Residential tower, Siedlęcin
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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One of the largest surviving residential towers, originally built for Silesian knights. Today, it constitutes an exceptional example of a late medieval magnate’s residence featuring surviving fresco decorations - a truly unique set of secular paintings of high artistic quality which is actually the oldest of its kind anywhere in Poland.

History

The tower was most likely erected in 1314 at the initiative of an individual linked to the court of the dukes of Jawor and Świdnica, perhaps even duke Henry I himself. In years 1345-46 and ca. 1369, the interiors were decorated with a collection of frescos. The keep was first mentioned in written sources in 1368 (or 1369). During the 15th century, an additional storey was added, as was the tall roof which can be admired to this day. Having sustained damage during a fire, the tower was renovated in 1575. Initially, the tower was protected by a perimeter wall about 4 metres in height, which was ultimately demolished in 1840. During the second half of the 18th century, an outbuilding was added on the southern side of the keep, which also underwent another restoration, in the course of which some of the wooden ceilings have been replaced. The surrounding moat was partially filled with earth. In 1888, the painted decorations on the walls were discovered and were subsequently restored in the years 1936-38, 1954 and 1869 as well as in the early 21st century.

Description

The moated tower is located in the southern part of the village, on the eastern side of the main road, on a small hill rising above the Bóbr river valley. It is a four-storey building designed on a rectangular floor plan (ca. 22 x 14 metres), its split stone walls reaching the height of approx. 19 metres. It features basements underneath parts of the structure. It is topped with a tall hip roof clad with wood shingles. The main entrance is located on the southern side, framed with a chamfered portal topped with a pointed arch. The windows are small and arranged in an irregular pattern. Some of the windows are topped with trefoil arches with remnants of bar tracery, while others are rectangular in shape. The rooms are topped with beamed ceilings, with barrel vaults used for the basement level. An ensemble of unfinished, Late Gothic wall paintings made using the “fresco-secco” technique can be found on the walls of the third floor, incorporating the portrayal of St Christopher with Child Jesus as well as scenes from the legend of Sir Lancelot du Lac, with the coats of arms of the von Redern and von Zedlitz families added at a later date. A number of manor farm buildings from the 18th and 19th century can be found in the vicinity of the tower.

The building is open to visitors, with interior tours available during the opening hours.

compiled by Piotr Roczek, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Wrocław, 03-11-2014.

Bibliography

  • Architektura gotycka w Polsce, T. Mroczko, M. Arszyński (eds.), vol. 1-3, Warsaw 1995.
  • Malarstwo gotyckie w Polsce, A. Labuda, K. Secomska (eds.), vol. 1-3, Warsaw 2004.
  • Zabytki sztuki w Polsce. Śląsk, Warsaw 2006, pp. 769-770.
  • Zamki i dwory obronne w Sudetach, T. II Księstwo jaworskie, compiled by: M. Chorowska, T. Dudziak, K. Jaworski, A. Kwaśniewski, Wrocław 2009, pp. 188-197.
  • Kapałczyński W., Napierała P., Zamki, pałace i dwory Kotliny Jeleniogórskiej, Jelenia Góra-Wrocław 2005, pp. 121-123.
  • Witkowski J., Szlachetna a wielce żałosna opowieść o Panu Lancelocie z Jeziora. Dekoracja malarska wielkiej Sali wieży mieszkalnej w Siedlęcinie, Wrocław 2001.

General information

  • Type: residential building
  • Chronology: 1 poł. XIV w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Długa 21, Siedlęcin
  • Location: Voivodeship dolnośląskie, district jeleniogórski, commune Jeżów Sudecki
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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