Besiekiery Castle was built by the Łęczyca voivod Lawrence Sokolowski at the end of the 15th century. The knights' headquarters had a tower and was surrounded by a moat, the remains of which are visible today.
In the year 1597, Cardinal Andrzej Batory rebuilt the castle. The next renovation came after flood damage caused by the invading Swedes, was undertaken by Łęczycka Starosta Jan Szczawiński in 1655. His coat of arms 'Prawdzic' is still visible on the cartouche. In the 18th century the castle was owned by 'Gajewskich' who lowered its residential building by one floor.
Built of brick on a rectangular plan the castle had a drawbridge leading to the most forward section of the wall outside the south peripheral gate tower.
After 1800 the castle was never inhabited again, and slowly fell into disrepair.
Large portions of the ruins survived. Entrance to the ruins is free of charge. The ruins are very easy to find as they are visible from the road. Reaching the ruins requires crossing the moat and then climbing up the hill.
The origin of the castle in Besiekiery is unclear. According to some research the castle was built in 1500 by the provincial governor of Łęczyca, Mikołak Sokołowski. However, no document confirms this. Another hypothesis attributes the erection of the stronghold to esquire carver of Brzeski, Wojaciech Sokołowski as a builder of the castle. Thus, it might be assumed that the building was erected by Sokołowski at the turn of the 15th and 16th century.
Later history of the monument is now better recorded. It is known that at the end of the 16th century the castle belonged to Andrzej Batory, and after that it changed hands often. Unfortunately the foundation did not survive well. In the 17th century it began to deteriorate and its existence was ended in a fire in 1731. The then owners, the Gajewskis, disassembled the second storey, and in the middle of the 19th century the castle carried out only economic functions.References:
Heraclea Lyncestis was an ancient Greek city in Macedon, ruled later by the Romans. It was founded by Philip II of Macedon in the middle of the 4th century BC. The city was named in honor of the mythological hero Heracles. The name Lynkestis originates from the name of the ancient kingdom, conquered by Philip, where the city was built.
Heraclea was a strategically important town during the Hellenistic period, as it was at the edge of Macedon"s border with Epirus to the west and Paeonia to the north, until the middle of the 2nd century BC, when the Romans conquered Macedon and destroyed its political power. The main Roman road in the area, Via Egnatia went through Heraclea, and Heraclea was an important stop. The prosperity of the city was maintained mainly due to this road.
The Roman emperor Hadrian built a theatre in the center of the town, on a hill, when many buildings in the Roman province of Macedonia were being restored. It began being used during the reign of Antoninus Pius. Inside the theatre there were three animal cages and in the western part a tunnel. The theatre went out of use during the late 4th century AD, when gladiator fights in the Roman Empire were banned, due to the spread of Christianity, the formulation of the Eastern Roman Empire, and the abandonment of, what was then perceived as, pagan rituals and entertainment.
In the early Byzantine period (4th to 6th centuries AD) Heraclea was an important episcopal centre. A small and a great basilica, the bishop"s residence, and a funerary basilica and the necropolis are some of the remains of this period. Three naves in the Great Basilica are covered with mosaics of very rich floral and figurative iconography; these well preserved mosaics are often regarded as fine examples of the early Christian art period.
The city was sacked by Ostrogoth/Visigoth forces, commanded by Theodoric the Great in 472 AD and again in 479 AD. It was restored in the late 5th and early 6th century. When an earthquake struck in 518 AD, the inhabitants of Heraclea gradually abandoned the city. Subsequently, at the eve of the 7th century, the Dragovites, a Slavic tribe pushed down from the north by the Avars, settled in the area. The last coin issue dates from ca. 585, which suggests that the city was finally captured by the Slavs. As result, in place of the deserted city theatre several huts were built.
The Episcopacy Residence was excavated between 1970 and 1975. The western part was discovered first and the southern side is near the town wall. The luxury rooms are located in the eastern part. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th rooms all have mosaic floors. Between the 3rd and 4th rooms there is a hole that led to the eastern entrance of the residence. The hole was purposefully created between the 4th and 6th century.