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Bishop castle, currently permanent ruins - Zabytek.pl


woj. warmińsko-mazurskie, pow. iławski, gm. Lubawa-gmina miejska

Remains of a castle complex with residential features, owned by the Diocese of Chełmno.


The most important residence of the bishops of Chełmno was built east from the town. The location was an artificial hill in the confluence of Sandela and Jesionka rivers. The construction of a brick and stone castle was initiated by bishop Herman in years 1303-1311. In 1330, the castle was destroyed by Lithuanian troops. The first stage of construction of the stronghold took place in years 1363-1385, in times of bishop Wikbold Dobilstein. In 1402-1416, under the rule of bishop Arnold Stapil, the castle received its final, Gothic form as a four-wing complex with internal courtyard and the entrance in the western wing. The corners were strengthened by quadrangular turrets. The main octagonal tower with a clock and external gallery decorated with sculptures was located in the north-western corner. In the mid-15 century, defensive facilities were modernised. In years 1627-1637, under the rule of bishops Jakub Zadzik and Jan Lipski, the Gothic stronghold was converted into a Baroque residence by adding a wing which contained a library, archives, bishops' apartments and a chapel. Numerous stock-taking records evidence that the castle rooms were richly fitted. In the 18th century, as a result of political and economical recession, the castle gradually fell into decline. Its last resident was bishop Andrzej Ignacy Bayer. In 1815, the castle was destroyed by fire, in 1826 it was dismantled, and then the site was levelled and filled. In 1983, first excavations were carried out which were continued in the next years, aiming at identification of the first outline of the castle and its later transformations. In 2013, conservation and restoration works related to defensive walls of the castle were completed, and the surrounding area was revitalised.


Out of a four-wing Gothic complex, only a pointed-arch portal of granite ashlars and a quadrangular perimeter of defensive walls, 71 x 74 m in size, surrounding the castle hill, survived until today. The walls are currently from 2 to 4 metres high. The flat platform of the levelled castle hill is today a wasteland.

The historical structure is accessible

Compiled by Adam Mackiewicz, 6.12.2014.



  • Czubiel L., Zamki Warmii i Mazur, Olsztyn 1986, s. 42-45.
  • Kajzer L., Kołodziejski S., Salm J., Leksykon zamków w Polsce, Warszawa 2001, s. 277.

Category: castle

Architecture: gotycki

Building material:  ceglane

Protection: Register of monuments, Monuments records

Inspire id: PL.1.9.ZIPOZ.NID_N_28_BK.136597, PL.1.9.ZIPOZ.NID_E_28_BK.246737