he origins of the castle in Niemodlin, which is currently one of the largest and best preserved medieval residences in the Opole region, date back to the period before 1228, that is before the handover of the settlement by Kazimierz I (d. 1230) to Klemens Gryfita (d. 1241) as a compensation for the financial effort made by Gryfita while building the ducal residence in Opole. Its appearance in the first half of the 13th century, however, did not resemble contemporary buildings; the original form of the fortress was only a small tower of residential and defensive character, surrounded by a moat and wooden fortifications. Situated near the river crossing, it served mainly as a centre of local administration and a toll collection point on the trade route leading from Silesia to Moravia. In the vicinity of the tower there was a ducal village, later belonging to the Benedictine monastery in Staniątki, first mentioned in 1224 as Nemodlina villa. A fair settlement developed from it, and then the town, which has been called Falkenberg as a result of the increasing number of German settlers. Its location, dating back to the period between 1260 and 1283, is connected with the construction of a second residential tower, erected on the initiative of Władysław Opolski (d. 1281/82) on the site of an earlier one dated to the first half of the 13th century. This investment was probably connected with organisation of the Castellany of Niemodlin, whose first administrator known from sources was a certain Syghard (1294).
NORTH-WEST ELEVATION OF THE CASTLE
According to linguists, the Slavic name Niemodlin is derived from the name of first owner of the village, which in the form of Niemodl-im could be associated with negation of the word modlić się (eng. pray). In the second half of the 13th century, with the arrival of German-speaking population, the term Falkenberg began to dominate here, referring to the town's coat of arms and seeking confirmation in the falconry centre, which was supposed to exist on this land in the past. In the following centuries Polish and German names functioned alternately or in parallel, and their pronunciation and spelling were often distorted, including Yalkinberg (1318), Valkinberg (1368), Falkinberg (1370) or Falkenberg-Niemodin (1819).
IN THE CASTLE COURTYARD, 2020
fter death of Bolesław I in 1313, his three sons Bolesław (d. before 1365), Bolesław (d. 1356) and Albert (d. before 1375) divided the Opole district among themselves, which led to separation of the small Duchy of Niemodlin. It was taken over by the oldest son, Bolesław Pierworodny (the Firstborn), henceforth called Niemodliński. The town' growing importance as the capital of an independent state entity was reflected in expansion of the fortress, which was strengthened by a defensive wall and equipped with wooden buildings filling the space of the courtyard. When Bolesław Pierworodny died, the duchy was succeeded by his eldest son Bolesław II Niemodliński (d. 1368), and after heirless death, his younger brothers Wacław (d. 1369) and Henryk (d. 1382) ruled over these lands. Due to the fact that all sons of Bolesław Pierworodny died without male offspring, after the expiry of the Niemodlin line of Piasts in 1382, the castle and the duchy were taken over by the sons of the Opole duke
Bolko III: Bolko IV (d. 1437), Henryk (+1394) and Bernard (d. 1455). The last of these, in 1399, as an independent ruler of this land, he merged it with Strzelce Opolskie to create a sovereign state, which ended in 1460, only a few years after death of its founder. Earlier, however, during the Hussite wars in the 1420s, the town and the castle were invaded and then destroyed by Czech troops, going through Niemodlin to Brzeg. As early as in the first half of the century, the fortress was rebuilt from war damage, and perhaps even modernized and enlarged by adding a Gothic residential house in its southern part. However, it was probably no longer a centre of power, but was still used as a seat of local administration and a place of court.
AERIAL VIEW FROM THE NORTH-WEST
n 1450, over 70-year-old Bernard, who had no male descendant, handed over the Niemodlin part of the duchy to
Bolko V Wołoszek (d. 1460), son-in-law of the Polish Queen
Elżbieta Granowska. He and his wife Jadwiga Bies also did not have a son, as a result of which after Bolko's death the district of Niemodlin became the property of the Dukes of Opole, who from that time on used the title: Lord of Niemodlin. Such a state of affairs lasted until 1532, when, after the heirless death of the last Opole-Racibórz Piast Jan II Dobry (John II The Good) the duchy came under the rule of the Czech King
Ferdinand I Habsburg (d. 1564). Soon this ruler leased the castle to the Brandenburg Margrave
Georg Hohenzollern-Ansbach (d. 1543), nephew of the Polish King
Zygmunt Stary (Sigismund the Old) and brother of the Grand Master of Teutonic Knights
Albrecht Hohenzollern, and then to his minor son
Georg Friedrich (d. 1603). In 1551, as a compensation for relinquishing claims to the Hungarian throne, the Duchy of Opole, together with the title of Duke of the Reich and an annual salary of 25 thousand florins, received Queen Regent
Izabela Jagiellonka (d. 1559) together with her son
Jan Zygmunt (d. 1571). However, the daughter of Zygmunt Stary and
Queen Bona did not come to Niemodlin, and on her behalf the administrative authority was held here by Wenzel Pückler, who may have witnessed the great fire of the town in 1552, which destroyed part of the buildings and seriously damaged the castle walls and equipment.
THE OLDEST KNOWN IMAGE OF THE CASTLE, VIEW FROM THE SOUTHEAST
CH. GLAUBITZ GESCHICHTE DER HERRSCHAFT FALKENBERG IN OBERSCHLIESEN, 1734
hen Isabella Jagiellonka left in 1557, the half-burnt ruin was pledged to Count Mathes von Logau, Chancellor of the Nysa Bishopric, and after his death in 1567, it was placed in the hands of his son Henrik. A year later, however, his father's contract with the late Emperor Ferdinand Habsburg expired, and the town of Niemodlin itself applied to the incumbent Emperor
Maximilian (d. 1576) to take over the pledge, eventually receiving it. The town council administered the castle for only four years, after which in 1572
Caspar Pückler von Groditz (d. 1584) took over the Niemodlin estate, paying a huge sum of 32 thousand thalers for a 22-year lease. This amount included a 'discount' of 6200 thalers, which the purchaser received from Emperor due to the planned cost of the castle reconstruction, since by decision of Emperor's expert, the building was wild and badly built, and the old tower was a useless heap of stones. In 1581 he decided to buy the subleased property, and then together with his son
Balthazar (d. 1591) and his wife
Polixena Necher von Buchwald (d. 1609) he established the private state of Niemodlin (Herrschaft Falkenberg). As a hereditary lord, Balthazar started at the end of the 1580s to rebuild the Gothic castle into a Renaissance style. For that purpose, he hired masters Jakob Westphal and Hans Czerre, under whose supervision the building received a new north-western wing with gate tower, a winding staircase and a brick kitchen, as well as three-storey cloisters added to residential building. Its south-western wing was also modernised, and the defence system was reinforced with bastion and a moat, where up to three hundred three-year-old carp are kept and overwintered annually.
THE TOWN AND THE CASTLE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE XVIII CENTURY, F. B. WEHRNER TOPOGRAPHIA SEU COMPENDIUM SILESIAE 1744-68
althasar Pückler did not see the end of the construction work as he died on 14 August 1591. The investment was continued by his son-in-law Weighardt Promnitz (d. 1618), thanks to whose efforts the castle was enlarged by two more wings and four turrets with staircases, resulting in the form of an elegant quadrilateral with a Renaissance arcade courtyard. However, this stylish appearance did not deprive the castle its defensive capabilities. It was protected by a moat reinforced with stones and a curtain wall with bastions, and the constant presence of its crew at the beginning of the 17th century was to be proved by defensive equipment for 23 infantry and 22 cavalrymen, listed in the inventory from 1618. The expenditure on expansion and furnishing of the palace apparently exceeded the financial possibilities of the owners, since at the time of Weighardt's death the estate was indebted to the amount of 177 thousand thalers. Some of these receivables resulted from his obligations to Ernst Poser, who in exchange for unpaid debts concluded a temporary lease agreement with caretakers of Seyfried, son of Weighardt, holding the castle until his death in 1624. At that time, he was supposed to run a robbery economy, not caring about the state of the property and withdrawing various goods from it. Assaman Nostiz, the inheritor of Ernst, continued his rule in Niemodlin until 22 April 1648, when, with the support of the local inhabitants and Opole militia, it was taken over by force by Seyfried Promnitz, Lord of Pszczyna and Wielkie Strzelce. When Seyfried died without an heirloom in 1650, the town and the castle once again became the subject of disputes and litigation between the heirs of the Posers and the heirs of the Promnitz family. The unregulated legal status of residence, but also the recently ended Thirty Years' War and the accompanying military marches, requisitions and fires made the castle in need of urgent and far-reaching renovations. Apart from the infrastructure damage, valuable castle equipment was also destroyed or stolen.
F. PAZELT'S LITHOGRAPH WITH A VIEW OF THE CASTLE FROM THE NORTH, 2ND HALF OF THE XIX CENTURY
n a year 1650, the Niemodlin estate was taken over by Seyfried Promnitz's cousin and Balthazar Pückler's grandson Bernard von Zierotin (d. 1655), but only four years later he managed to enter the castle, which had been occupied by creditors until then. After his death, the property was handed over to his son, Siegfried Erdmann, who, having reached the age of majority, made an attempt to raise the family headquarters from the fall. However, scope of work carried out on his initiative was very limited and included, above all, the renovation of interiors and decoration of the elevation in the early Baroque style. With Siegfried's death in 1708, a court dispute arose between his heirs, which ended by handing over Niemodlin to his youngest son, Franz Ludwig (d. 1731), who since 1716 has held the title of Lord on Niemodlin and Tułowice and Valašské Meziřice, Krasna and Rožnov under Radhoštĕm in Moravia. He chose Valašské Meziřici as the main seat of the family, where his work was the Baroque reconstruction of
the local old castle. He did not pay much attention to maintenance of Silesian residences, as evidenced, among other things, by the fact that the rooms of
the Tułowice palace were used to store grain. In 1731 the Niemodlin-Tułowice part of estate was inherited by Franz Ludwig's younger son, Michael von Zierotin (d. 1779). The technical condition of the castle was not so good at that time, as its managers described the bridge as very uncertain, suggesting an indispensable, necessary renovation. It is very possible that in the middle of the 18th century it was on Michael's initiative that the residence received mansard roofs, baroque window and gable decorations, as well as a new arcade bridge with baroque sculptures of saints, while the park was enriched with stylish pavilions and orangery. We also owe to him the creation of the so-called Golden Book of Niemodlin-Tułowice assets - a list of properties prepared in 1734 by Christoph Glaubitz, together with a register of residents, detailed field maps and plans, as well as the oldest iconographic representation of the castle. In 1755, after the heirless death of his older brother Franz, Michael von Zierotin incorporated the Moravian estates into his Silesian heritage and managed them until his death in 1779.
VIEW OF THE CASTLE FROM THE NORTH-WEST ON A DRAWING BY G. RASEL
COLOURED POSTCARD FROM AROUND 1900
ince Michael von Zierotin remained a bachelor until the end of his life, he made a cousin, Ludwig Anton von Zierotin (d. 1817), heir to the Moravian estate. The heir to the Silesian part was his mother's nephew, Johann Nepomuk Carl Praschma (d. 1822), a lover of literature and music, who gathered a large library in the castle of Niemodlin, organised theatre performances here and maintained a court band. In 1787, on his initiative, another reconstruction of the castle complex began, as a result of which, under supervision of the architect named Steglich, some of the Renaissance cloisters and decorative attics were removed, which corresponded to the requirements of the epoch celebrating the style based on ancient tradition. In Lipno, 3 kilometres away, Johann Nepomuk has also established a landscape park with a botanical garden, varied by leisure pavilions and romantic park architecture. The work started by his father was continued after his death by Friedrich Praschma (d. 1860), a veteran of Napoleonic Wars and an eager subject of the Prussian King
Friedrich Wilhelm IV, whom he personally hosted in 1846 at the castle in Niemodlin. He completed reconstruction of the castle courtyard; also on his initiative, in the first half of the nineteenth century, the residence was surrounded by a small English-style park, partially arranged on site of medieval moats. The heir of Friedrich was
Friedrich II Wilhelm Praschma (d. 1909), a participant in the wars with Denmark, Austria and France, where he actively engaged in samaritan services. The castle owes him a number of renovation works combined with a neo-Gothic reconstruction, which was carried out in 1869-73 under the supervision of Dresden architect Karl Pieper and decorator Heinrich Commans from Düsseldorf.
THE CASTLE COURTYARD IN THE 1920S AND NOWADAYS (2020)
fter death of Friedrich II in 1909, the eldest of his ten children,
Johannes Praschma (d. 1935), became the next heir of family fortune, as did his father, a socialist activist and participant in the political life of the Reich. He initially lived with his family in
Rogi palace, but in 1916 he moved to Niemodlin and soon afterwards commissioned another modernisation of the castle. Its main goal was to abandon the already unfashionable neo-Gothic form in favour of a style based on neo-Renaissance and neo-Baroque motifs, and it was carried out under strict conservation supervision with participation of the Wrocław architect Karl Grosser and Humbert Walcher, co-author of rebuilding of
Książ castle. The aesthetic changes of the building were accompanied by introduction of technical innovations such as electricity and central heating; as well as long-awaited waterworks, which had not been installed here before. Friedrich III Leopold Praschma (d. 2000), the last pre-war owner of the castle, tried to continue his father's restoration project. His reign lasted only a decade, of which he spent a few years in German army, visiting Niemodlin only during his holidays. In this situation, the majority of current matters related to property management and protection against administrative decisions were handled by his wife, Sophie zu Hohelohe-Schillingsfürst (d. 1981). Although she succeeded in preventing demolition of the gate building with the southern wall, planned at the end of 1941 due to the idea of widening the main communication road, the following year she had to hand over the 16th-century castle bells, confiscated by the Nazi authorities for war purposes. After the Allied air raids on Germany's largest cities began, places for various institutions and organisations were urgently sought in smaller centres such as Niemodlin. So here, in March 1944, in several castle rooms, chests belonging to the State Archives were placed, and half a year later, more rooms were adapted for the needs of the I.G. Farbenindustrie concern, which used the slave labor of concentration camp prisoners.
CASTLE FROM THE WEST, 1930S
Members of the Praschma family left Niemodlin in January 1945 and never returned, settling in Kapellen near Düsseldorf. After the Red Army entered the town, the castle was occupied for a short time by the war command and a military hospital, so that after the front was gone, the local militsiya found its headquarters here. In the farm buildings, the offices of the District Land Administration have been arranged, which was responsible for "administering" the former German land estates and their equipment, often coming from Silesian palaces and manors. At that time, the furniture, elements of decoration and equipment left by the former owners of the castle were stolen, as well as the historic rooms and the immediate surroundings of the residence were devastated. For the new authority, these were elements hostile to class and nationality, and in its opinion they did not deserve respect. In winter of 1946, the building housed a gymnasium, later transformed into a
high school. The castle chambers served as classrooms and apartments for teachers, rooms for students were placed in the outhouse, and the gym hall was adapted in the building of ...former stable. In the early 1960s, the building needed urgent renovation, but the lack of funds limited the maintenance work to necessary repair of the facade and plaster. In 1971, for security reasons, the high school was moved to new location, and the castle was handed over to local cultural institutions and to the primary school (despite the risk of a construction disaster!). However, as early as in 1978, it became the property of Penitentiary Board, which was planning to adapt the building for the school of prison staff. The only benefit for the castle in this situation was the renovation of the roof, which was carried out in the 1980s.; no school was opened here and until the fall of communism
the building was abandoned. In 1990, it was bought by a private investor, starting its renovation, which is still going on (with breaks) to this day. In 2006, the residence was owned by the Institute of Creative Work, in 2014-15 it belonged to the Italian Count (?) de Ravignani, and finally was handed over to Centrum company from Łódź.
CASTLE IN NIEMODLIN, 2020
THE SPATIAL FORM OF THE CASTLE AND ITS TRANSFORMATION
BETWEEN XIII AND THE END OF XVI CENTURY
1. half of 13th century
A stone residential tower erected on a rectangular plan with sides of 4.8x9 meters, among the pools of Ścinawa River. The lack of buttresses may suggest a small height of the building. It is surrounded by an irrigated moat.
2. half of 13th century
The existing tower is demolished and a more impressive building is erected in its place,
also in form of a residential tower, which is incorporated into the town' s defence circuit. Built on a rectangular plan with sides of 11x12.3 meters, in the lower parts made of stones and broken limestone, in the upper part probably of brick. From the north and west the walls of the tower are supported by massive buttresses, and the surrounding conical embankment and castle moat provide additional defense.
The embankment is leveled, and in its place Bolesław Niemodliński builds a
brick curtain wall, closing a 33.7x40.5 meter square. A courtyard is formed between the tower and the wall. The entrance to the castle leads through a gate probably located in the south-eastern curtain.
The stone tower is demolished. The residential functions are taken over by a
new Gothic palace, erected on the outside of existing defensive perimeter, in its south-western part. It is a three-storey brick building with four chambers on each floor, whose interiors are illuminated by small windows. The eastern part of the palace is probably occupied by a chapel, the sources also mention the so-called big hall, where political and social life of the court probably took place. From courtyard side, the building's facades are decorated with multicoloured, polychrome blends, while its corners and outer wall are supported by buttresses. The entrance to enlarged courtyard leads probably from the north-western side, in the place of today's gateway.
A renaissance rebuilding of the castle.
North-western wing is created with gate tower and brick, vaulted kitchen, and three-storey cloisters. The tower is crowned with
stylish helmet with a two-storey lantern, and its facades are decorated with sgraffito decoration. Vertical communication in new castle takes place through a spiral staircase placed inside a turret, standing in the corner of the courtyard. The bastions strengthen the existing defensive system of the building, which acquires the features typical for palazzo in fortezza objects.
HISTORICAL LAYOUT OF THE TOWN: 1. CASTLE, 2. BAILEY (HONORARY COURTYARD),
3. COLLEGIATE CHURCH, 4. MARKET SQUARE, 5. TOWN WALLS, 6. CASTLE POND
THE CASTLE IN A NIEMODLIN, THE GROUND FLOOR LAYOUT - THE OLDEST, XV-CENTURY CASTLE WALLS ARE MARKED IN BLACK:
1. TOWER WITH AN ENTRANCE TO COURTYARD, 2. NORTH-WEST WING, 3. SOUTH-WEST WING, 4. CHAPEL, 5. TOWERS - STAIRCASES, 6. CLOISTERS
THE MOST IMPORTANT CHANGES IN THE ARCHITECTURE OF THE CASTLE
FROM THE 17TH CENTURY TO THE PRESENT DAY
north-eastern wing with a chapel and a south-eastern wing with an open gallery are added to existing two wings - the castle obtains the form of a full quadrilateral. In all four corners of the courtyard, stylish
turrets with staircases are erected, which are connected by cloisters that run around it. The walls of the castle are probably plastered in white, and decorated with polychrome window frame ornaments. A curtain wall with roundels and a gate building leading to the farm courtyard are erected on the town side. A little earlier, presumably at the turn of the 16th and 17th centuries, the gate tower receives a clock mechanism and bells with inscription (translated): God, want to protect from fire and other dangers this town, its inhabitants, and those bells, that were cast on 24 September 1599.
Michael von Zierotin changes the castle's décor to Baroque: the wings gain decorative gables and mansard roofs, a new courtyard façade of the south-eastern building is created, and new window decoration appears. The old drawbridge is replaced by an arcaded stone bridge, which is decorated with
Baroque statues of saints. New farm buildings are being erected in the bailey, and an orangery is built in the garden.
Brick up the open gallery in the southeastern wing and arrange living quarters in it. The corner turrets, so far topped with an attic, are given
mansard roofs with shaped tips. Start of work aimed at a thorough transformation of immediate surroundings of the residence. Castle moats are levelled, and in their place Johann Nepomuk Carl Praschma sets up an English style park.
Cloisters in the castle courtyard are bricked up and windows are placed in their arcades. Work on the organization of the park is continued.
Friedrich II Wilhelm Praschma raises the chapel by one floor and converts it into a neo-Gothic style, and also transforms the castle interiors. The exterior elevation of the south-western wing is equipped with a terrace with an exit to the garden. The gate building also undergoes a change, which is given an eclectic appearance, and the tops of outbuildings are given mannerist forms.
Conversion of the residence into a neo-Baroque and neo-Renaissance style: the main tower, the garden terrace and the gate building receive new decoration. The arcades of the cloisters are partially exposed. Interior renovation is combined with the installation of waterworks, central heating and electricity.
Demolition of a part of the southern wall and one of the roundels due to road widening.
SOUTHWESTERN FACADE WITH A TERRACE AND NORTHWESTERN FACADE WITH A GATE TOWER IN DRAWINGS BY O. E. NOETTNER, 1913
he castle presents a type of lowland, quadrilateral residence with an inner courtyard, consisting of three high wings and a lower south-eastern building. The oldest part is here the 15th century south-western wing, whose façade was mainly architecturally formed in the early 17th century. Its austere, nine-axis front is decorated with Baroque windows and a
terrace staircase that gently goes down to the garden, while the interiors hide vaulted cellars and also a vaulted representative hall on the ground floor, probably formed in place of the Gothic Grand Hall.
The barrel vaults can also be found in the basements of the north-eastern wing, where Johann Nepomuk Carl Praschma and his wife Marianne rested in the tomb crypt. Above them rises a 17th century
chapel, whose contemporary neo-Gothic architectural form is the result of reconstruction carried out by Karl Piper in the 1870s, and the decoration is largely realization of artistic concept of decorator Franz Heinrich Commans. In its western bay there is a brick
music choir, and the walls are varied by
neo-Gothic semi-columns with unique heads decorated with plant motifs referring to the park stand. The other rooms in the castle are characterised by architectural solutions and decorations typical for later periods: Baroque, Classicism and Neo-Gothic. Communication between them on individual floors is ensured by vaulted
cloisters, whose arcade openings were partly bricked up in the 19th century and coloured glass windows were placed in them. In their original form, the cloisters have been preserved only in the ground floor of the north-western and north-eastern wing (the chapel). Vertical communication is carried out by four corner turrets with winding stairs and platforms accessible from the courtyard.
NORTH-EASTERN WING WITH CASTLE CHAPEL
GARDEN TERRACE IN THE SOUTH-WESTERN PART OF THE CASTLE
he north-western facade of the castle is accentuated by a tall
tower protruding beyond its face, with
gateway leading directly to the courtyard. It is a five-storey building, in the lower part erected on a square plan, higher octagonal, topped with a
gallery and a Renaissance helmet. A cartouche with the Praschma's coat of arms was built into the tower's elevation, slightly above the modest portal, and a clock was installed in its highest part (only its relics are left). Between them there were two small windows and a
shooting hole - proof that the Renaissance transformation of the castle was done with view to maintaining its defensive functions. A
bridge from the mid-18th century leads to the gate, formerly passed above a castle moat. It is flanked on both sides by four Baroque figures of saints: Florian - patron of firemen, Antoni of Padua - protector of marriages and travel guard, Nepomucen - patron of bridges and finally Venelin, guardian of shepherds and farmers, depicted here as a young man with curly hair and a little lamb hugging him. The residence is surrounded by a small castle park, established in the nineteenth century on the area of the 17th century garden, and on the site of buried medieval moats. Many of specimens growing here are over an age-old trees, of which the most valuable, due to their metric, size and aesthetic values, are the nearly 170-year-old Leopold oak and 400-year-old yew Iwo.
BAROQUE SCULPTURES ON THE CASTLE BRIDGE, ST. ANTONI AND ST. NEPOMUCEN
BELOW: ST. VENELIN AND ST. FLORIAN
n western and north-western part of the castle's layout, there was a large bailey, which was later transformed into a grange with two courtyards, separated in the seventeenth century by a magnificent edifice of the
outhouse. This two-storey building, supported by butresses, on the ground floor initially housed rooms of the officials managing the Niemodlin estate, while its floor served as quarters for lower-level officials and servants. In the 18th century part of the building was occupied by burgraves and land writers, later troops of various formations and armies were stationed there, and not long ago a bustling life of students took place here. The significant function of the outhouse in the past is evidenced by details and elements of decoration preserved to our times, including the entrance portal with cornice and columns, decorative tops or wooden ceilings ornamented with colorful polychrome. In its eastern section there is a gateway leading to the former northern courtyard, whose strictly economic character was emphasized by smaller buildings of various purposes (brewery, distillery, slaughterhouse, etc.), all of which were made of wood and clay. A slightly different, more sophisticated style characterized the space organized around honorary courtyard, located in the southern part of the bailey. A representative driveway to the castle was leading here, starting from an elegant gate building with decorative portals and a round tower equipped with a staircase. The courtyard is closed from the west and from the east by old farm buildings (guard's quarters, stables, coach houses, garages) decorated with basalt stone and clinker brick, and the whole is completed from the north by previously mentioned manor outhouse. The gateway was integrated into the stone and brick wall, the remains of which were preserved at entrance to the market square.
(UNREALIZED) PROJECT OF GATE BUILDING RECONSTRUCTION, 1862
everal decades of post-war stagnation, followed by often changing private owners, made the castle, although almost complete, requiring urgent investment. There is a historical
window stonemasonry and portals preserved from its former architectural ornament, and some of the interior decorations (stucco, Renaissance fireplace, vault ornaments), as well as
fragments of sgraffite decorations of the exterior elevation, unfortunately largely erased by the time and destroying forces of nature. The lack of proper care of the building has particularly severely affected the condition of the garden terrace and the stability of the castle ceilings,
which partially collapsed. Despite the negligence visible at every turn, let's just hope that thanks to the engagement of the new owner, the castle with its closest surroundings will regain at least part of its pre-war charm. The first significant step towards this goal was, co-financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, the
replacement of roof covering, consisting of 120 thousand tiles. The nearest plans are also to replace the woodwork, including all windows, and to renovate the facade.
VIEW OF THE CASTLE FROM THE SOUTH
RENAISSANCE PORTAL AND STONE BENCHES AT THE ENTRANCE TO THE CASTLE COURTYARD
he castle is open for tourists. Accompanied by a guide, the visitors can explore a
neo-Gothic chapel with 19th century painting decorations and remnants of the original equipment: wooden spiral stairs, a stone baptismal font and epitaphs commemorating the former owners of Niemodlin. Large castle cellars contain a
grave crypt, where the bodies of Johann Nepomuk Carl Praschma and his wife Marianna are buried in concrete sarcophagi. An
exhibition of 18th-20th century icons, coming from Russia, Greece and the Balkans, and today owned by the local foundation, is also organized here. In the other part of the cellars there is an executioner's workshop, or rather a
contemporary interpretation of former torture chamber, as well as a place called a
winery. The living areas are represented, among others, by stylish rooms of the southwestern wing, including a parade
neo-Gothic lounge and a
white lounge, unfortunately requiring urgent intervention - otherwise it will collapse. Leaving the castle walls it is worth to stop by the bridge over the former moat. For several centuries, there have been four saints standing here at the post: Florian, Nepomucen, Antoni and Venelin, which are one of the most valuable baroque park sculptures in Silesia. Finally, I must mention the
fallow deer living half-wild in the surrounding park, whose presence here is a reference to the tradition of pre-war castle menagerie.
Castle in Niemodlin
Rynek 55, 49-100 Niemodlin
tel. 608 090 840
The picturesque scenery of the castle was used in 2005 by
Jan Jakub Kolski, who placed the main action of his movie Jasminum within the walls of this historical residence. The story presented in the movie takes place in the small town of Jaśminów (Głogówek was used as an open-air stage) and a monastery located in its vicinity (Niemodlin castle), inhabited by Superior of the Order, Father Kleofas (Adam Ferency), Brother Zdrówko (Health,
Janusz Gajos), responsible for preparing meals and taking care of animals, and three eccentric hermits: Czeremcha (Bird cherry tree,
Krzysztof Pieczyński), Śliwa (Plum tree,
Grzegorz Damięcki) and Czereśnia (Cherry tree,
Dariusz Juzyszyn). The monks are characterized by an extraordinary gift of emitting the scents of the trees from which they took their names. These scents have magical power, which makes them an object of desire among the community of the town. The calm, orderly rhythm of the monastery's everyday life one day is disturbed by the appearance of Natasza (Grażyna Błęcka-Kolska), the conservator of old paintings, together with her resolute daughter Gienia. While studying monastic legends, Natasza finds the key to the fragrance - an aphrodisiac, helping the local hairdresser to win the heart of famous actor Zeman (played by
At the Gdynia Festival the film received the Golden Lions Award for its scenography and the Silver Screen Audience Award. He was also honoured with seven Eagles - awards of the Polish Film Academy.
A YOUNG FALLOW DEER POSING ON THE BACKGROUND OF THE CASTLE CHAPEL
he castle is located in the northeastern part of the old town, near the national road no. 46 leading from Opole to Nysa. The best way to park your car is at the Market Square (Rynek), where you are only a few dozen meters from the entrance gate.
1. F. Idzikowski: Opole - dzieje miasta do 1886 roku, Opole 2002
2. L. Kajzer, J. Salm, S. Kołodziejski: Leksykon zamków w Polsce, Arkady 2001
3. W. Kawka: Murowane wieże na zamkach księstwa opolsko-raciborskiego..., UJ 2014
4. A. Paszkowska-Witkowska: Zamek w Niemodlinie - dzieje i architektura, NTR 2018
5. A. Wagner: Murowane budowle obronne w Polsce X-XVIIw., Bellona 2019
6. advertising brochures issued by Niemodlin castle
Tułowice - medieval knight's castle, now a neo-Renaissance palace from 19th century, 6 km
Dąbrowa - Renaissance noble castle from 17th century, 12 km
Kantorowice - castle of the dukes of Brzeg from 16th/17th century, 16 km Opole Ostrówek - Piast Tower from 13th century, 25 km
Prószków - the castle of the nobility from 16th century, 25 km Opole Górka - relics of duke's castle from 14th century, 26 km
Chrzelice - the ruins of duke's castle from 14th century, 29 km
Moszna - eclectic palace from 19th century, 32 km Krapkowice - the castle of the nobility from 17th century, 38 km Krapkowice Otmęt - the ruins of knight's castle from 14th/16th century, 39 km
Przeworno - Renaissance castle from 16th century, 39 km