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History of Książ Castle

   The castle was built between 1288-1292 by the duke of Świdnik and Jawor, Bolko I. A little defensive burgh is likely to have stood in the same location earlier. Bolko I extended it and moved his court there. By 1388, the castle belonged to dukes of Świdnik and Jawor. From that time until 1392, it belonged to the widow of Bolko II, Duchess Agnieszka. After her death, the dukedom of Świdnik and Jawor passed to the king of Bohemia, King Wenceslaus IV, as Bolko II's last will had stipulated. Already in 1387, Duchess Agnieszka bequeathed the castle to the duchy's chief administrator (starosta), Benesz von Chustnik. In 1396, Johann von Chotienitz was appointed the administrator of both the duchy and the castle. He purchased the castle and the outlying land from Benesz in 1401. At the time of the Hussite wars, 1428-29, the castle was seized by the Hussites and partly destroyed. In 1445, after marrying Johann von Chotienitz's granddaughter, Hermann von Tschettritz became the new proprietor of Książ. His son Hans, like owners of other local castles, engaged in brigandage. To stem the surge of banditry in the land, the Bohemian King Jiři of Poděbrady organized an armed expedition into Silesia. He conquered and sacked a number of castles in the region. The Książ castle was burned in 1463 as well.

  The king went on to pledge the castle to brothers Johann and Nicolaus von Schellendorf. However, they too began to deal in brigandage. Following complaints of the local population, Jiři's successor, Martin Corvin, ordered to have the castle seized in 1473. Although the order was not carried out, and he set off on an expedition in person, taking hold of a number of castles on the way. He arrived at the castle gates on January 7, 1475, yet failed to seize it and was recalled to Hungary, which was being invaded by Turks. However, he secured Johann von Schellendorf's promise to desist from robbing the populace. The promise was broken, and in 1482, Johann was arrested. A year later, the castle was won by Hungarian soldiers led by Georg von Stein, to whom King Martin Corvin offered Książ as the seat. After Martin Corvin's death in 1490, the castle remained a royal dominion governed by a starosta for seven years. In 1497, king Władysław Jagiellończyk sold the castle and the surrounding lands to his chancellor Johann von Schllenberg, whose son Georg exchanged it for the Głubczyce realm with Peter von Haugwitz in 1508. The latter's son Johann sold Książ and all its domain to Conrad I von Hoberg on the 6th of January 1509. The castle remained the family's property until 1541.


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