Medieval buildings in a new version in Warmia and Masuria
Castle of the Teutonic Order in Nidzica
The Nidzica castle was the largest fortress of the Teutonic-Masovian border. It was built in the years 1370-1400 and rebuilt many times, among others, in the sixteenth century it was surrounded by an additional defensive wall with two round towers. The stronghold was partially burned down in 1812. It was rebuilt in 1828, allocating it for the seat of the court, a prison and apartments for the officials.
After the destruction during World War II, the castle was rebuilt in the years 1961-1965 for cultural purposes. In the recent years, the roofs of the building, its facades and representative rooms have been renovated.
The monumentality of the castle is intensified by its location on a high hill, rising above the city. On the west side, there is the main house, and on the east side – the former entrance gate with two massive defensive towers. The three-story main house covered with a gable roof is the most impressive part of the fortress in Nidzica.
Gothic portals have also been preserved, leading from the cloister to the representative rooms. In the Knights’ Hall you can admire gothic vaults and beautiful 15th-century polychromes. Unfortunately, as a result of the damage in 1945, only small parts of the paintings have survived to this day. At present, guest rooms, a restaurant, the Nidzica Cultural Center and the Museum of the Nidzica Region with an ethnographic and historical exhibition can be found in the castle.
Fot. Main photo.The ruins of the Chełmno bishops’ castle in Lubawa. www.FB.com/lubawapl/
Fot. Castle of the Teutonic Order in Nidzica. Redakcja.
The ruins of the Chełmno bishops’ castle in Lubawa
The castle in Lubawa was the seat of the Chełmno bishops for more than 400 years. Nicolaus Copernicus visited his friend Tiedemann Giese, the then bishop of Chełmno here. The most important element of the stronghold was a two-storey, single-winged building, which was extended over the next years to a four-winged castle. There were moats around the defensive walls, behind which beautiful gardens stretched. In the 17th century, the late Gothic castle was thoroughly rebuilt.
It gained a high, octagonal tower towering over the city. Unfortunately, after the first partition of Poland, it began to fall into disrepair. The work of destruction was completed by a fire and the subsequent demolitions. With time, only the defensive walls which were falling into ruin remained in the castle.
Thanks to its revitalisation, the building is again serving the city’s inhabitants and tourists. First, the parts of the castle walls were restored and a walking trail was arranged along them. Later, the utility functions of the cellars were restored and the two wings of the castle buildings were recreated in a modern form.
The Centrum Aktywności Społecznej [Social Activity Center] has been operating in the new premises from 2020. There are museum exhibitions here. Non-governmental organisations, a knight’s brotherhood and a tourist information point have found their seats. Thanks to the glass walls and floors, you can admire the restored walls of the castle cellars.
The gate tower of the castle of the Warmia bishops in Braniewo
The gothic gate tower, considered to be the oldest surviving building in Warmia, is a part of the bishop’s castle from the end of the 13th century. After the end of World War II, the tower was devastated for many years and inaccessible to the residents and tourists.
After the revitalisation, conducted in the years 2018-2020, a seasonal tourist information point (open in July and August) and a historical exhibition were arranged in the tower. An observation deck is also available to the visitors.
Teutonic castle in Działdowo
Działdowo is located near the historic Prussian-Masovian border. The first records of the castle come from 1344. In the 1960s, the expansion of the main wing and the construction of a new building on the south-west side began, but these works were not completed for a long time. It was not until 2000-2003 that a new building was completed, which today serves as the seat of the city’s authorities.
After the completion of the revitalisation of the Gothic part of the castle in Działdowo in 2018, it became the seat of the Muzeum Pogranicza [Borderland Museum]. The museum exhibitions are arranged in the halls on three floors.
The permanent historical and archeological exhibition entitled „Działdowo – miasto i ludzie dawnego pogranicza” [“Działdowo – the city and people of the former borderland”] presents the rich history of the city and the region from the Middle Ages to World War II, using the stands and multimedia presentations as well as the numerous exhibits.
Teutonic castle in Kętrzyn
The castle in Kętrzyn was built in the second half of the 14th century. After 1525, it served as the seat of the duke’s starost. Before the Second World War, the city took over the building, adapting it to the financial office and the housing of the officials. Unfortunately, in 1945 the castle burnt down. The first reconstruction was conducted in 1962-1966. It was then possible to restore the gothic character of the building.
In 2020, the castle in Kętrzyn regained its former splendor thanks to the renovation, which included, among others, the renovation of the interior and the replacement of windows and doors. It was also reconstructed in the form of the so-called permanent ruins of the tower and defensive walls: south and east.
The Wojciech Kętrzyński Museum operates in the castle. Its permanent exhibitions present, inter alia, the old art from the palaces, manors and churches of the region and collections on the history of the castle and the city. A new feature is the multimedia model of Kętrzyn.
The ruins of the Teutonic castle in Szczytno
The castle in Szczytno was built in 1370-1380. Almost 200 years later, by order of the Margrave Jerzy Fryderyk, it was converted into a hunting residence. The vast wilderness on the border with Mazovia attracted the rulers to hunt, during which political talks were held. In the 17th century, the castle was deserted, and over the following centuries it started to fall into ruin. At the end of the 18th century, the warehouses and then a school were located in it. By 1792, it had been almost completely demolished.
Currently, the castle ruins shine with a new glow. The buried remains of the walls were unearthed, and the cellars, cloisters and a prison were discovered. Some of the ruins were covered with a glass roof. The relics found during these works can be seen at the all-year-round exhibition. A moat was reconstructed around the area of the former castle. The ruins are particularly impressive in the evening and at night thanks to the attractive backlight.
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