Castle, Gozdów
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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Ruins of one of the few surviving defensive castles in Greater Poland. Castles of this kind had once stood in various locations, having been funded by the king Casimir the Great. A site linked with numerous historical events and a contemporary tourist attraction.

History

The castle in Koło, according to what was written in the chronicles of Jan Długosz, was erected at the request of Casimir the Great before even the town itself was founded, i.e. before 1362. It is believed that the castle structure incorporates the remnants of a fortified tower or donjon (keep) which was erected here back in the early 14th century and performed both residential and military functions; when still a separate structure, the keep had been surrounded with wooden fortifications. In the 15th century, the partially surviving keep was completed; it is believed that the founders of this earlier defensive structure were either Bolesław the Pious, Henryk III of Głogów, Wacław III or Władysław I the Elbow-high. The castle in Koło performed an important defence function, having been erected near the road towards Łęczyca; it also served as the seat of aldermen and a place where wartime councils would be held during the war with the Teutonic Order in 1410. In years 1476-81, the castle served as the residence of Anna, the duchess of Sochaczew. It was also at that time that the castle began to lose its former importance. In 1513, the king Sigismund the Old stopped over at the castle. In 1655, the castle was successfully sieged by the Swedish forces. In the 18th century, the king August III donated the castle to the Bernardine monks, who attempted to obtain building materials for their monastery by dismantling the castle walls; this, however, proved to be no easy task due to the immense strength of the mortar used to bind the bricks. The entire process of demolition continued into the 19th century and the early 20th century, as the local residents were slowly taking the castle walls apart; it was only after World War II that the ruins were protected. In addition to the slow dismantling of the castle walls, the foundations were gradually being washed away by the Warta river as it occasionally burst its banks, ultimately leading to the collapse of the entire eastern wall as well as the eastern sections of the northern and southern walls.

Description

The castle is located on the west bank of the Warta river, in what is now known as the village of Gozdów. The castle is a brick structure on a stone base, designed on a rectangular plan, with its longer sides running alongside the river banks, featuring a cylindrical keep on a quadrangular base in the south-western corner. The western wall, supported by buttresses, has survived in its entirety; parts of the northern and southern walls have also been preserved. The eastern section of the castle has collapsed due to the eroding action of the waters of the Warta river, which was prone to bursting its banks. The tower is a two-storey structure with a subterranean cellar which has once served as a dungeon. The entrance gate to the castle was located in the south-eastern wall; today, only the reinforcing structures that used to support the gateway remain. Stone foundations of an extension that had once abutted the north-western wall have been discovered, although the function of this extension remains unknown.

compiled by Tomasz Łuczak, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Poznan, 31-10-2014.

Bibliography

  • Guerquin Bohdan, Zamki w Polsce, Warszawa 1974, s. 155.
  • Katalog zabytków sztuki w Polsce, t. 5, Woj. wielkopolskie, red. Ruszczyńska Teresa, Sławska Aniela, z. 8, Pow. kolski, opr. Rutkowska J., Warszawa 1968.

General information

  • Type: castle
  • Chronology: przed 1362 r.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Gozdów
  • Location: Voivodeship wielkopolskie, district kolski, commune Kościelec
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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