The Medieval urban layout that includes Market Square and the Castle is a showcase of Siewierz Municipality, the place where one wants to stay, and where one wants to come back.
The history of the Castle and the Market are inextricably linked with the history of the Municipality which belongs to the oldest places in Poland. In 1276, when Prince Wladislaw of Opole gave the city rights to Siewierz, the dwelling around the Church of St. John the Baptist was moved to the locations of the current market.
Most likely, at the same time, in the area of the present castle an earthy and wooden defensive structure was built. At the beginning of the fourteenth century, the princes of Bytom began to build a brick castle in the Gothic style. Over the years the castle changed owners, was rebuilt, but also often destroyed, as it was repeatedly used militarily.
It operated until 1790, until the decision of the Polish Parliament to formally incorporate the Grand Duchy of Siewierz into Poland. The castle then was taken over by the Treasury of Poland. After the Vienna Congress in 1815 the Kingdom of Congress was established which was dependent on Russia. It included the lands of the Duchy of Siewierz with the Castle. Siewierz was losing its importance and, as a consequence, the castle fell into the gradual ruin.
However, the history is still alive and its complexity has been an inspiration to the creation of some local legends, including the most famous one: “The Black Lady”.
During the bright moonlit nights on the walls of the castleappears the figure of the Black Lady who with her groaning voice hunts the local people. Once she was a virgin of Jewish origin with extraordianry beauty, who fell in love with the burgrave governing the castle. During the absence of the bishop the lady was appearing at the clandestine meetings with her lover. But the news of the meetings reached the local pastor and then the bishop who arrived unexpectedly one evening at the castle and found the couple in one of the chambers. A few days later the burgrave was expelled and the beautiful girl was sentenced to death for the desecration of holy places. She was buried alive in the castle dungeons. Since that time almost every night of full moon, a ghost appears in the courtyard of the castle to frighten the crew and the locals.
The reconstruction of the castle started in the 1970s, however, the more advanced conservation works have been done in recent years. The castle tower was renovated and a new observation deck was built at its top. The drawbridge was reconstructed and this is the second drawbridge in Poland. Moreover, the castle courtyard was paved and the ceiling above the western basement was reconstructed and its roof is adapted as a stage for various performances. Visitors can explore the archeological monuments exposed in the basement. The eastern and western walls of the castle were strengthen and the southern wall reconstructed.
Nowadays, the castle is a cultural spot in Siewierz. Various concerts, historical and popular performances take place there. After the restoration works, the castle became a famous tourist attraction. The visitors can walk around the castle with guides or can have a ”virtual walk” around the castle rooms, see the lift bridge being raised or lowered, wear medieval clothes or try out weapon from the past or watch the medieval knights championship.
Visitors can explore virtually the ruins of the castle, see a scale model of the 15th century Market Square located in the basement, read guides, leaflets and buy souvenirs connected with the area.
The castle is surrounded by beautiful parks and forests. Next to the castle ruins there is a modern football pitch with artificial surface. In the nearby area there is the Market Square which invites visitors to have evenings meeting with friends or family strolls. Siewierz is also famous for its cuisine. There are many restaurants offering widely-known dishes such as bread, roasted geese or geese stomach fricassee and taste a soup called żurek- soup made from fermented rye flour. Its recipe has been kept a secret for centuries.
Siewierz is a perfect area for those who want both to relax and have some active time without loosing time on travelling by car from one destination to another.
Więcej na: www.jura.info.pl or www.siewierz.pl