n the small Silesian village of Rakowice there have been at least two manor farms since late Middle Ages - a royal and a town one, with their administrators' seats in small residential towers. The older of these buildings, known as the town tower, was probably built after 1491 by Georg von Zedlitz, who inherited a considerable part of the village from Nickel Junior von Zedlitz (d. 1491). In 1535, brothers Nicolas and Georg von Zedlitz relinquished their rights to local manor house and handed it over to the Town Council of Lwówek. It was in the possession of the town until the 17th century, when it became private. After 1945, the tower, surrounded by manor buildings, became part of the State Farm and was used as a warehouse. Luckily, this saved the tower from destruction, because at that time it was undergoing the most urgent repairs to maintain its good technical condition.
he tower was built of sandstone reinforced in the corners with stone blocks, on a rectangular plan with sides of 8.4x9 meters. Originally, it consisted of four storeys. The ground floor was used as an utility area, the first storey housed a common room and a staircase, and the second storey served as the owners' apartments. The fourth storey was occupied by a wooden porch with shooting holes, supported on stone
cantilevers, and was replaced in the 18th century by a hipped mansard roof. The tower was originally accessed by a stone
Gothic portal, located in northern elevation at the height of its third floor. Later, the Gothic entrance was bricked up and its function was taken over by
an entrance in the ground floor. The interior of the tower was illuminated by a dozen or so
gaps measuring 15x60 cm and five larger windows measuring 70x85 cm. Narrow windows and a porch gave the tower a look of small "castle", which should be treated rather in symbolic and prestigious terms, because the interior was quite easy to occupy due to the lack of vaults.
ON THE LEFT THE WESTERN ELEVATION OF THE TOWER WITH THE ORIGINAL PORCH, ON THE RIGHT THE EASTERN ELEVATION TODAY
THE RECONSTRUCTIONS BY E. RÓŻYCKA AND B. JACASZEK
he full perimeter of walls with the original window stonemasonry, narrow window gaps and sandstone cantilevers used to support the wooden porch have been preserved in good condition until today. The interiors are devoid of the original divisions, but the walls show traces of old partitioning. The tower stands by the main road leading to Lwówek Śląski, in the southern part of the village. It is located in an open area, although you cannot get inside.
THE TOWER STANDS NEAR THE BUILDINGS OF THE FORMER MANOR FARM; THERE IS A POSSIBILITY TO PARK THE CAR
bout 500 meters to the north of the former town manor house there are the ruins of a tower called the Ducal Tower, although such a name may be misleading, as its founder and first owner was the administrator of the royal estate Simon (Hans?) Reussner. The building was erected at the beginning of the 16th century for residential purposes only, as evidenced by the lack of defensive porches and relatively large windows. In later years, the building and the surrounding farmstead were in the possession of not very wealthy nobility, whose property usually did not exceed one village. The tower was preserved in its entirety until the 1960s, when, as a result of a landslide of the walls on the wet ground, its roof collapsed, and a few years later also the ceilings and higher parts of the walls.
THE DUCAL TOWER IN THE 1950S...
...AND NOWADAYS :-(
he tower was built of broken stone supplemented by sandstone blocks, on a ca. 10x12 meter rectangular plan. Of its three floors, the lowest one housed a vaulted room and a narrow hallway with stone stairs leading to the first floor. From here, the wooden staircase led to the second floor covered with the wooden ceiling, and divided into a living room, a chamber and a small latrine with a metal vessel and a stone gutter for sewage disposal. The entrance to the tower was placed in the northern wall and decorated with a stone portal with semicircular arch. Light entered the interior via several larger windows and narrow gaps. The building was topped with a stone cornice and covered with a hipped roof, which was replaced by a steep gable roof in the 18th century. Just like the town tower, the ducal tower also was surrounded by manor buildings, which unfortunately didn't preserve.
SOUTHERN (ON THE LEFT) AND NORTHERN ELEVATION OF THE DUCAL TOWER ACCORDING TO J. BACHMIŃSKI
REMAINS OF THE SOUTHERN WALL
nly the lower parts of the outer walls up to the height of the first floor and fragments of internal divisions of the lowest floor survived. The ducal tower stands about 500 meters north of the town tower,
on a meadow, on the left side of the road leading to Lwówek Śląski. Access to the ruins is not restricted. You can park your car at a nearby grocery store.
VIEW OF THE RUIN FROM THE NORTH, ON THE RIGHT WE CAN SEE A FORMER ENTRANCE
1. M. Chorowska: Rezydencje średniowieczne na Śląsku, OFPWW 2003
2. L. Kajzer, J. Salm, S. Kołodziejski: Leksykon zamków w Polsce, Arkady 2001
3. A. Wagner: Murowane budowle obronne w Polsce X-XVIIw., Bellona 2019
Castles nearby: Radłówka - ruin of a noble castle from the 16th century, 2 km
Płakowice - the noble castle from the 16th century, 9 km Gościszów - ruin of the dukal castle from the 13th-17th century, 10 km Rząsiny - relics of Podskale Castle from the 13th century, 10 km