Niesytno Castle in Płonina in the architectural survey conducted in 2011–2012

Małgorzata Chorowska, Piotr Błoniewski



The oldest phase of the castle Niesytno in Płonina, dated hypothetically at the 14th–15th century can be named the rocky castle. Its lay out was irregular and composed of two parts. The upper part occupied the summit of a large rocky hill and was closed with a stony wall of an S shape, stretching between two rocks. There, its living area was found. The lower part was situated approximately 10 m below. It consisted of a bailey of a kidney shaped plan surrounded by a fortified wall. The east wall of the lower section climbed onto another rock peak and turning north-west formed a kind of a flanking tower there, of a shell type. This was an active defensive element, which guarded the only entrance to the castle. There was a wooden bridge on its way, surmounting the first dozen meters difference at ground level, and a threshold with the height of 4 m at the end. Next to the original gate there were also relics of a loophole.   The unique part of the second phase of the castle Niesytno in Płonina, which can be dated to the 15th century was an octagonal dwelling tower with a sharp edge. This tower is really outstanding in Poland because of the remains of two storeys of the so called warm halls. The tower stood on the peak of the rocky castle and took its entire upper part. Below the tower, on its north and north-west side, a whole system of fortifications was built  to protect the access to it, including the encircling wall (mantle type), the bottleneck gate and fortifications encircling the lower bailey which was increased twice in relation to the court yard, from phase 1. The sharp ridge of the tower was turned towards the east to protect the original entrance to the castle. The defensive system of the tower consisted of two covered battle galleries. One was located on the 3rd storey which corresponded to the level of the lower warm hall and surrounded the tower from three sides – south, west and north. In the south. On the south side it expanded strongly into a small polygonal plateau. The upper parapet walk (the hoarding) was situated on the 6th storey and overhung the edge of the tower. The entrance to the lower warm hall was embraced by a stone portal and was located over the most steep part of the castle mountain and could be reached from the lower gallery. Stone walls of both chambers were originally covered with wooden logs which ensured a good thermal isolation. Also, the upper chamber ceiling was made of full wooden logs.   The castle was enlarged by a new double wing gate building which provided a better defense and improved the living conditions of the crew. The turn of the 15th and 16th centuries brought a significant expansion of the residential area of the castle. The old tower was no longer good enough for comfortable living. A new, large, three storey side wing was added to the gate house. It was supported by the east part of the defensive wall and also by the north curve of this wall. Despite the construction of a Renaissance mansion in 1545 in the lower castle bailey, the old medieval house was still used intensively, as was evidenced by incorporating tiled stoves and a kitchen. In the 17th century the octagonal tower gradually lost importance as compared to the Renaissance mansion which fully satisfied the residential and representational need. In the 18th century the octagonal tower was probably no longer inhabited as its roofing was in a state of advanced ruin.

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