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IMG BORDER=1 style=

CASTLE IN ZABKOWICE SLASKIE, VIEW FROM THE SOUTHEAST
IN THE FOREGROUND A CORNER TOWER, RECONSTRUCTED IN YEARS 2013-14



he oldest pre­ser­ved re­cord con­cer­ning the for­ti­fied cas­tle in the town of Fran­kin­stein da­tes back to 1321, to the pe­riod when the prin­ci­pa­li­ty was ru­led by Ber­nard (+1326), the lord of Ja­wor, Swid­ni­ca and Zie­bi­ce. Most of­ten, the­re­fo­re, the ru­ler is cre­di­ted with the ini­tia­ti­ve of buil­ding a Go­thic for­ti­fied cas­tle, who­se pe­riod of cre­ation da­tes back to the first quar­ter of the 14th cen­tu­ry, al­though so­me his­to­rians point to its ear­lier chro­no­lo­gy, con­si­de­ring it to be the foun­der of Ber­nard's fa­ther - Prin­ce Bol­ko I (+1301). When in 1335 Ber­nard's suc­ces­sor on the thro­ne of Zie­bi­ce, and his youn­ger bro­ther Bol­ko II (+1341), de­nied the Mo­ra­vian mar­gra­ve Char­les Lu­xem­burg (+1378) a fief tri­bu­te from his du­chy, Char­les sent ar­med troops to Zab­ko­wi­ce to ta­ke o­ver the cas­tle and for­ce Bol­ko to ma­ke con­ces­sions. Ho­we­ver, the­se u­nits pro­ved to be too weak in the con­fron­ta­tion with the de­ter­mi­na­tion of the prin­ce's troops and the walls of the Zab­ko­wi­ce strong­hold, which re­sul­ted in their de­feat and 150 knights be­ing ta­ken pri­so­ners. Ho­we­ver, Bol­ko II could not turn this suc­cess in­to a po­li­ti­cal vi­cto­ry, be­cau­se af­ter re­le­asing the pri­so­ners in ex­chan­ge for a re­la­ti­ve­ly small ran­som, on­ly a year la­ter for un­cle­ar re­a­sons, he vo­lun­ta­ri­ly be­ca­me Char­les' fief, gi­ving the town and the cas­tle un­der Czech ru­le. This in­con­sis­ten­cy in the pro­ceed­ings of the prin­ce was al­so in­com­pre­hen­si­ble to con­tem­po­ra­ry wit­nes­ses of the­se e­vents, as the 14th-cen­tu­ry chro­nic­ler Jan­ko from Czarn­ków sug­ges­ti­ve­ly out­li­ned, cal­ling him con­fu­sed in his mind. Pro­ba­bly, ho­we­ver, Bol­ko's de­ci­sions we­re well thought out, and they we­re dic­ta­ted by ei­ther the lack of mo­ney cau­sed by the waste­ful­ness of the ru­ler, or prag­ma­tism or­de­ring to stop re­sis­tan­ce a­gainst a stron­ger e­ne­my in the fa­ce of we­ake­ning sup­port from the Po­lish king Ca­si­mir the Great.


IMG BORDER=1 style=

IMG BORDER=1 style=

VIEW OF THE RUINS FROM THE NORTHEAST, IN THE BACKGROUND YOU CAN SEE BARDZKIE MOUNTAINS (ON THE LEFT) AND OWL MOUNTAINS (ON THE RIGHT)


he Duchy of Zie­bi­ce ne­ver re­gai­ned its so­ve­reig­nty and re­mai­ned with the Czech un­til 1742. Bol­ko's son Ni­co­las the Lit­tle (+1358) not on­ly did not buy the town from the pled­ge, but in Sep­tem­ber 1351 he de­ci­ded to sell it to Char­les IV, then the ru­ler of the Czech King­dom. Sin­ce then the cas­tle has ser­ved as the seat of the sta­rosts ma­na­ging the su­bor­di­na­te ter­ri­to­ry of Zie­bi­ce and Zab­ko­wi­ce. In March 1428 it was be­sie­ged by the Hus­si­te ar­my, but this at­tack was suc­ces­sful­ly re­sis­ted by the de­fen­ders at the cost of si­gni­fi­cant da­ma­­ge to the ex­ter­nal for­ti­fi­ca­tions and lar­ge los­ses in the ci­vil­ian po­pu­la­tion of the town, the walls of which we­re weak­er and not con­nec­ted to the cas­tle. Af­ter the si­tu­a­tion in Si­le­sia had sta­bi­li­zed, the a­rea of the du­chy was in­cor­po­ra­ted in­to the ro­yal e­sta­tes, and the fort­ress was re­pai­red and sligh­tly mo­der­ni­zed. When Wil­helm of Opa­va died in 1452, the du­chy was ta­ken o­ver by his bro­ther Er­nest (+1464), re­mem­be­red for his wa­ste­ful way of li­fe as the le­a­der of the Opa­va Pře­my­slid fa­mi­ly, who in 1456 de­ci­ded to sell it to the Czech king Ge­or­ge of Po­děbra­dy (+1471). This ru­ler re­jec­ted the Ca­tho­lic faith and ac­cep­ted the do­ctri­nes of Jan Hus, which led to a con­flict with the Si­le­sian sta­tes and tur­ned in­to an o­pen war, re­sul­ting in an in­va­sion of Zab­ko­wi­ce by the burg­hers of Wro­claw, Swid­ni­ca and Ny­sa in May 1467. The u­ni­ted for­ces we­re un­suc­ces­sful­ly at­tac­king the fort­ress for ten next days, and it was on­ly when the hu­ge can­non was brought in that the crew con­vin­ced them of the ine­vi­ta­bi­li­ty of their fa­te and ma­de them sur­ren­der. Ul­rich Hans von Ha­sen­burg took o­ver the com­mand of the cas­tle, but in Ju­ly of the sa­me ye­ar he had to ac­know­le­dge the su­per­io­ri­ty of Czech-Sa­xon-Bran­den­burg ar­mies, which not on­ly took the cas­tle a­way from the ci­ti­zens of Wroc­law, but al­so re­qui­si­tio­ned this big can­non. Ho­we­ver, this did not me­an for Zab­ko­wi­ce the end of the figh­ting be­tween the Czech king and the Ca­tho­lic con­fe­de­ra­tion sup­por­ted by the Po­pe, be­cau­se al­re­ady in the fol­lo­wing year the cas­tle was re­pe­ated­ly be­sie­ged and e­ven­tu­al­ly de­stro­yed by the troops re­pre­sen­ting the si­de of the bis­hop of Wro­claw who was in con­flict with King Ge­or­ge.



CASTLE IN THE DRAWINGS OF THE F.B. WEHRNER FROM THE MIDDLE OF THE XVIII CENTURY, TOPOGRAPHIA SEU COMPENDIUM SILESIAE 1744-68


n 1489 the town and the cas­tle we­re be­sie­ged and con­que­red by the Hun­ga­rian king Mat­thias Cor­vi­nus (+1490) and then oc­cu­pied for se­ve­ral months un­til the death of the king. The pre­sen­ce of the e­ne­my ar­my wor­se­ned the al­re­ady ve­ry bad con­di­tion of the fort­ress, which at the end of the 15th cen­tu­ry was in ru­ins. Its si­tu­a­tion was chan­ged by the de­ci­sion ta­ken in 1524 by Char­les I of the Po­die­brad fa­mi­ly (+1536) to esta­blish in Zab­ko­wi­ce Slas­kie the main seat of the prin­ci­pa­li­ty, which was con­nec­ted with the ne­ces­si­ty of ma­king lar­ge in­vest­ments ac­cor­ding to the needs and am­bit­ions of this ru­ler. In the 1520s, most of the old Got­hic walls of the cas­tle we­re dis­mant­led and the Re­nais­san­ce strong­hold was built with the use of the left foun­da­tions, ac­cor­ding to the pro­jects of the ro­yal ar­chi­tect Be­ne­dict Rejt from Pra­gue, the cre­ator of, among ot­hers, the Wla­dys­law Hall at the Ro­yal Cas­tle in Hra­de­ca­ny. The plan of the re­si­den­ce was cre­ated on a tru­ly ro­yal sca­le: on a mas­si­ve qua­dri­la­te­ral of 62x65 met­res, flan­ked by two cy­lin­dri­cal to­wers, with clois­ters a­round the court­yard and a high ga­te to­wer. By 1532, three wings of the cas­tle had been com­ple­te­ly built and roofed. The con­struc­tion of the fourth, nort­hern part was in­ter­rup­ted by the Ot­to­man Em­pi­re's in­va­sion in­to Hun­ga­ry, re­sul­ting in the so-cal­led Tur­kish fear, which promp­ted Char­les to stop works and fo­cus his li­mi­ted re­sour­ces on the con­struc­tion of for­ti­fi­ca­tions in or­der to pro­tect the town a­gainst a pos­si­ble in­va­sion. Af­ter the death of the ru­ler in 1536, his heirs we­re not in­te­res­ted in con­ti­nu­ing the con­struc­tion works at the Zab­ko­wi­ce cas­tle, con­cen­tra­ting on the ex­pen­si­ve de­co­ra­tions of the prin­ce's re­si­den­ce in Oles­ni­ca. The in­deb­ted fort­ress to­get­her with the town be­ca­me the sub­ject of mort­ga­ge bonds and was le­a­sed.


THE LITHOGRAPHY FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE XIX CENTURY CREATED BY THE W. HERMES


GRAPHICS WITH A VIEW OF THE RUINS FROM THE SOUTH, 60S XIX CENTURY


he Duchy of Zie­bi­ce re­tur­ned to the ow­ner­ship of the King of Czech in 1569, when the cas­tle was ma­de the se­at of the sta­rosts. One of the first sta­rosts of Zab­ko­wi­ce was Fa­bian von Rei­chen­bach, pro­bab­ly on the ini­tia­ti­ve of whom the for­ti­fi­ca­tions of the cas­tle we­re ex­ten­ded and con­nec­ted with the town. The sur­roun­ding of the cas­tle with ground ba­stions al­lo­wed the cas­tle's staff to fight off the ar­med sie­ge of 1632 by both the em­pe­ror's and the Swe­des' troops, but in con­fron­ta­tion with the em­pe­ror's troops the hun­ger fi­nal­ly for­ced the de­fen­ders to sur­ren­der. The strong­hold suf­fe­red mo­re se­rious da­ma­ge in Ju­ly 1646, when it was ta­ken o­ver by ar­til­le­ry fi­re and then oc­cu­pied by em­pe­ror's troops un­der the com­mand of Mar­shal Ray­mond Mon­te­cuc­co­li, who or­de­red the blo­wing up of cur­tain walls, bas­tions and so­me of the re­si­den­tial wings. When in 1654 Zab­ko­wi­ce Slas­kie be­ca­me the pro­per­ty of the Reich Prin­ce Jo­hann von Auer­sperg (+1677), he be­gan to re­build the de­stro­yed cas­tle, but the pur­po­se of this in­vest­ment was pri­ma­ri­ly to re­sto­re the re­si­den­tial buil­dings wit­hout for­ti­fi­ca­tions, which me­ant that the cas­tle no lon­ger re­mai­ned for­ti­fied af­ter the loss of de­fen­si­ve e­quip­ment. With ti­me, the ex­pen­ses for main­tai­ning the re­si­den­ce we­re be­co­ming mo­re and mo­re mo­dest, which took re­ven­ge on the con­di­tion of the walls and cau­sed that at the be­gin­ning of the eigh­teenth cen­tu­ry, the in­te­rior de­sign si­gni­fi­can­tly de­via­ted from the stan­dards of that age. Hein­rich von Auer­sperg (+1783), the ow­ner of the town sin­ce 1713, tried to re­me­dy this by star­ting a ge­ne­ral re­no­va­tion of the cas­tle, but soon stop­ped all work be­cau­se of the high costs. In the fol­lo­wing years the tech­ni­cal con­di­tion of the buil­ding de­te­rio­ra­ted so much that in 1728 it was de­ci­ded to re­mo­ve the land of­fi­ces from it. The work of de­stru­ction was com­ple­ted by a fi­re in 1784, which re­sul­ted in bur­ning of the ra­fter fra­ming and co­ve­rings of the cas­tle roofs.



RUIN ON POSTCARDS FROM THE FIRST DECADE OF THE XX CENTURY


fter the town be­ca­me the pro­per­ty of the von Schla­bren­dorfs, in the third de­ca­de of the 19th cen­tu­ry when the plan to li­qui­da­te the town for­ti­fi­ca­tions was im­ple­men­ted, the moats and ram­parts, that sur­roun­ded the cas­tle, we­re bu­ried and a small park was e­sta­blis­hed in pla­ce of the for­mer gar­dens. The a­ban­do­ned buil­ding, though de­void of de­fen­si­ve e­quip­ment, was still at­trac­ting the at­ten­tion of ar­tists and art en­thus­iasts, an exam­ple of which can be found in the re­la­tion of the Po­lish e­co­no­mist and dra­ma­tist Fry­de­ryk Skar­bek, who wro­te in 1826: The town has a be­au­ti­ful ruin of an old cas­tle, I sta­yed o­vern­ight in it. By the de­ci­sion of the ow­ner, Count­ess An­na von Deym de domo, Count von Schla­bren­dorf (+1919) at the turn of the nine­teenth and twen­tieth cen­tu­ries, an oil de­pot o­pe­ra­ted in the for­mer fort­ress, and with her per­mis­sion, fi­re-fight­ing e­xer­ci­ses and school sports a­cti­vi­ties we­re or­ga­ni­zed in the court­yard. In the in­ter­war pe­riod, when the ruins be­lon­ged to Franz von Deym (+1925), a small re­gio­nal mu­se­um was o­pe­ned in the cas­tle to­wer, and so­me of the rooms we­re a­dap­ted for a tou­rist hos­tel and the­at­re. At the end of the Se­cond World War and in the first ye­ars a­fter the war, the mo­nu­ment sha­red the fa­te of ma­ny such ob­jects in Lo­wer Si­le­sia - its e­quip­ment was par­cel­led out, part­ial­ly rob­bed, and a fi­re was set a­gainst the walls, which con­su­med the in­ter­iors and the 19th cen­tu­ry wood­en buil­dings, tur­ning the cas­tle in­to an em­pty sto­ne shell. The re­mains of the fort­ress we­re pro­vi­sio­nal­ly se­cu­red in the ye­ars 1958-61. In 1975, bu­shes o­ver­gro­wing the walls we­re cut out, the cas­tle squa­re was cle­a­ned up, the vaults we­re se­cu­red and the stair­ca­ses we­re cle­a­red of rub­ble. Re­no­va­tion and main­te­nan­ce works we­re car­ried out as ear­ly as in the 1990s, but their li­mi­ted sco­pe could not stop the fur­ther de­gra­da­tion of the buil­ding, which en­te­red the new mil­len­nium as a de­ser­ted ruin thre­a­te­ning to col­lap­se. Lar­ger in­vest­ments we­re star­ted on­ly in 2012, which al­lo­wed to be­gin bro­a­der ac­ti­vi­ties ai­med at par­tial re­vi­ta­li­za­tion of the mo­nu­ment and ma­king it a­vai­la­ble to vi­si­tors.



RUIN ON POSTCARDS FROM THE FIRST DECADE OF THE XX CENTURY



The modern German name of the town was al­re­ady u­sed in the Mid­dle A­ges, as evi­den­ced by do­cu­ments from 1287, when the town of Fran­ken­stein was men­tio­ned for the first ti­me. La­ter, its wri­ting was sligh­tly mo­di­fied and fun­ctio­ned in dis­tor­ted forms of Fran­kin­stein (1338), Fran­ckin­steyn (1445) or Fran­cken­stain (1651), in or­der to re­gain its o­ri­gi­nal form in Prus­sian ti­mes. The term Zab­ko­wi­ce was gi­ven to the town in 1945, and then it was en­ri­ched with the ad­jec­ti­ve Slas­kie (Si­le­sian).

The name Frankenstein brings to mind the ter­ri­fy­ing and si­mul­ta­ne­ous­ly tra­gic cha­rac­ter of Ma­ry Shel­ley's no­vel en­tit­led Fran­ken­stein; or The Mo­dern Pro­me­the­us. It is not known why the au­thor ga­ve such a na­me to the fa­mous doc­tor, who cre­a­ted a mon­ster from frag­ments of hu­man and a­ni­mal bo­dies, which to­day is one of the icons of pop cul­tu­re. So­me hy­po­the­ses, ho­we­ver, ma­ke us look for a con­nec­tion be­tween the tit­le of the no­vel and the town in Lo­wer Si­le­sia of the sa­me na­me. At the be­gin­ning of the 17th cen­tu­ry, Zab­ko­wi­ce (ger­man Fran­ken­stein) was pla­gu­ed by an epi­de­mic of an un­pre­ce­den­ted sca­le. Ho­we­ver, whi­le the pla­gue at that ti­me was com­mon and fre­quent, in this ca­se the fact that the di­se­ase by­pas­sed neigh­bo­ring towns and at­tac­ked on­ly he­re may ha­ve been sur­pri­sing. It was con­si­de­red that the cau­se of such high mor­ta­li­ty, and in such stran­ge cir­cum­stan­ces, we­re the for­ces of dark­ness. On the ini­tia­ti­ve of the town au­tho­ri­ties, an in­ve­sti­ga­tion was carr­ied out, as a re­sult of which se­ve­ral gra­ve­dig­gers and their as­sis­tants we­re ca­ptu­red and then ac­cu­sed of spre­ading poi­so­nous pow­der in or­der to earn mo­ney not on­ly from bur­ials but al­so from ste­a­ling gra­ves, and to wor­ship the de­vil by de­se­cra­ting corp­ses and ea­ting hu­man he­arts. Af­ter short but in­ten­si­ve tor­tu­res, the pri­so­ners' quic­kly con­fes­sed their guilt and we­re bur­ned a­li­ve.

The trial of Zab­ko­wi­ce gra­ve­dig­gers was des­cri­bed in 1606 by the Ne­we Zeyt­tung news­pa­per pu­blis­hed in Augs­burg. Thanks its co­lour­ful de­scrip­tion, the sto­ry be­ca­me fa­mous and was told throu­ghout Eu­ro­pe for ma­ny years. Un­doub­ted­ly, it was al­so known by Ma­ry Shel­ley, an en­thu­siast of fan­tas­tic and scien­ti­fic li­te­ra­tu­re and hor­ror dra­mas. The Zab­ko­wi­ce mo­tif is the­re­fo­re pro­ba­ble, but not the on­ly one that tou­ches u­pon the my­ste­ry of the En­glish wri­ter's in­spi­ra­tion. The­re's a­no­ther trail. Ma­ry, when at the age of 16, af­ter es­ca­ping from her ho­me, wan­de­red with her be­lo­ved in Eu­ro­pe, in Sep­tem­ber 1814 she re­ached the Rhi­ne Ri­ver near the cas­tle whe­re Kon­rad Dip­pel, a doc­tor sus­pec­ted of dig­ging up gra­ves in or­der to do un­spe­ci­fied ex­pe­ri­ments, li­ved years ago. This cas­tle was cal­led... Fran­ken­stein.






PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE RUINS FROM THE INTERWAR PERIOD, THE GATE TOWER AND CLOCK TOWER IN THE PICTURES



ue to the lack of known me­die­val de­scrip­tions or ico­no­gra­phic sour­ces, as well as due to ve­ry wi­de ran­ge of chan­ges car­ried out in la­ter ti­mes, it is ex­tre­me­ly dif­fi­cult to de­ter­mi­ne the for­mer ap­pe­aran­ce of the Got­hic cas­tle. We know that it was built from sand­sto­ne on a steep ri­ver­si­de slo­pe, pre­su­ma­bly on an ir­re­gu­lar plan clo­se to an o­val. Pre­ser­ved re­mains in­di­ca­te that the­re was at least one re­si­den­tial ho­use, two sto­reys high, with vaul­ted cham­bers on the ground floor. Frag­ments of the ol­dest buil­ding are lo­ca­ted in the sout­hern part of the cas­tle as a short ar­ched sec­tion in the Re­nais­san­ce wall.



PLAN OF THE RUINS OF THE CASTLE IN ZABKOWICE, THE RELICS OF THE MEDIEVAL STRONGHOLD INCORPORATED INTO THE XVI-CENTURY WALLS ARE MARKED IN BLACK: 1. CORNER TOWERS, 2. GATE TOWER, 3. CLOCK TOWER, 4. EAST WING, 5. SOUTH WING, 6. REMAINS OF CLOISTERS


he Renaissance cas­tle was built on a qua­dri­la­te­ral plan me­a­su­ring 62x65 me­ters, with two cor­ner, three-sto­rey round to­wers lo­ca­ted dia­go­nal­ly, al­lo­wing flan­king fi­re a­long the walls al­most on their full pe­ri­me­ter. In the cen­tral part of the east­ern wing the­re was a squa­re to­wer, top­ped with an at­tic, in which a pe­de­strian ga­te and a ga­te­way le­a­ding to the court­yard we­re ma­de. Its raw Go­thic form was or­na­men­ted with Re­nais­san­ce win­dow de­co­ra­tion and a ma­gni­fi­cent por­tal with the coat of arms of Char­les I: the eagle of the du­kes of Zie­bi­ce and Ole­sni­ca and a chess­board of the du­kes of Swid­ni­ca. The re­si­den­tial buil­ding of the cas­tle con­sis­ted of four wings, of which the re­pre­sen­ta­ti­ve fun­ction was per­for­med by the east­ern wing with two lar­ge cham­bers me­a­su­ring 22x9.4 me­ters, oc­cu­py­ing the ground floor and the first floor be­tween the ga­te to­wer and the to­wer cal­led the ra­ven to­wer. The lo­wer cham­ber was vaul­ted and the up­per cham­ber was co­ve­red with a wood­en cei­ling, abo­ve which the­re we­re rooms for ser­vants and clerks. The li­fe of the court was con­cen­tra­ted in the south and west wings, whe­re the up­per rooms had di­rect com­mu­ni­ca­tion with the court­yard by means of ex­ter­nal stairs or por­ches. On first floor of the south wing, the­re was a cen­tral­ly lo­ca­ted a­part­ment me­a­su­ring 16.5 x 8 met­res, whe­re a de­co­ra­ti­ve por­tal led, lo­ca­ted near the clock to­wer - the se­cond do­mi­nant part of the cas­tle. The re­si­den­tial buil­ding was clo­sed by the ne­ver com­ple­ted north wing, which to­ge­ther with the ot­her buil­dings for­med a re­gu­lar court­yard with a si­de of about 37 me­ters, sur­roun­ded by Re­nais­san­ce wood­en cloi­sters. The fa­ca­des of the buil­dings we­re co­ve­red with rich ar­chi­te­ctu­ral and scul­ptu­ral de­co­ra­tions re­pre­sen­ted by por­tals, win­dow fra­mes, fa­mi­ly coats of arms and the at­tic sur­roun­ding the top of the walls. The sur­vi­ving pla­ster of the cor­ner to­wer con­tains tra­ces of the first known re­nais­san­ce rus­ti­ca­tion in Si­le­sia, i.e. the pro­fi­ling of pla­ster imi­ta­ting the ar­ran­ge­ment of sto­nes in the wall.


VIEW OF THE CASTLE FROM THE SOUTHEAST ACCORDING TO F.B. WEHRNER FROM THE MIDDLE OF THE XVIII CENTURY



RECONSTRUCTION OF THE XVI-CENTURY CASTLE ACCORDING TO O. FELCMAN, R. FUKALA



he main walls of the en­ti­re area, in­clu­ding the ga­te to­wer and clock to­wer, as well as a few or­na­ments and ar­chi­te­ctu­ral so­lu­tions ha­ve been pre­ser­ved in good con­di­tion to the pre­sent day. Most of the in­ter­nal di­vi­sions did not sur­vi­ve; the wood­en cei­lings burnt down and the vaults par­tial­ly col­lap­sed. De­spi­te the re­la­ti­ve­ly high le­vel of pre­ser­va­tion of the o­ri­gi­nal his­to­ri­cal sub­stan­ce and its un­doub­ted be­auty, through­out the com­mu­nist pe­riod and ma­ny years a­fter its col­lap­se the cas­tle had no luck to its hosts, who by li­mi­ting in­vest­ments for its con­ser­va­tion and main­te­nan­ce re­du­ced it to a se­con­da­ry at­tra­ction, not worth the fi­nan­cial and or­ga­ni­za­tio­nal ef­fort of ada­pta­tion for tour­ist pur­po­ses. For­tu­na­te­ly, after 2010, the first steps we­re ta­ken to se­cu­re the ruins com­pre­hen­si­ve­ly and ma­ke them ac­ces­si­ble to vi­si­tors. As a re­sult, un­til 2017 the cas­tle re­gai­ned one of the two cor­ner to­wers, the vaults in the ga­te to­wer and the at­tic crow­ning it, as well as the crown of its walls we­re se­cu­red and the walls strength­ened in pla­ces whe­re the­re was a dan­ger of col­lap­se. In the fol­lo­wing years, it is plan­ned to a­dapt the ga­te to­wer with ad­ja­cent rooms for use, to re­no­va­te and se­cu­re the se­cond to­wer of the cas­tle - a clock to­wer, to part­ial­ly re­vi­ta­li­ze the court­yard, as well as to ar­ran­ge se­lec­ted rooms for the or­ga­ni­za­tion of cul­tu­ral e­vents. The ruin is open to the pub­lic, but ple­ase no­te that tic­kets to the cas­tle can on­ly be pur­cha­sed in the Le­aning To­wer or in the Mu­se­um of Re­gio­nal Me­mo­ra­bi­lia (in­for­ma­tion from 2019).


Izba Pamiatek Regionalnych im. Józefa Glabiszewskiego
ul. Krzywa 1, 57-200 Zabkowice Slaskie
e-mail: krzywa.wieza(at)zabkowiceslaskie.pl

Opening hours / Tickets



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EAST WING, FRONT AND WEST VIEW (FROM THE COURTYARD)


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PARTIALLY RECONSTRUCTED GATEWAY / VIEW OF THE NORTH WING


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THE RUINS OF THE WEST WING




he castle is si­tu­a­ted at Krzy­wa Street, on a high em­bank­ment in the south­ern part of the town, which is pas­sed from the west by the in­ter­na­tio­nal road E67. The­re are no se­pa­ra­te par­king a­re­as ne­ar­by; you can le­ave your car in one of the tight and of­ten crow­ded pla­ces di­rec­tly on Ar­mii Kra­jo­wej Street or Cia­sna Street, or park it a lit­tle fur­ther from the ru­ins, e.g. in the Old Mar­ket Squa­re. If you are tra­vel­ling by train, af­ter le­a­ving the rail­way sta­tion, you should go south, to­wards the Mar­ket Squa­re, and con­ti­nue straight a­head a­long Ar­mii Kra­jo­wej Street, and then - af­ter re­aching Krzy­wa Street - turn right. (map of cas­tles in Lo­wer Si­le­sia)




1. M. Chorowska: Rezydencje sredniowieczne na Slasku, Politechnika Wroclawska 2003
2. L. Kajzer, J. Salm, S. Kolodziejski: Leksykon zamków w Polsce, Arkady 2001
3. J. Lamparska: Zamkowe tajemnice, Asia Press 2009
4. R. Luczynski: Chronologia dziejów Dolnego Slaska, Atut 2006
5. R. Luczynski: Zamki, dwory i palace w Sudetach, Wspólnota Akademicka 2008
6. M. Perzynski: Dolny Slask - kraina katedr, zamków i wulkanów, WDW 2007
7. M. Perzynski: Zamki, twierdze i palace Dolnego Slaska i Opolszczyzny, WDW 2006
8. Promotional leaflets issued by Zabkowice Slaskie Town Hall


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VIEW OF THE CASTLE FROM KRZYWA STREET (TOWARDS THE OLD TOWN)


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THE SOUTH WING IS ADJACENT TO THE XIX-CENTURY PARK


Castles nearby:
Kamieniec Zabkowicki - neo-Gothic castle from the 19th century, 12 km
Rudnica - ruins of the manor house from the 16th century, 12 km
Bardo Slaskie - relics of the duke's castle from the 14th century, 13 km
Cieplowody - ruins of the knights' castle from the 13th to the 16th century, 14 km
Grodziszcze - remnants of the castle from the 13th to 14th century, 13 km
Srebrna Góra - the mountain fortress from the 18th century, 13 km
Stoszowice - a noble castle from the 13th to the 14th century, rebuilt in the 17th century, 14 km
Owiesno - ruin of a noble castle from the 14th to the 17th century, 16 km
Niemcza - duke's castle from the 13th century, rebuilt, 17 km



It is worth seeing also:


The Gothic Leaning Tower is lo­ca­ted on Swie­te­go Woj­cie­cha Street, on the west si­de of the Mar­ket Squa­re. Its ori­gins pro­ba­bly da­te back to the 14th cen­tu­ry, when the to­wer be­gan to ser­ve as a town ga­te, al­though it is al­so be­lie­ved that it is a re­lic of the first Zab­ko­wi­ce cas­tle, which was sup­po­sed to exist he­re e­ven be­fo­re the town was foun­ded. At least sin­ce the 15th cen­tu­ry the buil­ding has been u­sed as a bell to­wer, first as a town bell to­wer and then as a church bell to­wer sin­ce 1507. For the first ti­me, the to­wer was in­cli­ned at the end of the 16th cen­tu­ry, when the wall of the porch con­nec­ting it with St. Anne's Church crac­ked un­der the in­flu­en­ce of stres­ses. It is ge­ne­ral­ly as­su­med that the loss of sta­bi­li­ty was cau­sed by tec­to­nic dis­tur­ban­ces that oc­cur­red in Sep­tem­ber 1590 or soil wet­ting that re­sul­ted in sub­si­den­ce of the foun­da­tions. At pre­sent, the de­via­tion of the buil­ding from the ver­ti­cal is 2.14 met­res and it is still pro­gres­sing. Ho­we­ver, this sta­te is not a threat so far and the tower can be vi­si­ted. From its vie­wing ter­ra­ce the­re is an in­te­res­ting pa­no­ra­ma of the town with the ruins of a cas­tle in the south.


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The ol­dest re­si­den­tial buil­ding in Zab­ko­wi­ce Slas­kie cal­led the Knight Kauf­fung's Ma­nor Hou­se, whe­re the Cham­ber of Re­gio­nal Me­mo­ra­bi­lia is lo­ca­ted - an et­hno­gra­phic mu­se­um with ex­hi­bi­tions of for­mer hou­se­hold e­quip­ment, fur­ni­tu­re, ho­me ap­plian­ces and old e­le­ctro­nics, and col­lec­tions of his­to­ri­cal we­apons. In the cel­lar cham­bers of the hou­se, the Dr. Fran­ken­stein La­bo­ra­to­ry, re­fer­ring to Ma­ry Shel­ley's no­vel, was or­ga­ni­zed. Its form and e­quip­ment is a loose, gro­tes­que­ly pre­sen­ted in­ter­pre­ta­tion of book e­vents. Ho­we­ver, be­cau­se of the lar­ge num­ber of ex­hi­bits sho­wing pre­ci­se­ly the ana­to­mi­cal fe­a­­tu­res of hu­man and ani­mal or­ga­nisms, I do not re­com­mend vi­si­ting this pla­ce in the com­pa­ny of young­er child­ren.


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text: 2019
photographs: 2013, 2019
© by Jacek Bednarek