Gate of the Privileged in Pszczyna

The Gate of the Privileged, also called “Guard”, was built in 1687 and is the oldest part of the castle complex in Pszczyna, preserved and unchanged in shape until today. It is situated in the south-west part of the market square, where it used to serve as the main passage into the city. It was constructed by Consilio Milius on the orders of the contemporary owner of the castle, Balthasar von Promnitz, in the place of the former 15th-century guardhouse with a drawbridge over a moat. Rooms for the castle guard were located inside. The guard soldiers, chosen by the Promnitz family from among their subject peasants, were called “the Privileged”. “The Privileged” from Pszczyna guarded the castle until 1875.

There is a stone plaque on the top, with a Latin inscription hiding the date of the construction of the gate (a chronogram): OMNIPOTENS COELI, TERRAE PELAGIQVE CREATOR EXCVBIIS POSTES FVLCIAT HOSCE SVIS, which means “May the Guard of the Omnipotent Creator of Heaven, Earth, and Sea Protect this Gate”.

Today, the gate is house to a café and a tourist information office.

In the past, there were many other buildings near the gate, on the southern side of the castle, along the moat and the old Gothic wall: the princes’ brewery, a malt house, and a bakery. In the 19th century all those building were demolished.