n the site where the Gothic fortified castle stands today, a wooden stronghold called Mons Tyzow functioned in the early Middle Ages, which was first mentioned in 1241. The masonry castle was presumably erected in the mid-13th century by Bohemian King Václav I Přemyslid, known as One-Eyed (d. 1253), or by his son
Přemysl II Ottokar (d. 1278), although the theory is also popular that its founder may have been one of the dukes of Świdnica-Jawor, whose strong border stronghold would have helped consolidate his rule in Upper Lusatia. From 1253 to 1319, the area belonged to the Ascan dynasty, and in 1306 Johann von Birbestein, the supposed royal starost, was the tenant or owner of the castle. In 1319, the estate passed to the hands of
Henrik I, Duke of Jawor-Świdnica, who less than twenty years later traded Czocha and Świecie castle, as well as towns Lubań, Mirsko and Żary, for half of the town of Głogów, which he received from King
Ján of Luxemburg for life.
THE CASTLE RISES ON A ROCKY HEADLAND SURROUNDED FROM THE NORTH BY THE RIVER KWISA
rom then on Czocha, being a fief of the King of Bohemia, was administered by Czech and German knights, among them by the von Dohna family, first mentioned here in 1389. In 1417, Wenzel von Dohna sold the rights to the castle to Heinrich von Renkern, who became "famous" for attacking neighbors and merchant convoys. For this reason, his superiors forced him to leave forever, and Czocha passed into the hands of royal official Hartung von Klux (d. 1445), who, however, due to his state functions, visited here infrequently, ceding the rights and duties of estate administrator to a nephew named Dietrich.
ARCADED BRIDGE LEADING TO THE CASTLE
he younger relative, instead of managing the family lands, focused on looting merchants traveling along surrounding routes. After one such robbery, committed against citizens of Kraków heading to Zgorzelec, King
Władysław Jagiełło banned trade contacts with Zgorzelec, being initially convinced that the Lusatian town was responsible for this criminal act. Only a town envoy sent to the Polish ruler shed light on the perpetrators of the robbery, which forced Hartung von Klux to dismiss his nephew as his confidant. In 1433, after Hartung left for Basel, Switzerland, a Hussite detachment led by knight Hans von Tschirn of
Niesytno invaded the castle, and then plundered it of valuable equipment and supplies. It wasn't until the spring of 1434 that the rightful owner, supported by an army of retainers, recaptured Czocha and then bloodily dealt with the robbers stationed there.
n 1451 Ramfold, the last owner of Czocha from the von Klux family, died. After his death, the castle passed to Kaspar von Nostitz (d. 1484), and from then on it was remaining in the hands of this powerful family for almost two and a half centuries. Kaspar was among the staunch enemies of the Hussites, whom he considered heretics and a great threat to the interests of both the Catholic Church and the legal order. During the Thirteen Years' War, he served as commander of troops fighting on the side of the Teutonic Order, taking part, among others, in the victorious Battle of Chojnice (1454). At the end of the war, after losing at the Battle of Świecin (1462), he returned to Silesia and Lusatia, where he became involved in an armed conflict between supporters of Hungarian King
Hunyadi Mátyás and Czech King
Jiří z Kunštátu a Poděbrad.
AT LEŚNIA LAKE JUST BEFORE SUNSET, VIEW FROM THE EAST
aspar von Nostiz's heir became Hartwig von Nostitz (d. 1510), the offspring of Kaspar's marriage to Sabine von Gersdorff (d. 1465). He was succeeded by son Johann (d. 1565), who rebuilt the castle in the Renaissance style. Johann von Nostitz and Anna von Zettritz had a son, Abraham (d. 1592), a later graduate of Leipzig University, who enjoyed great respect from his subjects thanks to the charitable actions he organized. Abraham married three times and lived to see five daughters and five sons, among them Christoph, the owner of Czocha in 1592-1600. However, when the latter died childless just eight years after taking possession of the estate, the castle passed into the hands of his brothers Konrad and Kaspar, who kept it until 1637.
ENGRAVING SHOWING THE APPEARANCE OF THE CASTLE AFTER THE FIRE OF 1793
n 1639, Christoph von Nostitz-Rieneck (d. 1691) became the lord of the castle. He invested in geological research, particularly gold prospecting, and founded villages in the Kwisa River valley, where he settled Protestants fleeing from Bohemia and other regions of Silesia from religious persecution. The grueling Thirty Years' War was underway at the time, and the political and military events that unfolded in Silesia in the 1630s and 1640s 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, castle's fortification facilities were expanded and a garrison increased in number. Among other things, thanks to these changes, in 1645 the residents of Gryfów Śląski, who had taken refuge in the castle, successfully repelled an attack by Swedish marauders wandering through the surrounding villages with the intention of looting and robbery. Christoph von Nostitz-Rieneck died at the age of 84. His estate was inherited by 24-year-old Albrecht (d. 1698), who passed away without an heir just seven years after taking over the inheritance, with the result that the male line of Rothenburg Tzschoch family became extinct. The property thus returned to Christoph's widow, who sold it in 1700 (or 1703) to royal councillor Johann Hartwig von Uechtritz (d. 1732) for 152,000 thalers.
THE CASTLE ON ENGRAVINGS BY ARTHUR BLASCHNIK FROM THE SECOND HALF OF THE 19TH CENTURY
artwig von Uechtritz, lord of See and Spreitz, lived to see five daughters but not a single son, so he instituted Grundfideikomiss - a rule under which daughters could only take as husbands candidates from his own family circle, in order to keep the estate in the hands of the family. One of them, Christiane Elisabeth (d. 1741), in 1714 married Karl Magnus, but the latter died just two years later at the age of 25. Soon Elisabeth's second wedding took place, with Heinrich von Uechtritz, with whom she lived together for another fourteen years, and whose funeral in November 1732 became an unusual and terrible spectacle. This is because when the funeral procession entered the rotten castle bridge, it could not withstand the pressure and collapsed, as a result of which some people 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 the Rhenish merchant Ferdinand Otto von Schnidel (d. 1805) acquired Czocha for 87,000 thalers. His son, castle-born
Carl Otto Gustav (d. 1830), became famous as the author of many works on literature and history, as well as a translator of Renaissance Italian poetry.
LITOGRAPHY BY THEODOR BLATTERBAUER FROM 1880S
n 1782, based on a court ruling, representatives of the von Uechtritz family regained the right to the Tzschocha estate. A little over a decade later, in the absence of Friedrich Christoph von Uechtritz (d. 1821), the owner of the castle, a fire broke out on the night of August 17-18, 1793, destroying its roofs and tower, as well as some of the living quarters with furnishings, armory and many valuable old prints. Soon the reconstruction of the castle began and six years later it was habitable again, although its appearance differed slightly from the earlier style, including replacing the old medieval roof with a Baroque one, raising the bell tower, and changing interior decoration. After August's death, Ernst August Friedrich von Uechtritz und Steinkirch (d. 1877) inherited the estate, followed by Friedrich Karl Otto (Friedrich's son), who officially settled in the castle with his wife Gustavine Ottilie Karoline Minette Charlotte Olga von Uechtritz und Steinkirch von Wartensleben. They had five children (Bernhard, Victoria, Hildegard, Bolko, Edgar), and their estate consisted of a manor, two villages and forests and farmland covering a total area of 1,500 hectares.
POSTCARDS FROM THE EARLY 20TH CENTURY: 1. AT THE TOP, THE CASTLE BEFORE THE GREAT RECONSTRUCTION (BEFORE 1912),
2. BELOW, THE STATE AFTER THE COMPLETION OF THE FIRST STAGE OF RECONSTRUCTION (HERE WE SEE A PSEUDO-GOTHIC RISALIT)
(1912-20), 3. BOTTOM, CASTLE AFTER RECONSTRUCTION (1920S)
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 from Dresden (d. 1946) . This wealthy industrialist amassed not only a great fortune, but also an impressive art collection. Its magnificent decoration was to be the Czocha castle. The beautiful and old mansion was also intended to help him obtain the desired title of nobility that Gutschow hoped for as part of the Kaiser's appreciation of his contribution to building Germany's industrial power. The castle was in poor technical condition at that time and required serious and expensive renovation. However, the owner had no interest in duplicating the old fashion and, going one step further, he commissioned a complete reconstruction of Czocha in romantic style.
CONSTRUCTION OF THE GREAT ROUNDEL BASTION, 1912-20
he task of rebuilding the castle was undertaken by the well-known Berlin architect
Bodo Ebhardt, who in 1912-20, at a cost of 4 million marks, transformed its exterior and modernized its interiors, trying to reflect the spirit of the past as closely as possible. This was achieved, among others, by using original architectural details and building materials obtained from demolished parts of the castle. The fireplaces were specially imported from Italy, and the library received a decor reminiscent of English Tudor Gothic. The interior design was complemented by Max Koch’s wall paintings, 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.
CASTLE RECONSTRUCTION, 1912-20
Ernst Gutschow was born on 8 April 1869 in Rostock, Mecklenburg. Little is known about his parents and education. However, we know that at the age of 22 he left Germany for England and two years later emigrated to United States. There, Ernst found employment as general manager of MICHALITSCHKE BROS & CO., that manufactured, imported and sold Cuban cigars and Turkish cigarettes. Shortly thereafter, he married the company owner's daughter, Josie Michalitschke. It opened the way to a great career and big money, thanks to which he bought the Czocha castle and pursued his passion for collecting. Among other things, he founded a library of 25,000 volumes, Germany's fourth-largest private collection of antique prints and books.
After his return to Germany, 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. His collection included many rare works of art and valuables from Tsarist Russia, often bought from bolsheviks at sales they organized after the Red Revolution. Perhaps among them were the coronation insignia of the Russian tsars or the very valuable
Faberge gold eggs. Despite all his wealth, however, Ernst still remained a man of low estate, and although he used a coat of arms with a motif of a walking lion, it was only a bourgeois coat of arms, and any German citizen could have one. He lacked nobility, which he could not just buy. The Czocha castle, acquired on the initiative of the owner of
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.
VIEW OF THE CASTLE FROM THE EAST ON A POSTCARD FROM THE 1920S
espite huge financial and organizational effort put into the reconstruction of the castle, its owner visited it rarely, only for few weeks a year. He and his family moved here only at the end of World War II, because Lower Silesia seemed to be a relatively safe place in comparison with bombed German cities. 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. And then, after the destruction of the city by Allied aviation in February 1945, he moved to Bad Wildungen, where he died a year later from cancer. 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.
VIEW OF THE CASTLE FROM THE SOUTH, CA. 1920
owever, some of the castle's equipment remained there. These alleged treasures, i.e. books, furniture, wine and an insignificant amount of silverware became the subject of looting and embezzlement by new authorities. One of 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. A next truck with "treasures", driven personally by the militia commandant, also disappeared in mysterious circumstances. Other looters were not so lucky, and the then deputy governor of Lubań landed in jail for the theft, among others. The authorities succeeded in reclaiming about 25 000 books, which were later sent to the University Library in Wrocław, 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, 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 some witnesses to 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 the Apollo ships to the moon. These visits may have been related to research on ballistic missiles of the V-1 and V-2 types, experiments with radiological weapons or modern types of propulsion systems, presumably conducted in underground factories near the town of Leśna. One such factory was called "Gema Werke" and produced
FREYA radiolocation devices. Presumably, however, they also did some experiments there, which gave - as it was sometimes written - effects of a strong electromagnetic field, which made engines in cars driving near it switch off! When experiments were stopped, cars moved on as if nothing had happened.
THE CASTLE ON PRE-WAR POSTCARDS
fter the Second World War the castle was given to an agricultural cooperative and then to the then Ministry of Culture and Art. In 1952 the Ministry of Defense took over the facility, organizing a resort there for high-ranking officers and their families. This fact may have been decisive for its further existence, as thanks to this, Czocha did not share the fate of many other Silesian mansions, which were left without proper care and which over time fell into ruin. After 1989, the stronghold came under the management of the Military Housing Agency and, after renovations in 1996, it was opened for tourism.
BIRD'S EYE VIEW OF CZOCHA, PHOTOGRAPH FROM THE 1930S
Film and television makers quite often use Czocha castle as a setting for their productions. Even 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 the General? (1963), The Valley of Happiness (1983), Legend (2005) and The Valley of the Gods by Leon Majewski (2017). Of the popular Polish series set in Czocha, we can mention the following: A backpack full of adventures (1993), The Witcher (2002) and The Secret of the Cipher Fortress (2007).
SCREEN FROM THE MOVIE "WHERE IS THE GENERAL?", SCENE IN THE NORTH BASTION
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 stronghold with a round tower in the southwestern corner and an entrance gate in the western wall. It 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 then rebuilt in the Renaissance style and fortified by adding exterior walls with bastions on a horseshoe plan.
RECONSTRUCTION OF THE MEDIEVAL CASTLE BY JAN SALM
n the 18th century a wooden drawbridge was replaced by the brick one, built over a dry moat, in which the then owners placed a menagerie. After the great fire of 1793, the main dwelling house was covered with slate and the tower was raised. The castle owes its present appearance to the great rebuilding, carried out at the beginning of the twentieth century, which clearly "rejuvenated" it, but also led to destruction of some of 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. During this reconstruction, some original details of the old von Uechtritz residence were used: doors, windows and gunposts stonework, as well as century-old oak beams used as girders. Interiors of the castle featured original Italian fireplaces, which have remained in good condition to the present day.
VIEW OF THE CASTLE FROM THE NORTHWEST, 1937
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 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, leading through a 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 giving it a unique character just from romantic tales and legends. In the middle of the 16th century, a
palace with four storeys was added to te tower from the south, planned in the shape of the letter L and covered with gable roof.
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. SOUTHERN BASTION, 9. OUTER COURTYARD,
10. WESTERN WALL, 11. LOWER GATE, 12. FORTIFIED TOWER, 13. ARCADE BRIDGE, 14. DRY MOAT, 15. BAILEY, 16. GLORIETTE
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 an inner courtyard with a legendary well and a stone bench,
leading through a corridor carved in solid rock. Walls of the buildings around the courtyard are decorated with coat-of-arms cartouches and numerous sgraffito décor. The entrance to the upper castle is fortified by a
southeastern bastion and a
cylindrical tower connected to it by a wall, located next to an arcaded stone bridge.
o the south of the castle is a farm-yard, also surrounded by a wall. The southern part of it, with distinctly domestic features, is filled with farm facilities surrounding a large courtyard. Even here, however, a
lavish style of the buildings was taken care of, as evidenced by the Renaissance sgraffit decorations with hunting themes on the walls of the stables. A completely different character is found in
the northern part of the farm-yard, where greenery and numerous ornamental motifs dominate, including Baroque sculptures, fountains, gloriettes, benches and columns. These are contrasted by
three antique cannons set up on Bodo Ebhardt's initiative.
oday, Czocha 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.
WINDOW NICHES DECORATED WITH COATS OF ARMS OF THE FORMER CASTLE OWNERS
he tour of the castle interiors is not too long, it takes about 40 minutes and begins in the vaulted entrance hall. First, the guide leads us to the large Knights' Hall 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
evil, and decorated with a frieze featuring figures holding shields with the castle owners' coats of arms. Our attention is drawn here to
two chandeliers shaped like rings held by cherubs. These chandeliers are made of wood, but in such a clever way that they resemble bronze castings to an illusion. The contemporary furnishings of the hall are very modest; most of the furniture was taken from here after the war, including the castle organ, which is now a fixture in Warsaw Holy Trinity Church. It was also planned to take the chandeliers away from here, but, as the guides say, they could not be taken down because no ladder long enough to reach them was found in the entire castle. In addition, a
dark oak paneling and wooden door portals have been preserved.
THE KNIGHTS' HALL
ow we go to the Marble Chamber, a representative place in the 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, 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 in. It attracts attention mainly because of the stories about a child who was walled up in it and whose spirit wanders and wails during long winter nights to this day. A painting depicting Czocha's last host Ernst Gutschow and his wife has been preserved on the walls of the chamber, as well as other historicizing frescoes depicting the history of Europe in a symbolic way.
THE MARBLE CHAMBER
ehind the wainscoting, the owner has hidden a passage leading to the lower floor of the castle, which formerly housed a treasury and perhaps other rooms that are still undiscovered, and now hosts a small exhibition with themes relating to World War II.
So far, more than a dozen hidden underground passages have been found in the castle. It is also known that in the underground there is a labyrinth of corridors with a total area of about 3,700 square meters, which were cut off from the rest of the building probably already during the communist era and have so far remained undiscovered. The existence of underground passageways and rooms is mentioned in surviving documents, and witness testimonies color the picture with information about a chamber having a glass floor where fish from the lake used to swim up.
FRAGMENT OF EXHIBITION ABOUT THE LATEST HISTORY OF THE CASTLE
he western part of the palace houses a
library, which is tightly filled with shelves full of books, also coming from decommissioned 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.
rom here we ahead to former residential chambers, and nowadays to the hotel and conference part with rooms maintained in a historical style referring to prominent figures associated with the castle. Among them, particularly noteworthy is the host's old bedroom with a canopy bed and a Latin inscription over it: frangas non flectes - you can break, but you can’t bend. 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 a part of the outdoor exhibition). The culminating point of the trip is the tower, which offers a view of the picturesque Kwisa valley and
(not very nice) farm yard.
THE BEDROOM OF THE CASTLE OWNER
o the left of the castle bridge there is a lower gate. Tourists sometimes 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 the 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'.
THE WALKWAY FROM THE OUTER COURTYARD TO THE INNER COURTYARD LEADS BETWEEN PICTURESQUE ROCKS
You can enter the farm yard 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.
zocha is located on the southeastern shore of Lake Leśniańskie, about 4 km east of Leśna town. There is a paid parking lot near the main gate. An 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 Rep.
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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 - castle Rajsko from the 13th century, 6 km Świecie - ruin of the ducal castle from the 14th century, 9 km Rząsiny - relics of the castle Podskale from the 13th century, 14 km Proszówka - ruin of the castle Gryf from the 13th century, 20 km
Leśniańska Dam, erected about 1.5 km west of the castle, on the shore of an artificial lake created by damming up the Kwisa River. It is the oldest construction of its kind 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. Prussian Minister of Agriculture and the President of Silesia, among others, took part in the ceremony of laying the cornerstone for the dam, while Augusta Victoria von Schleswig-Holstein herself, the wife of Kaiser Wilhelm II, became the honorary patron. The cornerstone bears the inscription (transl.): To the valleys for protection, to the abyss for spite, to everyone for benefit!
Today, the more than 100-year-old dam still produces electricity. It is also open to pedestrian traffic. Its length is 130 and the total height is 45 meters. Near the dam we can find campsites, bars and a boat rental.