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remains of ducal castle

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CASTLE ROGOWIEC, THE REMAINS OF THE LAST DEFENSE TOWER


HISTORY


T

he be­gin­nings of Ro­gowiec cas­tle prob­a­bly date back to the last two decades of the 13th cen­tu­ry and are com­mon­ly as­so­ci­at­ed with the foun­da­tion of Bol­ko I Su­ro­wy (the Stern) (d. 1301), the ruler of Duchy of Świd­ni­ca and Ja­wor. Sit­u­at­ed high in the moun­tains on a hard to reach rock, the de­fen­sive sys­tem was to serve to strength­en the supreme au­thor­i­ty in very sparse­ly pop­u­lat­ed moun­tain ar­eas; to­geth­er with the fortress­es of Grod­no, Nowy Dwór and Ra­dos­no it al­so formed a line of for­ti­fi­ca­tions along the south­ern, still then con­ven­tion­al, bor­der of the prin­ci­pal­i­ty. It is worth men­tion­ing that in the Mid­dle Ages a trade route from Świd­ni­ca to Bo­hemi­an Na­chod led along the val­ley of Riv­er Ryb­na near the fortress. Its moun­tain part, called the Up­per Road, led through the Wał­brzyskie and Owl Moun­tains, and fur­ther through the Dry Moun­tains, the Three Val­leys Pass to Miero­szów, so we can as­sume with high prob­a­bil­i­ty that the near­by cas­tles (Grod­no, Ra­dos­no, Ro­gowiec) were al­so used to se­cure or even con­trol traf­fic on this route. In doc­u­ments of the Cis­ter­cian monastery in Krze­szów, from 1292, a record was pre­served, which men­tions Rein­sko Schwenck­en­feldt as the rul­ing Horn­berch Castel­lanus. It is the old­est known source of in­for­ma­tion about the cas­tle Ro­gowiec.


CASTLE MOUNTAIN WITH RUINS OF ROGOWIEC, L. RICHTER'S INTAGLIO FROM THE 40S XIX CENTURY


SNIEŻKA VIEW FROM THE CASTLE MOUNTAIN, F. VOGEL'S DRAWING FROM 1850


A

t the be­gin­ning of 14th cen­tu­ry the fortress was prob­a­bly cap­tured and for some time kept by rob­ber knights. In 1353, how­ev­er, it cer­tain­ly be­longed to the prince, as in that year at the con­ven­tion in Vi­en­na, the then rul­ing Bol­ko II Ma­ły (the Small) (d. 1368) wrote it down to his niece An­na świd­nic­ka (d. 1362), mar­ried to the Czech king Ka­rol IV (d. 1378). In her name the cas­tle was man­aged by prince­ly courtiers, among oth­ers, in the years 1361-1374 the castel­lan of Ro­gowiec was the cham­ber­mas­ter of the Świd­ni­ca manor Nico­laus de Bol­cze from the fam­i­ly of the own­ers of the cas­tle Bol­czów in Rudawy Janow­ic­kie. In 1392, af­ter death of the wid­ow of Bolko, Princess Ag­niesz­ka, the cas­tle came un­der Czech rule, and lost its strate­gic sig­nif­i­cance. It was soon hand­ed o­ver as a fief to the pri­vate hands of the knight­ly fam­i­lies. Dur­ing the Hus­site wars it was cap­tured and dev­as­tat­ed, and lat­er man­aged by Franz von Pog­a­rell and the in­fa­mous broth­ers Hans and Niko­laus Schel­len­dorf, the own­ers of the cas­tles Książ and Ra­dos­no, re­peat­ed­ly ac­cused of armed raids and at­tacks on mer­chant con­voys. Their pres­ence may be as­so­ci­at­ed with cer­tain in­vest­ments that have been made at the cas­tle hill in or­der to in­crease the de­fense of the fortress, but to­day we are not able to clear­ly de­ter­mine the na­ture and scale of the work car­ried out at that time. Ro­gowiec re­mained in the hands of Schel­len­dorfs un­til its fall in 1482 (or 1497), when, as a re­sult of nu­mer­ous com­plaints about the rob­bery of its in­hab­i­tants, it fell un­der the pres­sure of a re­tal­ia­to­ry ex­pe­di­tion led by the roy­al troops com­mand­ed by George von Stein (d. 1497). Per­haps a firearm was used to con­quer the cas­tle, what is in­di­cat­ed by frag­ments of can­non­balls and can­nons dis­cov­ered dur­ing ar­chae­o­log­i­cal ex­ca­va­tions. De­stroyed fortress was dis­man­tled in the fol­low­ing years by the lo­cal in­hab­i­tants and o­ver time it fell in­to com­plete ru­in. From the 16th cen­tu­ry, the sur­round­ing area and the cas­tle were the prop­er­ty of the Hobergs (the Hochberg) fam­i­ly from Książ, who bought them from the Czech king Wła­dys­ław Ja­giel­loń­czyk for 600,000 Czech groschen.


A RUIN ON A POSTCARD FROM 1898


GREETINGS FROM ROGOWIEC, 1909


THE NAMING OF THE CASTLE IN THE PAST


* 1292, Hornberch Castellanus
* 1318, Hornsburg
* 1392, Domschloss, Heinzetempel
* 1747, Horn Schloss
* 1825, Hornschloss
* 1918, Hornberg
* 1945, Rogowiec


ROGOWIEC VIEW FROM JELENIEC MOUNTAIN (902 M ABOVE SEA LEVEL)


VIEW ON THE RYBNICKI GRZBIET AND BOROWA, THE HIGHEST PEAK OF THE WAŁBRZYSKIE MOUNTAINS


ARCHITECTURE


T

he cas­tle was built of crushed, un­treat­ed stone on a rocky hill 870 me­tres above sea lev­el. Its old­est part is the upper cas­tle lo­cat­ed on the top of the hill, built on a rect­an­gu­lar plan with sides 20x30 me­ters, in the west­ern part of which stood a cylin­dri­cal tow­er of last de­fense, so called bergfried, with a di­am­e­ter of about 10 me­ters and the thick­ness of the ground walls ex­ceed­ing 3.5 me­ters. The liv­ing space was formed by a two-winged build­ing oc­cu­py­ing the south-east­ern part of the cas­tle, mea­sur­ing 10x17 me­ters. It based on a cur­tain which was the east­ern part of for­ti­fi­ca­tions, whose walls ranged from 1 me­ter thick o­ver the west­ern abyss to 2.5 me­ters thick in the other sec­tions. In the 14th cen­tu­ry, a new 7x15-me­tre build­ing was erect­ed on the site of a dis­man­tled east­ern house. The build­ing could have had a tim­ber fram­ing on the court­yard side and a cylin­dri­cal stair­case lo­cat­ed near the north-east­ern cor­ner of the cas­tle. Per­haps at the same time the hill­side was for­ti­fied by two tow­ers and a small gate tow­er in its south­ern sec­tor. The last phase of the cas­tle's de­vel­op­ment prob­a­bly took place in the mid­dle of 15th cen­tu­ry and re­sult­ed in de­mo­li­tion of a res­i­den­tial build­ing and its re­place­ment with a tow­er with ex­ter­nal di­men­sions of 9.2 x 11 me­ters. The cu­bic ca­pac­i­ty of the south­ern gate tow­er was al­most dou­bled and the whole cas­tle was sur­round­ed by a sec­ond line of stone for­ti­fi­ca­tions.




THE PLAN OF THE CASTLE RUINS: 1. UPPER CASTLE, 2. CYLINDRICAL TOWER, 3. RESIDENTIAL HOUSE, 4. XIV-CENTURY RESIDENTIAL TOWER, 5. GATE TOWER, 6. LOWER CASTLE


CURRENT STATE


T

oday we can dis­tin­guish the foun­da­tions of a res­i­den­tial house un­cov­ered by the stu­dents of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Wro­claw, par­tial­ly re­con­struct­ed frag­ments of the pe­riph­er­al wall, small relics of the tow­ers and low­er parts of cylin­dri­cal tow­er with a height of up to 3 me­ters. The en­tire place looks mod­est, but in this case the spe­cial mag­ic of the site is not the ru­ins of the cas­tle, but its lo­ca­tion - Ro­gowiec is the high­est sit­u­at­ed cas­tle in Poland and of­fers ex­cel­lent Sude­ten land­scapes. From the top of the moun­tain (870 m above sea lev­el) spreads a cap­ti­vat­ing panora­ma of the Wal­brzyskie Moun­tains from the north, pic­turesque sur­round­ings of Unis­ław Śląs­ki from the west and a lit­tle over­shad­owed by trees views of the Owl Moun­tains lo­cat­ed on the east­ern side of Ro­gowiec. Ad­mis­sion to the ru­ins is free.


A walk to the cas­tle ru­ins can on­ly be en­joy­able for dogs that like to go on long and stren­u­ous hikes. Small and less hardy dogs will hate you for it. I don't re­mem­ber any stream flow­ing along the way, so it is manda­to­ry to bring wa­ter with you.

The Ro­gowiec peak and its clos­est sur­round­ings (if the con­di­tions are ap­pro­pri­ate) are per­fect for tak­ing bird's eye shots.


ON THE TOP OF ROGOWIEC MOUNTAIN




HOW TO GET THERE?


R

ogowiec is lo­cat­ed on a nar­row forest­ed moun­tain isth­mus ris­ing steeply above the val­ley of the Riv­er Ryb­na sep­a­rat­ing the Wał­brzy­skie Moun­tains from the Ka­mien­ne Moun­tains, about 1.5 km west of Grzmią­ca vil­lage. There are sev­er­al al­ter­na­tive ways to get there and en­joy a pleas­ant walk. The yel­low trail leads from Wał­brzych to the blue trail on the Ko­zia Pass. It is an easy road, al­so suit­able for moun­tain bikes, ex­cept for a long, steep de­scent in­to the Ryb­na val­ley, re­quir­ing strong legs and hands. Time of the walk: about 2.5 hours. From Jed­li­na Zdrój leads the red trail, al­so mild, in the fi­nal stage it con­nects with the blue trail and from this point the dif­fi­cul­ty lev­el in­creas­es slight­ly. About 3 km west of the cas­tle there is a pop­u­lar hos­tel called An­drze­jów­ka - there are a blue, red and yel­low trails lead­ing from there. This is def­i­nite­ly the eas­i­est and most pop­u­lar road. (map of cas­tles)


I rec­om­mend to leave the car at An­drze­jów­ka moun­tain hos­tel, about 1-1.5 h walk from Ro­go­wiec. The road to An­drze­jów­ka leads through a quar­ry and can be closed at cer­tain times for safe­ty rea­sons.

Cy­clists start­ing from Wał­brzych can take the yel­low trail through Wał­brzyskie Moun­tains and then the blue trail. While the first part of this route is not very chal­leng­ing, at the end you will prob­a­bly have to car­ry the bike on your back. For the less am­bi­tious I rec­om­mend to choose the as­phalt road (no 35) to An­drze­jów­ka, and from there to take the yel­low trail - the least at­trac­tive, but rel­a­tive­ly the eas­i­est. The bike should of course be suit­able for moun­tain rid­ing.




BIBLIOGRAPHY


1. M. Chorowska: Rezydencje średniowieczne na Śląsku, OFPWW 2003
2. L. Kajzer, J. Salm, S. Kołodziejski: Leksykon zamków w Polsce, Arkady 2001
3. J. Lamparska: Zamkowe tajemnice, Asia-Press 2009
4. R. Łuczyński: Chronologia dziejów Dolnego Śląska, Atut 2006



A VIEW FROM ROGOWIEC ON THE LANDSCAPE PARK 'SUDETY WALBRZYSKIE'


Castles nearby:
Rybnica Leśna - the ruins of castle Radosno from 14th century, 4 km
Walbrzych - the remains of castle Nowy Dwór from 14th century, 10 km
Zagorze Slaskie - the ruins of a duke's castle Grodno from 14th-16th century, 15 km
Grzedy - the remains of a duke's castle Konradów from 14th century, 20 km






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text: 2019
photographs: 2007, 2018
© Jacek Bednarek