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Ruins of castles in the Podkarpacie Region...
By Pogranicze Media
Published: 10.04.2010

Ruins of the castle of the Fredro family in Fredropol
*... history of the Fredro family,
   Until today, only a building being the part of the former Western wing and the remnants of a bastion with the diameter of almost 10 m in its Southern end remained from the castle. Nearby, there are residential buildings, but they were built in 1908-1914. An outline of earth fortifications is overgrown by trees and from the South and from the East there are floodplains.
    An original residence was raised there during the times of Jan or Andrzej Fredro probably in the second half of the 16th century. In 1656-1657, the castle was destroyed during the Deluge by the Swedes, and later, in 1672, by the Tatars. The town and the castle remained in the hands of the Fredro family until 1729, when Stanisław Rupniewski married Katarzyna Fredro and received an already slightly destroyed residence. Stanisław and Katarzyna soon left the castle, which was not rebuilt after the war destructions and they moved to Kielce Voivodeship. The next owners changed very fast, these were among others the Podolski family, the Skarbek - Michałowski family, and from 1818 the Dunin - Borkowski family, who until the beginning of the 19th century built a new palace visible on a plat from 1853. At the beginning of the 20th century, the abovementioned residential buildings were raised. World War I brought destructions, and the buildings were not renovated till today.

Ruins of the Kamieniec castle in Odrzykoń
*... history of the families: Kamieniecki, Boner, Firlej, Skotnicki...
   The ruins of the knight’s castle visible from the distance are situated on the 450 m height hill overlooking the basin of the Wisłok River. The Kamieniec castle is today situated in the area of hamlets belonging to Odrzykoń and Korczyna.
   It belongs to the oldest fortresses in the Podkarpacie Region. Traces of the settlement from the period of the Lusatian culture and from the early Middle Ages discovered on the castle hill show it. In the nearby forest, a crematory graveyard from around the 18th-19th century was discovered.
   Initially, a wooden watchtower existed there - the fortress became destroyed probably during the Tatars’ invasion in 1241 and 1259.
    The brick castle was raised during the reign of Casimir the Great, i.e. in the first half of the 14th century and within the centuries it had been enlarged several times. Its aim was to defend the Southern borders of the country, which were harassed by the attacks from
Ruthenia and Hungary. The castle was also supposed to function as a watchtower on a trade route running from Hungary through the basin of the Wisłok River. By the end of the 14th century, King Vladislaus Jagiełło bestowed the castle to Klemens from Moskarzewo, Pilawa coat of arms. Descendants of Klemens after the castle adopted the surname Kamieniecki. In the 15th century, they enlarged to the East the existing Gothic castle, and the whole remained in the hands of the Kamieniecki family until 1530. In the same year, Klemens Kamieniecki gave a part of the castle (the lower castle) to Seweryn Boner, the owner of the castle in Ogrodzieniec. Soon, he enlarged the lower castle in a Renaissance style and added a second chapel. By the end of the 16th century, the castle was inherited by the Firlej family (lower) and the Skotnicki family (upper). These two families argued for a boundary wall and wells belonging to both of the families. History of this family quarrel served Aleksander Fredro as a plot for The Revenge.
   By the end of the 17h century, the castle fell into ruin, which happened because of an invasion of duke of
Transylvania, György Rákóczi II. In 1768-1772, the castle was used by Bar confederates as a shelter. From the end of the 18th century, the castle has fallen into ruin.

Ruins of the castle of the Kmita family on the Sobień mountain
*... history of honorable Peter Kmita called Lunak...
   Between Załuż and Monasterzec (by the road from Lesko to Załuż - around 8 km), on the hill densely covered with plants, there are the ruins of the Mediaeval Sobień castle. The castle was brick, and it was built in the 14th century during the reigns of Casimir the Great, the one who “left Poland in brick…"  Vladisalus Jagiełło, the king of Poland, gave the fortress to the Kmita family, Szreniawa coat of arms. Magnate Peter Kmita, called Lunak, resided there.
   The fortress was twice conquered and destroyed by the Hungarians. After the last invasion in 1512, the castle was left to its own fate because its reconstruction would have been unprofitable, and the Kmita family moved to Lesko. In the 18th century, the ruins of the castle were a shelter of the Bar confederates.
    Sobień is a gate to Bieszczady, already from the start it offers a marvelous view at the region. In the past, the mountain was the centre of the fief of Sobień. Defensive potential of the place - a basin of the
San River on the one side and steep slopes of the Sobienka River on the other - was used. Probably, in 1417, King Vladisalus Jagiełło himself visited the castle. It happened one day before his wedding with Elżbieta Granowska. The wedding took place in Sanok, in the Franciscan monastery. The event was commemorated by an appropriate plate at the walls of the monastery. The king admired wonderful walls of the fortress and the view from the tower. He planned to hunt for a bear, but Elżbieta’s health forced him to leave Sobień.
   Nowadays, one may see the ruins from where there is a view at the
San River. Around the ruins, there is a sanctuary “The Sobień Mountain” with the area of 5 hectares. It is a sanctuary of flora with a gathering of beechnuts and a unique xerothermic plants and warmth-liking microfauna. A didactic-natural path leads to the castle.

A legend
There are a number of legends connected with the place, but we leave searching of them to the readers as one more attraction connected with Sobień. In the ruins, as in every respectable castle of this kind, of course there is a ghost. There are two ladies that haunt the castle - the black one and the white one. A person who is very persistent in looking for the ladies may see both of them at the same time walking in the ruins and sighing and groaning appropriately. However, this configuration is unique, because the White Lady haunts from
9 o’clock till 11.45, and the Black Lady from 11.30 till 1.10. Moreover, the White Lady does it during the even days of the month, and the Black Lady - during the odd days, and neither of them works during weekends. Sometimes, they do work on weekends and then they together walk at the walls.

Ruins of the castle of the Pieniążek family in Węgierka
*... history of the Pruchnicki and Pieniążek families...
   Just before Pruchnik, in Węgierka, there is a grand, cylindrical defensive bastion. It is a remnant of the bastile castle of the Pruchnicki and Pieniążek families (the 16th-17th century). The castle had two bastions. It is a result of not completing the construction of the castle, which was supposed to have four bastions. Probably, it was built on a quadrangle with dimension of 40x40 m. It had two bastilles: from the North-West and South-West. Only one of them, the North-West one was preserved till today. It was raised from stones and bricks in the shape of a circle with diameter of 13.2 m. It had four floors equipped in a loophole. In the highest one, the castle guard controlling the area resided.
    Actually, history of the castle is hardly known. It was the Pieniążek family that gave the castle its defensive character, and the residence remained in their hands until the beginning of the 18th century. By the end of that century, the castle burnt and was not rebuilt any more.
   There was a moat around the castle, of which only flood waters and the remnants of the pond remained. Nearby, there are also quite destroyed buildings. These are the remnants of the residential wings of the castle. The condition of the bastion itself is unfortunately terrible and the bastion demands to be immediately renovated. Only the storks which stay there from time to time seem not to notice this fact. Currently, the relics of the castle demand an urgent conservatory intervention in order to stop the process of destruction.
   Węgierka is situated 10 km West from Jarosław. It is located on a soppy area not far from the
Mleczka River. Even though today these are the ruins and they are called a bastion, it is worth to go there, where old trees, a nearby granary and a manor-house make the place quite unusual.
Worked out był Bohdan Zhukiewicz
translated by Joanna Hardukiewicz
photos (bo, ordynat, kryzk, mk, zakapior)

Tourism... photo...


Bohdan Zhukiewicz

Roztoczański National Park in Zwierzyniec