The castle of the Chełmno chapter, Kurzętnik
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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The castle of the Chełmno chapter

Kurzętnik

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An example of a permanent ruin consisting of the remains of the original castle site whose shape was, to a considerable extent, determined by the surrounding terrain. The structure performed a utility and defensive function.

History

The castle complex in Kurzętnik was built on the peak of a tall, elongated hill located on the southern bank of the valley of the Drwęca river. To this day, the hill clearly dominates the surrounding landscape; back in the days when the castle was built, it was considered a particularly valuable location in terms of defence. The construction of the brick and stone castle probably started around the mid-14th century. In 1414, the castle suffered extensive damage for the first time, following the attack by the Polish army. In 1454 the castle was successfully besieged and burned down by the Teutonic Order. Further damag was inflicted upon the structure during the Swedish Deluge in 1656. The structures comprising the castle complex were already in a poor state of repair at that time, which led to them being gradually dismantled and treated as a source of easily accessible building material.

Description

The castle complex in Kurzętnik was erected on a plan of an elongated rectangle with dimensions of approx. 110 x 42 m; however, in its western part, the entire complex was much narrower (only 17 metres in width). The main castle building was located in the southern part of the site and was built on a floor plan with a shape similar to that of a square (25 x 27 metres). The main building of the castle, along with the courtyard, was surrounded by a defensive wall adjoined by elongated, fortified, trapezoidal castle grounds, the shorter side thereof terminating with with a tower which served as a residential building. Two defensive towers were embedded in the longer side of the peripheral walls. The main entrance into the castle was positioned in its southern section, where the castle was separated by a dry moat from the vast plateau beyond. A characteristic feature of the castle in Kurzętnik is the material used for its construction. It was built mostly of erratic stone, whereas bricks were used only to a small extent.

The castle is a permanent ruin and is accessible to visitors. The castle hill can be accessed from the direction of the church in Kurzętnik, from which a path forming part of the Way of Sorrows leads all the way to the top. The castle hill offers a magnificent view of the river valley with the silhouette of Nowe Miasto Lubawskie visible in the distance.

Compiled by Hanna Mackiewicz, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Olsztyn, 3.10.2014.

 

Bibliography

  • Kajzer L., Kołodziejski S., Salm J. Leksykon zamków w Polsce, Warszawa 2001, p. 257.
  • Czubiel L., Zamki Warmii i Mazur, Olsztyn 1986, p. 30-32.

General information

  • Type: castle
  • Chronology: 1350
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Kurzętnik
  • Location: Voivodeship warmińsko-mazurskie, district nowomiejski, commune Kurzętnik
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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