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IMG BORDER=1 style=

CASTLE IN LIPA, AERIAL PERSPECTIVE FROM THE SOUTH WEST



he me­die­val cas­tle in Li­pa in its ori­gi­nal Got­hic form was pro­bab­ly built at the turn of the 14th and 15th cen­tu­ries, al­though re­se­ar­chers are di­vi­ded on this is­sue, da­ting the ti­me of its con­struc­tion from the end of the 13th to the be­gin­ning of the 15th cen­tu­ry. We do not know the foun­der of this bui­lding - it is as­su­med that it was cre­a­ted on the ini­tia­ti­ve of a re­pre­sen­ta­ti­ve of one of the Si­le­sian knigh­tly fa­mi­lies - but so­me want its ge­ne­a­lo­gy to be con­nec­ted with the ac­ti­vi­ties of the Tem­plar Or­der, which af­ter the fall of the King­dom of Je­ru­sa­lem mi­gra­ted to Eu­ro­pe, in­clu­ding Si­le­sia. The first known ow­ner of the vil­la­ge was Hen­ry von Li­pa, men­tio­ned in 1309. La­ter the es­ta­te in the vil­la­ge be­lon­ged to se­ve­ral fa­mi­lies: Bock, Schir­mer, Lau­ter­bach, Schwoi­nitz, Tschir­nau, but a­round the mid­dle of the 14th cen­tu­ry Li­pa was di­vi­ded in­to three parts, which ma­de it dif­fi­cult to iden­ti­fy the foun­der of the cas­tle in the up­per part, cal­led Ober­foh. It is sup­po­sed that it could ha­ve been Cas­par von Cra­kav of the Schwoi­nitz fa­mi­ly and his brot­her Hans, not ve­ry weal­thy knights, ow­ners of a lo­cal mill and a small ma­nor farm. The mo­dest foun­dat­ion was init­ial­ly ex­ten­ded by mem­bers of the von Zed­litz fa­mi­ly: Ar­nes­tus (ow­ned by 1471-1485), Si­gis­mund (ow­ned by 1500-1520) or his son Bar­tel (ow­ned by 1520-1549) and his grand­son An­ton (ow­ned by 1552-1575). In 1580 An­na de do­mo von Zed­litz han­ded o­ver all her pro­per­ty in Li­pa Gór­na to her hus­band Ge­org von Reib­nitz (+1611). Af­ter the death of his son Hans (+1654), Chris­toph Got­tlieb von Nimptsch (+1686) from Li­pa Dol­na bought the vil­la­ge from the cre­di­tors of the de­ce­a­sed. Ho­we­ver, at the end of the cen­tu­ry the cas­tle re­tur­ned to the fa­mi­ly of for­mer ow­ners, be­cau­se in 1699 it was bought by Got­thard Fried­rich von Reib­nitz (+1714). The buil­ding, which was la­ter u­sed by the Ja­wor­ian sta­rost Ge­org Wil­helm von Reib­nitz (+1765) and his son Karl Fried­rich, was de­pri­ved of any de­fen­si­ve sig­ni­fi­can­ce at that ti­me and cle­ar­ly col­lap­sed, af­ter which it was a­ban­don­ed at the end of the 18th cen­tu­ry. From now on, it was u­sed main­ly for sto­ra­ge and e­co­no­mic pur­po­ses, and the un­ne­ces­sa­ry from the point of view of ad­mi­nis­tra­tors seg­ments of buil­dings we­re tre­a­ted as a cheap and con­ve­nient sour­ce of buil­ding ma­ter­ial and gra­du­al­ly dis­as­sem­bled. Jul­ius Fis­cher, the ow­ner of Li­pa in the 1820s, had a par­ti­cu­lar­ly ne­ga­ti­ve in­flu­en­ce on the si­tu­a­tion he­re. He or­de­red the de­mo­li­tion of lar­ge parts of the lo­wer cas­tle in or­der to ob­tain the raw ma­ter­ial for the con­struc­tion of a dis­til­le­ry, a sheep­fold and a barn in his ma­nor farm.


A CASTLE IN LIPA ON HUBER'S LITHOGRAPHY FROM AROUND 1880



The ol­dest pre­ser­ved re­cord of Ly­pa set­tle­ment da­tes back to 1300. In the Mid­dle A­ges the vil­la­ge was re­fer­red to as Li­pa (1330), Lei­pa (1370) and Lei­pe (1405). Sin­ce the mid­dle of the 14th cen­tu­ry, when the vil­la­ge was par­ce­led, in­de­pen­dent Ober-, Mit­tel- and Nie­der-Lei­pe we­re se­pa­ra­ted from each ot­her. In the 19th cen­tu­ry the na­me Gold­leipe and Kalk­leipe func­tio­ned, re­pla­ced in 1945 with the ad hoc term Li­po­we. On­ly a year la­ter, the na­me Li­pa, which still exists to­day and re­fers to the o­ri­gi­nal no­men­cla­tu­re, ca­me in­to use.



he cas­tle was sa­ved from to­tal de­vas­tat­ion by Count Ru­dolph von Stil­lfried-Rat­to­nitz (+1882), a res­pec­ted law­yer and mas­ter of ce­re­mo­nies of the Prus­sian ro­yal court, who bought it in 1834 and then re­built it in neo-Got­hic form. In 1841 the es­ta­te be­ca­me the pro­per­ty of the rich mer­chant Ernst Hein­rich Kramst from Bol­ków, and at the end of the cen­tu­ry it be­ca­me the pro­per­ty of the von Spren­ger fa­mi­ly. Af­ter 1917 un­til the end of the Se­cond World War the cas­tle was pro­bab­ly ow­ned by a wo­man na­med von Hu­ner­bein, de do­mo von Spren­ger and her daugh­ter, na­med von Dra­bich-Wa­ech­ter. Al­re­a­dy du­ring the com­mu­nist era, the buil­ding was no lon­ger u­sed and quick­ly des­tro­yed, which was gre­at­ly in­flu­en­ced by the lack of in­te­rest and pro­per ca­re from the au­tho­ri­ties. In the 1960s, when the for­mer knight's seat was on­ly a wa­re­hou­se at the lo­cal kol­khoz, so­me of its win­dows still con­tai­ned glass, and the re­si­den­tial buil­dings still had cei­lings and a roof. The chan­ce for a fal­ling mo­nu­ment ap­pe­a­red in the ear­ly 1970s when Bog­na Ros­now­ska Maag, li­ving in Swit­zer­land, bought it. Ho­wev­er, the ow­ner's init­ial en­thus­iasm we­ak­e­ned with ti­me and the re­no­va­tion works star­ted we­re in­ter­rup­ted, which quick­ly tur­ned the cas­tle in­to a be­au­ti­ful but de­pres­sing ruin.


POSTCARD WITH A VIEW OF THE CASTLE FROM THE NORTHEAST, 1920S


CASTLE IN THE 1980S, VIEW FROM THE WEST


A SIMILAR PERSPECTIVE, BUT THREE DECADES LATER... (2013)



he cast­le was built at the pe­rip­he­ry of the vil­la­ge, at the end of a hill with steep slo­pes, abo­ve the vil­la­ge ro­ad and the ter­ra­ce of Ny­sa Sza­lo­na. Such a lo­ca­tion pro­vi­ded it with fa­vou­ra­ble de­fen­si­ve fa­ci­li­ties and al­so met the re­qui­re­ment of pres­ti­ge with res­pect to the lo­cal com­mu­ni­ty. In the first pha­se of its func­tio­ning, it con­sis­ted of a three-sto­rey re­si­den­tial to­wer (1) built of sto­ne on a plan si­mi­lar to a squa­re with si­des of 7x7 me­ters, who­se walls in the ground floor reach a­bout 1.5 me­ters thick, and an o­val brick de­fen­si­ve cir­cuit (2) with a mo­at. The ground le­vel of the to­wer is vaul­ted and its tops we­re fi­nis­hed with de­co­ra­ti­ve pat­terns of brick pseu­do­ma­chic­les and cre­nel­la­tion, pro­bab­ly sha­ped du­ring neo-Got­hic re­con­struc­tion at the be­gin­ning of 19th cen­tu­ry.


LIPA, PLAN OF CASTLE RUINS ACCORDING TO J. SAWINSKI


uring the 16th cen­tu­ry ex­pan­sion, a stair­case (3) with sin­gle-cir­cuit sto­ne steps was ad­ded to the to­wer, and the who­le was in­cor­po­ra­ted into the Re­nais­san­ce buil­dings: in the south a hou­se with a kit­chen was built bet­ween the to­wer and the left part of the old wall (4), in the west - a ga­te to­wer (5) si­tu­a­ted in the li­ne of the cur­tain wall, and in the east and north a for­ti­fied pe­ri­me­ter was in­te­gra­ted in­to the na­tu­ral rocks, but the o­ri­gi­nal la­yout of it is not clear at pre­sent. The com­plex of re­si­den­tial buil­dings lo­ca­ted in the west­ern part of the cas­tle con­sis­ted of two main parts: a tra­pe­zo­idal vaul­ted room (6) ad­ja­cent di­rect­ly to the old to­wer and a north-fa­cing two-sto­rey buil­ding (7) top­ped with a steep ga­ble roof, the en­tran­ce to which led through an ar­ched sto­ne por­tal. Al­though at the end of the 20th cen­tu­ry the buil­ding was still co­ve­red by the ori­gi­nal roof fra­ming and so­me ti­les, to­day the­re is no tra­ce of them. The usa­ble a­rea of the cas­tle af­ter the ex­ten­sion was 340 squa­re me­ters.



IMG BORDER=1 style=

CASTLE IN LIPA, AERIAL PERSPECTIVE


he most ori­gi­nal ar­chi­tec­tu­ral e­le­ment of the fort­ress is a rhom­bus-sha­ped sto­ne buil­ding in the east­ern part of the com­plex, with an a­rea of 70 squa­re met­res and a height of 10 met­res. It is a cas­tle kit­chen (8), pro­bab­ly built at the be­gin­ning of the 16th cen­tu­ry, con­si­de­red the ol­dest pre­ser­ved in Si­les­ia, con­sis­ting of a spac­ious ground floor and a py­ra­mid-sha­ped vault se­pa­ra­ted from the cei­ling. It was for­med in this sty­le du­ring the 19th cen­tu­ry neo-Got­hic re­con­struc­tion. In its sout­hern wall a gut­ter was built in to drain the was­te, and in­si­de a cis­tern car­ved in the rock with a depth of a­bout 4 me­ters was hid­den.


IMG BORDER=1 style=

VIEW FROM THE SOUTH, ON THE RIGHT THE CASTLE KITCHEN



he cas­tle in its pre­sent form, apart from the sca­le of the da­ma­ge cau­sed, pre­sents a se­con­da­ry cha­rac­ter re­sul­ting from the 19th cen­tu­ry in­ter­fe­ren­ce in the ol­der, Got­hic-Re­nais­san­ce form. Prac­ti­cal­ly no re­pairs or in­vest­ments we­re car­ried out he­re sin­ce the end of the Se­cond World War, and o­ver ti­me the who­le a­rea was in­cre­a­sing­ly co­ve­red with weed. Not long ago, so­me buil­dings had roofs, win­dows, doors and de­co­ra­ted por­tals. Ho­we­ver, on­ly a do­zen or so re­cent ye­ars ha­ve been e­nough for e­ve­ryt­hing of gre­a­ter va­lu­e to be sto­len, da­ma­ged or ir­ret­riev­ab­ly des­tro­yed. For­tu­na­te­ly, the disc­reet charm of the old fort­ress was no­ti­ced and, on the ini­tia­ti­ve and with the par­ti­ci­pa­tion of vo­lun­teers, af­ter 2015 it was cle­a­red of over­gro­wing plants and trees thre­ate­ning it, and now (2019) works are un­der­way to se­cu­re the walls and e­ven par­tial­ly re­con­struct them. It is not plan­ned to ful­ly re­build the cas­tle, but on­ly to bring it to a sta­te of so-cal­led per­ma­nent ruin.


IMG  BORDER=1 style= IMG  BORDER=1 style=

IMG  BORDER=1 style= IMG  BORDER=1 style=

CASTLE IN LIPA, STATE OF 2008


IMG  BORDER=1 style= IMG  BORDER=1 style=

THE SOUTHERN PART OF THE BUILDING DURING THE SECURITY AND RENOVATION WORKS, 2019



he vil­la­ge is lo­ca­ted at the cros­sroads of lo­cal roads Ja­wor-Ka­czo­rów and Bol­ków-Swie­rza­wa. The ruin is si­tu­a­ted in the sout­hern part of the vil­la­ge, on the east­ern si­de of the ro­ad, about 300 me­ters a­way from the church. In or­der to get the­re, at the se­cond cros­sroads (coun­ting from the church) turn in­to a lar­ge court­yard and fol­low the path le­a­ding di­rect­ly to the cast­le. You can al­so get he­re by a­voi­ding con­tact with the pe­op­le li­ving in the sur­roun­ding hou­ses by pas­sing the court­yard and then par­king your car 200 met­res furt­her di­rect­ly by the as­phalt ro­ad and then clim­bing the ground ro­ad le­a­ding to the ru­ins. Di­rect­ly to the ga­te can be dri­ven by cars with high­er ground cle­a­ran­ce. (map of cas­tles in Lower Silesia)




1. M. Chorowska: Rezydencje sredniowieczne na Slasku, OFPWW 2003
2. L. Kajzer, J. Salm, S. Kolodziejski: Leksykon zamków w Polsce, Arkady 2001
3. R. Luczynski: Zamki, dwory i palace w Sudetach, SWA 2008
4. A. M. Rosiek: Siedziby rycerskie w ksiestwie swidnicko-jaworskim do konca XIV wieku, Kraków 2010


IMG BORDER=1 style=

CASTLE DURING REPAIR AND SECURITY WORK, SUMMER 2019


Castles nearby:
Swiny - the ruins of a knight's castle 14th century, 7 km
Bolków - the ruins of Duke's castle 13th century, 10 km
Stara Krasnica - fortified mansion 17th century, in ruins, 10 km
Myslibórz - relics of the castle 13/14th century, 13 km
Klaczyna - relics of the castle 15th century, 15 km
Plonina - the ruins of a knight's castle, 14th century, 15 km
Sedziszowa - residential tower 14/15th century, 16 km
Wojcieszów - relics of the castle 13/14th century, 16 km
Jawor - Duke's castle 13/14th century, altered, 18 km



It is worth seeing also:


IMG

A la­te Got­hic, sin­gle-na­ve with a vaul­ted pres­by­te­ry, church of Saint Apost­les Pe­ter and Paul, stan­ding by the ro­ad cut­ting through the vil­la­ge. A va­lu­able mo­nu­ment of the church is a trip­tych from a­round 1503 pla­ced in a ba­ro­que al­tar. In the to­wer the­re is a bell da­ting from 1541 de­co­ra­ted with a la­te Re­nais­san­ce frie­ze.

IMG

In Jas­tro­wiec the Church of the Vir­gin Ma­ry Im­ma­cu­la­te Con­cep­tion, built of sto­ne in the se­cond half of the 13th cen­tu­ry. It is a mo­dest buil­ding sur­roun­ded by a sto­ne wall with a squa­re na­ve and a nar­ro­wer, al­so squa­re pres­by­te­ry co­ve­red with a la­te Got­hic cross-rib­bed vault. By the church the­re is a his­to­ric ce­me­te­ry with the ol­dest tomb­sto­nes da­ting back to the 17th cen­tu­ry.



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text: 2019
photographs: 2008, 2013, 2019
© by Jacek Bednarek