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IMG BORDER=1 style=

RUIN OF DYBÓW CASTLE, VIEW FROM THE NORTHEAST



he victory of united Polish-Lith­ua­nian for­ces in the Bat­tle of Grun­wald per­ma­nent­ly stop­ped the ter­ri­to­rial ex­pan­sion of Teu­to­nic Or­der. It did not, ho­we­ver, we­aken ag­gres­si­ve po­li­cy of the Or­der, who, feel­ing sa­fe in their cas­tles, car­ried out nu­me­rous brief in­va­sions, cle­ar­ly a­void­ing con­fron­ta­tions in the o­pen field. One of such pla­ces, be­ing a "start­ing point" for Teu­to­nic Knights to ex­plo­re the Ku­ja­wy re­gion, was the strong­hold in Nie­sza­wa, lo­ca­ted on the left bank of Vis­tu­la. By vir­tue of de­ci­sions of the so-cal­led Meł­no Pe­ace from 1422, the po­lish king Wła­dy­sław Ja­gieł­ło (d. 1434) re­gain­ed land on the left si­de of the ri­ver gi­ven to Teu­to­nic Knights two hun­dred ye­ars earl­ier by Prin­ce Kon­rad Ma­zo­wie­cki (d. 1247), and the cas­tle in Nie­sza­wa was de­mo­li­shed by its for­mer ow­ners. Ho­we­ver, To­ruń was still in the hands of the friars, near which the­re was a con­ve­nient cros­sing o­ver Vis­tu­la. To per­ma­nent­ly se­cu­re the Po­lish bank of the ri­ver and to be ab­le to con­trol the mo­ve­ment of ships sail­ing a­long it, Ja­gieł­ło or­de­red the con­stru­ction of a brick cas­tle, lo­ca­ting it e­xact­ly op­po­si­te To­ruń, ne­ar the a­fo­re­men­tio­ned cros­sing. Per­haps ini­tial­ly the ru­ler plan­ned to a­dapt so­me of the buil­dings of the Teu­to­nic Knights' com­mand­ry's head­quar­ters in Nie­sza­wa, who­se de­mo­li­tion did not pro­ceed at the tem­po a­greed in the tre­aty, but due to de­ci­sion of the mo­na­stic di­gni­ta­ries to speed up work on the de­mo­li­tion of the old fort­ress, he fi­nal­ly de­ci­ded to lo­ca­te it in a new pla­ce.


IMG BORDER=1 style=

DYBÓW CASTLE, VIEW FROM THE NORTH


he building of the castle probably star­ted in 1425, short­ly a­fter No­wa Nie­sza­wa was gran­ted town rights, which was sup­po­sed to cre­ate tra­de com­pe­ti­tion for To­ruń lo­ca­ted on the other bank of the Vis­tu­la Ri­ver. The first men­tion a­bout it co­mes from a let­ter writ­ten by the To­ruń com­man­der to the Grand Mas­ter, da­ted May 11th 1427, in which he in­forms a­bout at­tempts ma­de by the Po­les to per­su­ade the ow­ner of a bo­at to trans­port the sto­nes des­ti­ned for con­stru­ction of the cas­tle, which the Po­lish king was go­ing to e­rect at No­wa Nie­sza­wa. From cor­res­pon­den­ce we al­so le­arn that this car­rier re­fu­sed to pro­vi­de the ser­vi­ce, which led the sta­rost to pro­hi­bit moor­ing of Ger­man fer­ries to the Po­lish sho­re. We don't know how long the con­stru­ction work las­ted, but it was cer­tain­ly not com­ple­ted by mid-1430. This is e­vi­den­ced by a let­ter e­di­ted on Ju­ne 15, 1430 by Wła­dy­sław Ja­gieł­ło to Grand Du­ke Wi­told, in which the mo­narch re­fers to the flood­ing of Vis­tu­la and the da­ma­ge it did to the wood­­en logs sto­red on the bank and in­ten­ded for the roof struc­tu­re. In ba­sic pha­se, the con­stru­ction was per­haps clo­sed al­re­ady be­fo­re the end of 1430, which is sug­ges­ted by the pre­ser­ved do­cu­ment men­tio­ning the sa­la­ry of Ni­co­laus of Tar­na­wa for e­sta­bli­shing cas­tle in our New Town Nie­sza­wa. Si­mul­ta­ne­ous­ly, the ur­ban or­ga­nism de­ve­lo­ped ra­pid­ly, be­co­ming in a short ti­me a re­al com­pe­ti­tion for To­ruń. Gdańsk and fo­reign ship­owners ar­ri­ving he­re to avoid ex­pen­si­ve To­ruń har­bours, and mar­kets or­ga­ni­zed in Nie­sza­wa ef­fe­cti­ve­ly li­mi­ted the in­co­me of mer­chants o­pe­ra­ting on the other si­de of the ri­ver.


NIESZAWA AND TORUŃ IN THE 1ST HALF OF THE XV CENTURY: 1. OLD TORUŃ, 2. NEW TORUŃ, 3. NIESZAWA, 4. DYBÓW CASTLE, 5. VISTULA RIVER


his state of affairs led to an outbreak of dis­con­tent a­mong To­ruń's towns­men, who in 1431, stir­red up by Teu­to­nic Knights and with their a­cti­ve help, ma­de their way to the left bank of the Vis­tu­la Ri­ver, and then burnt down the town that was da­ma­ging to their in­te­rests and in­va­ded the Po­lish fort­ress. The e­ase with which the at­tack­ing troops con­que­red the cas­tle may in­di­ca­te a lack of out­stan­ding de­fen­si­ve va­lu­es of this build­ing, promp­ting the the­sis that the ro­yal in­vest­ment was to ser­ve pri­ma­ri­ly as a com­for­ta­ble re­si­den­ce for the ru­ler and the se­at of the sta­rost, in­ca­pa­ble of long-term de­fen­se. In the opi­nion of the Po­lish chro­nic­ler Jan Dłu­gosz, ho­we­ver, the fact of the quick sur­ren­der of the cas­tle's crew (as a Teu­to­nic Knights of­fi­cial wro­te, the towns­pe­ople did not ha­ve to draw ei­ther a kni­fe or a sword to do so) bur­dens the sta­rost of Ino­wro­cław, Mi­ko­łaj Tu­mi­gra­ła of Wcze­le coat of arms (died after 1435), as a con­se­quen­ce of his in­com­pe­tent reign and per­haps e­ven tre­ason. The par­ti­ci­pa­tion of in­ha­bi­tants of To­ruń in this ex­pe­di­tion was de­fi­ni­te­ly plun­de­ring; after the va­lu­able re­ser­ves of cop­per, grain and salt we­re sto­len, the To­ruń ci­ti­zens left the Teu­to­nic Knights, who, after car­ry­ing out re­pairs, esta­bli­shed a com­man­de­ry he­re. The ad­mi­ni­stra­ti­ve chan­ges we­re ac­com­pa­nied by work to streng­then the de­fen­se of the fort­ress, which we le­arn from a list pre­pa­red in No­vem­ber 1431, pro­ba­bly by the de­pu­ty com­man­der of To­ruń, in­for­ming a­bout costs of main­tain­ing the cas­tle, its staf­fing and sup­plies. Ac­cor­ding to this do­cu­ment, ad­di­tio­nal can­nons we­re brought to Nie­sza­wa and pla­ced in the to­wer, and the sour­ces al­so men­tion the con­stru­ction of de­fen­si­ve wall and a se­cond to­wer. At that ti­me, the cas­tle was in­ha­bi­ted by 6 friars-knights, a chap­lain, about 30 in­terns, as well as an un­spe­ci­fied group of other crew mem­bers, a wri­ter and two cooks.


DYBÓW CASTLE OPPOSITE TORUN IN DRAWING BY E. DAHLBERG FROM THE WORK OF S. PUFENDORF: DE REBUS A CAROLO GUSTAVO GESTIS, 1656


he Teutonic Knights' administration in the cas­tle fun­ctio­ned on­ly for four ye­ars, be­cau­se as a re­sult of the pe­ace tre­aty sig­ned in Brześć Ku­jaw­ski at the turn of 1435 and 1436, the Ku­ja­wy ter­ri­to­ries with Nie­sza­wa re­tur­ned to the Po­lish sta­te. After the Teu­to­nic Knights left, the cas­tle was e­sta­bli­shed as the se­at of burg­ra­ves ma­na­ging it on be­half of the sta­rosts of Ino­wro­cław. By de­ci­sion of Wła­dy­sław III (d. 1444), it was al­so soon ex­ten­ded and mo­der­ni­zed, adap­ting it to use of fi­re­arms. La­ter, un­til the out­bre­ak of the Thir­teen Ye­ars' War (1454), po­li­ti­cal re­la­tions be­tween Po­land and the Teu­to­nic Knights we­re re­la­ti­ve­ly cor­rect, hen­ce the bor­ders we­re re­la­ti­ve­ly sa­fe. De­spi­te this, at the end of the 1440s, the sta­rost Jan Kret­kow­ski of Do­łę­ga co­at of arms (d. 1452) in­cre­ased the gar­ri­son of the cas­tle, brought in ad­di­tio­nal can­nons, and or­de­red the sub­jects to be re­ady to quick­ly ap­pe­ar un­der arms in ca­se of sud­den mo­bi­li­za­tion. It was re­la­ted to re­ports of an al­le­ged plan­ned at­tack of To­ru­nians on the Po­lish town, which fi­nal­ly did not hap­pen. In Fe­bru­ary 1454, short­ly a­fter the out­bre­ak of na­tio­nal up­ri­sing and the ex­pul­sion of Teu­to­nic Knights from To­ruń, its ci­ti­zens tur­ned to the ca­re of the Po­lish King Ka­zi­mierz Ja­giel­loń­czyk (d. 1492), of­fe­ring him con­si­de­ra­ble fi­nan­cial as­sis­tan­ce in the Po­lish-Teu­to­nic War which had just be­gun. Ho­we­ver, as one of the con­di­tions of the do­na­tion, they de­man­ded that the left bank town should be dis­pla­ced far e­nough a­way to not thre­aten their mer­chant in­te­rests. Fol­lo­wing the pro­po­sal of the towns­men, Ja­giel­loń­czyk mo­ved up­stream the who­le town buil­dings by four mi­les, le­aving on­ly the cas­tle with ne­ces­sa­ry fa­ci­li­ties.


A DRAWING FROM A STEINER'S ALBUM SHOWING THE SIEGE OF TORUŃ BY THE SWEDISH ARMY IN SEPTEMBER 1703


SHOOTING FROM DYBÓW CASTLE IN 1703, THE PAINTING PROBABLY COMES FROM A LATER PERIOD


ith the outbreak of Thirteen Years' War, the cas­tle be­ca­me a freq­uent re­si­den­ce of the king and Po­lish dig­ni­ta­ries as well as mi­li­ta­ry com­man­ders. Al­re­ady in No­vem­ber 1454, Ja­giel­loń­czyk is­su­ed le­gal acts he­re, ex­ten­ding the rights of the no­bi­li­ty by gran­ting them new pri­vi­le­ges. It was the pri­ce he paid for main­tain­ing the mi­li­ta­ry va­lue of the ar­my, which mo­re and mo­re of­ten ex­pres­sed its dis­sa­tis­fac­tion pu­blic­ly. Two ye­ars la­ter, a cus­toms cham­ber and sta­ro­sty we­re e­sta­bli­shed in Dy­bów. Jan Ko­ście­lec­ki of Ogoń­czyk co­at of arms (d. 1479) was e­lec­ted to the po­si­tion of cham­ber­lain of Do­brzyń, which was a form of se­cu­ring a lo­an of 350 Hun­ga­rian flo­rins gran­ted by the cham­ber­lain to the king. The e­sta­blish­ment of a cus­toms cham­ber and the grain tra­de car­ried out by suc­ces­si­ve sta­rosts re­sul­ted in the need to re­build the strong­hold, part of which was a­dap­ted on the gra­na­ry, salt sto­re­hou­ses and dis­til­le­ry. The mer­chants of To­ruń did not li­ke this way of de­ve­lo­ping the cas­tle - in de­fen­se of their own in­te­rests, they com­plai­ned to Po­lish King Si­gis­mund the Old, re­cei­ving in re­turn an as­su­ran­ce of stop­ping the con­stru­ction of new gra­na­ries. The king's sub­mis­si­ve­ness in this mat­ter was pro­ba­bly due to debts to the To­ruń pa­tri­cians, con­trac­ted by the Po­lish sta­te du­ring the Thir­teen Ye­ars' War. The­se re­cei­va­bles we­re al­so the re­ason why Dy­bów was ta­ken o­ver for so­me ti­me and ma­na­ged by the Town Coun­cil in the first ye­ars of the 16th cen­tu­ry. Be­fo­re this hap­pe­ned, it is worth men­tio­ning two im­por­tant facts re­la­ted to the ro­yal cas­tle in Dy­bów. The first one was the Po­lish-Teu­to­nic ne­go­tia­tions on the con­di­tions of the Se­cond Pe­ace of To­ruń, which star­ted he­re in Sep­tem­ber 1466 and we­re com­ple­ted and sig­ned at the Ar­tus Ma­nor Hou­se in To­ruń. Ano­ther u­ni­que e­vent in the his­to­ry of the fort­ress was the birth of An­na Ja­giel­lon­ka (d. 1503), dau­ghter of Ka­zi­mierz Ja­giel­loń­czyk and El­żbie­ta Ra­ku­szan­ka, who was born on 12 March 1476 in Dy­bów cas­tle.



VIEW OF THE DYBÓW CASTLE FROM TORUŃ, 1745


fter the end of the last Polish-Teutonic War (1519-21) and the in­cor­po­ra­tion of Ro­yal Prus­sia in­to Po­land, the cas­tle lost its stra­te­gic ro­le, but still fun­ctio­ned as the se­at of the sta­rost and a cus­toms cham­ber. It re­mai­ned in good con­di­tion in the first half of the se­ven­teenth cen­tu­ry, al­though an in­spe­ction from 1628-32 men­tions so­me da­ma­ge on the se­cond floor of one of the wings, whe­re pri­so­ners bur­ned down the rooms, da­ma­ged sto­ves and bro­ke the win­dows. Hu­ge de­va­sta­tion was do­ne he­re on­ly by the Swe­des, who a­fter ta­king o­ver To­ruń de­ci­ded that the ro­yal for­ti­fi­ca­tions si­tu­ated on the other bank of the ri­ver could thre­aten their sa­fe­ty, so in 1656 an at­tempt was ma­de by de­ci­sion of Com­man­der Bar­told Hart­wig von Bü­low to blow up their walls. The ex­plo­sion, al­though ve­ry strong, did not do much da­ma­ge, so the cas­tle was ad­di­tio­nal­ly bur­ned. The sca­le of de­stru­ction was deep­ened by the pre­sen­ce of Po­lish-Aus­trian troops, who e­rec­ted a ram­part ne­ar the fort­ress, from whe­re the Swe­dish-oc­cu­pied town was be­ing fi­red u­pon. The in­spe­ction of the sta­rost's of­fi­ce in 1661 in­forms about bad con­di­tion of the cas­tle a­fter the war: is com­ple­te­ly de­stro­yed and on­ly the walls are stan­ding. Short­ly after the Swe­dish ar­my left To­ruń, ef­forts we­re ma­de to re­build the fort­ress, which con­ti­nu­ed for se­ve­ral de­ca­des, but the sco­pe of work was not im­pres­si­ve and was li­mi­ted to re­con­stru­ction of one of the walls of the nor­thern buil­ding, chan­ging the la­yout of in­ter­ior and re­buil­ding the shoot­ing gal­le­ries. The mu­tu­al fi­re­fight­ing, which was car­ried out in the sum­mer of 1703 by the Swe­dish at Dy­bow Cas­tle and the Po­lish at the ru­ins of the Teu­to­nic Knights' cas­tle, led to de­mo­li­tion of gu­ard to­wer and se­rious da­mage of re­si­den­tial part, as a re­sult of which the cei­lings of the up­per sto­rey col­lap­sed in­to the cel­lars. De­spi­te the fact that its re­pair was not un­der­ta­ken, Dy­bów ser­ved as a cus­toms cham­ber un­til the se­cond par­ti­tion of Po­land, i.e. un­til 1793, al­though al­re­ady in the mid­dle of the cen­tu­ry its con­di­tion must have been ve­ry bad, sin­ce the in­spe­ction car­ried out in 1765 men­tio­ned on­ly one ful­ly pre­ser­ved cham­ber.



VIEW OF THE RUINS FROM THE NORTHEAST (ABOVE) AND FROM THE SOUTH ON THE FIGURES FROM 1842


he last starost on Dybów was Stanisław Dąmbski of Go­dziem­ba co­at of arms (d. 1809). After the se­cond par­ti­tion of Po­land, the cas­tle buil­dings we­re ta­ken o­ver by the Prus­sian au­tho­ri­ties, who o­pe­ned a dis­til­le­ry the­re. In 1813 the cas­tle was u­sed a­gain for mi­li­ta­ry pur­po­ses, when a 40-pe­ople French troop un­der com­mand of Lieu­te­nant Sa­va­ry re­sis­ted the Rus­sian of­fen­si­ve for al­most three months, ca­pi­tu­la­ting on­ly a­fter the com­ple­te sur­ren­der of the ci­ty. Ac­cor­ding to writ­ten sour­ces from that per­iod, du­ring the sie­ge by the Rus­sians the­re was on­ly a qua­dri­la­te­ral to­wer with a wi­de wall, the­re was no wall on the Vis­tu­la si­de. In the 1830s, a plan was cre­ated to trans­form the Dy­bów Cas­tle in­to a part of the ci­ty for­ti­fi­ca­tion sys­tem, which, for var­ious re­asons, has ne­ver been im­ple­men­ted, al­though the buil­ding was sur­roun­ded by ram­parts and shoot­ing ho­les in the walls we­re ma­de. For the fol­lo­wing ye­ars, the ru­in for­mal­ly be­lon­ged to the ar­my, first Prus­sian, la­ter Po­lish, but it re­mai­ned a­ban­do­ned. The mi­li­ta­ry au­tho­ri­ties han­ded it o­ver to the ci­ty in 1954, and in the sa­me de­ca­de re­se­arch work be­gan, com­bi­ned with pre­ven­ti­ve con­ser­va­tion of the walls. As a per­ma­nent ru­in they we­re se­cu­red in years 1969-72. De­spi­te re­scue o­pe­ra­tion, Dy­bów re­mai­ned un­de­ve­lo­ped, ser­ving main­ly the lo­cal youth, who left the to­nes of rub­bish and fil­thy paint­ings on the walls. Cri­mi­nal self-jud­ge­ments al­so took pla­ce he­re, which was per­fect­ly fa­ci­li­ta­ted by lo­ca­tion of the strong­hold far from o­ther buil­dings and com­mu­ni­ca­tion rou­tes. The ow­ner of Mu­se­um of Au­to­mo­ti­ve and Tech­no­lo­gy in Otrę­bu­sy found an idea for de­ve­lop­ment of the ru­ins, or­ga­ni­zing an ex­hi­bi­tion of old cars in the cas­tle court­yard in 2013. Ho­we­ver, this o­ri­gi­nal ini­tia­ti­ve did not at­tract a lar­ge au­dien­ce and a­fter a few months the buil­ding was em­pty a­gain. A ye­ar la­ter, it was le­ased to Dy­bów Cas­tle and Strong­hold Nie­sza­wa Foun­da­tion, thanks to the ef­forts of which the for­mer ro­yal se­at, after ma­ny ye­ars of stag­na­tion, fi­nal­ly re­gai­ned its pla­ce on the cul­tu­ral map of the ci­ty.


VIEW FROM THE VISTULA RIVER, POSTCARD FROM THE YEAR 1900


CASTLE FROM THE NORTHEAST, 1910



THE TUNNEL

Although many people take this story not too seriously, the­re is no lack of tho­se who would ar­gue that the­re was a tun­nel un­der Vis­tu­la Ri­ver con­nec­ting the cas­tle with St. Johns' Ca­the­dral Ba­si­li­ca lo­ca­ted on the right bank of the ri­ver. It is said that for cen­tur­ies the exis­ten­ce of un­der­ground cros­sing has been kept sec­ret and its au­then­ti­ci­ty was on­ly con­fir­med by wit­nes­ses in the in­ter­war ye­ars. Among them the­re was a se­ven­teen-year-old boy who, after dis­co­ve­ring the tun­nel, mo­ved to­wards Vis­tu­la, ini­tial­ly dia­go­nal­ly down­wards and then ho­ri­zon­tal­ly to a pla­ce whe­re the pas­sa­ge­way was pol­lu­ted and full of mud. The hy­po­the­ses a­bout exis­ten­ce of the my­ster­ious struc­tu­re we­re con­fir­med du­ring the con­stru­ction of the To­ruń brid­ge in the 1930s, when the Go­thic vaults of un­known pur­po­se we­re dis­co­ve­red du­ring dril­ling for its pil­lars. Ac­cor­ding to the opi­nion of re­se­ar­chers who be­lie­ve in exis­ten­ce of the tun­nel, its be­gin­ning is hidd­en by the ol­dest re­si­den­tial part of the cas­tle and co­ve­red with a la­yer of earth, whi­le the end is lo­ca­ted in the Cha­pel of St. The­re­sa.

View from the left bank of Vistula River to the Old Town with do­mi­nant sha­pe of St. Johns' Ca­the­dral




THE RUIN OF THE CASTLE IN PHOTOGRAPHS FROM INTERWAR PERIOD



he castle was located on the left, flat bank of the Vis­tu­la Ri­ver, south-west of the Old Town, in the pla­ce whe­re it was hid­den by the is­land - Kę­pa Ba­za­ro­wa - ex­ten­ding to the west. The main and old­est part of it was a Go­thic brick hou­se, erec­ted on the nort­hern si­de on a re­ctan­gu­lar plan with si­des of about 45x13.5 me­ters. On each of its three floors the­re we­re three lar­ge rooms, 8 me­tres wi­de, and 18 or 9 me­tres long, with re­pre­sen­ta­ti­ve and re­si­den­tial rooms on the first floor. The cel­lars we­re vaul­ted and had a wood­en floor, which sug­gests that they we­re u­sed as sto­ra­ge or uti­li­ty rooms. We can on­ly spe­cu­la­te a­bout the se­cond floor, al­though by ana­lo­gy we can as­su­me the­re was a sto­ra­ge floor pre­pa­red for mi­li­ta­ry use. The buil­ding was co­ve­red with a hip­ped roof with ga­bles on the shor­ter si­des. Its front ele­va­tion was the sout­hern wall, de­co­ra­ted with blends, per­fo­ra­ted with Go­thic win­dows and ven­ti­la­tion ho­les, with sharp-ed­ged en­tran­ces to the ground and first floor. The in­ter­ior of the Go­thic hou­se was pro­ba­bly plas­te­­red and fi­ni­shed with de­co­ra­ti­ve pain­tings. From the north-west, it was streng­the­ned by dia­go­nal but­tress, which sup­po­sed­ly had la­tri­ne or de­fen­si­ve fun­ctions at the ga­te le­ading to the Vis­tu­la Ri­ver. The north­east cor­ner may ha­ve been guar­ded by cy­lin­dri­cal to­wer, known from old dra­wings sho­wing the cas­tle. In the ear­ly pha­se of its ope­ra­tion, the cas­tle had no brick de­fen­ce pe­ri­me­ter and was ei­ther a free-stan­ding ob­ject or was on­ly pro­tec­ted by a wood­en pa­li­sa­de or earth ram­parts.


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FORTIFIED GATEWAY IN THE SOUTHERN WALL, VIEW FROM THE NORTH (FROM THE COURTYARD)


uring the short period of the Teutonic Knights' reign (1431-35) the Go­thic buil­ding was sur­roun­ded on three si­des by brick cur­tain walls mar­king a re­gu­lar court­yard with si­des of about 27x52 me­ters. The­se walls, 1.7 to 2.3 me­tres thick and up to 7.5 me­tres high, we­re top­ped with blanks, and after 1450 they we­re rai­sed and re­in­for­ced in three cor­ners with sus­pen­ded brick to­wers with a dia­me­ter of about 5 me­tres, adap­ted to use of fi­re­arms. En­tran­ce to the court­yard led from the south, through a three-sto­rey en­tran­ce ga­te with an ex­ten­ded fo­re­ga­te, erec­ted on a qua­dri­la­te­ral plan with si­des of 8.7x9.7 me­ters. Two sym­me­tri­cal stair­ca­ses le­ading to the por­ches we­re pla­ced in its walls. In the ground floor of the ga­te, two 3.2 me­tre wi­de sharp-ed­ged en­tran­ce ho­les and two si­de wick­ets in the east­ern and west­ern walls we­re ma­de, sug­ges­ting the pos­si­bi­li­ty of a se­cond li­ne of for­ti­fi­ca­tions, per­haps as a ram­part or pa­li­sa­de. The se­cond floor was oc­cu­pied by a guard room with o­pe­nings al­lo­wing shoot­ing from fi­re­arms on both the en­tran­ce ro­ad and the fo­re­ground of west­ern sec­tion of the wall. In­di­vi­du­al sto­reys of the to­wer we­re se­pa­ra­ted by wood­en ceil­ings and crown­ed by a hip­ped roof. The ga­te was ac­ces­sed by a wood­en brid­ge thrown o­ver the mo­at, which was fed by wa­ters of the Vis­tu­la Ri­ver and for­med the ou­ter li­ne of cas­tle for­ti­fi­ca­tions.





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PLAN OF DYBÓW CASTLE: 1. GOTHIC RESIDENTIAL BUILDING, 2. ENTRANCE GATE, 3. FOREGATE, 4. BUTTRESS, 5. CORNER TURRETS




full perimeter of the fortified walls with rem­nants of cy­lin­dri­cal cor­ner to­wers has been pre­ser­ved from for­mer glo­ry of the fort­ress, as well as the ga­te to­wer, re­con­struc­ted in the 1970s, which still has stairs le­ading to the crown of walls with a path tra­ced by tour­ists. This crown do­es not ha­ve any fall pro­tec­tion, so you should be ex­tre­me­ly ca­re­ful when walk­ing a­round it and it is best not to bring child­ren in. From re­si­den­tial buil­ding the­re are still bur­ied cel­lars, a lar­ge part of south­ern wall about 11 me­ters high and a small part of north-west wall of the Go­thic hou­se. For the last few ye­ars, the ruin has been le­ased by Dy­bów Cas­tle and Strong­hold Nie­sza­wa Foun­da­tion, which, after a long pe­riod of neg­­lect, re­vi­ved the mo­nu­ment by pla­cing a small ex­hi­bi­tion and or­ga­ni­zing ma­ny cul­tu­ral, edu­ca­tio­nal and tour­ist e­vents. In the mid­dle of 2019, ho­we­ver, the ac­ti­vi­ty of foun­da­tion in the cas­tle was ques­tio­ned, and the re­ason is ob­vious­ly mo­ney. The con­se­quen­ce of this si­tu­ation is to ex­clu­de ru­ins from the plan­ned tour­ist traf­fic and ma­ke them a­vai­la­ble on­ly at ir­re­gu­lar hours - ac­cor­ding to the foun­da­tion's cur­rent ca­pa­bi­li­ties (May 2020).


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IN THE COURTYARD (2017)




he castle stands on the left bank of the Vis­tu­la Ri­ver, a long way from other buil­dings, about 300 me­ters to the west of the brid­ge con­nec­ting left and right-bank To­ruń. Al­though the ruin is lo­ca­ted on the right si­de of the brid­ge (look­ing from old To­ruń), after le­aving the brid­ge you should turn left in­to a ground road, which after a few do­zen me­ters turns at a sharp an­gle and le­ads un­der the brid­ge pil­lars straight to the cas­tle. Pe­ople tra­vel­ling by train should get off at Toruń Główny sta­tion and head straight north to en­ter the nar­row as­phalt Dy­bow­ska street, whe­re they should turn left (di­rec­tion cam­ping). It is tech­ni­cal­ly pos­si­ble to get by car to the cas­tle it­self, but this is for­bid­den by re­gu­la­tions (en­try ban). In such si­tu­ation, it is most con­ve­nient to le­ave your car in a small un­gu­ar­ded car park on Dy­bow­ska Street or in a guar­ded squa­re at the rail­way sta­tion. (cas­tles in Ku­jaw­sko-Po­mor­skie Voi­vo­de­ship)




1. A. Andrzejewski, P. Wroniecki: W poszukiwaniu zaginionego miasta..., 2015
2. S. Jóźwiak: Zamek w Nowej Nieszawie w świetle średniowiecznych źródeł..., Rocznik Toruń. tom 42 (2015)
3. L. Kajzer, J. Salm, S. Kołodziejski: Leksykon zamków w Polsce, Arkady 2001
4. P. Lasek: Prywatne zamki polskich dowódców z czasów wojny trzynastoletniej, Kom. Maz.-Warm. 2/2017
5. T. Olszacki, A. Różański: Zamek w Gołańczy, Gołaniecki Ośrodek Kultury 2015
6. R. Sypek: Zamki i obiekty warowne Państwa Krzyżackiego, Agencja CB 2000
7. B. Szmygin, P. Molski: Ochrona i konserwacja ruin zamkowych, PKN ICOMOS Politech. Lubelska 2013


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VIEW OF THE CASTLE FROM THE SIDE OF THE ROAD, IN THE FOREGROUND THERE IS A RUIN OF A GOTHIC ROYAL PALACE


Castles nearby:
Toruń - ruin of the Teutonic Commanders' castle from the 13th century, 2.5 km
Mała Nieszawka - relics of the Teutonic Commanders' castle from the 14th century, 4 km
Złotoria - ruin of the royal castle from the 14th century, 13 km
Bierzgłowo - Teutonic castle from the 13th century, 22 km
Raciążek - ruin of the bishops' castle from the 14th century, 26 km
Kowalewo Pomorskie - relics of the Teutonic Commanders' castle from the 13th century, 30 km




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text: 2020
photographs: 2005, 2012, 2017, 2019
© by Jacek Bednarek