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The Piast Tower

The Piast Tower is the remnant of the Piast castle that does not exist anymore and was situated on the Oder island Pasieka in one of its parts called Ostrówek. It belongs to one of the oldest monuments of defensive architecture in Poland and plays the role of the symbol of Opole and Opole Voivodship.

The Romanesque Piast Castle which was built by the duke Kazimierz in 1217 was situated in lieu of the early mediaeval castle-town. It was one of the oldest brick mediaeval castles in Silesia.

Much earlier in about 990 there was a castle-town belonging to the country of Mieszko the First. This castle was inhabited by a unit of several dozen Slavic warriors. Their families, officials and representatives of state authority dwelled together with them. Since the beginning of the thirteenth century the castle has started losing its significance in favour of the city situated on the right Oder riverbank.

The tower for defence and habitation purposes was constructed later. Duke Bolko the First had the tower built in about 1300 when Opole was already the capital of a separate duchy. The cylindrical tower was a huge and modern structure at that time. It was made of lime mortar bricks and fieldstones for constructing foundations. The breadth of the tower at its foot was almost 3 metres. About 9 metres above the ground, i.e. at the porch level, there was the original entrance to the structure – the present entrance was cut later in the twentieth century.

The 35-metre high tower as the highest point in the castle was used for observing a remote area and further warning against the approaching danger. Its lowest dark chamber accessible only from the higher floor frequently served as prison.

In 1928 the decision was made to demolish the castle due to its bad condition and the growing need for premises for the Opole authorities. As a result of protest from the inhabitants of Opole and the Union of Poles in Germany the castle tower was preserved. The tower was taken into account at the time of construction of the edifice for administrative authorities. The construction of the new edifice was completed in 1934.

At present the building is a seat for the Voivode of Opole and the Marshall of the Opole Voivodeship. The building together with the adjacent Piast Tower is one of the key elements of the modern architecture in Opole. In the years 2013-2014 the Piast Tower was thoroughly renovated. This has been the most thorough renovation since the thirties of the twentieth century. The goal of the renovation was not only the repair itself but also the conversion of the structure for the purposes of tourism.






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