Castle, Gościszów
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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A 16th-century castle featuring easily distinguishable remnants of an earlier, medieval structure. Despite numerous redesigns, it remains an excellent example of a Lower Silesian magnate’s residence originally erected in a number of stages during the middle and late Renaissance period. The picturesque castle, surrounded by a moat with a pond, features partially surviving stone detailing incorporating numerous mythological motifs.

History

The moated castle, erected in the years 1541-1643 for the von Warnsdorf family, is situated on the site of an earlier, medieval structure first mentioned in written sources dating back to the year 1318, with some of the walls of the said medieval castle being incorporated into the new edifice. The castle was partially redesigned in 1780, when the main bridge spanning the moat was added. Some time later, in the years 1848-56, the castle was redesigned once again - this time in the Late Classicist style - at the initiative of Egon Gustav von Schönberg-Bibran-Modlau. A Gothic Revival modernisation followed towards the end of the 19th century. The castle was restored in 1930, but after 1945 it was heavily damaged by fire, which prompted a rather swift descent into ruin. Despite having been partially secured against further damage in 1965, the castle continued to dilapidate even after being acquired by a private individual in 1993.

Descritpion

The castle is located in the middle of the village, on the northern side of the main road, in the vicinity of the local parish church. It was designed on a roughly oval plan. The castle consists of a number of distinct sections arranged in an irregular manner, including the corps de logis (the straight, north-western wall of which forms the boundary of the complex) as well as a pair of wings - the south-eastern wing and the south-western wing, flanking a quadrangular courtyard closed off towards the east by a medieval peripheral wall with a gate. The castle, made of stone supplemented by a few brick sections, was initially a two-storey structure covered with gable roofs, some of its walls reinforced with buttresses. The north-western part of the castle (the corps de logis) follows a two-bay layout and is preceded by a brick and stone bridge; a tower adjoins the eastern side of this section of the castle, while remnants of a staircase can be found in its southern part. A pair of single-bay wings adjoins the main body of the castle to the south-east and the south-west, with vestiges of a medieval tower designed on a circular plan still visible in the south-eastern corner. The front façade of the corps de logis of the building is crowned with Mannerist gables (years 1603-05) and adorned with stonework decorations incorporating mythological themes in the form of tritons, sirens, dolphins and various fantasy creatures. Remnants of sgraffito decorations made up of geometric, foliate and figural motifs can still be found on the courtyard façades. The now-defunct main portal, dating back to 1603 and made of stone, used to be topped with a semi-circular arch adorned with angel heads and gargoyles, framed by a pair of columns supporting the entablature adorned with two rows of coats of arms as well as the personifications of Valor, Prudence and Moderation in bas-relief. Above the portal rose a pair of griffins - remnants of the now-vanished gable. Today, all that remains of the castle are its peripheral walls and remnants of its decorative gables. The former interiors of the castle have been reduced to a pile of rubble. North of the castle lies a landscape park, while a manor farm with gatehouse which was later converted to serve as a granary can be found west of the ruins. The granary, erected in 1605, is adorned with the family crests of the von Warnsdorf and von Zedlitz noble families and is accompanied by the Cavalier House and an orangery.

The historic monument can be viewed from the outside. The former interiors of the castle have been reduced to a pile of rubble and are now overgrown with self-sown vegetation, making them completely inaccessible.

compiled by Piotr Roczek, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Wrocław, 10-06-2015.

Bibliography

  • Łuczyński R., Zamki, dwory i pałace w Sudetach, Legnica 2008, pp. 114-118.
  • Słownik Geografii Turystycznej Sudetów. Vol. 2 Pogórze Izerskie, Vol. I, M. Staff (ed.), Wrocław 2003, pp. 228-229.
  • Zabytki sztuki w Polsce. Śląsk, Warsaw 2006, pp. 297-298

General information

  • Type: castle
  • Chronology: 1 poł. XVI w. - 1 poł. XVII w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Gościszów
  • Location: Voivodeship dolnośląskie, district bolesławiecki, commune Nowogrodziec - obszar wiejski
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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