oward the end of the 13th century, Pomeranian Duke Bogusław IV (d. 1309) erected a brick castle near the older settlement in order to strengthen the southern border of the duchy against attacks from Brandenburg. Before that, however, some sort of wooden stronghold, surrounded by an earthen rampart and palisade, had functioned here. And although the fact of its existence is indisputable, no remains have survived to this day, which raises the supposition that either the castle area was completely leveled in the later period, or the medieval building was simply located somewhere else.
UL. ZAMKOWA (CASTLE STREET)
n 1331 Duke Warcisław IV (d. 1326) gave the castle as a fief to the knight Hasse von Wedel, known as Red, who a few years later erected the first brick fortifications here. The Lords von Wedel, being fiefs of the dukes of Pomerania, maintained alliances with the margraves of Brandenburg, as evidenced by the fief tribute paid by the aforementioned Hasse to Ludwig I Wittelsbach (d. 1361). This led to a conflict between them and Duke
Bogusław VI (d. 1393) and his brother
Warcisław VI (d. 1394), who invaded Połczyn in 1374 (or 1389) and then gave the town and the castle to the knights of the von Manteuffel family. At the time, the stronghold consisted of several buildings enclosed by a polygonal defensive wall, as well as an extensive lower castle.
NORTHERN WING OF THE CASTLE
n 1500 a fire destroyed both the town and the castle. Soon after, Kurt von Maneuffel (d. 1535-37) undertook the task of rebuilding the residence. He became an important part of Połczyn's history not only by lifting the castle from ruins, but also thanks to the construction of as many as three glassworks and the establishment of the Lübeck law honoring the privileges of townsmen, including more favorable rules for inheritance of property. The castle was rebuilt as a two-wing structure with a residential tower.
AT THE ENTRANCE TO THE CASTLE COURTYARD
he castle was again destroyed during the Thirty Years' War (1618-48), and then, in the second half of the 17th century, it was provisionally rebuilt. This "makeshift" reconstruction was financed by Jacob von Krockow-Peest (d. 1662), who bought the town from Asmuss von Manteuffel in 1654. His grandson, Jacob von Krockow jr erected the town's first spa house in 1705, becoming one of the pioneers in the growth of spa tourism in Połczyn. It was not until
Anton von Krockow (d. 1778), however, that the former fortified stronghold was transformed into an elegant Baroque town residence with a shape similar to that of today. As part of these transformations, in 1770-72 the castle's wings were raised by one story and connected by a gate building, and its facades and interiors received Rococo-style decor. All of the castle's fortifications, including the walls surrounding it, were also taken down.
THE TOWN AND THE CASTLE ON POSTCARDS FROM THE EARLY 20TH CENTURY
n the middle of the 19th century the castle became the property of the town, and from then on it served as a post office, and in the 20th century - it housed tenant apartments. At that time almost all elements of Baroque decoration were removed, both outside and inside, and the interior layout underwent a change. The first major renovation and restoration works were undertaken here in the 1960s, but due to lack of funds they included neither reconstruction of expensive fireplaces, stucco and flooring, nor restoration of exterior facade decor. They were replaced by simpler and cheaper alternatives, such as whitewashed plaster, devoid of ornamentation, and a styleless staircase leading to the northwest wing. After the renovation was completed in 1983, the building became the home of a library and town's cultural institutions. In 2019 it underwent another renovation, during which the interiors and facades received a refreshed look, and the ugly concrete stairs was replaced with a "parade stairs", referring in style to the XVIII century.
NORTHWEST WING BEFORE AND AFTER REVITALIZATION, PHOTOS FROM 2004 AND 2022
ATTENTION HERE IS DRAWN TO THE BRAND NEW STAIRS
he oldest part of the castle, the remains of which have survived to the present day, are the foundations of a residential tower from the 15th or 16th century, erected on a square plan with sides of about 12 meters. This tower was surrounded by a wall with a pentagonal courtyard and a lower castle on the north side (from the town). Its relics can be found in the westernmost part of the northwest wing. As late as the 16th century, a northern wing and perhaps a northeast wing, were erected in the northern part of the courtyard. At that time, the residence was modernized for the use of firearms.
CONTEMPORARY PLAN OF THE CASTLE ACCORDING TO Z. RADACKI,
GRATED AREA SHOWS FOUNDATIONS OF A MEDIEVAL RESIDENTIAL TOWER
n 1770-72, the north and northeast wings were joined, and a building with a gate passage was erected at their junction. From then on, the castle had a plan similar to the letter "L" consisting of a northwestern main wing (facing the street) and a northeastern side wing. The architectural detail of the new residence's exterior facades was quite modest and included only two portals and framed windows. Its interiors were characterized by decorations typical of the classicizing Baroque, i.e. floral motifs, panels and volutes, with plenty of wood as construction material for floors, stairs, ceilings, columns, portals and furniture.
he castle now serves as the headquarters of the town's cultural institutions - it houses, among other things, a library and a gallery with handicrafts exhibited by local artists.
The castle is open during the working hours of cultural institutions. This includes admission to the courtyard.
You can enter the courtyard with your dog.
A paved road (cobblestone + concrete slabs) leads to the castle. To get inside you need to climb the stairs only.
IN FRONT OF POŁCZYN CASTLE
IN THE CASTLE COURTYARD
he building is located on a hill in the southwestern part of the old town, on Zamkowa Street, about 200 meters south of the Market Square. It takes about 10 minutes to get there from the bus station. The railroad does not reach Połczyn.
1. B. Guerquin: Zamki w Polsce, Arkady 1984
2. I. T. Kaczyńscy: Zamki w Polsce północnej i środkowej, Muza SA 1999
3. L. Kajzer, J. Salm, S. Kołodziejski: Leksykon zamków w Polsce, Arkady 2001
4. A. Wagner: Murowane budowle obronne w Polsce X-XVIIw., Bellona 2019
OLD MARKET IN POŁCZYN IS LOCATED IN CLOSE VICINITY TO THE CASTLE
Stare Dębno - relics of a knight's castle from the 14th century, 15 km
Lipie - relics of a bishops castle from the 14th century, 20 km Stare Drawsko - ruins of a 14th century castle of the Knights of St. John, 24 km Świdwin - Gothic castle from the 13th-15th centuries, 24 km
Złocieniec - relics of a knight's castle from the 14th century, 27 km
Szczecinek - castle of the dukes of Pomerania from the 14th century, rebuilt, 42 km