Krzyżtopór Castle (Poland)

Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship     See list of castles in Polonia

Dobra Iwaniska, which included Ujazd, originally belonged (it is already in the twelfth century) to the Cistercian monastery in Jędrzejów. In the 15th century, these properties became the property of Oleśnicki. Further fate of Ujazd is associated with the Ossolinski family. At the beginning of the 17th century, these goods were briefly given to Jan Zbigniew Ossoliński, the master of Ossolino, who in 1587 transferred this property to his son, Krzysztof, as a wedding present. Krzysztof gave up the property of Iwaniska from the Mielec estate, which passed into the hands of his older brother Maksymilian. Thus, Iwaniska together with Ujazd became the property of Krzysztof Ossoliński in 1619.

Krzysztof Ossoliński was a thoroughly educated man with extensive literary, artistic, diplomatic and political interests. He decided to build a residence that would outshine all other magnate residences in Poland and beyond. Castle in Ujazd was built in 1621? 1644 in three phases. The main building and fortifications were erected in the years 1621-27. The next phase was the extension of the clock tower (gate), documented with the date 1631 engraved in the plaque at the entrance. The ta2h phase was connected with the change of the headquarters name. Until now, the name Krzysztopopór was used, combining the name of the founder with the name of the family coat of arms of the Ossoliński family. The next name Krzyżtopór is still used today. On the main gate there was placed a large cross and an ax and an inscription no longer existing today: / Krzyż obrona / Krzyż podpora / Dziatki nasza Topora /. This was the credo of the founder - a zealous Catholic - expressing his personal attitude to the principles of faith. It is worth mentioning that Mr. Krzysztof was a fierce enemy of the Reformation, even though his grandfather Hieronim was Calvinist. Thanks to Krzysztof, the Arians were expelled from the Holy Land, among others from Raków, Skrzelowa and Iwanisk. In the bishop's palace in Kielce there is a mural that immortalizes this event.

The Krzyżtopór castle, erected in the palazzo in fortezza type, a residence that combines the comfort of residents with a defensive function, shows close ties to one of the most splendid Italian residences - the Farnese family property - the Caprarola castle, which Krzysztof Ossoliński visited during his trip to Rome.
The defensive castle was erected on an unusual plan inscribed in the pentagon fortification bastion. The palace, fortifications and garden are the three main elements of the foundation - they were connected axially. Unfortunately, the designer is not known. Thanks to the discoveries in the Archive of the City of Krakow, the Italian architect Lorenzo Senes (Laurentius Senes, Muretto de Sant in Graubunden) was mentioned as a builder mentioned in 1633.

Although Krzysztof Ossoliński was three times married, he had only one son from his first marriage - Krzysztof Baldwin. In 1648, Krzysztof set out with a group of 100 hussars for a military expedition and in the bloody battle of Zborow in 1649 he was killed by an arrow. Krzyżtopór passed into the hands of relatives of the Kalinowski, Denhoff, Morsztyn and Pac families. The host of the Ossoliński castle was the prisoner of the Crown Samuel Jerzy Kalinowski. During his reign in Poland, the Swedish deluge fell in Krzyżtoporze. On October 30, 1655, the invaders led by Gen. Duglas entered the castle, taking him with a trick without one shot. According to their custom, the Swedes took the exquisite interior furnishings with the library and family archives right after taking the fortress. However, they did not damage what is often attributed to them, the castle walls.

Around 1760, the general of the Lithuanian army, Jan Michał Pac, made a minor renovation of the southern, residential part of the castle, and founded a linden avenue along the road to Iwanisk. He lived in Krzyżtoporze until the outbreak of the Bar Confederation in 1768, whose participants, at the invitation of the owner and marshal of the confederation, found shelter in the castle. However, when Pac, after the fall of the party in 1770, hastily left for France, it turned out that as a result of the battles the residence was just a beautiful, but uninhabited ruin.

After the escape of Pac, the center of property moved to Planty and the estate of plantation along with Ujazd was bought in 1782 by the bishop of Kraków, Kajetan Sołtyk, for his son.

In 1815, the castle became the property of the Łempicki family, who lived in Plancie and, although they were very wealthy, did not intend to renovate the object, treating the ruins as a romantic attraction.

In the post-war period, Krzyżtopór became the property of the State Treasury, however, it was only in 1991 that the facility with designated routes was made available to tourists.

Since 2007, the care of the castle has been carried out by the Commune Office in Iwaniska. Now every tourist can learn about the history and size of the Ossolinski family, the fantastic wealth of the Polish aristocracy and the power and size of the 17th-century Poland.

Images of the castle

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Useful infos

Latitude: 50.7140713
Longitude: 21.3082775
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Map of Krzyżtopór Castle