Lipowiec Castle Ruins

Babice, Poland

The origins of the castle in Lipowiec, which for centuries belonged to the bishopric of Krakow, go back to the 13th century. It was to act as protection and provide safety for the many buildings on the trade route from Cracow to Silesia. The bishop of Krakow Jan Prandota acquired the Lipowiec stronghold in the year of 1243. Another important bishop, who became the owner of the building was Jan Muskat. Until the end of the 18th century, the castle and the surrounding goods were managed by various lords, representing the bishops of Cracow. In the days of Prandota, the fortress was enlarged and the construction of a brick castle was undertaken. During the reign of Muskat, Lipowiec castle became his claim in a defensive struggle for the throne of 'Wladyslaw the Short.' The bishop Jan Muskat had ambitions to significantly strengthen its power to pursue and strengthen towns and castles belonging to his diocese. However, after Muscat came into conflict with the future king, he was exiled from his diocese, and shelter in the Lipowiec castle.

During the reign of Casimir the Great the Castle in Lipowiec began to function as a border fortress, as well as continuing its defense functions along the mercantile route, which ran at the foot of the castle hill in Lipowiec. In the 14th and 15th century, the castle was rebuilt several times. By the 15th century, it was taking shape close to the present-day appearance of the castle, with a clearly dominant tower over the body of the building. Restlessness at the beginning the 15th century, which abounded in the Hussite wars, favored strengthening the defense of the castle. It was then surrounded by a deep moat with a drawbridge, while the buildings were surrounded by an extra defensive wall. Most developers involved in the construction of the castle during the medieval times in Lipowiec were bishops.

With the growing reformation of the church, the castle in Lipowiec was appointed a prison for priests. Prisoners were usually clerics, according to the church authorities who spread heresies, as well as those who committed common crimes and misdemeanors. The most famous prisoner was one from Italy 'Franciszek Stankar,' who already was in prison, when he began his work on the reform of the Church. The adaptation works started in the 15th century, turning the castle into a prison, gained momentum in the 16th century. In times of peace and political stability, there was no need for additional strengthening of the castle fortifications, therefor it was mainly focused on deepening the role of the prison. The work was commanded by two bishops: John Konarski, and Andrew Zebrzydowski.

The 17th century brought the downfall of the castle. This happened as a result of the damage that the stronghold in Lipowiec encountered during a great fire in the early 17th century and during the Swedish invasion in the middle of the century. Another reason for the loss of the splendor of this castle, was the changing trend in architecture, according to which the castle in Lipowiec was outdated and no longer meet the standards of living residence for bishops.

The castle remained in the state of oblivion until the first half of the 18th century, when bishop Felicjan Szaniawski undertook its reconstruction. In the meantime, the walls of the castle played host to King Jan III Sobieski, who stopped in Lipowiec in 1683, during an expedition to Vienna. At the beginning of the 19th century, the castle passed to the State, and then into private hands. Unfortunately, also during this time a great fire broke out within the castle, which did enormous damage not only inside but also to the roof of the castle. After this tragedy, the castle never returned to the state of its medieval glory.

Mainly ruins of the castle survived until the mid-twentieth century, when the decision was taken to protect this monument. The castle at this time under went partial reconstructions, that were aimed at protecting the already decayed architectural elements from further destruction. The castle is designed to be explored and is listed as a 'historic building in a permanent state of ruin.'

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Address

Parkowa 16, Babice, Poland
See all sites in Babice

Details

Founded: 13th century
Category: Ruins in Poland

More Information

alternativepoland.com

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Andy Panda (12 months ago)
covid - closed...
Mat _K (12 months ago)
A great place to visit, the drive up there or rather...the walk is quite okay but the castle is very beautiful and it is clearly visible form the road. The people passing by might not see it while driving because it could hide behind the building.
Konrad S (2 years ago)
Great looking castle from XIII century. Still getting renovated but we'll worth the trip. Great view from the tower.
John Kaminski (2 years ago)
Quiet and low key. This castle has not been restored, so it is in pretty poor shape. But that was great for us as it helped show its age. Only the big board at the entrance is in English. The writing in the tiny musuem and in the rooms is only in Polish. The tower climb is for the athletic as the tiny ladder is extremely steep, but the view is great.
Liubov Bevz (2 years ago)
From the top tower if the weather is good you can see Babia góra.
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