*** CASTLE IN PΜTY (PLOTHE) ***

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PΜTY

knight's residential tower

OLD CASTLE IN PΜTY, VIEW FROM THE NORTH

HISTORY OF THE CASTLE

DESCRIPTION OF THE CASTLE

CURRENT STATE


T

he old­est for­ti­fied set­tle­ment in P這­ty was a 13th-cen­tu­ry wood­en bor­ough erect­ed in the north­ern part of the pre­sent town, in a bend of the Re­da Riv­er. Ac­cord­ing to some his­to­ri­ans, a trade set­tle­ment de­vel­oped near it, which is why the area was lat­er called the old town. In all prob­a­bil­i­ty, how­ev­er, it should be as­sumed that this strong­hold ei­ther func­tioned for a very short time or was not com­plet­ed at all. This is be­cause the then own­er of these lands, the knight of the Po­me­ra­ni­an duke Du­bis­laus of Otok, al­ready in the mid­dle of the 13th cen­tu­ry moved the set­tle­ment sev­er­al hun­dred me­ters to the south, where he be­gan build­ing a brick tow­er.



THE DEFENSIVE NATURE OF THE SITE IS EVIDENCED BY AN EARTHEN MOUND AND A MOAT (PARTIALLY PRESERVED)

T

he tow­er was prob­a­bly built around 1280, but by the mid-1280s, af­ter the end of the Po­me­ra­ni­an-Bran­den­burg War, it had al­ready passed un­der the con­trol of the Bran­den­burg rulers of the As­can dy­nasty. In doc­u­ments it was then list­ed as Cas­trum Plo­te di­cti. One of the mar­graves, pre­sum­ably Ot­to IV. mit dem Pfeil (d. 1308), soon hand­ed the cas­tle o­ver to his loy­al fiefs, Lud­wig I von We­del and his broth­ers, and they re­placed its wood­en and earth­en for­ti­fi­ca­tions with a stone de­fen­sive wall, which is be­lieved to have been done be­fore 1290.


Former place names: Plot­te, Plo­te, Plot, Plo­ta, Pla­te, Pla­tow, Plath and Pla­the.


THE STONE GRIFFINS STANDING IN FRONT OF THE CASTLE COME FROM ...THE BRIDGE IN GRYFICE

T

he Wedels' rule in P這­ty did not last long, how­ev­er, be­cause as ear­ly as 1295 the town came un­der the do­min­ion of the Pomera­ni­an dukes, and then was giv­en to Rü­gen knight Jo­han­nes de Hey­der­breke dic­tus de Plo­ta. The Hey­de­brek fam­i­ly prob­a­bly held sway here un­til 1325, when the duchy was uni­fied. Lat­er the cas­tle fre­quent­ly changed hands - in 1325-67 it be­longed to a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the von Blan­ken­burg, von Plötz, von Eber­stein and von Tro­yen fam­i­lies. Rel­a­tive sta­bil­i­ty was brought to the town on­ly un­der Hen­rik von der Os­ten (from 1367), who ini­ti­at­ed a two-cen­tu­ry-long pe­ri­od of fief own­er­ship by him and his de­scen­dants. Since the von Os­tens were en­gaged in a pri­vate war o­ver land with the Grafs von Eber­stein, they raised the cas­tle walls to a height of 6 me­ters to strength­en its de­fense.



WESTERN PART OF THE CASTLE WITH A MEDIEVAL FORTIFICATION WALL

A

t the be­gin­ning of the 15th cen­tu­ry, P這­ty be­longed to Hein­rich von der Os­ten, called the Younger of the East (d. 1421), and then to his son Din­nies von der Os­ten (d. 1477), nick­named the White Knight. How­ev­er, he shared the right to the tow­er with his broth­er We­di­ge, who owned 1/4 of the cas­tle and the en­tire low­er town. In 1463 von der Os­ten gave mil­i­tary sup­port to Bish­op Hen­nig Iv­en of Ka­menz (who waged war against the city of Ko­這­brzeg), and as a con­se­quence his cas­tle in P這­ty was at­tacked by Ko這­brzeg's army, which cap­tured and burned it in 1465. Fur­ther dam­age was done here in 1473 by armed troops of the Eber­stein fam­i­ly from No­wog­a­rd, with whom, as I have al­ready men­tioned, the von der Os­ten fam­i­ly fought bat­tles for land and in­flu­ence. Soon af­ter these events, the own­ers re­built the tow­er and even ex­pand­ed it by adding a build­ing in the south­ern part of the court­yard.



PΜTY ON LITHOGRAPH BY E. SANNE FROM 1846, IN THE BACKGROUND WE CAN SEE THE OLD CASTLE

I

n 1577 Wedi­ge von der Os­ten (d. 1594), due to his dif­fi­cult fi­nan­cial sit­u­a­tion, sold the cas­tle and half the town to Her­mann von Blüch­er of Dem­min for 40,000 thal­ers. An in­ven­to­ry of the en­tire es­tate was drawn up at the con­clu­sion of the sale con­tract, which al­lows us to learn more about the eco­nom­ic back­ground of the cas­tle at the time. In­deed, we know from the doc­u­ments that a sta­ble, a bak­ery, a brew­ery, a cow­shed and a mill op­er­at­ed in the farm­yard. Three years lat­er von Blüch­­er par­tial­ly de­mol­ished the old Goth­ic tow­er and, us­ing its low­er walls, erect­ed a com­fort­able Re­nais­sance fam­i­ly seat. The cas­tle thus lost most of its de­fen­sive fea­tures, be­com­ing sim­ply a com­fort­able no­ble res­i­dence.



VIEW OF THE OLD CASTLE FROM THE NORTHEAST, E. SANNE 1846

A

f­ter leav­ing the old tow­er, the von der Os­ten fam­i­ly set­tled in the east­ern part of the town, where, at the turn of the 16th and 17th cen­turies, they erect­ed a new res­i­dence, hence­forth known as the New Cas­tle (this build­ing is sit­u­at­ed on­ly 200 me­ters from the Old Cas­tle). The di­vi­sion of P這­ty be­tween the two fam­i­lies caused nu­mer­ous quar­rels, which weak­ened the von Blüch­er fam­i­ly's fi­nan­cial con­di­tion. The feuds be­tween the neigh­bor­ing fam­i­lies ceased around 1719, af­ter Mat­thias Con­rad von der Os­ten (d. 1748) mar­ried the heiress to the von Blüch­er es­tate, Cla­ra So­phia (d. 1721 at the age of just 20), and the di­vid­ed es­tate was merged. Much ear­li­er, how­ev­er, in the mid­dle of the 17th cen­tu­ry, the Im­pe­ri­al and Swedish armies sta­tioned in P這­ty sev­er­al times, hav­ing a dis­as­trous ef­fect not on­ly on the eco­nom­ic sit­u­a­tion of the town but al­so on the cas­tle it­self, which was then loot­ed and dev­as­tat­ed.



SITE PLAN OF THE NEW (ON THE LEFT) AND OLD CASTLE (ON THE RIGHT), 1740

I

n 1761 Prince Mikhail Vol­kon­sky, a lieu­tenant gen­er­al of the tsar­ist army, was sta­tioned at the cas­tle. The stay of him and his staff caused so much dam­age to the in­te­ri­ors that the von der Os­tens aban­doned its use, and from then on the cas­tle stood emp­ty falling in­to ru­in. In the 1840s, the then own­ers gave the ne­glect­ed build­ing for use to a lo­cal so­ci­ety for the care of poor chil­dren, but the or­ga­ni­za­tion func­tioned here on­ly for a short time, as the ed­i­fice burned down as ear­ly as 1860.




RUINED CASTLE ON POSTCARDS FROM THE EARLY 20TH CENTURY

A

f­ter the fire, the ru­in of the burned cas­tle was cov­ered with a pro­vi­sion­al roof, while the win­dows were se­cured with boards. Thus, it con­tin­ued to de­te­ri­o­rate, and its con­di­tion be­came even worse with the ar­til­le­ry shelling of So­vi­et troops in the spring of 1945. When one of the cor­ners of the build­ing col­lapsed (1956), a de­ci­sion was made to re­build the his­toric ed­i­fice for cul­tur­al pur­pos­es. As a re­sult of the works car­ried out in 1957-67, the cas­tle gained a form rem­i­nis­cent of the Re­nais­sance pe­ri­od. Af­ter their com­ple­tion, it served as a sub­sidiary of a state ar­chive (un­til 2009) and as a town li­bra­ry.




VIEW OF THE OLD CASTLE FROM THE NORTH, CONDITION IN 1930 AND 2022


HISTORY OF THE CASTLE

DESCRIPTION OF THE CASTLE

CURRENT STATE


T

he old­est, 13th-cen­tu­ry cas­tle was a res­i­den­tial tow­er, built on a hill and sur­round­ed by a wood­en pal­isade and a moat. It had a rect­an­gu­lar plan with sides of 12.7x17 me­ters, and its struc­ture pre­sum­ably in­clud­ed four floors, the low­est of which was built of boul­ders and the oth­ers were made of brick. Com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween floors was pro­vid­ed by a stair­case hid­den in the thick­ness of the wall. Af­ter 1284, the wood­en for­ti­fi­ca­tions were re­placed by a stone and brick wall, which, af­ter changes made at the turn of the 13th and 14th cen­turies, en­closed a rect­an­gu­lar court­yard mea­sur­ing 27x38 me­ters.




PLAN OF THE CASTLE FROM THE EARLY XIV CENTURY

MEDIEVAL FORTIFICATION WALL

A

round 1540 the von der Os­tens erect­ed a three-sto­ry res­i­den­tial build­ing, con­nect­ed to the tow­er. Its low­est floor was oc­cu­pied by a rep­re­sen­ta­tive hall with a cross vault sup­port­ed by a sin­gle pil­lar. Above it, there were shoot­ing holes and a bay win­dow, based on carved stone cor­bels and cov­ered with a crys­tal vault.



RENAISSANCE WING

A

t the end of the 16th cen­tu­ry, the von Blüch­ers par­tial­ly de­mol­ished the me­dieval tow­er to erect a stair­case in its place, with an en­trance lead­ing to the rep­re­sen­ta­tive Knights' Hall, and fur­ther to a kitchen. As a con­se­quence of these changes, the ed­i­fice re­ceived the form of a two-sto­ry main wing with a tow­er and a low­er south­west wing (de­mol­ished in the 18th cen­tu­ry), which pre­sum­ably housed a cha­pel. At that time, the build­ing re­ceived larg­er win­dows, its loop­holes were bricked up, and the ex­te­ri­or fa­cades were giv­en a uni­form ar­chi­tec­tural decor in the late Re­nais­sance style.




THE MAIN WING OF THE CASTLE WITH A STAIRCASE BUILT WITH THE USE OF THE MEDIEVAL WALLS (1)
AND BAY WINDOW IN THE EASTERN ELEVATION (2), CONDITION IN 1912 (CASTLE IN RUINS)

T

he Knights' Hall, lo­cat­ed on the ground floor, with a two-bay vault sup­port­ed by a cen­tral Tus­can col­umn, served as the rep­re­sen­ta­tive room of the cas­tle. This cham­ber, like the cas­tle's oth­er ma­jor in­te­ri­ors, was equipped with a mas­sive fire­place and sol­id wood­work, while its walls fea­tured col­or­ful poly­chromy. At the turn of the 17th and 18th cen­turies, the tow­er was raised by two sto­ries, and the en­tire build­ing re­ceived Ba­roque decor. On the top floor of the tow­er a rich­ly dec­o­rat­ed room was ar­ranged, with ac­cess on­ly from the at­tic. His­to­ri­ans spec­u­late that this un­usu­al lay­out in­di­cates that the room may have served as a meet­ing place for some se­cret or­ga­ni­za­tion, to which one of the own­ers may have be­longed.



THE KNIGHT'S HALL, 1938

GROUND FLOOR PLAN OF THE CASTLE: 1. STAIRCASE, 2. KNIGHT'S HALL, 3. RISALIT, 4. BAY WINDOW


HISTORY OF THE CASTLE

DESCRIPTION OF THE CASTLE

CURRENT STATE


T

he cur­rent ap­pear­ance of the cas­tle is some­what eclec­tic and re­sults from trans­for­ma­tions and changes re­peat­ed­ly car­ried out here from the 13th to the 18th cen­tu­ry. Of the old­est, me­dieval tow­er, on­ly the low­er floors and a frag­ment of the stone pe­ri­me­ter wall have sur­vived to our day. Par­tial­ly re­con­struct­ed in­te­ri­ors al­so re­tain pieces of Re­nais­sance stone­work and an­tique fire­places. The cas­tle in P這­ty now serves as a town li­brary.


The castle is not a tourist faci­li­ty and can­not be visi­ted. The rules of ad­mis­sion and stay­ing here are the same as in any other lib­rary.


To thoroughly explore the buil­ding from the out­side we need about 20 min­utes.


There are quite a lot of green areas in the vi­ci­ni­ty of the cas­tle - the place is su­itable for walk­ing the dog.


OLD CASTLE IN PΜTY, EAST AND NORTH ELEVATION



GETTING THERE


T

he cas­tle is lo­cat­ed in the south­ern part of the town, on I Armii Woj­ska Pol­skie­go Street. It is 1.2 km away from the rail­way sta­tion.


No park­ing place at the cas­tle. The car can be parked on Zam­ko­wa Street or in the town.




BIBLIOGRAPHY


1. A. Janowski, M. R瑿kowski: Ceramika Saintonge z siedziby rycerskiej w P這tach, Gemma Gemarum 2017
2. L. Kajzer, J. Salm, S. Ko這dziejski: Leksykon zamk闚 w Polsce, Arkady 2001
3. Z. Radacki: Zamek w P這tach, Ziemia Gryficka, T 2
4. K. St瘼i雟ka: Pa豉ce i zamki w Polsce dawniej i dzi, KAW 1977
5. A. Wagner: Murowane budowle obronne w Polsce X-XVIIw., Bellona 2019
6. Gminny program opieki nad zabytkami na lata 2018 – 2022, Dz. Urz. Wojew. Zachodniopomorsk., 2018
7. Various authors: P這ty – per豉 Pomorza Zachodniego, Urz康 Miejski w P這tach




Castles nearby:
Resko - relics of a knight's castle from the 14th century, 10 km
Golczewo - relics of a 13th-century bishops' castle, 22 km
Nowogard - relics of a 13th-century ducal castle, 23 km
Buk - relics of a knight's castle from the 14th century, 27 km
Strzmiele - fortified mansion from the 16th century, rebuilt, 29 km
Dobra - ruins of a knight's castle from the 14th century, 32 km
安idwin - Gothic castle from the 13th-15th centuries, 37 km




WORTH SEEING:



The von der Os­ten palace, known as the New Cas­tle, built in 1606-18 just 200 me­ters east of the Old Cas­tle. O­ver the fol­low­ing cen­turies, it went through nu­mer­ous mod­ern­iza­tions, and its cur­rent ap­pear­ance was giv­en by Ger­man ar­chi­tect Paul Korff, who in 1910-12 re­built the res­i­dence in a neo-Baroque style. The von der Os­ten fam­i­ly owned the es­tate un­til the end of the 19th cen­tu­ry, and then it passed to the von Bis­mar­ck-Os­ten fam­i­ly. Af­ter World War II, the New Cas­tle was na­tion­al­ized, and an agri­cul­tur­al school and lat­er a board­ing school were placed in it.



NEW CASTLE, GATEWAY

NEW CASTLE, WEST ELEVATION


The palace con­sists of two main parts: a Re­nais­sance one from the turn of the 16th and 17th cen­turies, and a neo-Baroque tow­er and north­ern build­ing erect­ed in the 20th cen­tu­ry. It is a three-winged ed­i­fice on an ir­reg­u­lar C-shaped plan, with a risalit tow­er on the side of the court­yard and a two-sto­ry ter­race on the side of the park. The tomb­stone of We­di­ge von der Os­ten (d. 1594) and his wife An­na von Mas­sow (d. 1573) and the foun­da­tion plate of the New Cas­tle (1910) have been pre­served on the fa­cades of the build­ings. The res­i­dence in­cludes a neo-Baroque gate­way with out­build­ings, as well as a large park, in the cen­tral part of which a tomb of the for­mer own­ers has sur­vived.



NEO-BAROQUE PART OF THE NEW CASTLE / EPITAPH OF WEDIGE VON DER OSTEN AND HIS WIFE


Cur­rent­ly (2022) the palace is not used (one wing prob­a­bly in­hab­it­ed). It can be viewed from the out­side. The park is ne­glect­ed.



VIEW OF THE NEW CASTLE FROM THE PARK




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text: 2022
photographs: 2018, 2022
© Jacek Bednarek