Remains of medieval fortifications, Danków
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

Remains of medieval fortifications

Danków

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The relics of medieval fortifications provide a valuable example of earthen fortifications with small fortified guard settlements, ramparts, and moats, well-preserved in the former New March town.

Location and description

The first guard settlement (site 9) is located within the palace park, in the south-eastern part of Danków, on the southern side of the road leading to Strzelce Krajeńskie and to the west from the Polka river flowing out of the Wielgie lake. The second settlement (site 10) is situated in the south-western part of Danków, on the southern side of the road leading to Barlinek, by the strait connecting the Kinołęka lake with the Wielgie lake of Danków. Ramparts and moats are located in the western part of Danków, and they reach the lake of Danków from the north, and from the south - the paved road running across the town.

The first settlement is an artificial hill, up to 6 m above the lake level and with dimensions of 60 x 50 m. In the central section, there are traces of stone foundations of the unknown wooden structure, probably a watchtower, mentioned above.

The second settlement is a hill, up to 5.5 m above the Kinołęka lake level and with dimensions of 40 x 45 m. In the northern part of the hill peak, there are surviving brick and stone traces of the ground plate of a wooden structure, probably a watchtower.

Two ramparts, two moats, and an oval elevation form a section of earthen fortifications. The ramparts run along the north-south axis. The preserved height of the ramparts is 4 m, and of the hill - up to 5 m above the level of the lake of Danków. The western rampart and the western moat are legible along a section of 55 m, while eastern fortifications elements: rampart and moat - along a section of 135 m. The elevation base diameter is 25 m, and the width of ramparts and moats - 50 m in total, and from the north, along with the elevation - 60 m.

History

Danków was mentioned for the first time in written sources in 1283 as Tankowe. In the early 14th century, the village was used as a resting place by Brandenburg margraves a couple of times. In 1314 and 1315, margrave Waldemar hunted here. In the years 1343-1347, the village was visited several times by margrave Ludwig the Older who, in one document, mentioned the Danków civitas.

In the Middle Ages, a hunting castle was built within Danków, where Brandenburg margraves, Church dignitaries, and knights met. Numerous documents were signed there, including trade agreements and agreements relating to ruling the New March. In the first half of the 14th century, the subsidiary settlement was transformed into a town where around the mid-century, earthen fortifications were erected, as well as two guard settlements, built by the routes leading to Danków from the west (from Barlinek) and the east (from Strzelce Krajeńskie). Little is known about the later investment activities within the fortifications of Danków. During archaeological surveys conducted in 2009, in the middle section of site no. 9 (settlement facing Strzelce Krajeńskie), late-medieval build-ups with a stone ground plate of one wall of an unknown building, probably a wooden watchtower, were found. In the 19th century, when a manor park was arranged, medieval accumulation was breached or, in some places, even totally destroyed. At site no. 10 (guard settlement facing Barlinek), an intact arrangement of late-medieval layers was found, associated with the time in which the town dwellers ceased to use the hill. In addition, remains of the ground plate supporting a wooden structure were uncovered in the form of designedly arranged bricks and stones. The feature could be used as a shelter by temporary guards whose duty was to protect Danków from the side of Barlinek. Archaeological surveys have confirmed that the surviving ramparts (site no. 12) are a relic of medieval town fortifications, probably made of sand coming from the hill levelled for the purposes of construction.

Condition and results of archaeological research

In the course of the archaeological surveys carried out in 2009 at the first guard settlement (site 9), in the said build-ups, apart from traces of a ground plate of a structure, fragments of ceramic vessels and an arrowhead dated to 13th-14th century were also discovered. In the second guard settlement (site 10), within the build-ups associated with relics of the wooden structure erected on a stone and brick ground plate, fragments of ceramic vessels from approx. 15the/16th century, damaged coins from the 15th-16th century, and a dozen iron bolt heads were found. The archaeological surveys enabled to document the thesis that the surviving ramparts are relics of fortification of the medieval Danków, and that they were probably made of sand coming from the levelled hill located within the later structures.

The fortifications are accessible all year round.

compiled by Krzysztof Garbacz, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Zielona Góra, 13-04-2015.

Bibliography

  • P. Kołosowski, Sprawozdanie z archeologicznych badań sondażowych przeprowadzonych w Dankowie w 2009 roku, „Strzeleckie Zeszyty Historyczne”, nr 1, Zeszyt Dankowski, Strzelce Krajeńskie 2010s. 25-38.
  • E. Rymar, Nowomarchijskie miasteczko, dziś wieś. Danków na przestrzeni wieków, Strzelce Krajeńskie 2009, passim.
  • B. Skaziński, Zabytki Gminy Strzelce Krajeńskie, Strzelce Krajeńskie 2010, s. 57.

General information

  • Type: fortifications
  • Chronology: XIV-XV/XVI w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Danków
  • Location: Voivodeship lubuskie, district strzelecko-drezdenecki, commune Strzelce Krajeńskie - obszar wiejski
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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