Ilza Castle Ruins

Iłża, Poland

The history of the Iłża town dates back to the Middle Ages, when it was a Western Slavic gord. Since the 12th century, until 1789, Iłża belonged to the Bishops of Kraków. The settlement was twice destroyed by the Mongols (1241, 1260, see Mongol invasion of Poland), and probably in 1294 (or before that date) it received Magdeburg rights town charter. In 1340, a stone castle was built here by Bishop Jan Grot, which was expanded in the 15th and 16th centuries. At that time, Iłża emerged as the center of properties of Bishops of Kraków in northern Lesser Poland. In the 16th century, Iłża became famous for its potters and other artisans. The town prospered, together with whole Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. It was conveniently located on a merchant route from the heartland of Poland to the Vistula ports at Solec nad Wis³±, Zawichost, and Sandomierz. In 1576, a town hall was built at the main market square, Iłża had a defensive wall, and several Polish kings visited the castle. The decline of Iłża was brought by the Deluge (1655–1660), when Swedish and Transilvanian armies completely destroyed the town and the castle.

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Founded: 1340
Category: Ruins in Poland

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