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Castles of the Podkarpacie Region /2
By Pogranicze Media
Published: 10.05.2010

Przemyśl Royal Castle - Kazimierzowski
   The castle in Przemyśl is situated on a hill, at the height of 270 m above the sea level, high above the town. Even in the summer, when there is a lot of greenery, the castle is one of the characteristic elements of the Przemyśl scenery. The castle hill with the area of 1 hectare is surrounded by steep slopes. The name of the hill is derived from
a brick castle in a Gothic style raised in 1340, during the reign of Casimir the Great. Only an entrance gate preserved from the castle.
    Unfortunately, war destructions and fires did not leave much from the former castle. Today, we know more about a quadrilateral bastilles castle which was built in the place of the destroyed building in 1514-1553 by Piotr Kmita, the former starost of Przemyśl. The castle with a two-storied entrance gate and with massive curtains with wooden porches was built on order of Sigismund the Old. From the entrance, there was a forecastle adjacent to the castle and surrounded by a wooden fence, shafts and a palisade. It was a farming part and a subsidiary defensive point. The proper castle occupied an area in the shape of a quadrangle created by curtains strengthened in the corners by bastions showing the cardinal directions. Three bastions had the shape of a circle, and the shape of the Southern bastion was similar to a quadrangle. In the North-West curtain, there was an entrance gate. In the South-East and the South-West parts there were residential buildings, and in the Eastern part there were wooden farm buildings. The entrance gate was separated from the forecastle by a moat and iron and wooden doors. A drawbridge was thrown over the moat. Apart from an ordinary road which led to the castle hill from the West, there was also a small gate in the wooden bastion in the forecastle from the South-West. It made it easier for the pedestrians to enter the castle. In 1835, on the castle hill there were still no trees and shrubs, which was supposed to make it more difficult for the enemy to enter the castle. At the feet of the castle, where today there is a town park; there were vegetable gardens, vineyards, meadows, and ponds and stone-pits from the back.
   An appearance of the castle rebuilt by Piotr Kmita is well known due to the inventories created in 1553 and 1569. A description of the elements included in the inventories was confirmed later by archeological works.

   In 1616-1631, the castle was rebuilt few times. This time, count Marcin Krasicki, the starost of Przemyśl, rebuilt the castle. On Krasicki’s command, the works in the castle were controlled by Galeazzo Appiani, who at the same time also built the castle in Krasiczyn. Because count Marcin Krasicki wanted to change the castle into a beautiful, palace residence, in certain elements of the castle we may found the similarity to the castle in Krasiczyn. Unfortunately, it refers only to the small part of the castle, because the starost’s undertaking has never been completed. He only managed to heighten the bastions by adding to them Mannerist, lacelike attics, and he also built a new residential building with cloisters next to the North-East curtain. The cloister was supposed to be the beginning of rebuilding of the whole courtyard to which residential tracks were to be added between the towers. In the 17th century, sejmiks and seym were resolving certain amounts for repairing and equipping the castle. The task of improving defensive quality of the castle was supposed to be done by Marcin Kącki, but he did nothing with respect to this issue. In 1678, he only created an armory in the castle, but the castle itself started to fall into ruin.
    Already in the 17th century, the wooden forecastle stopped to exist, two bastions; the Southern one and the Western one and a curtain between them were destroyed. In 1759, one of the last starosts of Przemyśl, later king of
Poland, Stanisław Poniatowski, started to restore the castle. The destroyed bastions and the curtain were rebuilt, and a new brick wall was moved inside the courtyard by 10 cm. Counterforts were added to the gate building. After the Austrians had conquered Przemyśl in 1774, they planned to create a prison in the castle. However, this transformation did not take place, and eventually the castle was used as casern and repositories. In 1842, a town park was created on the hill by planting e.g. trees. After the castle had been given back to the town by the Austrian government in 1865, it was restored at the expense of the municipality. In 1885, Aleksander Fredro’s Dramatic Society “FREDREUM” - one of the oldest artistic groups in Europe, received the castle as its premises. In the 20s, when the Northern bastion was renovated, an important function in the conservation and restoration of the castle in Przemyśl was played by the Friends of Science Societ from Przemyśl. In the 70s and in the 80s, the Southern bastion, the Western, round bastion, and the curtain between them were rebuilt.
   Currently, the
Kazimierz Castle
with the courtyard occupies the area of around 0.5 ha. From the North-West, there is an entrance gate, and from the North-East, there is a part of the wing with two bastions in the corners.
   A Roman rotunda with an apse and a palatium dated at the times of reign of Bolesław the Brave were discovered in the courtyard.

Dzików, currently Tarnobrzeg
   A defensive settlement in Dzików came into being in the 14th century or at the beginning of the 15th century. The Ossoliński family was is owners. A mansion situated at the bank of the Vistula River was surrounded by a moat and shafts. It was one of the defensive spots on the river, which was a defensive line then, but it was also used for transport of goods. In 1522 Jan Spytek Tarnowski, Leliwa coat of arms, from Wielowieś near Tarnów bought Dzików (the burning of the manor in Wielowieś by the Swedes during the Deluge did not cause that the main residence of the Tarnowski family was moved to Dzików yet). In the second half of the 16th century, after Tarnów had gone into the hands of the Ostrogoski family, the Tarnowski family started to look for the place where they could found “New Tarnów” or “Tarnodwór”. Several years later, they eventually chose Dzików.
    On 28 May 1593
, King Sigismund III Vasa granted the settlement the Magdeburgian Rights. By the end of the 17th century, residence of the Tarnowski family in Dzików was within the borders of Tarnobrzeg.
   The privilege of founding Tarnobrzeg, which the Tarnowski family was given in 1593 by king Sigismund III Vasa caused that at the beginning of the 17th century Michał Stanisław Tarnowski, the builder of the town, started to enlarge the manor in Dzików.
   Under the Magdeburg Rights, two fairs took place in the newly founded town: on the Day of the Holy Trinity (June 5th) and on the Day of St Simon and St Jude (October 28th).
   During the struggles for the throne of Rzeczpospolita, after the death of King Augustus II in 1734, a general confederation called the Dzików Confederation was created in the castle under the command of Adam Tarło, the starost of Jasiel. The confederation was against Augustus III, who was imposed by
Austria and Russia and supported Stanisław Leszczyński, who was chosen to become the king by the nation.
   Even though the confederation turned out to be weak and could not remove the Saxon and Russian armies from
, it was the first military movement whose aim was to save a threatened independence of the nation.
   Over the centuries, political events, wars and fires left durable marks in the residence of the Tarnowski family. The residence was several times rebuilt and reconstructed.  At the beginning of the 19th century, the castle with Late Baroque features was modernized in the English Neo-Gothic style. After the fire of the castle in 1927, it was rebuilt in the architecture typical for the Early Baroque of the Polish Vasa dynasty. The castle became an architectural masterpiece, enriched with beautiful traditions of the Tarnowski family, with historic events, which took place there, and with collections of literature and art gathered in the castle.

   The currently existing castle and park complex which had been shaped for 500 years, consists of the castle and few accompanying buildings and is surrounded by a landscape park created in the first half of the 19th century. The castle is surrounded by a park in which there are many exotic species of rare in our climate trees (
Gingko Biloba, Liriodendron
    The Tarnowski family, taking care for the town’s development, in 1676 founded a church and a Dominican monastery. A painting of Blessed Virgin Mary called a painting of The Mother of God from Dzików became a symbol of the town. The painting was considered to be miraculous and in 1678 it was moved from the chapel of the manor in Dzików to the Dominican church. Because of it, Tarnobrzeg became the place of the cult of the Virgin Mary, where numbers of pilgrims from Lesser Poland were coming.

18th April 1796, Stanisław Jachowicz, who later became famous as a poet, a pedagogue and a philanthropist, was born in Dzików. (His father, Wojciech Jachowicz, was a clerk in the goods of Dzików). At the beginning of the 19th century, Dzików became famous as an important place of higher education and art. It happened due to Jan Feliks Tarnowski (1777-1842), married to Waleria from the Stroynowski family, who was the founder of the library in Dzików and the creator of the collections in Dzików. Since then, many Polish scholars used the treasures gathered there, and Dzików became a pride for a big part of the country. The library in Dzików preserved in an almost unchanged condition due to the son and the grandson of the founder was considerably enlarged during the times of the present owners of Dzików, count Zdzisław Tarnowski and his wife Zofia from the Potocki family. The library had tens of thousands of volumes, several hundred of manuscripts, and an invaluable archive of diplomas and acts from the beginning of the 14th century.

Zawada near Dębica
   The castle was built around 1656 by the Ligęza family, It was a defensive building with four bastions.
   The Przebendowski family, the Bieliski family and the Radziwiłł family were the next owners of the castle. During all these years, they did not take care of the building much and it was gradually decaying. In 1819, Anna Radziwiłłówna gave the castle in Zawada as a dowry to her husband Atanazy Raczyński. He decided to renovate the old building. A huge residential building was covered by a hipped roof, and a stone wall surrounding the mansion separated it from a big park. At that time, in the castle, there was a rich collection of paintings, and a big library.
   During World War I, the castle was robbed and burnt by the Russian army. In 1920, in the place of the partly destroyed castle, a Neo-Baroque palace was built and the remaining part of the castle was restored.
   A bastion and a chapel, a round tower and a defensive wall with the 19th century entrance gate preserved till today. The remaining buildings, such as a hop drying room or a building of the administrator come from the 19th century.


   Village Zawada is situated by the Zawadka stream, between Ropczyce and Dębica.It was founded probably in the 14th century, and in 1470 it belonged to Spytek from Melsztyn. An interesting folk legend written down in the 19th century by Maciej Bogusz Stęczyński is connected with the village: “Because near Zawada, there is a quite romantic legend of the people attached to this place, which says that: …
“Long time ago, as grandfathers told our fathers, and as our fathers told us, there was Mister Mikołaj Ligęza (a castellan of Wiślice, a starost of Biecz), who remembering about his own death raised a tombstone for himself in a parish church in Biecz for God’s praise and for his descendants as a memento. And he was a grand lord, he had a big landed property, he kept his own soldiers in the castle and he sent them to fight whenever the motherland needed that. He often stayed in Biecz, sometimes in Gorlice, and very rarely in Zawada, because he did not like living in this place. Therefore, at great expense, he raised a new magnificent castle, and with pleasure he looked out of its windows at the broad area surrounding his dwelling.
Meanwhile, a devil, who never sleeps nor rests, and who does not bear honest and decent people, one night came to Mr. Ligęza and started to offend him with abusive words because he had built his tombstone in Biecz, not in this castle. The castellan recognized the devil. He was not afraid of him, but he made the sign of the cross and sprinkled holy water at the devil, which escaped through a key hole. The second night, the devil came back and repeated the invectives which the noble ear could not bear. Angry Mr. Ligęza took a sprinkler of the wall and splashed the devil so profusely that he hardly managed to get to the door handle. And because the devil is as revengeful as a man, and even more obstinate, he tried other devilish tricks. Once, during the storm among the thunders and lightnings, when he did not manage to burn the castellan’s house, which was sprinkled with holy water, and because the castellan was a good Catholic, the devil created two, enormous graves in front of the castle’s windows. When the storm finished, and when the sun started to shine, it was dark in the castle, because the devil’s graves shielded the windows. The saddened castellan in vain brought clever people and different seers; the graves, which resisted the spells, remained there until Mr. Ligęza died. It seems however, that with a change of the times also the devil’s power changed, because today there is no trace of those graves and from the castle windows one may look at lawns and groves of the garden.

Sanok Royal Castle
   The castle was raised on the order of king Casimir the Great by starost Mikołaj Wolski in 1523-48. With two formerly added wings, in its over four hundred years history the castle was losing its former appearance, surrendering to the needs and taste of the succeeding hosts. Excavation works, source and iconographic material enabled to partly  reconstruct its appearance, but only an overhaul of the building revealed internal divisions, windows and doors arrangement, elements of masonry hidden during numerous reconstructions and restorations which preserved and - if possible - were reconstructed. In the period of its splendor, the castle was a sumptuous residence belonging to the king - as a property of queen Bona, whose family armorial cartouche Sforzów remained in the emblem of Sanok till today. Near a circumferential wall, at both sides of a gate, there were back-up farm facilities - residential rooms for the servants, stables, a coach-house, an armory, a kitchen , a bathhouse, a bakery, a brewery, whose foundations were uncovered during excavations which had lasted for few years. A well preserved till today came into being during the times of starost Mikołaj Wolski in the first half of the 16th century. The castle complex was raised on a hill by the San River, separated but closely connected with the town, which was granted the city rights already in the period when it belonged to Ruthenia in 1339, and in 1340, with neighboring land it was joined to the Crown. On a hill by the San, there were a mediaeval fortress and a castle, which was visited by: Casimir the Great, Vladislaus Jagiełło with his third wife Elżbieta Granowska from Pilcza (after the wedding in Sanok), cardinal Oleśnicki. Fourth wife of Vladislaus Jagielło - quenn Zofia (Sonka) and Queen Isabella, a widow of Jan Zapoly resided in the castle. A Mediaeval castle (probably the Northern part of the present building), walls 4 ells thick (2.4 m), a massive, stone, Gothic tower from the times of king Casimir the Great, a brick tower, a drawbridge and moats - these all constituted a huge defensive complex, which was at the same time an important strategic point in the Polish - Ruthenian - Hungarian border. The presence of Roman cut stones in the relics of the Gothic architecture gives hope for shifting back the buildings’ age. On the other hand, a graveyard, traces of earth shafts, wooden residential buildings, pits which might be used in farming, a big amount of antique objects of everyday use and military uncovered during the excavations testifies about the life of Early Medieval defensive settlement which had been situated on the hill from the end of the 11th century. Construction and conservatory works carried out in the 90s allowed to a great extent to bring back the main building its appearance from 1558, well known due to the inventory. The castle basements, to which stairs from the courtyard led, preserved in an almost unchanged condition. The basement’s level was diversified, instead of a floor there was a compacted soil. Wooden ceilings were changed into a stone vault between 1548 and 1558. Then, also big basements under a chamber and a hall were divided with a separation wall into smaller ones, connected with each other by a  crossing with a stone portal. In the 19th century, the outer entrances were covered up and inner passages between basements were created. During conservatory works, because of the reasons connected with the exposition, basements were deepened and a brick floor was added. A main entrance to the castle, situated to the right from the axis of the building, was decorated with a stone (sandstone) portal topped with a classic separation with a convex cornice, a frieze, where emblems were placed: in the middle there was an eagle, on the sides an emblem of Sforzów - connected with the property of queen Bona and a Lithuanian Pahonia. An architrave was connected with stones of door jambs. In a big hall, stone portals led to the chambers located in enfilade. To the right, a stone framing of a furnace opening preserved. The furnace, which did not preserve, was situated in a room next to the hall. A wooden staircase led from the hall. The present one was built in the smaller rooms, as it was done in the 19th century by the Austrians who rebuilt the castle. They blurred the Renaissance character of the building by disposing of a Renaissance masonry; in the 19th century walls almost all portals and whole window masonry were reconstructed. In two (Southern and Northern) rooms of the first floor, portals led to the so called “necessary place” - the former castle toilets. Next to one of the portals, a lavabo partly preserved.  Wooden ceilings were reconstructed in the interiors, and a floor, according to a description in the inventory, was covered with brick.

... the former residence of the Rzeszów line of the Lubomirski family…
… the castle situated at the Śreniawitów square...

   The first mention about Rzeszów comes from royal files referring to a bestowal of the settlement to Jan Pakosławic by King Casimir the Great. His descendant adopted the name Rzeszowski, which was derived from the name of the town. At those times, probably a small castle being a family seat of the Rzeszowski family was situated in the town.

    In 1458, Rzeszów was ravaged during the Italians’ invasion, and soon after that, the Tatars burnt the settlement. After the Rzeszowski family had died out, a widow of the last member of this family got married to Mikołaj Spytek Ligęza. It was him, who at the beginning of the 17th century started to build the castle, which was supposed to become a powerful fortress being able to face the invasions, which Rzeszów had repeatedly experienced. The construction of the castle lasted probably until 1620, and soon after that, in 1624, thanks to the fortifications the building repulsed the Tatars’ invasion.
   Mikołaj Ligęza did not leave a male descendant either. The castle and the town, by marriages and heirdom, went respectively into the hands of the Ostrogski family and the Lubomirski family.
   After the death of Ligęza, his younger daughter and her husband - Jerzy Sebastian Lubomirski - became the owners of the castle. Soon, in the second half of the 17th century, a new reconstruction of the castle started. Castle retrenchment was enlarged, and the castle itself was surrounded by stone fortifications of a rampart type, which could resist even a strong army, and which preserved until today. Tylman von Gameren, an architect from Netherlands, prepared a design of this works. The castle, in accordance to the assumptions, became one of the most powerful Polish fortresses.
   During the Swedish Deluge, after lawful king John Casimir had abandoned the country, an army, faithful to the king, had in their hands four powerful fortresses: Jasna Góra, Lvov, Łańcut and Rzeszów. The fortress in Rzeszów was one of the centers of control over the nation’s mobilization against the Swedish invader. A Grand Marshal of the Crown, Hieronim Sebastian Lubomirski, controlled the appointment and organization of the mass levy. These were the most important moments in the history of the fortress.
   In the 17th century, the residence in Rzeszów was transformed into a modern, as for those times, castle palazzo in fortes type. During the construction of the fortress, curtain walls of the former building were used as external walls of three wings, and a lengthened building of “a defensive court” was to be a fourth wing.
   The castle became then a building with four two-storied wings, with a storied gate in the Western wing. The fortress was surrounded by a curtain wall made of stone 1.5 m thick, in which loopholes were placed. The outer elevation was decorated with triangular peaks topping the side and middle elements of facades, with pilasters at the bottom.
25th January 1735, the castle occupied by the Sass family burnt, but soon its reconstruction took place. After the death of Franciszek Lubomirski, in 1812, in the castle an office of the circular court and a prison were organized. From 1820, the castle was formally repurchased by the Austrians, which unfortunately had a negative impact on its condition.
   A beginning of the 20th century, a thorough reconstruction of the castle began. Actually, the reconstruction consisted in building a
new castle, which preserved until today. A two-storied building from 1903-05 with a broad courtyard in the middle and an old, high gate tower from the West coming from the 17th-18th centuries closed in a quadrangle constitute a massive body of the castle.
   Six-storied tower with a porch for the guards is topped with an interesting helmet made in 1906 according to an original, Baroque pattern.
  The castle is surrounded by a quadrangle of stone fortifications with lengthened ramparts in the corners. The ramparts have their names: St. Francis (North-West), St. Andrew (North-East),
St. Jerome (South-East) and St. Mary (South-West). In the corners of the ramparts, stone towers are visible (cavaliers) with sculptures of patrons from 1746. From the North and East, there are the remnants of moats, and in the Northern curtain there is an opening of a tunnel.
   In 1821-1981, it was a prison. Today, there is a court. After many renovations, the castle and its interiors look very beautiful.
worked out by Zakapior
translated by Joanna Hardukiewicz
(bo, ordynat, mk, zakapior)

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