HOME PAGE

EUROPEAN CASTLES

GALLERY

MAPS

GUESTBOOK

BIBLIOGRAPHY

CONTACT ME
BARANÓW SANDOMIERSKI

BARCIANY

BARDO ŚLĄSKIE

BĄKOWA GÓRA

BESIEKIERY

BĘDZIN

BIERUTÓW

BIESTRZYKÓW

BOBOLICE

BOBROWNIKI

BODZENTYN

BOLESTRASZYCE

BOLKÓW

BORYSŁAWICE ZAMKOWE

BROCHÓW

BRODNICA

BRZEG

BUKOWIEC

BYDLIN

BYSTRZYCA KŁODZKA

CHĘCINY

CHOJNICA

CHOJNIK

CIECHANÓW

CIESZÓW

CIESZYN

CZARNY BÓR

CZERNA

CZERNINA

CZERSK

CZĘSTOCHOWA

CZOCHA

CZORSZTYN

DĄBRÓWNO

DRZEWICA

DZIAŁDOWO

DZIERZGOŃ

FREDROPOL (KORMANICE)

GDAŃSK

GIŻYCKO

GLIWICE

GŁOGÓW

GNIEW

GNIEWOSZÓW Z.SZCZERBA

GOLUB-DOBRZYŃ

GOŁAŃCZ

GOLCZEWO

GOŁUCHÓW

GOŚCISZÓW

GÓRA

GRODZIEC

GRÓDEK

GRUDZIĄDZ

GRZĘDY

GRZMIĄCA z.ROGOWIEC

INOWŁÓDZ

JANOWICE WIELKIE z.BOLCZÓW

JANOWIEC

JAWOR

JEZIORO GÓRECKIE

KAMIENIEC ZĄBKOWICKI

KAMIENNA GÓRA

KARPNIKI

KAZIMIERZ DOLNY

KĘTRZYN

KĘTRZYN - KOŚCIÓŁ

KIELCE

KLICZKÓW

KŁODZKO

KOŁO

KONARY

KONIN-GOSŁAWICE

KORZKIEW

KOWALEWO POMORSKIE

KOŹMIN WLKP.

KÓRNIK

KRAKÓW

KRAPKOWICE

KRAPKOWICE - OTMĘT

KRASICZYN

KRĘPCEWO

KRUSZWICA

KRZYŻNA GÓRA

KRZYŻTOPÓR

KSIĄŻ WIELKI

KUROZWĘKI

KWIDZYN

LEGNICA

LIDZBARK WARMIŃSKI

LIPA

LUBIN

LUTOMIERSK

ŁAGÓW

ŁĘCZYCA

ŁOWICZ

MAJKOWICE

MALBORK

MAŁA NIESZAWKA

MIĘDZYLESIE

MIĘDZYRZECZ

MIRÓW

MOKRSKO

MOSZNA

MSTÓW

MUSZYNA

MYŚLENICE

NAMYSŁÓW

NIEDZICA

NIDZICA

NIEMCZA

NIEPOŁOMICE

NOWY SĄCZ

NOWY WIŚNICZ

ODRZYKOŃ

OGRODZIENIEC (PODZAMCZE)

OJCÓW

OLEŚNICA

OLSZTYN (JURA)

OLSZTYN (WARMIA)

OLSZTYNEK

OŁAWA

OŁDRZYCHOWICE KŁODZKIE

OPOCZNO

OPOLE GÓRKA

OPOLE OSTRÓWEK

OPORÓW

OSSOLIN

OSTRĘŻNIK

OSTRÓDA

OSTRÓW LEDNICKI

OTMUCHÓW

PABIANICE

PANKÓW

PASTUCHÓW

PIESKOWA SKAŁA

PIOTRKÓW TRYBUNALSKI

PIOTRKÓW-BYKI

PIOTROWICE ŚWIDNICKIE

PŁAKOWICE

PŁOCK

PŁONINA

PŁOTY

PODZAMCZE z.OGRODZIENIEC

PODZAMCZE PIEKOSZOWSKIE

POKRZYWNO

POŁCZYN-ZDRÓJ

POZNAŃ

PRABUTY

PROCHOWICE

PROSZÓWKA z.GRYF

PRZEMYŚL

PRZEWODZISZOWICE

PSZCZYNA

PYZDRY

RABSZTYN

RACIĄŻEK

RADŁÓWKA

RADOM

RADZIKI DUŻE

RADZYŃ CHEŁMIŃSKI

RAJSKO

RAKOWICE WIELKIE

RATNO DOLNE

RAWA MAZOWIECKA

RESKO

ROGÓW OPOLSKI

ROŻNÓW ZAMEK DOLNY

ROŻNÓW ZAMEK GÓRNY

RYBNICA

RYBNICA LEŚNA

RYCZÓW

RYDZYNA

RYTWIANY

RZĄSINY

SANDOMIERZ

SANOK

SIEDLĘCIN

SIEDLISKO

SIERADZ

SIERAKÓW

SIEWIERZ

SMOLEŃ

SOBKÓW

SOBOTA

SOCHACZEW

SOSNOWIEC

SREBRNA GÓRA

STARA KAMIENICA

STARE DRAWSKO

STARY SĄCZ

STRZELCE OPOLSKIE

SULEJÓW

SZAMOTUŁY

SZCZECIN

SZTUM

SZUBIN

SZYDŁÓW

SZYMBARK

ŚCINAWKA GÓRNA

ŚWIDWIN

ŚWIEBODZIN

ŚWIECIE n.WISŁĄ

ŚWIECIE k.LEŚNEJ

ŚWINY

TORUŃ

TORUŃ z.DYBÓW

TUCZNO

TYNIEC

UDÓRZ

UJAZD k.TOMASZOWA

UJAZD KRZYŻTOPÓR

UNIEJÓW

URAZ

WAŁBRZYCH z.KSIĄŻ

WAŁBRZYCH z.STARY KSIĄŻ

WAŁBRZYCH z.NOWY DWÓR

WARSZAWA z.KRÓLEWSKI

WARSZAWA z.UJAZDOWSKI

WĄBRZEŹNO

WENECJA

WĘGIERKA

WĘGORZEWO

WIELICZKA

WIELKA WIEŚ

WIERZBNA

WITKÓW

WLEŃ

WOJNOWICE

WOJSŁAWICE

WROCŁAW

WROCŁAW LEŚNICA

WYSZYNA

ZAGÓRZ

ZAGÓRZE ŚLĄSKIE

ZAŁUŻ

ZĄBKOWICE ŚLĄSKIE

ZBĄSZYŃ

ZŁOTORIA k.TORUNIA

ŹRÓDŁA

ŻAGAŃ

ŻARY

ŻELAZNO

ŻMIGRÓD


IMG BORDER=1 style=

THE TOWER IN SIEDLECIN, VIEW FROM THE SOUTH



he massive silhouette of the Go­thic to­wer in lit­tle Sie­dle­cin vil­la­ge has al­re­ady be­co­me a per­ma­nent fe­atu­re of the West­ern Su­de­ten­land his­to­ri­cal ar­chi­te­ctu­re. Its ex­cel­lent con­di­tion and uni­que cha­ra­cter of the wall paint­ings de­co­ra­ting its in­ter­ior ma­ke it one of the most re­co­gni­za­ble e­le­ments of the his­to­ri­cal le­ga­cy of Je­le­nia Gó­ra re­gion and its most im­por­tant tou­rist at­tra­ctions. De­spi­te the pro­ven con­ne­ction with the Prin­ces of Swid­ni­ca and Ja­wor, this Don­jon is of­ten de­scri­bed as a buil­ding ini­tia­ti­ve of knight­ly fa­mi­lies, which is not true. The foun­der and first ow­ner of the to­wer was un­doub­te­dly Prin­ce Hen­ry I Ja­wor­ski (d. 1346), who ere­cted it after 1313, pre­su­ma­bly in or­der to con­trol the tra­de rou­te le­ading from Je­le­nia Gó­ra to Wlen and Lwó­wek. Per­haps the strong­hold ini­tial­ly al­so ser­ved as a prin­ce's hun­ting court. After Hen­ry's death, Sie­dle­cin be­ca­me the pro­per­ty of his nep­hew, Bol­ko II (d. 1368), and then ca­me un­der the ru­le of Agnie­szka Hab­sburg (d. 1392), a wi­dow-du­chess and li­fe­long ru­ler of the Swid­ni­ca-Ja­wor Sta­te. The ol­dest sur­vi­ving e­vi­den­ce that the to­wer was hand­ed o­ver to pri­va­te hands is le­ga­cy of Agnie­szka, who at the be­gin­ning of her suc­ces­sion ga­ve the right of lo­wer and hi­gher ju­ri­sdi­ction in small and lar­ge Sie­dle­cin to knight Jen­chin von Re­dern. On­ly from now on we can talk a­bout the to­wer as a knight's pro­per­ty, and the new host can be iden­ti­fied with as a court­ier of Bol­ko II and the al­le­ged bur­gra­ve of Wlen cas­tle.


IMG BORDER=1 style=

VIEW FROM THE SOUTHEAST, IN THE FOREGROUND A LATE BAROQUE MANSION FROM THE XVIII CENTURY



The origins of the village are lost in the darkness of history, be­cau­se it is not known when it was foun­ded and who was its first ow­ner. At pre­sent, the pre­vai­ling o­pi­nion is that it was lo­ca­ted in the 13th cen­tu­ry by a man cal­led Rud­ger, from who­se na­me the vil­la­ge of Rud­ger­sdorf was ta­ken. Over ti­me, the term e­vol­ved and in 1369 the vil­la­ge was cal­led Ru­di­ger­sdorf. In the se­cond half of the fif­teenth cen­tu­ry, the na­me was shor­te­ned to Ru­er­sdorf, and to di­stin­guish it from Re­dzi­ny ne­ar Ka­mien­na Gó­ra and Skarb­ków on the Ri­ver Kwi­sa, it re­cei­ved a pre­fix on the Bóbr Ri­ver, thanks to which in 1668 the vil­la­ge was al­re­ady lis­ted as Bo­ber­rohr­sdorff, and in 1687 as Bo­ber-Rohr­sdorff. In 1945, the Ger­man na­ming was po­lo­ni­zed on Bo­bro­wi­ce, then brief­ly a­do­pted the form of Bo­ro­wi­ce and So­bie­cin. The na­me Sie­dle­cin is le­gal­ly bin­ding from 16 De­cem­ber 1946.



IMG BORDER=1 style=

LATE BAROQUE MANOR HOUSE FROM THE 18TH CENTURY STANDS IN PLACE OF A MEDIEVAL GATE


t the end of the 14th century the ow­ner of Sie­dle­cin was Hans (Han­nos) von Re­dern, pro­ba­bly Jen­chin's son. After his death, the vil­la­ge was han­ded o­ver to his bro­ther Hein­tze von Re­dern, court jud­ge in Bo­le­sla­wiec, and the­re is no con­sen­sus as to whe­ther the a­fo­re­men­tio­ned Hein­tze was the so­le ow­ner of the ca­stle or whe­ther he sha­red the rights to it with his bro­ther Tris­tan. After 1409, the lord of Sie­dle­cin was Hans von Nimptsch, fol­lo­wed by Strze­gom bur­gra­ve Ha­schke von Schel­len­dorff, who in 1437 sold his e­sta­te and the vil­la­ge Ru­di­ger­sdorff in Je­le­nia Gó­ra dis­trict to Han­nos We­sen and his suc­ces­sors for per­pe­tu­al and he­re­di­ta­ry pos­ses­sion, na­me­ly a farm­ste­ad with mills, ponds and fo­rest and all the ad­ja­cent a­re­as. In 1450 or 1451, the e­sta­te was in­he­ri­ted by bro­thers Nic­kel, Han­nus and Jo­seph We­sen, the lat­ter of whom a­greed that his sha­re of e­sta­te should be paid in mo­ney. Nic­kel and Jo­speh had their parts for a ye­ar, after which Nic­kel could no lon­ger main­tain the ca­stle. He first of­fe­red it to the Lie­ben­tals from Pod­gó­rzyn, who we­re not in­te­res­ted in buy­ing it, so he sold it to his un­cle Han­nus Sle­gil (Hans von Zed­litz cal­led Sle­gil), who, ho­we­ver, wan­ted to know first whe­ther he would get the right to pa­stu­re the sheep, ac­cor­ding to the right that Mr. Han­nus von Ra­de had. The tran­sa­ction took pla­ce in 1452, but two ye­ars la­ter bro­thers Hans and Adam von Zed­litz sold the ca­stle to Hein­cze von Nimptsch who in 1477 be­que­athed it to his wi­fe Hed­wig. With a short bre­ak, Sie­dle­cin re­mai­ned in the hands of this fa­mi­ly un­til the 1620s.


THE TOWER IN THE DRAWING BY R. DRESCHER FROM 1885


tarting from 1545, Georg von Seidlitz kept the e­sta­te as pled­ge or pro­per­ty, who in 1561 sold and han­ded o­ver his ca­stle to Hein­rich Nimptsch for per­pe­tu­al and he­re­di­ta­ry pos­ses­sion with rents, hig­her and lo­wer ju­ris­dic­tion, a pas­tu­re pond and rights in ac­cor­dan­ce with old do­cu­ment. The to­wer bur­ned down in 1575 in un­known cir­cum­stan­ces, but was soon re­built, with chan­ges in the form and fun­ction of so­me of its com­po­nents: new win­dows we­re ma­de, blanks we­re bric­ked up on the top floor, al­so the en­ti­re buil­ding was co­ve­red with a new roof. In 1622 Frie­drich von Nimptsch sold the lo­wer part of vil­la­ge with the ca­stle to Prin­ce Geo­rg Ru­dolph (d. 1653) for 62,000 tha­lers. The to­wer be­came the prin­ce's pro­per­ty a­gain, which cer­tain­ly in­flu­en­ced the chan­ge of its de­co­ra­tion, which was ma­de in the first half of the 17th cen­tu­ry on the ini­tia­ti­ve of Ge­org Ru­dolph, and la­ter his ne­phew Chris­tian (d. 1672), the ow­ner of Sie­dle­cin in the ye­ars 1630-53. The gran­ge with the ca­stle was ac­qui­red from Leg­ni­ca ru­lers in the mid­dle of the 17th cen­tu­ry by their re­la­ti­ve Chris­toph Le­opold von Schaff­gotsch (d. 1703) and from then on, un­til the end of World War II, the esta­te re­mai­ned in the hands of this no­ble fa­mi­ly. The Schaff­gotschs ex­ten­ded the ma­nor buil­dings stan­ding in the im­me­dia­te vi­ci­ni­ty of the don­jon, which for­ced a part­ial li­qui­da­tion of me­die­val moat, which was no lon­ger re­le­vant in the 18th cen­tu­ry. The to­wer it­self, ho­we­ver, stop­ped its re­si­den­tial fun­ction be­fo­re 1800, when the ad­ja­cent wall was de­mo­li­shed and a­fter a­da­pta­tion to the gra­na­ry it was in­cor­po­ra­ted in­to the com­plex of ma­nor buil­dings. The al­re­ady faint but still re­ada­ble out­li­ne of me­die­val foun­da­tion was fi­nal­ly wi­ped off a­round 1840, when re­mains of de­fen­si­ve wall we­re de­mo­li­shed and re­mains of the mo­at in the sout­hern part of the ca­stle we­re bur­ied.


COLOURED PHOTOGRAPH FROM AROUND 1890


n 1887, the tax inspector from Jelenia Góra, Wil­helm Klo­se, ma­de a sen­sa­tio­nal dis­co­ve­ry, fin­ding un­der a thick la­yer of pla­ster a me­die­val po­ly­chro­my de­co­ra­ting the walls of the room in the third sto­rey, then mis­ta­ken­ly in­ter­pre­ted as fres­cos de­pic­ting the his­to­ry of Iwajn. De­spi­te this, the Go­thic buil­ding was not yet a tour­ist at­tra­ction at that ti­me, as evi­den­ced by press re­ports from a stay in the vil­la­ge of Duch­ess Char­lot­te von Sach­sen-Mei­nin­gen, who vi­si­ted the lo­cal Evan­ge­li­cal pa­rish in 1899, igno­ring the to­wer and paint­ings de­co­ra­ting it. The first ar­cha­eolo­gi­cal works we­re car­ried out at the ca­stle in 1936 when, un­der the su­per­vi­sion of ar­tist Jo­hann Dro­bek, the his­to­ri­cal fres­co­es we­re re­pain­ted, as it la­ter turn­ed out, con­tai­ning ma­ny mis­ta­kes, as a re­sult of which the sto­ry told through them was ini­tial­ly in­ter­pre­ted as a re­pre­sen­ta­tion of Cis­ter­cian Abbey Foun­da­tion in Krze­szów. Du­ring the Se­cond World War, in the buil­ding of the to­wer the­re was a sto­re­hou­se of col­le­ctions from the Wro­claw Mu­se­um of Crafts and An­cient His­to­ry, Bo­ta­ni­cal In­sti­tu­te of Uni­ver­si­ty of Wro­claw, as well as va­lu­able prints and ma­nu­scripts trans­fer­red he­re from the von Schaff­gotsch li­bra­ry in Cie­pli­ce. In the sum­mer of 1945, the­se col­lec­tions we­re ta­ken to mu­se­ums in Cen­tral Po­land and Wro­claw, and a tem­po­ra­ry field hos­pi­tal was set up in a me­die­val don­jon. In the ear­ly 1950s, after the for­mer ma­nor farm was ta­ken o­ver by kol­khoz, the ma­nor buil­dings we­re a­dap­ted to ac­com­mo­da­te em­plo­yees, and the to­wer was un­der pa­tro­na­ge of the lo­cal branch of the tou­rist so­cie­ty. When, after the fall of com­mu­nism, the mo­nu­ment be­ca­me the pro­per­ty of Je­zów Su­de­cki Mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty, it was ta­ken o­ver by the So­cie­ty of Friends of Sie­dle­cin with the am­bi­tious goal of cre­ating he­re an Eu­ro­re­gio­nal Cul­tu­ral Cen­tre for Court and Knights. This in­te­re­sting idea, ho­we­ver, quick­ly fa­ded a­way, which was main­ly due to a small fi­re at the Court Song Fes­ti­val in 1998. Sin­ce 2001 the to­wer has been own­ed by Chu­dów Ca­stle Foun­da­tion.


VIEW FROM THE NORTHEAST, 1930S



RESIDENTIAL TOWERS

They first appeared in Fran­ce in the 10th cen­tu­ry, whe­re as a re­sult of the Nor­man in­va­sion, the pro­cess of for­ming for­ti­fied set­tle­ments in­ten­si­fied. Ini­tial­ly, the­se buil­dings we­re ma­de of wood, most of­ten as a co­ni­cal strong­holds sur­roun­ded by a trench and a pa­li­sa­de. Brick stru­ctu­res in sout­hern and west­ern Eu­ro­pe­an coun­tries be­gan to be e­rec­ted in 12th cen­tu­ry. Their spa­tial ar­ran­ge­ment was qui­te sim­ple and u­su­al­ly con­sis­ted of three or four sto­reys, co­ve­red with wood­en cei­lings, whe­re com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween them was ini­tial­ly pro­vi­ded by ex­ter­nal stairs, and la­ter - built-in stair­ca­ses. Such to­wers we­re built by both ru­lers and rich knights, which was not on­ly to en­su­re se­cu­ri­ty, but al­so to em­pha­si­se the high so­cial and pro­per­ty sta­tus of their found­ers. They ap­pe­ared in Si­le­sia in the first half of the 13th cen­tu­ry, first as du­cal in­vest­ments at the ca­pi­tal cas­tles in Os­trów Tum­ski in Wro­claw and Ostró­wek in Opo­le (no lon­ger exis­ting to­day). About 30 re­si­den­tial to­wers ha­ve sur­vi­ved to our ti­mes in this a­rea, among them the best pre­ser­ved ob­jects in Bies­trzy­ków, Cie­plo­wo­dy, Swi­ny, Pa­stu­chów, Se­dzi­szo­wa, Ra­ko­wi­ce, Wit­ków and Ze­la­zno (on the pho­to).



VIEW FROM THE WEST, FROM THE BANK OF THE RIVER BÓBR, PHOTO FROM THE 1930S



he tower was built on a small artificial mound and sur­roun­ded by a moat fed by the wa­ters of the Bóbr Ri­ver. It was ma­de of sto­ne on the plan of a re­ctan­gle me­asu­ring a­bout 15x22 me­ters, gi­ving the buil­ding the form of a cu­bo­idal stru­ctu­re cha­ra­cte­ri­zed by walls with a thick­ness of 3 me­ters at ground le­vel and de­cre­asing pro­por­tio­nal­ly at hig­her le­vels. Ini­tial­ly, it was a four-sto­rey buil­ding with blan­ke­ted plat­form, rai­sed after 1575, so that the height of the buil­ding to­ge­ther with the roof re­ached 33 met­res. Much earl­ier, be­cau­se in the first half of the fif­teenth cen­tu­ry, the in­ter­wall a­round the to­wer was fil­led with rub­ble and soil, which cau­sed the o­ri­gi­nal ground floor to be­co­me a cel­lar floor. At that ti­me the­re was pro­ba­bly al­re­ady a doub­le sy­stem of for­ti­fi­ca­tions con­sis­ting of a hor­se­shoe-sha­ped wall clo­sing the spa­ce from the south and a se­cond, full cir­cuit run­ning a­bout 2.5 me­ters from the to­wer. Pre­su­ma­bly, in the 16th cen­tu­ry the buil­ding of the o­ri­gi­nal ma­nor hou­se was ad­ded to it, which a­fter 1653 was ex­ten­ded to the east. It was gi­ven its cur­rent sha­pe at the end of the 18th or the be­gin­ning of the 19th cen­tu­ry, when the buil­ding was rai­sed by one floor and co­ve­red with a dor­mer­shed roof. Pro­ba­bly as part of the sa­me in­ves­tment, the link be­tween the to­wer and the ma­nor hou­se was en­lar­ged and the west­ern buil­ding clo­sing the in­ner court­yard was e­rec­ted. In the 18th cen­tu­ry, the wood­en brid­ge was re­pla­ced by a sto­ne brid­ge, 13 met­res long and 2.5 met­res wi­de, the re­mains of which are ex­po­sed in the sout­hern part of the cas­tle.



he individual floors of the tower, with the ex­cep­tion of the la­ter cel­lars, are se­pa­ra­ted from each ot­her by wood­en be­am cei­lings, and com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween them is en­su­red by in­ter­nal stairs. Its la­yout is ty­pi­cal for the me­die­val tra­di­tion of mi­li­ta­ry ar­chi­te­ctu­re: uti­li­ty ground floor, 2-3 re­si­den­tial floors and up­per mi­li­ta­ry le­vel. The ba­se­ments of the to­wer we­re o­ri­gi­nal­ly al­so co­ve­red with cei­lings, and their con­tem­po­ra­ry sty­le is pro­ba­bly the re­sult of 15th cen­tu­ry re­con­stru­ction. Cur­ren­tly, they con­sist of two bar­rel vaul­ted cham­bers and a nar­row cor­ri­dor con­nec­ting them. The­se rooms we­re fi­ni­shed with floors ma­de of sto­ne pla­tes, mo­re­over, the east­ern cham­ber was e­quip­ped with ben­ches with a cha­ra­cte­ris­tic groove (for wa­ter?), who­se pur­po­se could not be cle­ar­ly de­fi­ned. The two-cham­ber ground floor was o­ri­gi­nal­ly wit­hout re­ces­sed win­dows and con­sis­ted of two or three cham­bers di­vi­ded by wood­en walls. This way le­ads the en­tran­ce from the in­ner court­yard, de­co­ra­ted with a sharp-ar­ched Got­hic por­tal and se­cu­red with wrought-iron doors bloc­ked by al­ter­na­te­ly ar­ran­ged wood­en be­ams, pro­ba­bly da­ted to the se­cond half of the 14th cen­tu­ry. The e­xis­ting ground floor par­ti­tion wall do­es not co­me from the to­wer's con­stru­ction pe­riod and was pro­ba­bly e­rec­ted du­ring the re­no­va­tion a­fter the fi­re of 1575, when we­ake­ned cei­lings we­re re­in­for­ced on the low­er floors with ad­di­tio­nal lo­ad-be­aring con­stru­ction e­le­ments. At that ti­me al­so lar­ger win­dows we­re ma­de, be­cau­se un­til now this le­vel was il­lu­mi­na­ted on­ly by nar­row slot win­dows. Com­mu­ni­ca­tion with the first floor was pro­vi­ded by a lad­der stair­ca­se lo­ca­ted in front of the en­tran­ce to the to­wer, which was la­ter re­pla­ced by a stair­ca­se run­ning by the sout­hern wall to the left of the en­tran­ce door.


CELLARS OF THE TOWER: 1. EASTERN CELLAR,
2. WESTERN CELLAR, 3. CORRIDOR

GROUND FLOOR: 1. EASTERN CHAMBER, 2. WESTERN CHAMBER, 3. ORIGINAL PARTITIONS, 4. XVI CENTURY PARTITION WALL, 5. ORIGINAL STAIRCASE LOCATION, 6. CURRENT STAIRCASE LAYOUT


IMG BORDER=1 style=

THE ENTRANCE HALLWAY ON THE GROUND FLOOR, ON THE RIGHT THE STAIRCASE LEADING TO THE FIRST FLOOR


IMG BORDER=1 style=

GROUND FLOOR EASTERN CHAMBER


he next three storeys had a re­si­den­tial cha­rac­ter and the mid­dle one al­so had re­pre­sen­ta­ti­ve fun­ctions. The first floor of the to­wer, co­ve­red with a fir tree cei­ling, con­sists of two rooms di­vi­ded by a wood­en wall e­rec­ted in 1532 and e­quip­ped with he­ating de­vi­ces co­ming from the sa­me pe­riod: fi­re­pla­ce in the west room and a ti­led sto­ve in the east room. The la­tri­ne bay, fix­ed to the nort­hern wall of the west­ern cham­ber, is pro­ba­bly al­so the re­sult of con­stru­ction works car­ried out in the first half of the 16th cen­tu­ry, so it do­es not be­long to the o­ri­gin­al e­quip­ment of the to­wer. The pain­ting de­pic­ting the Vir­gin Ma­ry and Child, frag­ments of which we­re dis­co­ve­red in the east room, has a me­die­val o­ri­gin, which may in­di­ca­te that this room ser­ved as the own­ers' cha­pel in the 15th cen­tu­ry. The se­cond floor of the to­wer, now sin­gle spa­ce, used to be di­vi­ded in­to three rooms: The Gre­at Hall, a li­ving room, the so-cal­led warm room, and a small sa­ni­ta­ry room e­quip­ped with a sto­ne u­ri­nal or a gut­ter for spil­ling wa­ste. Re­pre­sen­ta­ti­ve fun­ctions we­re per­for­med by the Gre­at Hall, which was a pla­ce of meet­ings, fe­asts and a guest cham­ber. We­apons we­re al­so sto­red the­re as an at­tri­bu­te of the knight­ly sta­te or in ca­se of at­tack. This cham­ber is e­quip­ped with lar­ger win­dows with wi­de re­ces­ses with se­at­ing pla­ces, the so-cal­led se­dil­ias, and wall paint­ings ma­de in al sec­co tech­niq­ue, de­pic­ting sce­nes of the knight's mo­tif. The stair­ca­se le­ading to the Gre­at Hall u­sed to be in­stal­led cen­tral­ly and look­ed di­rect­ly at the ima­ge of St. Chris­to­pher in the sout­hern wall. They are cur­rent­ly lo­ca­ted in the north-west cor­ner of the buil­ding. It is worth no­ting that a si­gni­fi­cant part of the cei­lings of this and ad­ja­cent floors was ma­de of wood which was cut down in 1313 and 1314, i.e. from the ti­me the to­wer was built by Prin­ce Hen­ry I.


THE FIRST FLOOR: 1. EASTERN CHAMBER, 2. WESTERN CHAMBER,
3. FIREPLACE, 4. PARTITION WALL, 5. STAIRS LEADING TO THE GROUND
FLOOR, 6. STAIRS LEADING TO 2ND FLOOR, 7. LATRINE BAY

SECOND FLOOR: 1.STAIRS LEADING TO THE 1ST FLOOR,
2. STAIRS LEADING TO THE 3RD FLOOR, 3. F. GREAT HALL,
4. F. WARM ROOM, 5. F. SANITARY ROOM,
6. SEDILIAS, 7. LATRINE BAYS


IMG BORDER=1 style=

WEST CHAMBER ON THE 1ST FLOOR: XVI-CENTURY WOODEN PARTITION WALL ON THE RIGHT, FIREPLACE IN THE DISTANCE


IMG BORDER=1 style=

2ND FLOOR OF THE TOWER WITH BEAUTIFUL POLYCHROME ON THE SOUTHERN WALL,
IN THE RECESS OF THE NORTHERN WINDOW THE COAT OF ARMS OF THE VON ZEDLITZ FAMILY IS VISIBLE


he third floor, now also single-space, used to be di­vi­ded in­to se­ve­ral se­pa­ra­te rooms whe­re the pri­va­te li­fe of the cas­tle ow­ners took pla­ce. This sto­rey is hig­her than the ot­hers, mo­re­over, ef­fect of spa­cious­ness is in­ten­si­fied by the lar­ge a­mount of light en­te­ring through six big win­dows. It may be that the walls are al­so de­co­ra­ted he­re with be­au­ti­ful po­ly­chro­my hid­den un­der the pla­ster, but due to lack of funds for fur­ther re­se­arch, this hy­po­the­sis has not yet been con­fir­med by the facts. The stairs le­ading to both the se­cond floor and the at­tic we­re ma­de in the 16th cen­tu­ry, and their cour­se do­es not cor­res­pond to the o­ri­gi­nal 14th cen­tu­ry com­mu­ni­ca­tion sys­tem of this part of the to­wer. Al­though this room re­mains em­pty to­day, it is worth look­ing at the pla­ster­work of its east­ern wall, whe­re to the right of the win­dow the­re is an in­scrip­tion with Mar­tin 1644. The last sto­rey of the buil­ding is the at­tic, who­se cur­rent form was sha­ped in the 16th cen­tu­ry by de­ve­lop­ment of a Got­hic guard porch. Earl­ier the­re was a de­fen­si­ve pa­ve­ment a­bout 1 me­ter wi­de, pro­tec­ted by a wall top­ped with a cre­nel­la­tion. After 1575, the mi­li­ta­ry cha­ra­cter of this floor was a­ban­do­ned, and after the win­dows we­re in­stal­led, it was a­dap­ted to a wa­re­hou­se. The at­tic was u­sed as a wa­re­hou­se un­til the end of the Se­cond World War, and still in 1952 the­re was a turn­sti­le with a cra­ne for trans­por­ting goods. The en­ti­re buil­ding is co­ve­red by a hip­ped fir and spru­ce roof from 1576.


IMG BORDER=1 style=

3RD FLOOR OF THE TOWER


IMG BORDER=1 style=

IN THE ATTIC



he tower in Siedlecin is the best pre­ser­ved buil­ding of this ty­pe in Po­land and one of the most in­te­res­ting in this part of Eu­ro­pe. Its u­niq­ue­ness is de­ter­mi­ned pri­ma­ri­ly by its ex­cep­tio­nal po­ly­chro­mes, al­though not on­ly - the buil­ding has un­der­go­ne ex­ten­si­ve con­stru­ction work on­ly on­ce in its en­ti­re his­to­ry, so it pre­sents an al­most o­ri­gi­nal form gi­ven to it 700 ye­ars ago. After a pe­riod of mo­re than fi­ve de­ca­des of neg­lect, the to­wer has fi­nal­ly found a re­lia­ble host, who is ta­king steps to main­tain the tech­ni­cal con­di­tion of the buil­ding and aims to cre­ate a spa­ce full of au­then­tic his­to­ri­cism in­si­de it. Sin­ce 2001, the ow­ner of the mo­nu­ment has been the Chu­dów Cas­tle Foun­da­tion, which, ha­ving re­gu­la­ted the le­gal si­tu­ation of the for­mer re­si­dents of the to­wer and ha­ving car­ried out the ne­ces­sa­ry se­cu­ri­ty works, ma­de it a­vai­la­ble to the tou­rist traf­fic, pla­cing a small ex­hi­bi­tion of ar­ti­facts ex­ca­va­ted du­ring ar­cha­eolo­gi­cal works in­si­de. The­re is al­so a sou­ve­nir and li­te­ra­tu­re shop in for­mer ma­nor hou­se. Un­for­tu­na­te­ly, the im­me­dia­te sur­roun­dings of the to­wer still re­mind us of the po­ver­ty and ho­pe­less­ness of the post-com­mu­nist pro­vin­ce. Ruins of bar­racks, ru­sty han­gars, em­pty wa­re­hou­ses are the lo­cal re­ali­ty, which ho­pe­ful­ly will go a­way with ti­me.


IMG BORDER=1 style=

THE COURTYARD IN FRONT OF THE TOWER


IMG BORDER=1 style=

ENTRANCE TO THE TOWER, ON THE LEFT YOU CAN SEE THE HOLES FOR THE ORIGINAL 700 YEARS OLD BEAMS


he main attraction of the tower are polychromes de­co­ra­ting the walls of the Gre­at Hall on the third floor. The­se are the old­est se­cu­lar wall sce­nes in Po­land and the on­ly me­die­val paint­ings in the world pre­ser­ved in si­tu show­ing the his­to­ry of the Knight of the Round Ta­ble - Sir Lan­ce­lot of the La­ke. They we­re pro­ba­bly cre­ated on the ini­tia­ti­ve of Prin­ce Hen­ry I in the ye­ars 1320-30 or by or­der of Bol­ko II in the 1340s, and we­re ma­de in the tech­niq­ue of wet fres­co al sec­co by the hand of a mas­ter who pro­ba­bly ca­me from north­east­ern Switz­er­land, which sug­gests a si­mi­la­ri­ty bet­ween them and the paint­ings pre­ser­ved in the mo­nu­ments of the Swiss Zu­rich. The­se po­ly­chro­mes oc­cu­py lar­ge frag­ments of the south and west walls of the to­wer with a to­tal a­rea of 33 squa­re me­ters. In ad­di­tion to ar­thur­ian sce­nes, the hall al­so con­tains paint­ings da­ting back to a­round 1370, but ne­ver com­ple­ted, with the co­ats of arms of Re­dern and Zed­litz, as well as sket­ches on the north wall de­pic­ting a knight with a shield and a co­py, in a hel­met with the von Re­dern fa­mi­ly je­wel.


IMG BORDER=1 style=

VIEW OF THE 2ND FLOOR FROM THE WEST, BY THE WINDOW YOU CAN SEE THE COAT OF ARMS OF VON REDERN FAMILY FROM AROUND 1370


IMG BORDER=1 style=

SOUTHERN WALL OF THE HALL ON THE 2ND FLOOR WITH 14TH CENTURY ARTHURIAN FRESCOES


he dominant part of the com­po­si­tion of the sout­hern wall is the lar­ge ima­ge of St. Chris­to­pher - the pat­ron of good de­ath, sym­bo­li­zing un­ques­tio­na­ble fi­de­li­ty to the Christ­ian faith, which should cha­ra­cte­ri­ze e­ve­ry knight. On its left is a re­pre­sen­ta­tion of two coup­les - the vir­tu­ous and the sin­ful (per­haps a knight with a vir­gin and a knight with a mar­ried wo­man), be­low which, from the four gra­ves, fi­gu­res of the de­ad a­ri­se. The cy­cle of sce­nes de­ve­lo­ped to the right of the saint in two rows shows le­gend of the most fa­mous knight of the Round Ta­ble - Lan­ce­lot from the La­ke, or in fact two most im­por­tant mo­ments of his li­fe: the be­gin­ning of glo­ry and the fall. The bot­tom li­ne of the fres­co­es, with which we should start "re­ading" this sto­ry, is Lan­ce­lot's ex­pe­di­tion with his cou­sin Lio­nel, du­ring which they in­tend to pro­ve that they de­ser­ve to be cal­led knights. He­re we see sleep­ing Lan­ce­lot and Lio­nel and a du­el be­tween Lan­ce­lot and Tar­quin end­ing with the de­ath of the lat­ter. The up­per li­ne shows the sto­ry of Lan­ce­lot's sin­ful lo­ve for King Ar­thur's wi­fe, Gui­ne­ve­re. In the fol­lo­wing sce­nes, li­ke in a co­mic book, the cha­rac­ters ap­pe­ar suc­ces­si­ve­ly: the be­au­ti­ful Gui­ne­ve­re sit­ting in the back­ground of Ca­me­lot Cas­tle, tel­ling the knights that she wants to go for a ri­de, Gui­ne­ve­re on hor­se­back in the bo­som of na­tu­re, the hi­jack­ing of the mar­shal by the vi­le Me­le­agant, Lan­ce­lot re­le­asing the pri­so­ners, Lan­ce­lot fal­ling in lo­ve with the Queen, and fi­nal­ly Lan­ce­lot and Gui­ne­ve­re hold­ing hands. The lo­vers' left hands in­ter­twin­ing in the em­bra­ce are a sign that the re­la­tion­ship is sin­ful - the spou­ses in me­die­val paint­ings al­ways hold their right hands.


IMG BORDER=1 style=

IMG BORDER=1 style=

POLYCHROMES FROM SIEDLECIN: CURRENT STATE AND PROBABLE APPEARANCE IN THE XIV CENTURY


he frescoes in the Great Hall have ne­ver been com­ple­ted. The sout­hern wall is de­co­ra­ted on­ly with sket­ches with the ima­ge of the knights at­tack­ing each o­ther, in­ter­pre­ted as a du­el be­tween Lan­ce­lot and Sag­ra­mour, and the sce­ne whe­re the kneel­ing Lan­ce­lot he­als Ur­ry de Hon­gre. It is not known why the wall paint­ing pro­ject was in­ter­rup­ted. One can on­ly pre­su­me that it hap­pe­ned as a re­sult of the ar­tist's or found­er's death, or due to a lack of funds ne­ces­sa­ry to fi­na­li­ze this ve­ry ex­pen­si­ve de­co­ra­tion. Po­ly­chro­mies from Sie­dle­cin we­re ini­tial­ly per­cei­ved as the sto­ry of knight Iwajn or pre­sen­ta­tion of the foun­da­tion of Cis­ter­cian con­vent in Krze­szów. This se­cond in­ter­pre­ta­tion was the re­sult of the un­for­tu­na­te con­ser­va­tion of the fres­co­es per­for­med in the in­ter­war pe­riod by Jo­hann Dro­bek, who ma­de ma­ny chan­ges of paint. As a re­sult, a li­ne of be­au­ti­ful la­dies in co­lour­ful dres­ses be­ca­me a pro­ces­sion of monks in dark ha­bits, whi­le sce­ne whe­re Gui­ne­ve­re and Lan­ce­lot are hold­ing hands was trans­for­med in­to the wel­co­ming of Bol­ko by the ab­bot. This con­ser­va­tor pro­ba­bly had lit­tle idea a­bout me­die­val art, be­cau­se a paint­er who would sug­gest a sin­ful re­la­tion­ship be­tween a prin­ce and a monk would ine­vi­ta­bly end up un­der an exe­cu­tio­ner's axe!


The Prince's Tower in Siedlecin
ul. Dluga 21, Siedlecin, 58-508 Jelenia Góra
tel. +48 882 964 805
e-mail: muzeum(at)muzeum.niepolomice.pl

Opening hours / Prices





iedlecin is located about 5 ki­lo­me­tres north of Je­le­nia Gó­ra. The vil­la­ge can be re­ached by ci­ty bus li­ne no. 5 from Je­le­nia Gó­ra (a stop clo­se to the farm buil­dings). The­re are al­so pic­tu­res­que hi­king and bi­king trails, among them an at­trac­ti­ve trail from the guest­hou­se Per­la Za­cho­du. The to­wer stands at the ed­ge of the vil­la­ge, be­tween the church and the brid­ge on the Bóbr Ri­ver. In the court­yard the­re is free par­king for guests.
(cas­tles in Lo­wer Si­le­sia Voi­vo­de­ship)




1. D. Adamska: Siedlecin, czyli „wies Rudigera”, Stowarzyszenie Wieza Ksiazeca w Siedlecinie 2016
2. M. Chorowska: Rezydencje sredniowieczne na Slasku, OFPWW 2003
3. M. Hislop: Jak czytac zamki. Krótki kurs wiedzy o fortyfikacjach, Arkady 2018
4. L. Kajzer, J. Salm, S. Kolodziejski: Leksykon zamków w Polsce, Arkady 2001
5. I. Laborewicz: Piastowskie swiadectwa, Sudety 2/2001
6. R. M. Luczynski: Zamki, dwory i palace w Sudetach, Wspólnota Akademicka 2008
7. P. Nocun: Wieza ksiazeca w Siedlecinie..., Stowarzyszenie Wieza Ksiazeca w Siedlecinie 2016
8. A. M. Rosiek: Siedziby rycerskie w ksiestwie swidnicko-jaworskim..., Wydzial Historyczny UJ 2010
9. M. Swiezy: Zamki, twierdze, warownie, Foto Art 2002
10.M. Perzynski: Zamki, twierdze i palace Dolnego Slaska i Opolszczyzny, 2006
11. A. Wagner: Murowane budowle obronne w Polsce X-XVIIw., Bellona 2019


IMG BORDER=1 style=

IMG BORDER=1 style=

REMAINS OF THE MOAT SURROUND THE TOWER FROM THE NORTH AND EAST


Castles nearby:
Rybnica - ruin of the castle from the 14th century, 8 km
Czarne - Renaissance manor house from the 16th century, 9 km
Stara Kamienica - ruin of a knight's castle from the 16th century, 11 km
Dziwiszów - noble castle from the 16th century, 14 km
Wleń - ruin of the prince's castle from the 12th/ 13th century, 15 km
Chojnik - ruin of the prince's castle from the 14th century, 17 km
Bukowiec - manor house from the 16th century, 20 km



It is worth seeing also:


Situated near the tower, the Church of St. Nicholas was first men­tio­ned in 1399, but its pre­sent form co­mes from the 16th cen­tu­ry. It is an o­rien­ta­ted, sin­gle-ai­sle buil­ding with a nar­ro­wer two-span pre­sby­te­ry and a squa­re to­wer to the west. At the en­tran­ce to the tem­ple, 14th-cen­tu­ry Go­thic sharp-ed­ged por­tals with wood­en door fit­tings. The in­ter­ior de­sign is ba­ro­que, but re­la­ti­ve­ly mo­dest. The most va­lu­able and old­est pie­ce of e­quip­ment is a my­sti­cal cru­ci­fix pla­ced in the cha­pel with a li­fe-si­zed fi­gu­re of Christ, pro­ba­bly ma­de in a lo­cal work­shop a­round 1500. Al­so no­tewor­thy are the po­ly­chro­med al­tar from 1696, the 18th cen­tu­ry pi­pe or­gan and the wood­en, po­ly­chro­med pul­pit da­ting from the sa­me per­iod. Pla­ste­red ex­ter­nal fa­ca­des are de­co­ra­ted with e­pi­taphs de­pic­ting the mar­ried cou­ple von Nietsch and the sta­tu­es of St. Flo­rian and Le­onard.


IMG

IMG




Situated by the tourist route leading from Siedlecin to Jelenia Góra, the for­mer tour­ist hos­tel, and now a guest­hou­se na­med Per­la Za­cho­du (Pe­arl of the west), built in 1950 on the si­te of the Ger­man inn Turm­stein­baud, to which it re­fers in sty­le. This buil­ding, pic­tu­res­que­ly si­tu­ated on the ed­ge of a cliff, was ve­ry po­pu­lar a­mong lo­cal re­si­dents at the be­gin­ning of its e­xis­ten­ce. With ti­me, ho­we­ver, due to the pol­lu­tion of the Bóbr Ri­ver, he was pra­cti­cal­ly not vi­si­ted. To­day, as the e­co­lo­gi­cal si­tu­ation has im­pro­ved, it has a­gain be­co­me a de­sti­na­tion for nu­me­rous ex­cur­sions.


IMG

IMG

IMG

IMG




The Pilchowicka Dike on the Bóbr River was erected near the road to Wlen, a few ki­lo­me­tres north of the to­wer. It is the lar­gest sto­ne di­ke in Pol­and, and the se­cond lar­gest in ge­ne­ral, smal­ler on­ly than So­li­na in the Bie­szcza­dy Moun­tains. It was built be­tween 1902-14 by com­pa­ny B. Lie­bold & Co. AG to pro­tect the sur­roun­ding a­rea from flood­ing, and the sca­le of this in­vest­ment and its tech­ni­cal so­phi­sti­ca­tion ma­de the o­pe­ning ce­re­mo­ny ho­nou­red by Em­pe­ror Wil­helm II him­self. The height of the di­ke is 62 me­ters and the length of its top is 270 me­ters. The con­stru­ction of the di­ke re­sul­ted in a pic­tu­res­que la­ke of 240 he­cta­res with a ca­pa­ci­ty of 50 mil­lion cu­bic me­ters. The top of di­ke is o­pen to tour­ists, and the walk on it do­es not look li­ke the walk on So­li­na, be­cau­se he­re we are not o­ver­whel­med by the num­ber of kit­schy stalls and crowds of va­ca­tio­ners.


IMG

IMG

IMG

IMG

IMG

IMG





HOME PAGE

text: 2020
photographs: 2013, 2019
© by Jacek Bednarek