It is unknown when the construction of Krzyżtopór impressive fortress began. The first documented proof of the construction of the castle comes from 1627, when it was uncompleted. It was probably finished it in 1644, having spent the enormous sum of 30 million Polish zlotys on the work. The castle was inherited by Ossoliński's son Krzysztof Baldwin Ossoliński, who died in 1649 in the Battle of Zborów. After his death, the formidable complex was purchased by the family of the Denhoffs, then by the Kalinowskis.
In 1655, during the Swedish invasion of Poland, the castle was captured by the Swedes, who occupied it until 1657, pillaging the entire complex. The damage to the structure was so extensive that after the Swedes’ withdrawal it was not rebuilt, as it was deemed too costly. Several noble families (the Morsztyns, the Wiśniowieckis and the Pacs) lived in the best preserved, western wing, but the castle otherwise remained in ruins.
In 1770, during the Bar Confederation, Krzyżtopór, defended by the Confederate units, was seized by the Russians, who completed the building's ruin. Reportedly, last known inhabitant of the complex, Stanisław Sołtyk, lived there in the years 1782–87, after which time Krzyżtopór has been abandoned.
During the Second World War the complex was again ransacked. A partial remodeling took place in 1971, and in 1980 the Polish Ministry of Internal Affairs decided to rebuild it for use as a rest area for officers. This work was halted in 1981, when martial law was imposed in Poland.
Today the castle, without convenient proximity to main roads and rail connections, is visited by relatively few tourists. However, as walls, bastions and moat are relatively well-preserved, its magnitude is still very impressive. Though it is regarded as a permanent ruin, since around 90 percent of the walls have been preserved, reconstruction has been planned several times. Currently, efforts have been underway to roof the entire complex; however, this ambitious project lacks sufficient funding.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.