The ruins of the Mazowsze princes' castle in Czersk by Wisła.- Photo: Jakob Hoffmann
The present village of Czersk is located in Góra Kalwaria municipality, Mazowsze county, located near Wisła on the western bank of the river, approx. 38 km southeast of Warsaw.
Around the present Czersk there are 3 ridges that descend steeply towards Wisła; the southernmost of these is now called Góra Zamkowa. There have been dwellings on the site very far back in time, but a permanent dwelling is only known from the 11th century. The rise of the fortified settlement, the castle, is associated with King Bolesław Śmiały (c. 1040-1081). This castle was of considerable importance because of the frequent Lithuanian attacks.
By the end of the 13th century. Czersk was an important political and ecclesiastical center. The city gained market town rights in the middle of the 14th century.
By the end of the 14th century. Prince Janusz I began erecting a mighty, walled castle whose building was completed in the early part of the following century. The fortification line was built in horseshoe shape and the high walls were defended by three fortress towers, packed with masonry roofs and slates. The castle was clearly a military building. Inside the walls, in the triangular courtyard, there was in his day a residential building as well as a castle church (St. Peter's Church), which probably dates from the 12th century. Until the 15th year. Czersk was the preferred residence of the Masovian princes. The relocation of the princely court to Warsaw at the beginning of the 15th century. was crucial to the fate of the castle. The Czersk castle's defense capabilities testify to the preserved walls, which were originally 7-8 meters high. The foundations were approx. 5-5.5 m tall with a thickness of 180-185 cm. A decisive battle was given to the castle in the 17th century. during the Swedish wars. Part of the Swedish division, which had been dispersed by Czarniecki at the Battle of Warka on 7.4.1656, sought refuge in the already partially destroyed castle in Czersk. After three days of residence, the Swedes burned down the city and blew the outer fortifications into the air. In the following years, the devastation continued.
Czersk’s status as a market town was deprived of the city in 1869 by the then Russian authorities.
Castle in Czersk – overlooking the north (Photo: Jakob Hoffmann)
Despite several defeats, the Czersk castle ruin still rises above Wisła’s old riverbed. You enter the castle area via a walled bridge, which was erected while attempting to restore the ruin. Preserved are still significant portions of the wall between the fortress towers as well as the three towers. The best preserved and most beautiful of the fortress towers is the square Gothic Gate Tower. Of its Gothic character, the unpainted walls and the ornament with the use of dark bricks testify. In the gate tower were the large entrance gate (for horses) and a smaller gate for pedestrians, both of which could be closed with separate gates. On the first floor was the waiting room. On the second floor there was the most beautiful room in the castle, that which was the residence of the castle's deputy who governed the castle. The following two floors served purely defensive purposes. In the Middle Ages, the tower was covered with a high roof of wood and at the top was a weight corridor. Now the tower room is used for exhibitions. The cylindrical east tower served as a prison. Up to the top of the tower leads a spiral staircase of stones. The entrance to the tower is at the height of the ring wall; From here one threw prisoners through an opening in the floor into the 10 m deep dungeon.
The parish church.
The present parish church is built 1805-1806 in the neobaroc style of brick that originated from the demolition of the castle.
Czersk. Ruina zamku książąt mazowieckich
Translated into English by Google Translate. Spangshus.dk accept no liability for any errors or omissions in translation.