t the end of the 13th century, Jawor became one of the newly created centers of power in the strongly parcelled Lower Silesia. In 1274 it was promoted the capital of separate principality, which by decision of Bolesław Rogatka (d. 1278) was taken over by his son Henry V (d. 1296). In 1280 Bolko I (d. 1301) took over the legacy of his brother. Researchers attribute to him the effort of building a new headquarters, erected on the site of a small residential tower built in the 20s of the 13th century, perhaps founded by the Duke
Henryk Brodaty (Henry the Bearded) (d. 1238). The first castle, probably still equipped with wooden or wooden-ground fortifications, initially served as a castellany, which was mentioned in 1224 (indicating certain Radosław of Bolesławiec as a comes castellanus with its seat in Jawor). In the second half of the 14th century, after death of
Bolko II (d. 1368), the duke's widow Agnieszka sat on the throne, and when she died in 1392, the vast Duchy of Świdnica and Jawor passed under the rule of King Wenceslas IV of Luxembourg (d. 1419), and the town received the status of a royal centre and capital of the local province. From that time until 1742 Jawor was the seat of the royal governors - chronologically the first one to hold this office was the Czech knight Benes of Husna (1392-1400).
THE OLDEST IMAGE OF THE CASTLE (ON THE LEFT), DATED 1532
Bolko I called Stern, was born between 1252 and 1256 as the second oldest son of the Duke of Legnica Bolesław II (d. 1278) and Jadwiga from Anhalt (d. 1259). After his father's death, he received the Duchy of Jawor, which he ruled together with his brother Bernard (d. 1286). One of the first tasks Bolko faced as a sovereign was to protect his modest heritage from the growing power of
Henry IV (d. 1290), Duke of Wrocław. To this end, he decided to form an alliance with the margraves of Brandenburg, a sealed marriage with the underage daughter of Otto V - Beatrice.
In the 80s of the 13th century the prince changed his political course to the Czech, approaching the court of
Wenceslas (d. 1305), the later king of Poland, with whom, however, a few years later relations deteriorated to such an extent that Bolko began an intensive fortification of the southern border of his country by building or modernizing castles in Wleń, Świdnica and Strzegom. In the meantime, he tried to take control of the Nysa Castellany, which belonged to the Church, which brought a number of unpleasant consequences, among others a church curse and war with the Czechs. His political talent and well-prepared strongholds, however, allowed him to escape from these oppressions without much loss, and the death of his brother Henry in 1296 made Bolko I the most powerful Piast ruler in Silesia after the incorporation of Wrocław and Legnica.
Bolko I died suddenly on November 9th, 1301, for reasons unknown to us. He was buried in the Cistercian abbey in Krzeszów. He left three sons: Bernard (świdnicki),
Bolko (the Little) and five daughters. In the opinion of posterity he was a very active and ambitious ruler. Jan Długosz wrote about him: For many years he strictly and justly ruled two principalities, namely: Wrocław and Świdnica.
CASTLE (NO. 4) ON THE COPPERPLATE OF KUHN FROM 1615
he turbulent period of hussite wars in Lower Silesia was very gracious for Jawor, because both in 1427 and two years later, the troops of Czech rebels operating in the area resigned from the assault on the castle and the town, which may testify to their great defensive values and strong crew. The high defensive value of the castle was undoubtedly influenced by its development in the first decade of the 15th century on the initiative of Wenceslas IV, as a result of which, in addition to changes in the architecture of residential buildings, the surrounding walls were modernized. The two next centuries were characterised by relative calm in the region; the town was luckily bypassed by destructive invasions, although due to the fact that the feudal system was more and more oppressive for the local community, peasants' protests were intensified. In 1527, during one of such incidents, peasants from nearby Piotrowice village caused a knife fight with the castle crew, for which the whole village met with an unusual penance: all its inhabitants, regardless of age, sex or condition, had to cross from the Piotrowski bridge to the castle courtyard, on their knees with candles in their hands and thus beg the governor's for mercy. In the years 1510-38, due to the increasing use of firearms, the town was strengthened by a new line of peripheral walls equipped with towers and corner bastions. Defensive system of the fortress was also modernized, and the west wing received a new bastion built on a horseshoe plan, with holes for firearms on each floor. The building investments from the 16th century were complemented by the Renaissance reconstruction of the castle in the years 1568-72, which included the building of a new tower, extension of the living space, as well as a change the interior and exterior decorations. The description of the stay of
August Wettin (d. 1586), Elector of Saxony, at the castle, who on 22 February 1572 rested in magnificently decorated red and blue ornamented rooms, has been preserved. At that time Jawor already belonged to the Austrian Empire under the Habsburg rule.
JAWOR IN 1738, F. B. WEHRNER TOPOGRAPHIA SEU COMPENDIUM SILESIAE 1744-68
CASTLE IS TO THE RIGHT OF THE HIGHEST TOWN HALL TOWER
In 1527, the Jawor castle became the scene of a humiliating show in which peasants from Piotrowice were forced to take part. It was a consequence of the events of 15 May, when a crowd armed with knives and other sharp objects forced its way into the fortress demanding the release of a Protestant preacher, who was arrested on the orders of Hans von Zedlitz. Both the starost and his servants suffered during the riots. The leaders of the revolt were beheaded on the market in Świdnica, the rest were subject to collective responsibility - and so, all Piotrowice residents, regardless of their age and health condition, had to go on their knees, with votive candles in their hands, from the bridge by the Gate of Gold Mountain to the castle courtyard to beg for mercy from the governor. An additional punishment was a ten-year ban on the use of sharp knives by the local population. A reminder of these events is a popular saying in Silesia: a knife as sharp as a piotrowicki knife.
PANORAMA OF THE TOWN, COPPERPLATE FROM THE LATE XVIII OR EARLY XIX CENTURY
VIEW OF THE TOWN ON CARL FRIEDRICH STUCKART'S DRAWING, BEGINNING OF THE XIX CENTURY
uring the Thirty Years' War the town and the castle were occupied by Catholic Austrian troops, Protestant Saxons, again Austrians, Swedish troops and finally on 25 July 1648, at the end of the war, once again by emperor's troops under the command of Colonel Villani, who killed about two hundred Swedish soldiers in street fights on the previous day. During assault, as a result of cannon fire, the fortress was severely damaged, which was exacerbated by the fire in 1656. This prompted the provincial governor, as well as the researcher and art collector, Count Otto von Nostitz (d. 1664), to make a decision to start investing in the renovation and modernisation of the castle. The result was a renovated three-winged building around a triangular courtyard, which received a fashionable Baroque suit. After reconstruction, a manuscript of Nicolaus Copernicus' work De revolutionibus orbium coelestium was kept in the castle library. Later it was transferred to Luboradz, and then to the family library in Prague. However, the concept of the restoration of the Lordship's seat did not include the surrounding area and the castle gardens, which were sold to the town hall for 1000 thalers. The renovated residence hosted wife of the Polish king
Maria Kazimiera Sobieska, who was on her way to the health resort in Bad Warmbrunn. The aristocrat together with the court stayed in the castle on 28 July 1687 and on her way back on 20 August.
VIEW OF THE TOWN FROM 1840, CASTLE ON THE LEFT
s a result of the so-called Silesian Wars Austria lost Silesia to Prussia. On 8 March 1742 the last of the imperial governors, Count Hans Anton von Schaffgotsch (who died 11 days later) ended his term of office. His competence was taken over by the office of royal estate in Głogów. As a result of this change, the Prussian King
Frederick II (d. 1786) issued a regulation on the need to adapt the Jawor castle to serve as a closed institution for insane people and a social rehabilitation centre. It was connected with adaptation works, which included mainly reorganization of internal divisions and creation of a new communication system in order to isolate patients. The psychiatric department was closed down in 1821, and after further reconstruction, a heavy prison for women was opened here, with particularly dark cards were written during the Nazi German rule in the town. After the end of the Second World War, the building was used for a short period of time as a penitentiary for the needs of new government, where communists held political prisoners. In 1950s the castle was renovated for use as cultural institutions and private apartments.
A PICTURE OF THE CASTLE FROM CA. 1920, RIVER NYSA SZALONA IN THE FOREGROUND
VIEW FROM THE SOUTH-WEST IN A PHOTOGRAPH FROM THE 30S XX CENTURY, IN THE EASTERN PART OF THE SOUTHERN WING A CHAPEL CAN BE SEEN
The end of the Second World War didn't end the gloomy prison period of the castle's history. After the communists took power, a brutal campaign was launched against political opponents, who were often sentenced to death after fake show trials. One of the places where such people were imprisoned and murdered was the Piast castle in Jawor. The execution was carried out by shooting at the outer wall from the side of the river Nysa or hanging on the gallows, which stood in the corner of the courtyard, on the right side from the entrance.
JAWOR IN AN AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH FROM 1941
ituated in the western part of the town and linked to its fortifications, the castle is an extensive 3,000-square-metre complex, arranged in an irregular triangle plan. The oldest part of it was a rectangular residential tower dating from the beginning of the 13th century, 6.3 x 7.6 meters in base dimensions, built of stone on the east-west axis and initially protected only by a wooden-ground rampart and a moat. Probably it stood in the central place of the present courtyard, near the monument to female prisoners erected after the last war. In the 13th century, however, this modest castellany residence was enlarged to a size of 10x11 metres and its walls were reinforced to a thickness of more than one metre. The castle was enclosed in the stone fortified area only at the end of the 13th century, probably under the rule of Bolko I. This investment consisted in the construction of a magnificent residential wing with dimensions of 10x25 meters, with two spacious chambers on each of the two floors. Its western façade was a protective shield for the whole complex, hence it was equipped with arched shooting holes, and the thickness of the walls in this place reached 2.5 meters. The second building, located in the southern part and divided into six narrow rooms with separate entrances, served as an auxiliary building. In order to gain space for it, the tower protecting the castle from the side of the gate was dismantled and the curtain wall surrounding the fortress was repaired and increased to the level of the second floor.
PLAN OF THE CASTLE AND THE TOWN FROM XVIII CENTURY ACCORDING TO J. CEMPA:
1. CASTLE, 2. CHURCH OF ST. MARTIN, 3. BERNARDINE MONASTERY, 4. TOWN HALL
hanges in the war art of the XV century, especially the large-scale use of artillery, forced radical changes in the fortifications of defensive objects, which also did not miss the castle in Jawor. In the 1620s, the western part of the southern wing was modified by adding
an elongated bastion with shooting holes on each of the two floors, which was a part of the artillery defense of the castle. The medieval curtain walls were rebuilt: the crenellation was deprived of gaps between the blanks, the gothic curtain and corner tower were partially demolished, and on their basis a simple section of brick wall with cyclically arranged shooting galleries was erected. During the Renaissance modernization carried out in the second half of the 16th century, a slender octagonal tower was erected in the western part of the courtyard. The interiors of the eastern wing were also transformed, thanks to which a place was found for the spatial chamber, which later served as a meeting hall. All the buildings on the town side were covered with plaster, while on the courtyard side the elevations were decorated with sgraffito technique. In the second half of the XVII century, on the initiative of Otto von Nostitz, a new three-winged building was formed around a polygonal courtyard, the south wing received
a mannerist portal, and the castle tower - clocks and a bell that has survived to this day. Later transformations resulting from changes in the functions performed by the castle unified the blocks of buildings and obliterated the stylistic features, e.g. around 1750 the western wing was achieved one storey for penitentiary purposes, while in the mid-19th century the southern wing was completely rebuilt. The former castle gardens were turned into a town marketplace.
THE PRESENT-DAY PLAN OF THE CASTLE: 1. GATEWAY, 2. BASTION, 3. TOWER, 4. WESTERN WING,
5. NORTH WING, 6. EAST WING, 7. SOUTH WING, 8. CYLINDRICAL STAIRCASE
he castle in its present form evokes memories of the saddest years of its existence. The neglected courtyard with its squalid, scratched facade of the surrounding buildings, windows covered with cardboard and the sinister atmosphere of the prison scenery do not inspire optimism. This monument, desperately crying for renovation, has its hosts, however: we will find here a household appliances second hand shop, one of the wings has its seat in the Social Music Centre, as well as the local abstinent club. However, the town is noticing the unused potential of this place and attempts are being made to revitalize it. In recent years, the main tower with an viewing point has been renovated and opened to the public. Those who wish to do so can also see the prison cells accessible directly from the courtyard. And it must be honestly admitted that although the castle still offers a depressing feeling, and its contemporary image definitely does not embellish the town, it is not as ugly and dirty
as it was ten years ago.
THE NORTHERN WING OF THE CASTLE WITH A REGOTHICISED GATEWAY
THE COURTYARD OF THE JAWOR CASTLE, THE FORMER PRISON CELLS
You can enter the castle courtyard with your dog without any obstacles.
Plenty of space for the drone on the west and north side, where there is a market and a large parking lot (relatively empty outside market hours). However, keep in mind that there may be people and cars in the area, and there is a busy road nearby, so you will certainly raise the curiosity among the others.
For many years, the Jawor castle was used as a rehearsal ground for the legendary - at least for some - anarchopunk band GA-GA, winner of the Jarocin'92 festival. The group was founded by Miroslaw Malec (pseudonym Smalec - Lard) after the break-up of another band - Zielone Zabki (Green Little Frogs), where he regrettably sang that (free translation):
The pubs are full of young men
Maybe creative, maybe talented
Their ambitions are drowned in mugs
Because it' s too much free time here
And the culture is supposedly here
It’s shown by our wonderful cultural centre
Even sometimes jazz flows from its windows
Then why is it like this - I don't understand
There is going to be a gala on children’s day
There are literary banquets
But our neighbour chased us away from the cellar
Because our music is too noisy
CASTLE SEEN FROM THE NATIONAL ROAD NO. 5, WITH A SIGNATURE OF LOCAL RED NECKS ON THE WALL
VIEW FROM THE NORTHWEST, FROM THE AREA OF THE FORMER CASTLE GARDENS
HOW TO GET THERE?
he castle is located in the western part of the town, close to the national road No. 3 leading from Legnica to Bolków, about 5 minutes on foot from the Old Market Square. Nearby, in the area of the former castle gardens, there is a large, free car park and a bus stop. (map of castles)
1. M. Chorowska: Rezydencje średniowieczne na Śląsku, OFPWW 2003
2. B. Guerquin: Zamki w Polsce, Arkady 1984
3. I. T. Kaczyńscy: Zamki w Polsce południowej, Muza SA 1999
4. L. Kajzer, J. Salm, S. Kołodziejski: Leksykon zamków w Polsce, Arkady 2001
5. R. Łuczyński: Chronologia dziejów Dolnego Śląska, Atut 2006
6. UM w Jaworze, Wydział Promocji Miasta: Kalendarium historii miasta Jawora
VIEW OF THE PIAST CASTLE FROM CHROBREGO STREET
Myślibórz - relics of the castle from 13th/14th century, 7 km
Kłaczyna - relics of the castle from 15th century, 14 km Świny - the ruins of a knight's castle from 14th century, 16 km Bolków - Duke's castle from 13th century, 18 km Lipa - the ruins of castle from 14th century, 18 km
Rokitnica - the ruins of Duke's castle from 13th century, 18 km Legnica - Duke's castle from 13th century, 19 km
ALSO WORTH SEEING:
The Church of Peace of the Holy Spirit - one of the three once existing and two preserved Evangelical temples erected in the mid-17th century in Lower Silesia following the Westphalian Peace Treaty ending the 30-year war. According to them, the Protestant minority in Jawor, Głogów and Świdnica were granted the right to build three temples, but these investments had to meet strict conditions:
- their location was to be outside the town walls, but not further than the flight range of a cannonball fired from the town walls,
- the construction was to be made of perishable materials; stone and brick were prohibited,
- nails could not be used to assemble the individual components,
- the temple couldn't have had a tower,
- its construction was to be financed entirely by Evangelicals,
- the construction work could not take longer than 365 days.
The church in Jawor was built in the years 1654-55 in a half-timbered construction designed by Albrecht von Säbisch, and the main builder was the local carpenter's master Andreas Gamper. The size of the temple allowed it to accommodate 6,000 people and its decoration and furnishings belonged to the most beautiful in the region. Particular attention is paid to the following: the main altar, 9 metres high and 5 metres wide, created by master Michal Schteudner from Kamienna Gora and founded by the Hochberg family from Książ, a magnificent
baroque pulpit with a balustrade showing figures from the Old and New Testaments, whose chalice is supported by a sculpture of an angel holding in his hand the open Gospel, and four-storey
galleries covered with paintings illustrating Old and New Testament scenes, castles and heraldic shields. The Church of Peace in Jawor is the largest wooden building with religious functions in the world. In 2001 it was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.