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Conventual castle - Zabytek.pl

Lipienek, 55

woj. kujawsko-pomorskie, pow. chełmiński, gm. Lisewo-gmina wiejska

Initially conceived as the residence of the commander of the Chełmno region, the Teutonic castle (ordensburg) was one of the first of its kind erected on a regular plan.


The conventual castle of the Teutonic Order was erected on a promontory which had once been surrounded by the waters of the Zamkowe lake. It is believed that a hillfort had once stood on this site in the early Middle Ages, the first mentions thereof in written sources appearing in a document dating back to 1277, describing the armed incursion led by the Yotvingian duke Skomantas. In 1992, an archaeological survey was performed on the site of the castle; however, no artefacts that would confirm the existence of this half-suspected hillfort have been discovered.

The construction of the brick and stone castle with its complex of utility buildings began in the 13th century, most likely shortly after the aforementioned raid led by duke Skomantas. From 1285 onwards, the castle served as the residence of the Teutonic commander of the Chełmno region. In the year 1330, the castle was unsuccessfully besieged by the armies led by King Władysław the Elbow-high. The Teutonic commander is known to have resided in Lipienek until 1335, when the castle became the seat of the vogt (a local overlord), who exercised judicial powers over the knights of the Chełmno region and who also had a say on various issues related to the military. The vogt answered directly to the supreme authorities of the Teutonic Order in Malbork (Marienburg). Paul von Rüsdorf and Ludwig von Erlichhausen - both of them performing the role of the Lipienek vogt at some point in their lives - are known to have made a spectacular political career, with each of them ultimately attaining the title of the Grand Master.

Following the 2nd Peace Treaty of Thorn (Toruń), Lipienek was incorporated into the Kingdom of Poland. As a result, the castle lost its former military significance and was handed over to a succession of tenants, each of them referred to as the starosta (alderman), which, however, was a merely titular distinction. During the 16th century, the castle remained in excellent technical condition, with the so-called high castle continuing to serve residential purposes following the necessary adaptations made by the Kostka family. The various utility buildings, on the other hand, were located in the castle grounds. In the course of the Polish-Swedish conflict of 1656-1659, the castle was heavily damaged; after that period, the structure began descending into a state of ruin at an alarming rate. In the 19th century, the high castle was no longer extant, although the exact date of its demolition remains unknown.


All that remains of the former castle complex today are its ruins, and it is in this form that the structure was inscribed into the register of monuments. The complex consists of two basic sections: the motte where the high castle had once stood and the accompanying castle grounds. The motte, designed on an octagonal plan, is reinforced by a retaining wall made of granite boulders. The high castle, designed on a roughly square plan, was situated in the vicinity of the south-western corner of the motte. All that remains of the castle today are the remnants of the southern wall of the northern wing, the cellar in the south-eastern corner as well as the remnants of castle foundations, still easily discernible among the low vegetation. The elevation which had once accommodated the castle grounds features an irregular, pentagonal plan and was originally also reinforced by a retaining wall made of granite boulders, with remnants of this structure still extant in the north-western corner; during the 1980s, the southern section of the retaining wall and the moat have been partially destroyed in the course of construction of a shooting range. The former high castle motte and the castle grounds as well as the castle grounds and the accompanying elevation are separated by moats; these had originally been spanned by bridges, later replaced by the existing causeways.

Private property, visitors are advised to contact the landowner.

compiled by Leszek Kotlewski, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Toruń, 09-30-2014.


  • Bachanek J., Kirkowski R., Lisewo i okolice - zarys dziejów do 1946 roku, Lisewo 1993.
  • Bojarski J., Lipieniek, [in:] Wczesnośredniowieczne grodziska ziemi chełmińskiej, Toruń 1994, pp. 99-102.
  • Guerquin B., Zamki w Polsce, Warsaw 1984, pp. 282-283.
  • Haftka M., Zamki krzyżackie w Polsce, Malbork 1999.
  • Jóźwiak S., Powstanie i rozwój struktury administracyjno-terytorialnej zakonu krzyżackiego na Kujawach i ziemi chełmińskiej w latach 1246-1343, Toruń 1997.
  • Kajzer L., Kołodziejski S., Salm J., Lipieniek, [in:] Leksykon zamków w Polsce, Warszawa 2002, pp. 274-275.
  • Pabian A., Rozynkowski W., Zamki krzyżackie na ziemi chełmińskiej, Toruń 1997.
  • Torbus T., Die Konventsburgen in Deutschordensland Preussen, München 1998.

Category: castle

Building material:  ceglane, kamienne

Protection: Register of monuments, Monuments records

Inspire id: PL.1.9.ZIPOZ.NID_N_04_BK.437134, PL.1.9.ZIPOZ.NID_E_04_BK.227197