Order of St John Castle, Łagów
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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Order of St John Castle

Łagów

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The fortified castle with fortifications is situated in a picturesque location between two lakes and is one of the most valuable medieval complexes in the region.

History

The castle was built by the Order of Saint John on an artificially raised area of land, on an isthmus between the Trześniowskie Lake and the Łagowskie Lake, after 1350. The complex was tetragon-shaped in plan and surrounded by a wall. The western part of the structure was used for residential purposes, while in the south-eastern corner there was a tower. The castle hill was surrounded by an additional line of ramparts with small semi-circular bastion, used not only for defence purposes, but also as a retaining wall. Archaeologists date the gate tower and the northern wing to the 16th century. During the Thirty Years’ War the castle which was under Swedish control was besieged by the Brandenburg army. The castle was destroyed during the war and then rebuilt, with the addition of a southern wing, in the Baroque style, except for the tower. The east wing was built in 1712, thereby the courtyard was closed off on all sides. Then, in 1734 a 22-metre-high entrance neck was erected. After the order ceased to exist in 1810, Prussia acquired ownership of the estates belonging to the Order of Saint John. The castle was taken over by private owners; until 1945 the castle was owned by several persons, including general Friedrich von Zastrow, von Puechler-Limburg. After the Second World War the castle served as a House of Creative Work; between 1966 and 1971 it underwent complete renovation and was adapted for use as a hotel, which continues to operate to this day.

Description

The castle is built of brick and partly of stone, on a floor plan which approximates the shape of a square, and consists of four wings, with an inner rectangular courtyard, and two storeys. The south-western corner of the building features a tower, which is square at the base and cylindrical at the top, crowned with a crenellation. The entrance to the castle leads through a long gate neck with stairs consisting of 51 steps. The remnants of the original structure include a Gothic room on the ground floor in the western section, covered with a cross-rib vaulting supported on a pillar. It probably served as a refectory; now it is the location of a restaurant. Also cellars have been preserved in their original Gothic form. On the first floor, in the so-called knights’ hall there is a fireplace dating from around 1740, with a decoratively designed coat of arms of Adam Otto von Viereck, who was a commander of the Order of Saint John. The ramparts surrounding the castle hill are reinforced with sixteenth-century bastions and equipped with machicolations in the southern part.

The monument is available to visitors.

Compiled by Marta Kłaczkowska, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Zielona Góra, 30-10-2014 r.

Bibliography

  • Kirkor-Skowron A., Łagów, [w:] Bielinis-Kopeć B (red.), Zamki, dwory i pałace województwa lubuskiego, Zielona Góra 2008, s. 230-232.
  • Kowalski S., Zabytki architektury województwa lubuskiego, Zielona Góra 2010, s. 211-213.
  • Garbacz K., Przewodnik po zabytkach województwa lubuskiego, t.1, Zielona Góra 2011, s. 160-162.

General information

  • Type: castle
  • Chronology: po 1350 r.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Kościuszki 3, Łagów
  • Location: Voivodeship lubuskie, district świebodziński, commune Łagów
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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