HOME PAGE

EUROPEAN CASTLES

GALLERY

MAPS

BIBLIOGRAPHY

CONTACT ME

YOUR OPINION

CZOCHA CASTLE

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

ĆMIELÓW

DĄBROWA

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

HOMOLE

IŁŻA

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

NIEMODLIN

NIEPOŁOMICE

NOWA RUDA

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

PTKANÓW

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


CZOCHA CASTLE, VIEW FROM THE WEST


HISTORY


I

n the early Middle Ages, a wooden fortified strong­hold func­tioned here. The first men­tion about this place comes from 1241, iden­ti­fy­ing it as a bor­der point called Mons Ty­zow. The his­to­ry of the brick cas­tle be­gins in the mid­dle of the 13th cen­tu­ry, prob­a­bly be­cause of the Czech king Vá­clav I Pře­mys­lid, known as the One-Eyed (d. 1253), or his son Př­mysl II Ot­tokar (d. 1278), al­though some be­lieve that it could al­so have been found­ed by one of the Dukes of Świd­ni­ca-Ja­wor, who need­ed a strong bor­der cas­tle to strength­en his sphere of in­flu­ence in this re­gion. From 1253 to 1319, the area be­longed to Bran­den­burg, and in 1306, Jo­hann von Bir­be­stein, the sup­posed roy­al sta­rost, was the ten­ant or own­er of the cas­tle. In 1319 the es­tate be­came the prop­er­ty of Duke Hen­ry I of Ja­wor-Swid­ni­ca who, less than twen­ty years lat­er, re­placed Czo­cha, to­geth­er with the cas­tle Świe­cie and towns Lu­bań, Mirsk and Ża­ry for half of the town of Gło­gów, which he re­ceived from the Czech King Ján of Lux­em­burg for a life­long reign. How­ev­er, the ac­tu­al take­over of pow­er took place here on­ly af­ter the prin­ce's death, in 1346.


THE CASTLE RISES ON A ROCKY HEADLAND SURROUNDED FROM THE NORTH BY THE RIVER KWISA


F

rom that time on, Czocha was a fief of the King of Bohemia, man­aged by the wealthy rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Czech or Ger­man knights, among them the von Do­hna fam­i­ly, first men­tioned here in 1389. In 1417, Wen­zel von Do­hna sold the lease to Hein­rich von Ren­kern, who felt so con­fi­dent in the cas­tle that he be­gan to reg­u­lar­ly in­vade his neigh­bors and rob mer­chant con­voys pass­ing by, quick­ly gain­ing a bad rep­u­ta­tion as a lo­cal war­lord. This non-chival­rous life­style of von Ren­kern did not es­cape the at­ten­tion of his su­pe­ri­ors and fi­nal­ly the knight was forced to leave Czo­cha. Thus, in 1420, the cas­tle was hand­ed over to Har­tung von Klux (d. 1445), the coun­selor at the Czech roy­al court, who, how­ev­er, was a rare vis­i­tor here due to his du­ties, as­sign­ing the rights and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of the es­tate man­ag­er to nephew named Di­et­rich. The younger rel­a­tive turned out to be un­wor­thy of the grace his un­cle gave him, fo­cus­ing his in­ter­ests not on the man­age­ment of fam­i­ly prop­er­ty, but on the loot­ing of mer­chants who were trav­el­ling near­by. Af­ter one of such rob­beries, com­mit­ted on the cit­i­zens of Cra­cow, the king Wła­dy­sław Ja­gieł­ło banned trade con­tacts with Zgo­rze­lec, be­ing ini­tial­ly con­vinced, the rob­bery was or­ga­nized by the in­hab­i­tants of this Lusa­tian town. Then Zgo­rze­lec sent mes­sen­gers to the king in or­der to ex­plain the whole sit­u­a­tion and in­di­cate the re­al per­pe­tra­tors of this deed, which led Har­tung von Klux to dis­miss his nephew from his trust. In 1433, when Har­tung re­mained in Swiss Ba­sel, the cas­tle was in­vad­ed by a Hus­site troop led by Knight Hans von Tschirn of Nie­syt­no, who then oc­cu­pied it for sev­er­al months, loot­ing valu­able equip­ment and re­sour­ces. It was not un­til the spring of 1434 that the right­ful own­er, sup­port­ed by mer­ce­nary troops, took the cas­tle back by force, and then ex­e­cut­ed the rob­bers sta­tioned there.


IN FRONT OF THE MAIN ENTRANCE


We do not know the etymology of the name of Czocha. In some books we can find in­for­ma­tion that it comes from a bird - Lap­wing. Oth­ers say that its ori­gin is the La­tin word Tax­us - yew, a tree once grow­ing on the cas­tle hill. As the years passed, this term has changed many times. Doc­u­ments from the first half of the 14th cen­tu­ry con­firm the Slav­ic nam­ing Cay­chow (1327) or Ca­chow (1337), which, how­ev­er, was grad­u­al­ly Ger­man­ized over time and al­ready in the 15th cen­tu­ry it was writ­ten Scho­chav (1413), Cso­chow (1419) or Scho­chuff (1420). Lat­er on, these ex­pres­sion evolved in­to the form of Scho­cha (1592), then Zho­che (1732) and fi­nal­ly Tzscho­cha, which first ap­peared in writ­ten form in 1816. In 1945, af­ter Low­er Sile­sia was an­nexed to Pol­and, the cas­tle be­came known as Cza­chów and was re­named to Czo­cha in the sec­ond year af­ter the war.


PLAN OF THE CASTLE FROM THE 18TH CENTURY


I

n 1451 Ramfold, the last owner of Czocha from the von Klux family, died. Af­ter his death, the cas­tle be­came the prop­er­ty of Kas­par von Nos­titz (d. 1484), and from then on it re­mained in the hands of this pow­er­ful fam­i­ly for al­most two and a half cen­turies. Kas­par was a fierce en­e­my of the Hus­sites, whom he con­sid­ered to be he­re­tics and a great threat to the in­ter­ests of both the Ca­tho­lic Church and the le­gal or­der that fa­vored wealthy knights and land­lords. Dur­ing the Thir­teen Years' War, he was in charge of the Teu­ton­ic Or­der's mer­ce­nary troops, tak­ing part in the bat­tle of Choj­ni­ce (1454), which end­ed with the Teu­ton­ic Knights' vic­to­ry. To­ward the end of the war, af­ter los­ing at the bat­tle of Swie­cin (1462), he de­fect­ed and re­turned to Low­er Sile­sia and Lusa­tia, where he be­came in­volved in an armed con­flict be­tween the sup­port­ers of Hun­gar­i­an King Hun­ya­di Má­tyás and the Czech King Jiří z Kunštá­tu a Po­dě­brad. When he died, the es­tate was in­her­it­ed by his son, Hart­wig von Nos­titz (d. 1510), fol­lowed by his grand­son Jo­hann (d. 1565), the founder of re­nais­sance-style ren­o­va­tion of the cas­tle. The mar­riage of Jo­hann von Nos­titz and An­na von Zet­tritz gave birth to Abra­ham von Nos­titz (d. 1592), a grad­u­ate of the Pro­tes­tant gym­na­si­um in Zło­to­ry­ja and the Uni­ver­si­ty of Leip­zig, who de­served the re­spect of his sub­jects by or­ga­niz­ing nu­mer­ous char­i­ty events. Abra­ham was mar­ried three times, of which he had five daugh­ters and five sons, in­clud­ing Chri­stoph, the own­er of Czo­cha in years 1592-1600. How­ev­er, when he died with­out an heir, the cas­tle was hand­ed over to his broth­ers Kon­rad and Kas­par, who kept it un­til 1637.


CONDITION OF THE CASTLE AFTER THE FIRE OF 1793, SKETCHED BODO EBHARDT


C

hristoph von Nositz-Rieneck (d. 1691) became the owner of the castle in 1639. He in­vest­ed in ge­o­log­i­cal re­search, and in par­tic­u­lar in gold prospect­ing, by es­tab­lish­ing min­ing and fair vil­lages in the Kwi­sa Riv­er val­ley. He set­tled there Protes­tants, re­fu­gees from Czech and oth­er re­gions of Si­le­sia, who suf­fered re­li­gious per­se­cu­tion in their home­lands. A long and ex­haust­ing Thir­ty Years' War last­ed then, and the po­lit­i­cal and mil­i­tary events that took place in the 1630s and 1640s in Sile­sia forced the land­lord to strength­en the cas­tle. He al­so had to pro­vide shel­ter to the lo­cal pop­u­la­tion, which he was obliged to do by the Sax­on elec­tors. Thus, the for­ti­fi­ca­tion equip­ment of the cas­tle was im­proved and num­ber of its crew was in­creased. It paid off be­cause in 1645 the in­hab­i­tants of Gry­fów found shel­ter here, re­pel­ling the as­sault of Swe­dish troops who were do­ing the rounds in search of loot. Chris­toph von Nos­titz-Rie­neck died at the age of 84. The es­tate was left to the 24-year-old Al­brecht (d. 1698), who was the last male rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the Rothen­burg Tzscho­cha fam­i­ly line, as he passed away with­out an heir on­ly sev­en years af­ter his in­her­i­tance. The cas­tle thus re­turned to Chris­toph's wife, who sold it in 1700 (or 1703) to roy­al coun­cil­lor Jo­hann Hart­wig von Uech­tritz (d. 1732) for 152,000 tha­lers.



CASTLE ON ARTHUR BLASCHNICK'S WOODCUTS FROM THE SECOND HALF OF THE XIX CENTURY


WELL LEGEND

The Czo­cha Cas­tle is a place where fam­i­ly vi­o­lence has of­ten oc­curred. One of such tox­ic re­la­tions be­tween the spous­es took place in the mid­dle of the 17th cen­tu­ry, when Czo­cha was in­hab­it­ed by Chris­toph von Nos­titz-Rie­neck. At the age of 24 he de­cid­ed to mar­ry much old­er but 'rich' em­per­or's rel­a­tive, Ger­tru­de. Af­ter the pompous wed­ding, how­ev­er, it turned out that the promis­es of the great dowry were on­ly a pipe dream, and Gertru­da, al­though nobly born, has no prop­er­ty. The 'love' of a young man was weak­ened then, who sin­cere­ly and with great dis­ap­point­ment stat­ed that he was not go­ing to share bed with his ug­ly, old and fat wife. The re­ject­ed wom­an, how­ev­er, had her needs and met with oth­er men in the ab­sence of her hus­band. And this sit­u­a­tion last­ed un­til Nos­titz found out that Gertrude was preg­nant. He be­came fu­ri­ous then, be­cause he was not go­ing to tol­er­ate in­fi­deli­ty. He fell in­to his wife's bed­room and took her by force to the court­yard and then threw her in­to the well. Since then, when some­one leaned over the well in the mid­dle of the night, he has heard fe­male moans and ter­ri­ble cries for help.

Such a sce­nario has been re­peat­ed twice more. Al­brecht von Nos­titz drowned his wife first when he found out that she was hav­ing an af­fair with a coach­man. Fi­nal­ly, in 1793, a wom­an named Ul­ry­ka gave birth to an il­le­git­i­mate child and as a pun­ish­ment she was thrown in­to a well, and an in­no­cent ba­by was walled up in a mar­ble cham­ber, in a beau­ti­ful Re­nais­sance fire­place. The cas­tle guides al­so tell an­oth­er sto­ry about the well, which scares main­ly men. When the un­faith­ful hus­band looks in­to its depths, he will soon ... go bald.


VIEW FROM THE EAST, TYGODNIK ILUSTROWANY 1881


J

o­hann Hartwig von Uechtritz, Lord of See and Spre­itz, had five daugh­ters but no son, so he es­tab­lished so-called Grund­fideikomiss - the rule that daugh­ters could on­ly choose their hus­bands for can­di­dates of their own fam­i­ly line. The aim of this was to keep the prop­er­ty in the hands of the fam­i­ly. One of the afore­men­tioned daugh­ters, Chris­tiane Elis­a­beth (d. 1741) mar­ried Karl Mag­nus in 1714, but he died on­ly two years lat­er at the age of 25. Soon Elis­a­beth's sec­ond wed­ding took place, with Hein­rich Wil­helm von Uech­tritz, with whom she lived to­geth­er for an­oth­er four­teen years, and whose fu­ner­al in Novem­ber 1732 be­came an un­usu­al and ter­ri­ble spec­ta­cle. When the fam­i­ly and the in­vit­ed guests en­tered the rot­ten cas­tle bridge, it did not with­stand the pres­sure and col­lapsed, as a re­sult of which some par­tic­i­pants fell in­to the moat and died on the spot. Apart from adults, six chil­dren died in this trag­ic event. Three years lat­er Elis­a­beth mar­ried her third hus­band, Friedrich Au­gust (d. 1756), and when she died in 1741, the es­tate was leased to a far rel­a­tive, Adam von Uech­tritz. In 1755 Czo­cha was pur­chased for 87 thou­sand thalers by the mer­chant Fer­di­nand Ot­to von Schnidel (d. 1805). His son, Carl Ot­to Gus­tav (d. 1830), be­came fa­mous as an au­thor of many works in the field of lit­er­a­ture and his­to­ry, as well as a trans­la­tor of Ital­ian Re­nais­sance po­et­ry.


LITOGRAPHY BY THEODOR BLATTERBAUER FROM 1880S


I

n 1782, the von Schin­del fam­i­ly lost own­er­ship of the Tzscho­cha prop­er­ty, which was once again tak­en over by the von Uech­tritz rep­re­sen­ta­tives. A lit­tle more than a de­cade lat­er, in the ab­sence of the cas­tle's own­er Frie­drich Au­gust Chris­toph (d. 1821), a fire broke out on the night of Au­gust 17-18, 1793, which de­stroyed roofs and tow­er, as well as part of the liv­ing quar­ters with an­tique equip­ment, the ar­moury and the li­brary with many valu­able old prints. Al­most im­me­di­ate­ly the re­con­struc­tion of the cas­tle be­gan and six years lat­er it was again hab­it­able, al­though its ap­pear­ance slight­ly dif­fered from the pre­vi­ous one, among oth­ers, the old me­dieval roof was re­placed by a baroque roof, the bell tow­er was raised and some in­te­ri­ors were changed. Af­ter Frie­drich Au­gust's death, the es­tate was in­her­it­ed by Ernst Au­gust Frie­drich von Uech­tritz und Stein­kirch (d. 1877), fol­lowed by Friedrich's on­ly liv­ing son, Karl Ot­to, who to­geth­er with his wife (I'm giv­ing full ti­tle) Gus­tavine Ot­tilie Karo­line Mi­net­te Char­lotte Ol­ga von Uech­tritz und Stein­kirch Gra­fin von Wa­tensleben of­fi­cial­ly set­tled in the cas­tle. The cou­ple had five chil­dren (Bern­hard, Vic­to­ria, Hilde­gard, Bol­ko, Ed­gar), heirs of es­tate con­sist­ing of a grange, two vil­lages and large area of land and fo­rests cov­er­ing 1500 hec­tares.




POSTCARDS FROM THE BEGINNING OF XX CENTURY, ON WHICH WE CAN SEE THREE DIFFERENT BUILDING PHASES:
1. ABOVE THE STATE BEFORE THE MAJOR RECONSTRUCTION (BEFORE 1912), 2. IN THE MIDDLE, A PSEUDO-GOTHIC RISALIT IS VISIBLE,
WHICH INDICATES THE COMPLETION OF THE FIRST STAGE OF WORK (1912-20), 3. BELOW THE CASTLE AFTER RECONSTRUCTION (1920S)


A

f­ter Karl Ot­to's death in 1905, his heirs de­cid­ed to sell the fam­i­ly es­tate. Duke Ernst Gun­ther zu Schle­swig-Hol­stein-Son­der­burg, broth­er of the Ger­man Em­press Au­gus­ta Vic­to­ria, was se­ri­ous­ly in­ter­est­ed in the pur­chase, but af­ter a vi­su­al in­spec­tion of the cas­tle, he re­signed. Fi­nal­ly, Czo­cha and the sur­round­ing land were sold in 1909 for 1.5 mil­lion marks to Ernst Gut­schow (d. 1946) from Dres­den. This rich in­dus­tri­al­ist has in a short time gained not on­ly a great for­tune, but al­so an im­pres­sive col­lec­tion of art­works. The Czo­cha Cas­tle was to be a mag­nif­i­cent dec­o­ra­tion of this for­tune, and was al­so to en­able the achieve­ment of aris­to­crat­ic ti­tle that Gut­schow hoped for as part of the Em­per­or's ap­pre­ci­a­tion of his mer­its for the Ger­man in­dus­try. The cas­tle was in poor tech­ni­cal con­di­tion at that time and re­quired se­ri­ous and ex­pen­sive ren­o­va­tion. How­ev­er, the own­er was­n't in­ter­est­ed in re­pro­duc­ing the old style and, go­ing one step fur­ther, he com­mis­sioned a com­plete re­con­struc­tion of Czo­cha in ro­man­tic style. This task was un­der­tak­en by the fa­mous Ber­lin ar­chi­tect Bo­do Ebhardt, who in 1912-20, at a cost of 4 mil­lion marks, trans­formed the out­er form of the build­ing and mod­ern­ized its in­te­ri­ors, try­ing to ex­press the spir­it of the past as ac­cu­rate­ly as pos­si­ble. This was pos­si­ble thanks to use of orig­i­nal ar­chi­tec­tur­al de­tails and build­ing ma­te­ri­als ob­tained from de­mol­ished parts of the cas­tle. The fire­places for rep­re­sen­ta­tive cham­bers were brought spe­cial­ly from Ita­ly, and the ex­cel­lent­ly equipped li­brary re­ceived a dec­o­ra­tion re­fer­ring to the Eng­lish Goth­ic Tu­dor. The in­te­ri­or de­sign was com­ple­ment­ed by wall paint­ings by Max Koch from the Ber­lin Kun­st­gewerbe­mu­se­um, stained-glass win­dows made by Ed­uard Sritt and wood­carv­ing dec­o­ra­tions full of hid­den sym­bol­ism. In the com­mon opin­ion, af­ter the re­con­struc­tion, Czo­cha be­came more me­dieval than it was in the Mid­dle Ages.



DURING THE GREAT RECONSTRUCTION OF THE CASTLE 1912-20


Ernst Gutschow was born on 8 April 1869 in Ro­s­tock, Meck­len­burg. We don't know who were his par­ents or what his ed­u­ca­tion was. How­ev­er, we know that at the age of 22 he left Ger­many for Eng­land and two years lat­er em­i­grat­ed to Unit­ed States. There he was em­ployed as Gen­er­al Man­ag­er of MI­CHAL­ITSCHKE BROS & CO., a man­u­fac­tur­er, im­porter and sell­er of Cuban cigars and Turk­ish cigarettes, and lat­er that same year he was... to mar­ry the daugh­ter of the own­er Josie Michal­itschke. This mar­riage helped him to make a great ca­reer and earn a lot of mon­ey, thanks to which he lat­er bought Czo­cha Cas­tle and was able to re­al­ize his pas­sion for col­lect­ing, the re­sult of which was, among oth­ers, a li­brary of 25,000 vol­umes, the fourth largest pri­vate col­lec­tion of old prints and books in Ger­many.

Af­ter his re­turn to home­land, Ernst Gut­schow co-man­aged the large and thriv­ing to­bac­co con­cern GEORG A. JAS­MATZI A.G., and al­so skill­ful­ly in­vest­ed. He loved beau­ti­ful items, which he will­ing­ly col­lect­ed. He owned many rare works of art and jew­els com­ing from Tsarist Rus­sia, of­ten bought from the Bol­she­viks at sales or­ga­nized by them af­ter the Red Rev­o­lu­tion. Per­haps his col­lec­tion in­clud­ed such unique things as the coro­na­tion in­signia of Rus­sian Tsars or very valu­able gold­en Faberge eggs. De­spite the fact that he was very rich, he lacked the no­bil­i­ty to his full hap­pi­ness, which he could not just buy. The Czo­cha Cas­tle, which was ac­quired on the ini­tia­tive of the own­er of Gro­dziec, Baron Wil­li­bald von Dirk­sen, and then re­built with a tru­ly roy­al splen­dor was sup­posed to help in this. How­ev­er, Ernst Gut­schow prob­a­bly nev­er re­ceived a no­ble ti­tle, any­way, no doc­u­ments con­firm­ing this fact have sur­vived.



CZOCHA ON COLORED POSTCARDS FROM 1920S


D

e­spite the huge fi­nan­cial and or­ga­ni­za­tion­al ef­fort put in­to the re­con­struc­tion of the cas­tle, its own­er vis­it­ed it ra­rely, on­ly for a few weeks a year. He and his fam­i­ly moved here on­ly at the end of World War II, when in com­par­i­son with the Ger­man cities bombed, Low­er Sile­sia seemed to be a rel­a­tive­ly safe place. How­ev­er, when the news of the fast ap­proach­ing So­vi­et army turned out to be true, Gut­schow packed up his most valu­able equip­ment and left for Dres­den, not know­ing yet that he would nev­er re­turn to Czoc­ha again. When the cap­i­tal of Sax­ony was de­stroyed by Amer­i­can bom­bers in Febru­ary 1945, he left it and moved to Bad Wild­un­gen, where he died from can­cer a year lat­er. Leav­ing Czo­cha, Ernst Gut­schow prob­a­bly took ev­ery­thing that was of great­est his­tor­i­cal and ma­te­ri­al val­ue to him: Dur­er's books, an­tique weapons, wood­carv­ing, as well as gold jew­el­ry. How­ev­er, some of the cas­tle's equip­ment re­mained there. These al­leged trea­sures, for which the rushed aban­doned fur­ni­ture, books, wine and a small amount of sil­ver­ware were con­sid­ered, be­came the sub­ject of loot­ing and em­bez­zle­ment by the com­mu­nist au­thor­i­ties. One of the trucks filled with cas­tle de­posits was hi­jacked by the may­or of Leś­na and his wife, who were not trou­bled by any­body and en­tered the Amer­i­can oc­cu­pa­tion zone. The next truck with the "trea­sure", driv­en per­son­al­ly by the mili­tia com­man­dant, al­so dis­ap­peared in mys­te­ri­ous cir­cum­stances - to­geth­er with driv­er, of course. Oth­er loot­ers were not so lucky and for steal­ing, among oth­ers, the then vice gov­er­nor of Lu­bań land­ed in prison. The au­thor­i­ties suc­ceed­ed in re­claim­ing about 25 thou­sand books, which were lat­er sent to the Uni­ver­si­ty Li­brary in Wro­claw, as well as 53 pieces of var­i­ous fur­ni­ture, 84 oil paint­ings, 29 sculp­tures, 130 pieces of an­tique melee weapons and fire­arms, some table­ware, glass and por­ce­lain. Chris­tine von Saur­ma, the cas­tle li­brar­i­an, called Kluczni­ca, helped the mi­li­tia to find the cas­tle clos­ets and valu­ables hid­den in them. Af­ter the in­ven­to­ry she left for Ger­many with­out any ob­sta­cles.


BEAUTIFUL GRAPHICS BY VICTOR SCHAETZKE, SCHLESISCHE BURGEN UND SCHLOSSER, 1924



Ac­cord­ing to wit­ness­es of those events, dur­ing World War II, Czo­cha Cas­tle was vis­it­ed by Werhn­er von Braun (d. 1977), Sturm­ban­n­fuhrer SS, the na­tion­al hero of Nazi Ger­many and then of two-faced Amer­i­ca, where he gained fame as the cre­ator of the Amer­i­can space pro­gram and de­sign­er of the Sat­urn rock­ets, which car­ried Apol­lo ships to the moon. These vis­its could have been con­nect­ed with re­search on V-1 and V-2 bal­lis­tic rock­ets, ex­per­i­ments with ra­di­o­log­i­cal weapon­ry or mod­ern propul­sion sys­tems, car­ried out prob­a­bly in un­der­ground fac­to­ries near the town of Leś­na. The fac­to­ry was called "Ge­ma Wer­ke" and man­u­fac­tured FRE­YA ra­di­olo­ca­tion de­vices. How­ev­er, oth­er works that were car­ried out there, gave - as it was some­times writ­ten - ef­fects of a strong elec­tro­mag­net­ic field, which caused cars au­to­mat­i­cal­ly turn off their en­gines! When the ex­per­i­ments were stopped, the cars moved on as if noth­ing ev­er hap­pened.






A BUNCH OF PRE-WAR POSTCARDS WITH THE IMAGE OF THE CASTLE


W

hen the war was over, the cas­tle was giv­en to an agri­cul­tur­al co­op­er­a­tive and then to the then Min­istry of Cul­ture and Art. In 1952 the build­ing was tak­en over by the Min­istry of De­fense, which or­ga­nized there a re­sort for high rank of­fi­cers and their fam­i­lies. The fact that the cas­tle was used as a rep­re­sen­ta­tive en­clave for traitors and en­e­mies of the Pol­ish na­tion might have been de­ci­sive for its con­tin­ued ex­is­tence, as Czo­cha did not share the sad fate of many oth­er Sile­sian res­i­dences, left with­out due care for the pass­ing of time, weath­er and ra­pac­i­ty of the sur­round­ing pop­u­la­tion. Af­ter 1989 the strong­hold was hand­ed over to the Mil­i­tary Hous­ing Agen­cy and af­ter nec­es­sary adap­ta­tion works in 1996 it was opened for tourism.


Among the many promi­nents who vis­it­ed Czo­cha Cas­tle in the time of com­mu­nism, there were such "celebri­ties" as Chair­man of the com­mu­nist par­ty Bo­le­sław Bie­rut, Ja­kub Ber­man, the head of the re­pres­sion sys­tem, First Sec­re­tary of the par­ty's cen­tral com­mit­tee Wła­dys­ław Go­muł­ka, Prime Min­is­ter Jó­zef Cy­ran­kie­wicz, Head of the Main Po­lit­i­cal Board of the Pol­ish Army Woj­ciech Ja­ru­­zel­ski, Min­is­ter of Na­tion­al De­fence Ma­rian Spy­chal­ski, and al­so "em­i­nent com­man­ders of the fra­ter­nal army": USSR De­fence Min­is­ter Mar­shal Gie­orgiy Zhu­kov, De­pu­ty Min­is­ter of Na­tion­al De­fence Mar­shal Kon­stan­tin Ro­kos­sov­sky, and the Com­man­der-in-Chief of the Unit­ed Armed Forces of the War­saw Pact coun­tries, so­vi­et Mar­shal Ivan Ko­nev.


BIRD'S-EYE VIEW FROM THE WEST, 1930S


Czocha Cas­tle was and still is a place of­ten used by the film­mak­ers. Be­fore the war the Ger­man movie of Die In­sel (1934) was shot here, and af­ter 1945, among oth­ers, the well-known and pop­u­lar Pol­ish com­e­dy Where is Gen­er­al? (1963), The Val­ley of Hap­pi­ness (1983), Leg­end (2005) and The Val­ley of the Gods by Lech Ma­jew­s­ki (2019). TV se­ries were al­so cre­at­ed here: A back­pack full of ad­ven­tures (1993), The Witch­er (2002) or The Se­cret of the Ci­pher Fortress (2007). Un­til 2019 Czocha served as a scenery for 35 film pro­duc­tions.


PICTURESQUE VALLEY OF KWISA, VIEW FROM ABOVE THE ROAD LEADING TO THE LEŚNIAŃSKA DAM


ARCHITECTURE


T

he me­dieval cas­tle was built on a rocky promon­to­ry, on a gran­ite and gneiss rock raised 320 me­ters above sea lev­el. Orig­i­nal­ly, it was a small square-shaped lay­out with a round tow­er in the south­west­ern cor­ner and an en­trance gate in the west­ern wall. The fortress prob­a­bly con­sist­ed of one three- or four-storey res­i­den­tial house, erect­ed on a trape­zoid plan of 20x16 me­ters, one or two small­er util­i­ty build­ings, the afore­men­tioned tow­er, and de­fen­sive walls. A sig­nif­i­cant change in the form of the cas­tle and its spa­tial lay­out was pro­vid­ed by the re­con­struc­tion car­ried out in the 16th cen­tu­ry. It was trans­formed in­to a Re­nais­sance style and for­ti­fied with ad­di­tion­al line of ex­ter­nal walls with bas­tions on a horse­shoe plan. In the 18th cen­tu­ry a wood­en draw­bridge was re­placed by a brick bridge, thrown over the dry moat, where the an­i­mal park was ar­ranged. Af­ter the trag­ic fire of 1793, in 1795-99 the main house was slate­red, a new roof shape was formed and the tow­er was raised. The cas­tle owes its pre­sent ap­pear­ance to great re­build­ing, car­ried out at the be­gin­ning of twen­ti­eth cen­tu­ry, which clear­ly "re­ju­ve­nat­ed" it, but al­so led to de­struc­tion of some of the his­toric ar­chi­tec­tural el­e­ments not on­ly of Czo­cha Cas­tle, but al­so of the near­by me­dieval stronghold Świecie, which Gut­schow bought and which he did not man­age or want­ed to re­ac­ti­vate. The work used orig­i­nal de­tails of old res­i­dence: a stone ma­son­ry of the doors and win­dows, as well as aged oak beams more than twelve me­ters long and al­most half a me­ter thick, used as gird­ers. The in­te­ri­ors of new cas­tle have been equipped with orig­i­nal fire­places, pre­served in good con­di­tion to the pre­sent day.




RECONSTRUCTION OF THE MEDIEVAL CASTLE ACCORDING TO JAN SALM


T

he old­est el­e­ment of the cas­tle is the cylin­dri­cal berg­fried, sit­u­at­ed in the south-west­ern part of the hill. Cur­rent­ly, it is cov­ered with a domed hel­met and serves main­ly as a view­ing and clock tow­er. In the 17th cen­tu­ry, a three-storey build­ing was added to it, cov­ered with mul­ti-sloped roofs. Its fa­cade is dec­o­rat­ed with nu­mer­ous bays and a Re­nais­sance gable crowned with a life-sized stat­ue of the Ro­man god­dess of wis­dom - Min­er­va, as well as a Baroque por­tal with the coat of arms of the von Uecht­ritz fam­i­ly and the von Nos­titz coat of arms car­touche. This por­tal ac­cen­tu­ates the main en­trance to the cas­tle in­te­ri­ors, lead­ing there di­rect­ly from the stone bridge sup­port­ed on two huge pil­lars. On the op­po­site side of the cas­tle there is a me­dieval res­i­den­tial tow­er, di­vid­ed in­to two slen­der seg­ments cov­ered with gable roofs, giv­ing the fortress a unique char­ac­ter just from ro­man­tic tales and leg­ends. In the mid­dle of the 16th cen­tu­ry, a palace build­ing with four storeys was added to it from the south, planned in the shape of the let­ter L and cov­ered with gable roofs. In the me­dieval tow­er and palace the most im­por­tant cas­tle cham­bers were placed: the Mar­ble Hall, the Knights' Hall and the Li­brary. The high build­ings are com­ple­ment­ed by an east­ern ed­i­fice with neo-Re­nais­sance gables, whose in­te­ri­ors in­clude two din­ing rooms and a cor­ri­dor con­nect­ing the palace with the en­trance hall.




PLAN OF THE CASTLE: 1. CYLINDRICAL TOWER, 2. HALL IN THE GATE BUILDING, 3. EASTERN BUILDING, 4. PALACE, 5. MEDIEVAL RESIDENTIAL TOWER,
6. INNER COURTYARD, 7. NORTHERN BASTION, 8. FORE BASTION, 9. OUTER COURTYARD, 10. WESTERN WALL, 11. LOWER GATE, 12. FORTIFIED TOWER,
13. ARCADE BRIDGE, 14. DRY MOAT, 15. BAILEY, 16. GLORIETTE


T

he up­per cas­tle was for­ti­fied from the west by a de­fen­sive wall with guard porch­es and mag­nif­i­cent bas­tion, which clos­es a large out­er court­yard from the north. Near­by there is an en­trance to the in­ner court­yard with a leg­endary well and a stone bench, lead­ing through a cor­ri­dor carved in sol­id rock. El­e­va­tions of the build­ings sur­round­ing the court­yard are dec­o­rat­ed with coat of arms car­touch­es and nu­mer­ous sgraf­fite or­na­ments. The lay­out of cas­tle is com­ple­ment­ed by a south-east­ern fore bas­tion and a cylin­dri­cal tow­er, sit­u­at­ed next to a stone bridge thrown over a dry moat. In the south­ern part the bai­ley ex­tends, al­so sur­round­ed by a wall with for­ti­fi­ca­tions. The south­ern part of the bai­ley, with a clear­ly func­tion­al char­ac­ter, was equipped with farm build­ings form­ing a sep­a­rate in­ter­nal court­yard. Even here, how­ev­er, a lav­ish style of ar­chi­tec­ture was tak­en care of, as ev­i­denced by the Re­nais­sance sgraf­fite dec­o­ra­tions dis­cov­ered on the sta­bles' walls. A com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent style can be found in the north­ern part of the bai­ley, dom­i­nat­ed by green­ery and nu­mer­ous or­na­men­tal mo­tifs such as baroque sculp­tures, foun­tains or dec­o­ra­tive el­e­ments of small gar­den ar­chi­tec­ture: glo­ri­ettes, bench­es and columns. The gar­den part is ac­cen­tu­at­ed by three an­tique can­nons ar­ranged ac­cord­ing to the idea of Bo­do Eb­hardt.



IN THE NORTHERN PART OF THE BAILEY


CURRENT STATE


T

o­day, the cas­tle func­tions pri­mar­i­ly as a ho­tel and a place for cul­tur­al ac­tiv­i­ties, cor­po­rate meet­ings and oth­er com­mer­cial events. It is one of the most beau­ti­ful cas­tles in the whole Low­er Sile­sia. So, ev­ery year it at­tracts tens of thou­sands of tourists who want to learn the se­crets of the for­mer own­er of Czoc­ha and lis­ten to the sto­ries about hid­den trea­sures and events of World War II. The tour of the cas­tle in­te­ri­ors is not too long, it takes about 40 min­utes and be­gins in vault­ed en­trance hall. First, the guide leads us to the large Knights' Hall lo­cat­ed in the palace area, cov­ered with a mas­sive beam ceil­ing and sur­round­ed by a wood­en gallery. The dom­i­nant fea­ture here is an im­pres­sive Goth­ic fire­place, based on sug­ges­tive stone sup­ports with sculp­tures per­son­i­fy­ing good and evil, and dec­o­rat­ed with a frieze on which fig­ures hold­ing shields with the coats of arms of the for­mer own­ers of the cas­tle are placed. Al­so in­ter­est­ing are two chan­de­liers de­signed in the form of rings held by cherubs. These chan­de­liers are made of wood, but in such a so­phis­ti­cat­ed way that they look like bronze casts. The con­tem­po­rary fur­nish­ings of the Knights' Hall are very poor; most of the fur­ni­ture was tak­en from here af­ter the war, as well as the cas­tle pipe or­gan which was dis­man­tled from the south­ern em­po­ra and do­nat­ed to War­saw's Holy Trin­i­ty Church. It was al­so planned to take the chan­de­liers away from here, but, as the guides say, they were saved by the fact that there was no lad­der long enough in the whole cas­tle to take them down. An oak pan­elling with rich­ly dec­o­rat­ed wood­en por­tals topped with dy­nas­tic coats of arms has al­so re­mained from the orig­i­nal in­te­ri­or dé­cor.



IN THE KNIGHT'S HALL, ON THE UPPER PICTURE WE CAN SEE WINDOW NICHES DECORATED WITH COATS OF ARMS OF THE FORMER CASTLE OWNERS


N

ow we go to the Mar­ble Cham­ber, once a rep­re­sen­ta­tive place in me­dieval cas­tle. Cur­rent­ly, the room is cov­ered by a Re­nais­sance cross vault sup­port­ed on two pil­lars, how­ev­er, it is like­ly that orig­i­nal­ly it was cov­ered by a Goth­ic vault, as ev­i­denced by the mas­sive cor­ner but­tress­es. Its walls are dec­o­rat­ed with a wood­en wain­scot, in­to which the li­brary shelves were in­te­grat­ed - for­mer­ly filled with valu­able old prints from the rich col­lec­tion of the own­er, to­day oc­cu­pied by or­di­nary books com­ing from the army sur­plus store. In one of the walls, be­tween two win­dows, a Re­nais­sance white fire­place was built. It at­tracts at­ten­tion main­ly be­cause of sto­ries about the child who was walled up in it and whose spir­it wan­ders and wails dur­ing long win­ter nights to this day. On the walls of the cham­ber we can see a paint­ing por­tray­ing the last own­er of Czocha, Ernst Gutschow and his wife, as well as oth­er fres­cos sym­bol­is­ing the his­to­ry of Eu­rope and the fig­ures as­so­ci­at­ed with it. Be­hind the wain­scot, Gutschow hid a pas­sage lead­ing to the low­er lev­el of the cas­tle, where the trea­sury and per­haps oth­er, still undis­cov­ered rooms used to be lo­cat­ed, and now a small ex­hi­bi­tion re­fer­ring to the World War II is or­ga­nized.


Since I men­tioned the trea­sury and the hid­den cor­ri­dor lead­ing to it, I should al­so note that so far sev­er­al sim­i­lar pas­sages have been iden­ti­fied in the cas­tle. It is al­so known that un­der the cas­tle there is a labyrinth of cor­ri­dors with a to­tal area of about 3700 square me­ters, cut off from the rest of the build­ing prob­a­bly in the 1950s or 1960s and so far undis­cov­ered. The ex­is­tence of un­der­ground pas­sage­ways and rooms is de­scribed by pre­served doc­u­ments, and wit­ness­es' tes­ti­monies em­broi­ding this im­age by in­for­ma­tion about a cham­ber with a glass floor, to which fish from the lake flowed.



IN THE PHOTOGRAPH ABOVE THE MARBLE CHAMBER, BELOW A FRAGMENT OF THE EXHIBITION DEDICATED TO THE LATEST HISTORY OF THE CASTLE


I

n the west­ern part of the palace there is a li­brary tight­ly built up with shelves full of books, al­so com­ing from liq­ui­dat­ed mil­i­tary units. This room is dec­o­rat­ed with a wood­en ceil­ing and two curly columns stand­ing in a win­dow niche. There are three se­cret pas­sages hid­den be­hind the mo­bile shelves: one to the cel­lars, the oth­er to the porch, and the third, which is not avail­able to tourists. From here we are head­ing to the for­mer res­i­den­tial cham­bers, and nowa­days to the ho­tel and con­fer­ence part with rooms main­tained in a his­tor­i­cal style re­fer­ring to the for­mer in­hab­i­tants of the cas­tle. Among them, par­tic­u­lar­ly note­wor­thy is the host's old bed­room with a canopy bed and a Latin in­scrip­tion over his head: fran­gas non flectes - you may break me, but you shall not bend me. Ac­cord­ing to the leg­end, this bed is equipped with a me­chan­i­cal trap­door for the own­er's con­cu­bines, which were thrown from here di­rect­ly in­to the cas­tle moat. The bed­room is ad­ja­cent to a clos­et with huge mir­rors, as well as a bath­room, where not long ago there were fix­tures in use that re­mem­ber the times of Ernst Gutschow (to­day they are available as part of the out­door ex­hi­bi­tion). The cul­mi­nat­ing point of the trip is tow­er, which of­fers a view of the pic­turesque Kwisa val­ley and not very nice bai­ley.


LIBRARY


PRINCE'S CHAMBER - THE BEDROOM OF THE CASTLE OWNER


T

o the left of the stone bridge lead­ing to the main en­trance there is a low­er gate sys­tem. Tourists of­ten skip this place, which is a pity be­cause it hides ac­cess to a well-pre­served court­yard with a bas­tion and wood­en de­fen­sive porch­es, which can be walked on with­out any ob­sta­cles. The large, sol­id rocks, from which the mighty walls grow, cre­ate a lyri­cal at­mo­sphere, mak­ing this place the most charm­ing in the whole cas­tle. This leads to the en­trance to tor­ture cham­ber, lo­cat­ed in the ground floor, which is not very in­ter­est­ing, as well as to the in­ner court­yard with the leg­endary 'well of un­faith­ful wives'.


IN THE OUTER COURTYARD IN THE WESTERN PART OF THE CASTLE


You can en­ter the bai­ley with your dog, pro­vid­ed a dog has a muz­zle on it. Small dog­gies, if you are able to car­ry them on your hands or in hand­bas­kets, can al­so vis­it the cas­tle in­te­ri­ors to­geth­er with you.

Fly­ing a drone di­rect­ly over the cas­tle re­quires the ad­min­is­tra­tor's per­mis­sion. For­tu­nate­ly, the area around the stronghold is not high­ly ur­ban­ized and there is plen­ty of free space. How­ev­er, it is worth re­mem­ber­ing that Czocha is sur­round­ed by wa­ter from three sides, which could be a prob­lem for some de­vices.



Zamek Czocha
Sucha, 59-820 Leśna
tel: (75) 72 11 553
e-mail: zamekczocha@rewita.pl

Opening hours / Tickets




HOW TO GET THERE?


C

zocha is lo­cat­ed on the south­east­ern shore of Lake Leś­niań­skie, ca. 4 km east of of Leś­na town. Near the main gate there is a paid park­ing lot. The at­trac­tive lo­ca­tion of the cas­tle makes it a good start­ing point for day trips to the Iz­er­skie Moun­tains, the Kar­ko­no­sze Moun­tains and to the Czech Re­pub­lic. (map of cas­tles in Lo­wer Si­le­sia)



CZOCHA CASTLE, VIEW FROM THE WEST


BIBLIOGRAPHY


1. M. Chorowska: Rezydencje średniowieczne na Śląsku, OFPWW 2003
2. L. Kajzer, J. Salm, S. Kołodziejski: Leksykon zamków w Polsce, Arkady 2001
3. P. Kucznir: Tajny zamek Czocha, Technol 2016
4. A. Kurek-Perzyńska, M. Perzyński: Zamek Czocha - historia, legendy, tajemnice, plan
5. J. Lamparska: Tajemnice, zamki, podziemia, Asia Press 1999
6. R. Łuczyński: Zamki, dwory i pałace w Sudetach, SWA 2008
7. M. Świeży: Zamki, twierdze, warownie, Foto Art 2002



MODEL OF THE CASTLE IN THE PARK OF MINIATURES IN KOWARY



Castles nearby:
Zapusta - Piast castle Rajsko from 13th century, 6 km
Świecie - ruin of ducal castle from 14th century, 9 km
Rząsiny - relics of the castle Podskale from 13th century, 14 km
Proszówka - ruin of Piast castle Gryf from 13th century, 20 km




ALSO WORTH SEEING:



The Les­ni­ańs­ka Dam, erect­ed about 1.5 km to the west of the cas­tle, on the south­ern shore of an ar­ti­fi­cial lake formed as a re­sult of the ac­cu­mu­la­tion of Kwisa wa­ters. It is the old­est build­ing of this type in Poland, built by the Ger­mans in or­der to sta­bi­lize the riv­er flow, cre­ate a flood re­serve and pro­duce elec­tric­i­ty. The di­rect im­pulse to start this in­vest­ment was the so-called thou­sand years' flood of 1897, when many vil­lages down the riv­er were de­stroyed by wa­ter. The foun­da­tion stone of the dam was laid by the Prus­sian Min­is­ter of Agri­cul­ture and the Pres­i­dent of Sile­sia, while the hon­orary pa­tron­age over the build­ing was tak­en by Au­gus­ta Vic­to­ria von Schleswig-Hol­stein, the wife of Em­per­or Wil­helm II. On the foun­da­tion stone there is an in­scrip­tion (transl.) For the pro­tec­tion of the val­leys, in spite of the chaos, for ev­ery­one's ben­e­fit!

To­day, the pow­er sta­tion built over 100 years ago still pro­duces elec­tric­i­ty and the dam is open to pedes­tri­an traf­fic. Its length is 130 and the to­tal height is 45 me­ters. Near the dam there are camp­sites, bars and a boat rental.


IMG src= IMG src=
IMG src=





MAIN PAGE

text: 2017, 2020
photographs: 2004, 2008, 2017, 2018, 2020
© Jacek Bednarek