The contribution to studies on functions of castles in medieval mining towns in Central Europe

Paweł Cembrzyński



Medieval mining towns in Central Europe were related with castles, both inside and outside of them. The aim of this article is to explain the relation between those castles and mining and how they differed from castles in towns not associated with mining. The article discusses the location, form and functions of selected castles from mining centres of different sizes. Castles located within the walls of towns, such as in Kutná Hora, Wieliczka or Bochnia served as the seat of administration, warehouses and craftsmen’s workshops. The castle in Kremnica and the castle in Banská Štiavnica, located outside the centre, functioned in a similar way. They spatial function was diversified and adapted also to the activities of the mining company. The link with mining is more difficult to prove in the case of castles located at some distance from the town. First of all, it is suggested by the spatial relationship with deposits. It seems that castles such as Edelštein in Zlaté Hory, castles near Banská Štiavnica, Rokitno near Złotoryja or Rabsztyn Castle near Olkusz were intended to protect and control mining areas. Moreover, they probably had numerous functions not directly related to mining.

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