The Grodztwo (Kreppelhof) castle, Kamienna Góra
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The Grodztwo (Kreppelhof) castle

Kamienna Góra

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The castle is an excellent example of a Silesian magnate’s residence from the Renaissance period. Notable features include the remnants of vaulted ceilings on the ground floor level, lavish stonework decorations and vestiges of Renaissance interior wall paintings, preserved even despite the dilapidated state of the building.

History

The castle is believed to have been erected before 1508 for Hans Schaffgotsch from Chojnik, the chancellor of the ersthwile duke of Jawor and Świdnica. It was erected on the site of an earlier structure and incorporated parts of its surviving walls; the remnants of a free-standing tower designed on a circular plan, positioned south-west of the castle, are sometimes said to form the trace of the earlier structure’s existence. Having undergone extension works both in 1566 and in 1588, the castle was later partially destroyed during the Thirty Years’ War; during the years that followed, it remained the property of the von Schindel and von Dhyrn noble families; in the late 17th century or in the early 18th century, the castle came into the hands of the von Promnitz family. From 1765 onwards, it has been the property of the zu Stolberg-Wernigerode comital family. Due to the fact that Anton zu Stolberg-Wernigerode performed the function of the royal minister for Silesian affairs and the alderman (starosta) of Kamienna Góra, the castle was only inhabited by the administrator of the surrounding manor at the time. In 1813, due to the esteem enjoyed by the owner of the castle, it was visited by a number of eminent guests, including the King of Prussia Friedrick William III and tsar Alexander I, who came there to watch the victory parade commemorating the Battle of the Nations near Liepzig. In 1827, the castle was visited by Friedrick William, who would later become the king and emperor; one of the alleys in the surrounding park was later named after him. In January 1904, the castle hosted the German Emperor William II and his wife. In 1824, the castle underwent comprehensive restoration, while in 1872 it was redesigned by C. Bohn, an architect from Dresden, who remodelled the structure so that it attained a uniform Renaissance Revival appearance. The works performed during that time included the upward extension of the tower and the construction of the western portico. In 1928, the building was acquired by the municipal authorities and included in the town’s administrative boundaries. In 1945, it served as the headquarters of the Red Army and was later converted into an office building for the local State Agricultural Holding (PGR) administration. In the end, the castle was gutted by fire in 1964 and has remained in a state of ruin ever since. Some of its walls have been town down, with the valuable items of Renaissance stonework being removed from the site.

Description

The castle is located in the northern part of town, on the left bank of the Bóbr river, standing on the top of a low hill rising about 435-440 metres above sea level. The structure consists of three wings designed on an irregular plan, surrounding a quadrangular courtyard with cloisters; the entire castle is surrounded by a moat. It is a Renaissance building made of brick and stone. The castle is predominantly a three-storey structure which originally featured a taller, five-storey tower designed on a square floor plan, positioned in the north-western corner of the castle. The tower is unfortunately no longer extant. A portico with two identical portals and a terrace adjoins the western façade of the castle. The walls were originally topped with decorative roof parapets and lavishly designed gables adorned with sumptuous stonework; today, only the peripheral walls of the castle remain, reaching up to the level of the lintels of the uppermost storey windows. The windows are framed with fasciated, Renaissance stone surrounds as well as surrounds designed in the Renaissance Revival style. A pair of Renaissance Revival portals made of sandstone can be seen beneath the western portico. Most of the interior spaces are now filled with rubble and overgrown with self-sown vegetation, although traces of cross-rib vaulting and barrel vaulting on the ground floor level can still be found inside. The ruins of the castle are surrounded with a park with alleys lined with lime trees leading across the causeways and alongside the moat; there are also remains of an oak-lined alley connecting the residence and the nearby grange.

The site is not accessible to visitors; due to the lack of any safety measures, the site is unsuited for exploration by tourists.

compiled by Piotr Roczek, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Wrocław, 27-10-2014.

Bibliography

  • Słownik Geografii Turystycznej Sudetów. Vol. 8 Kotlina Kamiennogórska. Wzgórza Bramy Lubawskiej. Zawory, M. Staffa (ed.), Wrocław 1997, pp. 107-111.
  • Zabytki sztuki w Polsce. Śląsk, Warsaw 2006, p. 382.
  • Eysymontt K., Architektura renesansowych dworów na Dolnym Śląsku, Wrocław 2010.

General information

  • Type: castle
  • Chronology: początek XVI w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Zamkowa , Kamienna Góra
  • Location: Voivodeship dolnośląskie, district kamiennogórski, commune Kamienna Góra (gm. miejska)
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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