Lenno Castle

  • The first defensive castle-town guarding border with the Czech Republic was built on The Castle Mountain in the 10th century, during the reign of Bolesław I the Brave.
  • In 1108 it was elevated to the rank of Castellans of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth by Bolesław III the Wrymouth. It is mentioned in files as Castellum Valan. At the same time, the castle-town took part in rebuttal of the armed intervention of German king Henry V troops, who supported Bolesław brother, Zbigniew.
  • Mentioned in knoll of Pope Hadrian IV from 22nd of April, 1155 and perceived as equal with the biggest Silesian castle-towns.
  • Around 1163, when Silesian prince Bolesław I the Tall reigned, the first rock elements including a hexagonal tower, a chapel, a living area and a district wall appeared.
  • The existence and big significance of Valan’s castle was confirmed by Pope Innocent IV in a knoll from the 9th of August, 1245.
  • Other owners, Henry the Bearded together with his wife Hedwig of Andechs (in 1267 proclaimed saint – patron of Silesia), after 1201 continue strengthening and development of the fortress.
  • On the 9th of April, 1241, in a battle with Mongols of Legnica, another ruler of Silesia, Henry and Hedwig’s son, Henry II the Pious dies. The governance is repossessed by his descendant Bolesław II the Horned. He also becomes the landlord of Wleń castle. During his reign, he imprisoned the bishop of Wroclaw Thomas I and Henry IV Probus in the dungeons of the castle. However, despite his unruliness and recklessness, he accomplished a lot of modernizations, among others he commended a deconstruction of the old defensive tower and building a new one in the shape of a circle, set up slightly more deep in the castle-town. (It exists until today!)
  • In 1346, Bolko II the Small took over the duchy of Jawor. On the 29th of September 1346, during his reign, Wleń joins The Union of the Cities of Świdnicko-Jaworskie Duchy. The aim of the alliance is to contribute to the increase of safety.
  • After Bolek’s death (28th of July 1368) his widow, Princess Agnieszka Habsburska, gives back the fortress to von Zedlitz brothers. Since then the building for years remains a private property, in turn in the hands of von Zedlitz, von Reder, von Schaffgotsch families.
  • On the 26th of May, 1428, Hussite troops under the leadership of Prokop the Great appear at the feet of the fortress. However, the fortress as one of the few resists the siege.
  • In 1465, Hans von Zedlitz, who turned out to be a robber baron, acquires Lenno. Together with knights from the nearby castles, he robbed merchants and seized the surrounding towns.
  • *In 1536, a next owner from von Reder family allows for the settlement of people around the fortress. This is how Lähnhaus colony was created.
  • In 1567, the fortress was taken over by Sebastian von Zedlitz, who developed and fortified it considerably. He also brought there a water pipeline from nearby Klecz. In 1574, an evangelical disputation in which a lot of outstanding theologians and clerics including Matthias Flacius took part, takes place in the fortress for his invitation.
  • After 1605, the reign in the place is held by another robber baron, Conrad von Zedlitz. Legends about him are told until today.
  • In 1620, Lenno is for a short period of time taken by Janusz Radziwiłł with his army.
  • After Conrad von Zedlitz’s death in 1632, the property goes into the hands of his son, Fabian.
  • In 1633, plague appears in Silesia and devastates the region. Also the inhabitants of Wleń suffered from the disease. The area nearly died out.
  • During the Thirty Years’ War, the fortress was interchangeably taken over by evangelical Swedes or Catholic Habsburgs. Finally, on the 7th of September, 1646, the Swedish troops surrendered to the imperial army lead by general Montecuccoli, who ordered to blow the castle up in order to prevent it from putting up resistance.
From that time the building remains a ruin.

  • It is unknown when and how Fabian von Zedlitz died. After the peace, until 1653 the Castle Mountain was reigned by Heinrich von Reichenbach.
  • In 1800, the ambassador of the USA, the later president, John Quincy Adams visited the place. He was enchanted with the romantic location of the borough and picturesque views from the Castle Mountain.
  • Throughout the years, the ruins were eagerly visited by tourists. However, due to the lack of a good host and the lack of modernization, their condition got worse and worse. In the II RP, at least two people offered the municipality to buy the ruins, but both of them were rejected.
  • On the 9th of April, 2006, the south-western wall collapsed and for safety reasons the building hasn’t been used any more. A high fence was built, the gate was closed. Tourists lost access to such a willingly visited place.
  • No sooner than in the summer of 2009 a redecoration team started the reconstruction of a gob and securing the building. The subsidy which was received by the community from the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland allowed for the reconstruction of the collapsed wall and for the construction of a drainage system. Also the area around the castle was cleaned. At the same time when the building works were conducted, there were also some archaeological works in progress. Thousands of crockery fragments were extracted there. The oldest ones date back even to the 10th century. The majority of them will be soon displayed at the museum which is being built near the Centre of Culture, Sport and Tourism in Wleń.
  • Nowadays, at the beginning of 2016, the castle is after the 6th stage of revitalization. The building has slightly changed during the past few years. Are these changes for the better? You have to judge it yourself.


A private website – using its content is allowed only when the author’s name is mentioned and an active URL is provided!

Copyright © 2009 - 2016 Marek Krzysztof Dral. e-mail: kontakt(at)wlen.org.pl