n the medieval village of Wonowicz, some sort of fortified knight's residence existed in the 14th century, possibly built by Johann Skopp (after 1351) or by the earlier owners of this land - brothers Tyl and Berthold von Zindal. It was probably a simple two-story residential tower, typical of the fortified constructions of that period in Silesia. Its defense system consisted of a brick wall and a moat over which a wooden drawbridge was spanned.
THE NORTH-EASTERN PART OF THE CASTLE PROBABLY CONTAINS THE REMAINS OF MEDIEVAL TOWER
n 1409 Nicolas von Wohnwitz sold the village and the castle to Franz von Schellendorf. Later Wojnowice was the property of the burgher family von Krickow, who, like many other burgher families, bought out the suburban residences from impoverished knights. When in 1511 the last male representative of the von Krickow family died childless, the new owner of the estate became Achatius Haunold (after 1523 - von Haunold), president of the Town Council and starost of the Wrocław Duchy, and an ardent follower of Martin Luther. Achatius was a highly respected figure, not only among his followers but also among his religious and political opponents. His funeral in 1532 became a great event, attended as well by representatives of the Catholic Church, against which, after all, von Haunold fought fiercely.
WESTERN ELEVATION OF THE CASTLE
chatius von Haunold, however, did not live to see his death in Wojnowice, because only two years after the purchase he sold it to a townsman from Wrocław - Nikolaus von Schebitz (d. 1537). The new owner demolished the old, Gothic castle and started to build a new residence according to his own ambitions and needs. He carried out this investment until 1530 and probably never achieved its state he had dreamed of. After his death, Wojnowice became the property of Lukrecja Boner, daughter of doctor Sebald Huber and wife of Jakub Boner (d. before 1560), representative of a famous Cracow banker family. In years 1545-60 the Boners continued the construction of the residence, as a result of which it received the shape of a four-winged mansion, surrounded by a double moat.
REMAINS OF ROMANTIC ARCHITECTURE IN THE CASTLE PARK
n the 1570s, Lucretia's second husband Andreas Hertwig carried out some undetermined construction work on the castle. When he died in 1576, the estate was bought by Nikolaus von Schebitz's descendants. Then, in 1590 Jakub Boner's sons, Jakub the Younger and Sebald, bought it from Friedrich von Schebitz. In 1601 Ernst von Schweidiger came into possession of the Wojnowice estate, but in the same year he sold it to Carl von Boberg und Gittmannsdorf, an imperial official. During the Thirty Years' War (1618-48) Wojnowice was owned by the von Sauerma family. This period turns out to be relatively kind to the castle, which did not suffer any serious damage.
VIEW OF THE CASTLE FROM NORTHWEST
In 1649 the Wojnowice estate was purchased for 12,000 thalers by Weit Rötel, who a few years later sold it to Ferdinand von Mudrach. After his death in 1690 the castle came to the widow, Ursula Marianna von Mudrach, followed by their son Wit Ferdinand (d. 1719) and granddaughter Christine Charlotte. In 1758, as a result of marital relations, the domain including the castle, manor, inn, windmill and a small village became the property of the Count von Maltzahn family. It remained in their hands until 1825, when Friedrich Wilhelm von Koschembahr bought it for 42,000 thalers. Only six years later, the Prießemuth family made ownership of the castle, the farm and the local tavern.
ENGRAVINGS WITH AN IMAGE OF WOJNOWICE CASTLE, 1880S
n the 1860s Wojnowice became a property of Dr. Klemm, who did some interior renovation and replaced the old wooden bridge with a stone one. In 1873 he transferred the local property to his brother-in-law Victor Weitz, receiving 100,000 marks in return. Less than two decades later, the castle was owned by a government official named Schneider, and at the beginning of the 20th century by Egmont von Kramsta, an honorary knight of the Order of St. John and a member of the German Nobility Association. After his death in 1906, Wojnowice came into possession of the widow, Emma Therese de domo von Wilcke (d. 1956). Two years later the estate was taken over by her daughter Flora Margarita von Kramsta and then by her husband of Scottish descent, Hugo Max von Johnston. The last pre-war heirs were descendants of Flora Margarita and her second spouse, named von Livonius.
THE CASTLE IN PHOTOGRAPHS FROM THE 1920S
he castle was damaged during the Russian offensive in the spring of 1945. It was then that the Soviet troops, but also various looters, plundered it and devastated its interiors. From then on it remained in ruins and only regained its former glory in the 1980s as a result of a comprehensive renovation. In 2014, the Polish government donated the residence to the Jan Nowak-Jeziorański College of Eastern Europe.
ojnowice is one of the few castles in Poland that has preserved its original form and spatial layout to this day. This brick building originally consisted of three wings, to which a fourth wing was added later, enclosing a small courtyard. The most representative part of the castle is its northern wing, sometimes called the lord's house, which is the only one with three floors. The other wings are two-story and their fronts are decorated with triangular gables. What distinguishes this residence from other Silesian noble residences is its location „on the water”, on a structure made of oak piles, filled with boulders and clay. Communication was originally provided by a drawbridge.
THE NORTHERN WING
REMNANTS OF THE OUTER MOAT
n the second half of the 16th century, a turret was built in the corner of the northern wing. Next to it, in the front elevation, there is a Renaissance portal with Jakub Boner's and Lucretia Huber's coats of arms with an inscription: IACOB BONER BAVET MICH (I was built by Jakub Boner), and Andreas von Hertwig's coat of arms, next to which there is a sentence: INICIVM SAPIENCIE TIMOR DOMINI (The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord). The Renaissance arcades of the courtyard and the richly decorated well date also from the 16th century.
THE OLDEST PART OF THE CASTLE WITH A TURRET (WE CAN SEE IT ON THE RIGHT)
GATE PORTAL WITH THE COATS OF ARMS OF THE CASTLE FOUNDERS
he following centuries did not fundamentally change the architectural character of the residence, whose structure and layout remained almost intact. The most important later investments were the construction of a new entrance portal around 1650, the addition of a dormer widnow dated to the middle of the 17th century and the replacement of the wooden bridge with a brick one based on three arcades in the 1860s.
THE BRICK BRIDGE WAS BUILT IN THE 1860S
PLAN OF THE CASTLE ACCORDING TO M. KUTZNER: 1. ENTRANCE GATE IN THE NORTHERN WING, 2. HALLWAY, 3. TURRET, 4. RENAISSANCE ARCADES IN THE COURTYARD, 5. RESTAURANT IN THE EASTERN WING
races of the former medieval knight's castle can be found in the walls of the eastern wing, the castle moat, and the remains of the second moat, preserved in the northern section. Late medieval motifs are epresented by
latrine bays, and Renaissance ones - by
window and door stone work, coat of arms cartouches, arcades in the eastern frontage of the courtyard (now glazed), as well as wooden ceilings and fragments of frescoes with decorative plant motifs, uncovered during the renovation in years 1964-1986. Currently, the castle houses the offices of the College of Eastern Europe, conference rooms, a hotel and a restaurant.
THE CASTLE COURTYARD
The castle is not a museum, but occasionally you can take a guided tour. Within operating hours you can freely enter the hall on the ground floor and the chambers of the east wing. The park is open to public free of charge between 8 am and 10 pm.
he village of Wojnowice is located far from main roads, about 25 km northwest of Wrocław city center. Trains stop at Mrozów railway station, 3 km away.
From Wrocław you take route 94 in the direction of Lubin. After driving about 15 kilometers, in Krępice village you should turn north and continue this way to Mrozów and then to Wojnowice. There is a free parking lot by the castle, very crowded on weekends.
You can ride a bicycle in the park. However, you will not bring it into the castle.
1. M. Chorowska: Rezydencje średniowieczne na Śląsku, OFPWW 2003
2. L. Kajzer, J. Salm, S. Kołodziejski: Leksykon zamków w Polsce, Arkady 2001
3. R. M. Łuczyński: Zamki i pałace Dolnego Śląska, OWPW 1997
4. P. Oszczanowski: O dwóch rzeźbach z początku wrocławskiego renesansu…, Qart nr 4(26)/2012
5. A. Wagner: Murowane budowle obronne w Polsce X-XVIIw., Bellona 2019
Castles nearby: Źródła - the Romanesque fortified church from the 13th century, 9 km Wrocław-Leśnica - the Baroque castle from the 17th century, 10 km Wrocław - castles of Wroclaw, 21 km
Wołów - the ducal castle from the 14th century, 23 km
Smolec - remains of a castle from the 14th century, 24 km Uraz - the ruin of a knight's castle from the 13th/14th centuries, 26 km
Krobielowice - the Renaissance manor house from the 16th century, now a palace, 30 km
Ślęza - the Topacz castle from the 16th century, 30 km Biestrzyków - the residential tower from the 14th century, 33 km
Mietków - relics of a residential tower from the 16th century, 37 km
Pielaszkowice - relics of a castle from the 16th century, 37 km
Borzygniew - ruins of a Renaissance manor house from the 16th/17th centuries, 39 km Prochowice - ruins of a knight's castle from the 14th century, 40 km