 1945) was for­ced to sell the ma­nor, le­aving 100 he­cta­res of fo­rest and a 14-he­cta­re par­cel with a fort­ress stand­ing on it. A few ye­ars la­ter, when NSDAP took o­ver the go­vern­ment in Ger­ma­ny, the lo­cal au­tho­ri­ties sug­gest­ed re­buil­ding the cast­le in or­der to a­dapt it to the needs of the na­tio­nal so­cial­ist youth wel­fa­re in­sti­tu­tion. The­re­fo­re, pres­su­re was put on its own­er to sell the ruin. Von Ho­yos was op­po­sed to the Na­zis, but per­haps to sa­ve his wi­fe, who had been im­pri­so­ned in Ge­sta­po's jail in Wro­c豉w, he fi­nal­ly de­ci­ded to sell the cast­le to dist­rict au­tho­ri­ties, which was do­ne on 25 Sep­tem­ber 1941. Con­tra­ry to ini­tial plans, ho­we­ver, the Ger­mans did not re­build the cast­le, hand­ing it over to the ar­my, which in 1942 or­ga­ni­zed he­re a wa­re­hou­se for Luft­waf­fe air­craft parts. After the war, the build­ing was a­ban­do­ned, but thanks to its clas­si­fi­ca­tion by new au­tho­ri­ties as one of the so-cal­led Piast cast­les, ur­gent re­pairs we­re ma­de he­re in the 1950s and 1960s, in­clu­ding re­pla­ce­ment of roof co­ver­ing and ceil­ing. In 1991, Alek­san­der von Fre­yer bought the ru­in from the sta­te, with in­ten­­tion of in­stal­ling in it a ca­bi­net of wax fi­gu­res. Ho­we­ver, he fail­ed to re­ali­ze this idea and in 2008 he sold the cast­le to ho­tel o­pe­ra­tor. Am­bit­ious plans of new own­er fo­cu­sed on re­build­ing the old knight's se­at and open­ing a ho­tel with a re­stau­rant in it al­so did not go be­yond the pro­ject pha­se; con­seq­uent­ly, the cast­le was a­gain put up for sa­le.



COLORED POSTCARDS FROM 1900-15, VIEW OF THE RUINS FROM THE EAST AND SOUTH (BELOW)



Since the end of World War II, stories and legends are going around, re­gard­ing per­iod when the Ger­mans we­re li­qui­da­ting the wa­re­hou­se of air­pla­ne parts. The wit­nes­ses re­port­ed­ly claim­ed that the Na­zis had brought se­ve­ral hund­red chests to the cast­le be­fo­re es­ca­ping from Si­le­sia, and then pla­ced them in deep drifts, who­se cor­ri­dors we­re la­ter blown up. One of the mo­re fan­ta­stic ver­sions of this sto­ry sug­gests a con­nec­tion with Am­ber Cham­ber, ano­ther fol­lows the trail of lost gold from Czech Prag­ue, and ano­ther per­cei­ves this pla­ce as a hid­den wa­re­hou­se for goods sto­len from Cra­cow by gau­lei­ter Hans Frank. May­be all the­se hy­po­the­ses are the ef­fects of a deep­ly root­ed my­tho­lo­gy of the Su­de­tes as an area free of Al­lied air raids, thus ve­ry at­trac­ti­ve for Ger­mans in ma­ny ways. The fact is, ho­we­ver, that just after the war 安i­ny was ca­re­ful­ly guard­ed by Rus­sians, who on the cast­le hill had to or­ga­ni­ze so­me ac­ti­vi­ties for par­ti­ci­pants of the Ha­ga­na (a Je­wish mi­li­ta­ry or­ga­ni­za­tion ope­ra­ting in Pa­le­sti­ne) train­ing camp lo­ca­ted in ne­ar­by Bol­k闚. Pe­op­le say that one of the So­viet ge­ne­rals un­der­took the se­arch on his own. Has he found any­thing? We'll pro­bab­ly ne­ver know.




CASTLE IN THE TIMES OF LAST PRE-WAR OWNER RUDOLPH ALOIS VON HOYOS, PHOTOGRAPHS FROM THE 1930S



he medieval castle was erected in the high­est part of the ro­cky pro­mon­to­ry, pro­bab­ly on the si­te of the for­mer cas­tel­lan's se­at or next to it. The old­est part of it is a 14th cen­tu­ry sto­ne don­jon with mas­si­ve 2.5 me­ters walls, built on a rec­tan­gu­lar plan with si­des of 12x18 me­ters. The to­wer has four sto­reys, is cel­la­red and co­ver­ed with a gab­le shing­le roof, al­though o­ri­gi­nal­ly it was pro­bab­ly top­ped with blanks and co­ve­red with a high roof. The main en­tran­ce was lo­ca­ted on the se­cond floor, and was se­cu­red with port­cul­lis and de­co­ra­ted with a Go­thic por­tal. A lad­der led to it, ba­sed on a plat­form, frag­ments of which ha­ve sur­vi­ved to pre­sent day. The first floor of the to­wer was oc­cup­ied by a one-spa­ce knight's hall co­ve­red with a wood­en ceil­ing, equip­ped with a rich stuc­co de­co­ra­tion, re­mains of which can still be seen ne­ar the win­dows. Re­si­den­tial in­ter­iors on the other sto­reys we­re di­vi­ded by wood­en par­ti­tion walls and il­lu­mi­na­ted by win­dows in the form of Go­thic ar­ches or se­mi­cir­cles. In the ini­tial pha­se of cast­le's ope­ra­tion, com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween dif­fer­ent floors was en­su­red by wood­en stairs. Sa­ni­ta­ry needs we­re re­ali­zed with the use of la­tri­ne bays sus­pen­ded on the se­cond and third sto­rey, on the north si­de of the to­wer. The Go­thic build­ing was sur­round­ed by an oval-sha­ped de­fen­si­ve wall.


SUPPOSED PLAN OF THE CASTLE IN THE 1ST HALF OF 14TH CENTURY


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GOTHIC TOWER WITH A STAIRCASE ADDED IN THE 17TH CENTURY


he first major castle expansion took place in the mid-15th cen­tu­ry, when Gun­czil Swein­ichen von Swein was the own­er of 安i­ny. At that ti­me, the to­wer was sup­ple­men­ted with a west­ern, doub­le-ga­ble hou­se and a south­ern ga­te with port­cul­lis, the re­mains of which we­re pre­ser­ved in the re­lics of the sto­ne gui­des. A bay win­dow grew abo­ve it, al­though this ele­ment may be a re­sult of the la­ter, 17th cen­tu­ry mo­der­ni­za­tion of the cast­le. Ac­cord­ing to un­con­firm­ed in­for­ma­tion, it was sup­po­sed to be de­co­ra­ted with a po­em (free transl.):


The King and Emperor eat baked pigs
Smacking their lips
Soldier, listen to this lesson intently
And treat our castle gently!



SOUTHERN ELEVATION OF GOTHIC TOWER AND WESTERN HOUSE, SKETCH FROM 1954


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THE RUIN OF XV TH-CENTURY WESTERN HOUSE


he biggest transformations of von Schweinichen's head­quar­ters took pla­ce in the first half of 17th cen­tu­ry du­ring the ti­mes of Jo­hann Si­gis­mund the Young­er. The exist­ing lay­out was then ex­tend­ed by a re­pre­sen­ta­ti­ve pa­la­ce and new for­ti­fi­ca­tions. The three-sto­rey pa­la­ce was flank­ed in its north­ern part by two cy­lind­ri­cal to­wers, which no long­er had on­ly a mi­li­ta­ry func­tion, but we­re al­so a de­co­ra­ti­ve ele­ment de­mon­stra­ting the we­alth of the own­ers. On the ground floor it was cut by a wi­de hall­way co­ver­ed with rich stuc­co, from whe­re one could di­rect­ly get to the cel­lars, sta­bles and the so-cal­led Squir­es' Hall (ser­ving as the host­ler's quart­ers). He­re was al­so the en­tran­ce to the doub­le in­ter­nal stair­ca­se, which was the old­est ar­chi­tec­tu­ral con­cept of its kind in Si­le­sia. The ac­cess to the hall­way led through a ga­te and a nar­row pe­des­trian wick­et, de­co­ra­ted on out­si­de with a mag­ni­fi­cent por­tal in the sty­le of a triumph­al arch with the co­at of arms of von Schwei­ni­chen fa­mi­ly. All ele­va­tions of the pa­la­ce we­re or­na­men­ted with sgraf­fi­to de­co­ra­tions di­vi­ding fa­ca­des in­to lar­ge rec­tan­gu­lar fields with win­dows. The pa­la­ce, so­me­ti­mes cal­led the lo­wer cast­le, to­ge­ther with the to­wer and 15th cen­tu­ry west­ern hou­se was sur­round­ed by mo­dern, tra­pe­zo­idal for­ti­fi­ca­tions, con­sist­ing of a pe­ri­phe­ral wall flan­ked from the south by two open round­els, and from the north by two pa­la­ce to­wers. Du­ring the Thir­ty Ye­ars' War, a small bast­ion piat­ta for­ma was erec­ted in the mid­dle of west­ern cur­tain to strength­en a long sec­tion of the walls. The old to­wer was re­built and a com­fort­ab­le stair­ca­se was ad­ded to it from the south. The en­tran­ce was com­ple­ted with a cur­tain wall, stretch­ing from the north-east­ern to­wer to the brid­ge­he­ad over the mo­at.



NORTHERN ELEVATION OF THE XVII-CENTURY LOWER CASTLE, RECONSTRUCTION FROM 1887



PLAN OF THE CASTLE ACCORDING TO LEKSYKON ZAMK紟 POLSKICH: 1. GOTHIC TOWER, 2. XV- CENTURY WESTERN HOUSE, 3. STAIRCASE,
4. LOWER CASTLE (PALACE), 5. ENTRANCE HALL, 6. NORTHERN TOWERS, 7. SOUTHERN ROUNDELS, 8. BASTION, 9. MOAT



winy Castle is one of the oldest Piast fortified strong­holds in Si­le­sia. It has sur­vi­ved to the pre­sent day as a pic­tu­res­que ru­in, who­se en­ti­re be­au­ty and for­mer ma­je­sty can on­ly be found after en­ter­ing its court­yard, be­cau­se from the out­side, es­pe­cial­ly from the south, the fort­ress is tight­ly hid­den be­hind a trees. The cast­le is do­mi­na­ted by a Go­thic re­si­den­tial to­wer with rem­nants of sgraf­fi­to de­co­ra­tions and a roof­less west­ern hou­se, in fact to­day on­ly its ex­ter­nal walls. It is worth no­ting the west­ern fa­ca­de of don­jon, whe­re an in­cre­dib­ly plas­tic and ve­ry old ivy tree is grow­ing, which is over 250 ye­ars old. Ac­cor­ding to ver­bal mes­sa­ge from the key-man and guard­ian of the cast­le, Au­gust Föst (born 1850), ivy was al­re­ady old and lar­ge in his child­hood. The lo­wer cast­le is oc­cu­pied by the ru­ins of an ear­ly Ba­ro­que pa­la­ce with pre­ser­ved win­dow sto­ne­ma­son­ry and a de­co­­ra­ti­ve por­tal. In the east­ern to­wer you can see u­nu­su­al paint­ings de­pic­ting 17th cen­tu­ry no­bi­li­ty, ma­de by hand of an a­no­ny­mous Ger­man sold­ier in the 1940s, which un­for­tu­na­te­ly are dis­ap­pe­aring at an alarm­ing ra­te [pho­to 2005], [pho­to 2020]. 安i­ny cast­le is cur­rent­ly pri­va­te pro­per­ty - the­re are plans to re­build it and open a ho­tel the­re. For the ti­me be­ing, it is still pos­si­ble to vi­sit it, with open­ing hours de­pend­ing on the ga­te­keep­er: so­me­ti­mes the ga­te is open, and so­me­ti­mes you ha­ve to call in­di­ca­ted te­le­pho­ne num­ber.


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INSIDE THE GOTHIC TOWER


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ON STAIRS LEADING TO THE CELLARS IN LOWER CASTLE



It is possible to visit ru­ins with your dog, pro­vi­ded it is on a le­ash. It is, of cour­se, the own­er's du­ty to cle­an up after his dog.

The castle is private pro­per­ty, so fly­ing di­rect­ly o­ver the ru­ins re­qui­res ad­mi­ni­stra­tor's per­mis­sion. The im­me­dia­te vi­ci­ni­ty of the cast­le is con­ve­nient for ta­king pic­tu­res from a slight­ly long­er per­spe­cti­ve, espe­cial­ly from the north­east and pos­si­bly from the south, whe­re the­re is a bro­ad spa­ce and no re­si­den­tial buil­dings. Ho­we­ver, you should al­ways re­mem­ber to fly res­pon­si­bly.


the castle is open from May to October, usually from 12:00 am to 6:00 pm
after the season on request
tel. +48 601 429 666
admission costs 5 PLN (1,1 EUR)

(practical information - as of September 2020)


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名INY CASTLE, DOOR PORTALS AND PRESERVED ARCHITECTURAL DETAILS




he castle stands on a rocky, forested hill in the Bol­ko­wskie Foot­hills ge­o­gra­phi­cal reg­ion, about 2 km north of Bol­k闚. Its pic­tu­res­que pro­fi­le is per­fect­ly vi­si­ble from the north, in the na­tio­nal ro­ad no. 3 le­ading from Ja­wor to Bol­k闚. To get the cast­le, You need to turn from this ro­ad in the up­per part of vil­la­ge in­to a nar­row, steep al­ley, which le­ads di­rect­ly to ru­ins (the­re is a sign­post). (map of cast­les in Lo­wer Si­le­sia)


You can leave your car on small cle­ar­ing ne­ar the cast­le ga­te. The par­king pla­ce is free-of-char­ge (2020).

Although the castle is far away from lar­ger hu­man ga­the­rings, for sa­fe­ty of bi­cy­cle, it is worth talk­ing to ga­te­keep­er a­bout pos­si­bi­li­ty of bring­ing it di­rect­ly in­to the court­yard. It seems that you should get such per­mis­sion.





1. M. Chorowska: Rezydencje 鈔edniowieczne na 奸御ku, OFPWW 2003
2. O. Czerner, J. Rozp璠owski, Bolk闚 i 安iny, Ossolineum 1960
3. L. Kajzer, J. Salm, S. Ko這dziejski: Leksykon zamk闚 w Polsce, Arkady 2001
4. R. ㄆczy雟ki: Zamki, dwory i pa豉ce w Sudetach, Wsp鏊nota Akademicka 2008
5. M. Perzy雟ki: Zamki, twierdze i pa豉ce Dolnego 奸御ka i Opolszczyzny, WDW 2006
6. M. 安ie篡: Zamki, twierdze, warownie, Foto Art 2002
7. A. M. Rosiek: Siedziby rycerskie w ksi瘰twie 鈍idnicko-jaworskim do ko鎍a XIV wieku, Inst. Arch. UJ 2010
8. A. Wagner: Murowane budowle obronne w Polsce X-XVIIw., Bellona 2019


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SOUTHERN ELEVATION OF THE LOWER CASTLE WITH A GATEWAY


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VIEW OF THE CASTLE AND CASTLE CHURCH FROM THE NORTH


Castles nearby:
Bolk闚 - ruins of duke's castle from 13th century, 4 km
K豉czyna - relics of castle from 15th century, 9 km
Lipa - ruins of knight's castle from 14th century, 10 km
P這nina - ruins of knight's castle from 14th century, 12 km
Jawor - duke's castle from 13/14th century, rebuilt, 16 km
My郵ib鏎z - relics of castle from 13/14th century, 18 km



It is worth seeing also:


Romanesque-Gothic castle church of St. Nicholas, which is the ol­dest pre­ser­ved count­ry church in Si­le­sia, first men­tio­ned in 1313. It is a sim­ple sing­le-ais­le build­ing with a ga­ble roof and a to­wer at­ta­ched from the west. Insi­de you will find va­lu­ab­le equip­ment from the fif­teenth to the six­teenth cen­tu­ry, among others, the lod­ges of Lords von Schwei­ni­chen and pain­ted ben­ches for pe­asan­try (who­se di­men­sions cor­res­pond to the ave­ra­ge height of a man 400 ye­ars ago and to­day are a bit tight), wood­en Go­thic en­tran­ce door and a Re­nais­san­ce bap­tis­mal font a ca­no­py sup­por­ted by 'crow's feet'. Ho­we­ver, the uniq­ue and most va­lu­ab­le de­co­ra­tion he­re are the tomb­sto­nes of the von Schwei­ni­chen fa­mi­ly and the mag­ni­fi­cent epi­taph of Jo­hann Si­gis­mund von Schwei­ni­chen (died 1664). Op­po­si­te the en­tran­ce to the church, in the old lin­den al­ley, the­re is a mo­nu­ment com­me­mo­ra­ting Ger­man sold­iers, the in­ha­bi­tants of Bol­k闚 and sur­round­ing vil­la­ges, kil­led du­ring the First World War.


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text: 2011, 2020
photographs: 2005, 2008, 2019, 2020
© by Jacek Bednarek