Castle, Lwówek Śląski
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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An excellent example of a Lower Silesian magnate’s residence erected during the full-fledged Renaissance period. Its value stems, in particular, from its lavish stonework detailing influenced by Italian art, created by the atelier of Franciszek Parr and exhibiting an outstanding artistic quality.


The castle was erected in the years 1550-63 at the initiative of Ramphold von Talkenberg, its design attributed to Franciszek (Franz) Parr. It was later modernised in the year 1600 or thereabouts; until 1739, the castle remained in the hands of the Schaffgotsch family and was subsequently acquired by the Hochberg family. In years 1824-29, it was converted into a mental hospital for patients whose insanity was considered to be incurable. Between 1840 and 1889, the castle underwent yet another redesign, conducted in a number of stages and resulting in the demolition of corner extensions, replacement of window surrounds, subdivision of the entrance vestibule and a number of rooms in its main body as well as the construction of a pair of south-eastern avant-corps. The primary transformation works took place in years 1874-76 and 1889. During the last decade of the 19th century, steam heating and electrical lighting were installed. A hospital complex was erected north and east of the building during the fourth quarter of the 19th century and in the early 20th century. Somewhere around the year 1900, a park was established around the castle and the hospital complex. The castle underwent restoration works in the years 1925-31, 1972-73, 1979-83 and 1990-94. From 1992 onwards, it has served as a mission of the Baptist church.


The castle is located in the centre of the former village, currently situated within the administrative boundaries of the town of Lwówek Śląski. The building is designed in the Renaissance style. It is made of stone with brick elements. Designed on a quadrangular floor plan, it consists of a three-storey main body and a pair of wings surrounding the inner courtyard with cloisters, its south-eastern boundary marked by a curtain wall. Originally, the castle was surrounded by a moat spanned by a stone bridge leading up to the entrance gate. The roofs of the castle are of the gable type. The rectangular avant-corps projecting from the northern and southern corners, from the ends of the wings alongside the curtain wall as well as from the middle of the north-eastern façade feature separate gable roofs or three-sided roofs positioned perpendicularly towards the main roofs of the castle. The corners of the exterior façades are adorned with rusticated quoins, with the first storey of the building being accentuated by a cornice. The volute-shaped gables are partitioned by cornices and pilasters, with the gable rising above the south-western façade featuring a particularly decorative, volute-shaped silhouette. The windows are rectangular in shape and come in different shapes and sizes; they are framed with profiled stone surrounds, some of them featuring additional decorations in bas-relief. The main access gateway, topped with a round arch, leads across the ground floor level of the north-eastern part of the castle, through the front façade avant-corps whose walls are supported with buttresses. The entrance gate is framed with a two-storey sandstone portal dating back to 1550, featuring sumptuous decorations and flanked by Corinthian pilasters positioned atop tall plinths, with two bands of friezes running directly above the pilasters. The portal features a volute-shaped pediment incorporating a rectangular window framed with pilasters which are in turn flanked by decorative bands adorned with inscriptions. The entire design is further enriched by foliate and candelabrum motifs as well as ornamental urns and images of dolphins; rosettes grace the gateway arch surround and the archivolt, with a pair of medallions with profile portraits of the castle’s benefactor and his wife incorporated into the spandrels. The friezes are adorned with the coats of arms of the Talkenberg, Rechenberg, Hochberg, Liebenthal, Raussendorf, Lest, Zedlitz and Reibnitz noble families. Arcaded cloisters surround the courtyard from three sides, featuring barrel vaults with lunettes and supported by Ionic columns extending upwards above the capitals in the form of pilaster strips. The semi-circular archivolts and pilaster strips are adorned with rosettes. Above the cloisters runs a stone balustrade made up of rows of balusters positioned between rectangular posts rising above the columns and archivolt keystones; in the north-western wing, the balustrade supports the second-storey cloister columns. The remaining wings feature a different arrangement, with enclosed hallways illuminated by rectangular windows positioned directly above the cloisters. An open balcony resting on volute-shaped stone supports runs along the curtain wall on the second-storey level. The interiors follow a single-bay pattern, with the individual rooms arranged in an enfilade layout. The cloisters and galleries positioned above them provide an additional means of getting around the building. Staircases leading up to the first floor are positioned along the northern and western corners of the courtyard. The ground floor level rooms feature vaulted ceilings of the barrel type (some with lunettes) as well as of the double barrel type. Fragments of ornamental painted decorations from 1558 can be found in the north-eastern wing, while a stone portal with decorations in bas-relief survives on the second floor of the building.

The building currently serves as a Baptist mission; it can be viewed from the outside. Exploring the interiors is possible by prior arrangement.

compiled by Piotr Roczek, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Wrocław, 10-06-2015.


  • Łuczyński R., Zamki, dwory i pałace w Sudetach, Legnica 2008, pp. 302-306.
  • Słownik Geografii Turystycznej Sudetów. Vol. 7 Pogórze Kaczawskie, M. Staffa (ed.), Wrocław 2002, pp. 406-411,
  • Zabytki sztuki w Polsce. Śląsk, Warsaw 2006, pp. 685-686.
  • Zamki i dwory obronne w Sudetach, Vol. II Księstwo jaworskie, Wrocław 2009, pp. 310-311.

General information

  • Type: castle
  • Chronology: XVI w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Pałacowa 4, Lwówek Śląski
  • Location: Voivodeship dolnośląskie, district lwówecki, commune Lwówek Śląski - miasto
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland


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