#108 Bedzin Castle
1228 and 1358 plus
This is NOT an official Lego site
site of Bedzin Castle was in earliest known a 10th
century gród, subsequently destroyed in the 12th century.
In 1228 a wooden castle with stone foundations and a
stone tower was on the hill by King Boleslaw the Bashful,
but it was burned by the Mongols in 1241. It was rebuilt
in wood, but in 1358 Casimir the Great (1333-1370)
replaced the mainly timber structure with the current
masonry castle. The old stone watch tower was heightened,
apparently to twice its current height, and a large
square keep served as the royal residence. The inner
curtain walls were 26 to 39 feet tall. A 16 foot tall
outer curtain formed the middle ward. There are etchings
of an outer ward with two entrance gate towers on the
internet, but I've seen no sign of ruins. A stone wall
protecting the town was added six years later, some of
[pronounced 'bendzin'] is located between Katowice and
Crakow on the main road leading from southwest Poland
into Silesia, which was for centuries at the edge of the
Holy Roman Empire and for a time was part of Prussia.
Casimir's castle was built to protect the border of
Poland from the incursions of the Germanic Silesians. It
was an important market town, enhanced by the salt trade.
The Swedish invasions of 1655 partially destroyed the
castle, but it was rebuilt in 1855 by Francisco Maria
Lanci, who lowered the tower. The town of Bedzin is
frequently sadly remembered for the vibrant Jewish
community that was destroyed in 1939. The Nazi SS
destroyed the synagogue and eventually transported almost
10,000 Jewish citizens to Auschwitz for extermination.
The castle's last major restoration took place in 1956 --
it now houses a very popular museum. The current
population of Bedzin is about 60,000.
of the Lego Model
Built February-March, 2006
This royal castle presented several interesting problems. My other (less detailed) plan of the castle shows the path from the outer gate
to the inner gate circling the entire inner ward, while the plan above shows a straight shot into the inner courtyard. The circuitous route
is typical in many European castles - providing excellent protection from enemies - so I built my model that way. I can only assume that
the stone column extending upward next to the old tower originally sported a latrine shed, now gone. The plan above calls the arched
wall extending from the east wall "curtain wall" but its current structure is not that of a curtain wall. Let me know if you've ideas.
from the southwest
shows the gates for both the
outer and inner wards.
southeast one can
appreciate residential range with
its presumed garderobe tower.
is somewhere between
the modern height and the
reported historic height. I don't
believe it was twice as tall!
NNW the entire
fortification can be enjoyed.
outer gate with
heraldic shields above the
decorative windows in the
curtain wall are presumed to be
a passage from tower to donjon.
courtyard is modest but
functional with the great hall
above the inner gate passage.
King Casimir the Great
converses with his minions
on matters of Polish security.
Other Bedzin Castle pages: There are lots of pictures out there, with several good Polish
language sites, but history is often sporadic and/or minor and repetitious:
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