Poland, Cieszyn: Castle Hill
Originally a Slavic settlement, later a defense castle, today it is a historical landmark with a park and views of the Czech Tesin, Silesian and Moravian-Silesian Beskids.
At the beginning of the 19th century, a romantic-style park with a scientific route was built on the site of the ruins of an ancient medieval castle. The path to Castle Hill (Góra Zamkowa) leads to the southwestern slope through a natural landscape complex – an area of ivy, a park alley, a forest with memorable trees – to the preserved historical buildings or their remains. Instead of a guide, there is an information board with text in three languages.
Castle Hill Park
From Czech Teszyn to Polish Cieszyn you can get along Central Street through a bridge, for which you need to turn left past the Hunter’s Castle, formerly the residence of the Habsburgs, today a music school that arose on the foundation of the so-called. Lower castle. The Olše River defines the border of both states, precisely in accordance with the agreement on the Czechoslovak-Polish dispute about Tieszyno, which, incidentally, lasted for many years. Tesin was Czech, Polish, Austrian, but finally remained divided into Poland, Cieszyn: Castle Hill is precisely the aforementioned river.
the remains of the tower Czech Tesin
On the way to the place of the former Upper Castle, you can stumble upon the remains of the gate, the medieval pavement and limestone foundation of the tower, formed in a circle that guarded the entrance at the end of the XIV century. Its diameter was 10 m and the wall thickness was 3.3 m. In the fortification system, which was formed by an earthen rampart with a wooden palisade, other wooden buildings gradually appeared. The first stone building was the rotunda of St. Nicholas and St. Wenceslas, which is also the next stop. More significant for the Poles, because the rotunda is one of the oldest monuments in Poland, and its silhouette is depicted on a Polish bill (20 zł). The building of the XIII century served as a castle chapel, as well as for people from the vicinity of the castle, and still there are worship services. At the same time, the construction of a larger Gothic castle took place, as a representative residence of the Tieszyn princes of the Piast family.
rotunda of St. Nicholas and St. Wenceslas
The tower of the last defense, in the lower part of which there was a prison, also dates from the second half of the XIII century. She performed a guard and residential function, was later included in the defensive walls. Its original appearance was restored during archaeological work in 2001-2002. Nearby are the remains of another stone building – the castle kitchen of the 16th century, which at first glance it is not clear what, in fact, this object was.
Last Defense Tower Last Defense Tower
The dominant feature of the park is the Piast Tower of the 14th century, 29 meters high, which today serves as an observation tower. It has been preserved as the only of 4 towers surrounding the Upper Castle. It got its present appearance after renovation in the 19th century, around the time when the Hapsburg prince Karl adapted the castle to his summer residence. The Gothic tower and the Romanesque rotunda are the only two buildings that remained after the demolition (1836).