Oppersdorffs' Castle, Głogówek
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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The Głogówek castle is an example of a noble family seat that evolved along with the changing needs of its residents. Beginning with a Gothic structure which protected the Piast dukes from enemy raids (including by the Hussites), through the Renaissance upper castle, to the current complex which offered shelter to King Jan Kazimierz and his court during the Swedish invasion.

History

The first castle in Głogówek was built by the Piasts from the Opole line probably in the 13th century. In the years 1532-1561, the Zeidlitz family took the castle over from the previous owners; in 1561 it was in possession of the Oppersdorffs. They decided to demolish the Gothic building and replace it with a Renaissance structure which has survived - only with minor transformations - to the present day. The first project was the upper castle with the duke’s chamber and corner towers (1561-1606); from 1606, the lower castle was developed along with a chapel. In the years 1743-1781, the sough wing of the lower castle was expanded and Baroque detailed were added; in the mid-19th century, part of the castle was rebuilt under the supervision of an architect named Gluck.

During the Swedish invasion in 1655, the castle was home to King Jan Kazimierz and his court, and in 1806 it was visited by Ludwig van Beethoven fleeing from the Napoleon’s army.

In 1945 the last member of the Oppersdorff family left the castle which has ever since changed hands and has served different functions: youth hostel, regional museum, art gallery, and culture centre. Today, the building is owned by the municipality again and restoration works are underway.

Description

The Głogów castle was built in the north part of the old town, close to the fortifications, at the castle gate. From the west, it borders on a park set up in the 17th century in the area of former earthen defensive structures; from the south, the castle adjoins the Franciscan monastery complex.

Only small fragments of the wall have survived from the Gothic building. The existing castle was built in the Renaissance style with Baroque elements. It combines two connected complexes with the inner courtyard: the upper castle and the lower castle, each having three wings forming an irregular horseshoe, set in opposition and connected by the north wings. The corners of the upper castle received cylindrical towers. At the south wing of the lower castle, there is an outbuilding called “the fox porch” which linked the castle with the Franciscan monastery.

The complex is built of brick on a stone foundation visible at the basement level. The faccades have smooth plaster with rusticated corners (upper castle), ornamental bands around window openings and decorative portals made by Jakob Schwabe and Solomon Steinhafer. The upper castle is a two-storey structure with cellars. The storeys are partitioned by a cornice. Originally, the façades were covered with sgraffitto decorations, today preserved only in fragments. The wings of the lower castle are longer and single-storey. In the central axis of the east wing (front) of the lower castle, there is an entry gate, topped with an octagonal clock tower with a traditional clock and a sundial. From the outside, the gate is adorned with a portal (1671-1672) with heraldic shields and the statues of St Candida and St Christopher as well as St John the Baptist and John the Evangelist places in niches, and a bas-relief bust of the Madonna with Child Jesus. At the crossing of the east and south wing, there is a chapel, embellished with polychromy in the 2nd half of the 18th century by Franz Sebastini.

Currently, the interior is damaged, and the entire complex requires much restoration effort.

The monument is available to visitors from the outside.

Compiled by Aleksandra Ziółkowska, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Opole, 17-04-2015.

Bibliography

  • Katalog zabytków sztuki w Polsce, t. VII: Województwo opolskie, z. 12: Powiat prudnicki, red. T. Chrzanowski, M. Kornecki, Warszawa 1960, s. 27-33.
  • Lutsch H., Verzeichnis der Kunstdenkmäler der Provinz Schlesien, t. 4: Die Kunstdenkmäler des Reg. Bezirks Oppeln, Breslau 1892, s. 299-302
  • http://www.glogowek.pl/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=65&Itemid=81 (17.04.2015)

General information

  • Type: castle
  • Chronology: poł. XVI w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Zamkowa 23, Głogówek
  • Location: Voivodeship opolskie, district prudnicki, commune Głogówek - miasto
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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