Ogrodzeniec Castle

In the past the Ogrodzieniec castle, perched on a rocky outcrop, was astonishing with its power and an impressive size. Today the castle, which played an important role in the defence system of the country, is only a picturesque ruins testifying its former glory.

The Ogrodzieniec Castle is the most impressive part of the Eagles’ Nests Trail – the fortified system of medieval castles built by the king Casimir the Great to strenghten the state’s border. It is situated on the Castle Hill (Góra Zamkowa), one of the higher elevations of the Cracow-Częstochowa Upland what made the castle almost impregnable for enemies and robbers’ bands. The firt village stood here in the 12th century. Although it was only a small fortified settlment with a few wooden huts sheltered by rocks on the three sides and a palisade on the north, it was called „the Wolf’s Jaws”, because of the unique qualities of protection against the Czech and Silesian Princes’ invasion. When in 1241 the settlement was plundered and burned during the Tatar invasion, the owner family decided to build the Gothic Castle of the stone. In the 16th century the castle became a property of John Boner, the representative of very significant and wealthy merchant family. John, as a royal banker led to division the country’s treasury on the royal and state’s one. His nephew, Seweryn Boner extended the castle between 1532 – 1547 converting it into an impressive renaissance defence headquarter, at that time equal to the Wawel’s splendor. The village along with stables and residential buildings were surrounded by a stone walls directly fitted to the rocks and separated by a moat and drawbridge. The Swedish Deluge bagan a huge fortress fall. In the early 20th century the Ogrodzieniec’s goods were divided and the peasant Ludwik Kozłowski received the castle’s ruins. The stones from the crumbling walls were used as a building material for the buildings in Podzamcze, such as small chapel. During the First World War the castle was faired.  After conservation in the years 1959 – 1972, the ruins were opened to the public and now are used as a great tourist attraction.

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