Teutonic castle, Morąg
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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An example of Gothic fortress of Teutonic knights, of which the gate wing extended in the 16th century was preserved along with medieval foundations of other elements of the original complex. Of immense value is Renaissance painting on wooden ceilings of the ground floor and the first storey of the gate house.

History

The fortress, erected on a trapezoid plan, is located on a promontory by the bank of the lake Mrągowskie, dried in 1817, to the south-west from the medieval city. The first stage of construction of the castle as a prosecutor's headquarters was started in 1280 and consisted in erecting the south-eastern wing — the main fortified manor, and curtain walls enclosing the courtyard. The entire structure was additionally surrounded by defensive walls with a square tower in the southern corner. Entrance to the castle was located in the western corner of the zwinger created in that way. Ca. in 1331, the castle was extended to house a headquarters of a Teutonic Vogt, which lasted until ca. 1380, when the fortress received its final, Gothic form. It was extended by two side wings, and the eastern corner of the external fortifications was additionally strengthened with an octagonal fortified tower. As a result of the Second Peace of Thorn, the castle became a headquarters of the lost commandry [in Polish: komturstwo] of Elbląg, which as of 1467 was led by grand hospitaller and komtur Henryk Reuß von Plauen. After Prussia has been secularised, the fortress of Morąg became the headquarters of starostry entrusted to Piotr Dohn — a representative of one of the most eminent nobility families in the Duchy of Prussia. In 1584, the castle was converted under the direction of a renown constructor from Königsberg, Blausius Berwart, who extended the gate wing. Large, rectangular windows and a new gate were made in the existing walls. The older gate was bricked-up. The rooms were covered with beam ceilings. When in 1595 the Dohn family left the castle and moved to a new headquarters, the fortress started to dilapidate. The extended gate wing became the headquarters of a court, and other castle rooms housed a Calvinist church. Ca. in 1616, the main tower collapsed, and in 1815, a municipal school was built in the place of the eastern wing buildings, which was dismantled in 2001. After 1945, the castle housed various institutions — among other things archives and a cinema. In 2000, the structure went into private hands.

Description

The original Gothic appearance of the castle is not known. Until today, the gate wing extended by Blausius Berwart survived. It is a two-storey building on a rectangular floor plan, plastered and covered with a hip roof. In 2002, on the beam ceilings of the ground floor and the first floor, Renaissance painting was discovered, featuring lavish ornaments with plant motifs, with male and female figures. During renovation works carried out in 2005, the original, Gothic, pointed-arch gateway was uncovered in the western part of the preserved wing, as well as a wicket gate located next to it, and pointed-arch, plastered blind windows accompanying them. In the complex, archaeological examinations were carried out based on which stone foundations of the other, medieval wings of the building were made visible, along with an outline of the defensive walls which were partly overbuilt. Grounds storeys of two castle towers were reconstructed and the moat was made more visible.

Accessible structure.

Compiled by Adam Mackiewicz, 7.12.2014.

 

Bibliography

  • Czubiel L., Zamki Warmii i Mazur, Olsztyn 1986, s. 46-48.
  • Jackiewicz-Garniec M, Garniec M., Zamki państwa krzyżackiego w dawnych Prusach. Powiśle, Górne Prusy, Warmia, Mazury, Olsztyn 2006, s. 262-273.
  • Kajzer L., Kołodziejski S., Salm J. Leksykon zamków w Polsce, Warszawa 2001, s. 313

General information

  • Type: castle
  • Chronology: 1331-1380
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Morąg
  • Location: Voivodeship warmińsko-mazurskie, district ostródzki, commune Morąg - miasto
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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