W drodze na Grunwald
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

users tour Ewa Krasińska

W drodze na Grunwald

8

one day

warmińsko-mazurskie

założenie urbanistyczne
Kurzętnik

30 minutes

transport time to the next site

1 min

The castle of the Chełmno chapter
Kurzętnik

30 minutes

An example of a permanent ruin consisting of the remains of the original castle site whose shape was, to a considerable extent, determined by the surrounding terrain. The structure performed a utility and defensive function.

History

The castle complex in Kurzętnik was built on the peak of a tall, elongated hill located on the southern bank of the valley of the Drwęca river. To this day, the hill clearly dominates the surrounding landscape; back in the days when the castle was built, it was considered a particularly valuable location in terms of defence. The construction of the brick and stone castle probably started around the mid-14th century. In 1414, the castle suffered extensive damage for the first time, following the attack by the Polish army. In 1454 the castle was successfully besieged and burned down by the Teutonic Order. Further damag was inflicted upon the structure during the Swedish Deluge in 1656. The structures comprising the castle complex were already in a poor state of repair at that time, which led to them being gradually dismantled and treated as a source of easily accessible building material.

Description

The castle complex in Kurzętnik was erected on a plan of an elongated rectangle with dimensions of approx. 110 x 42 m; however, in its western part, the entire complex was much narrower (only 17 metres in width). The main castle building was located in the southern part of the site and was built on a floor plan with a shape similar to that of a square (25 x 27 metres). The main building of the castle, along with the courtyard, was surrounded by a defensive wall adjoined by elongated, fortified, trapezoidal castle grounds, the shorter side thereof terminating with with a tower which served as a residential building. Two defensive towers were embedded in the longer side of the peripheral walls. The main entrance into the castle was positioned in its southern section, where the castle was separated by a dry moat from the vast plateau beyond. A characteristic feature of the castle in Kurzętnik is the material used for its construction. It was built mostly of erratic stone, whereas bricks were used only to a small extent.

The castle is a permanent ruin and is accessible to visitors. The castle hill can be accessed from the direction of the church in Kurzętnik, from which a path forming part of the Way of Sorrows leads all the way to the top. The castle hill offers a magnificent view of the river valley with the silhouette of Nowe Miasto Lubawskie visible in the distance.

Compiled by Hanna Mackiewicz, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Olsztyn, 3.10.2014.

 

Bibliography

  • Kajzer L., Kołodziejski S., Salm J. Leksykon zamków w Polsce, Warszawa 2001, p. 257.
  • Czubiel L., Zamki Warmii i Mazur, Olsztyn 1986, p. 30-32.

transport time to the next site

6 min

Town defensive walls
Nowe Miasto Lubawskie

30 minutes

An element of an old municipal complex, an example of defensive architecture preserved in a discernible perimeter. The most valuable element of new municipal fortifications are two fully preserved, Gothic gate fortified towers: Lubawska and Brodnicka.

History

The perimeter of municipal fortifications of Nowe Miasto Lubawskie was built in the first half of the 14th century. Originally, the town was surround by makeshift wooden and earthen reinforcements. Another stage consisted in securing the entrances to the town with brick and stone gates. Brick and stone fortifications were started to be built ca. in 1330. The line of defensive walls was delimited along a nearly trapezoidal perimeter. The upper, face sections of the walls were made of brick, while the foundation sections — with widely accessible granite field stone. In the second half of the 14th century, they were extended. In the place of significantly lower entrance gates, three high gates were created: on the north, at the outlet of Kazimierza Wielkiego Street — Bratiańska gate, on the north-west — Lubawska gate also called "Łąkowska", and on the south-west — Brodnicka gate, also called "Kurzętnicka". To improved defensive features, 21 rectangular fortified half-towers, open from the town side, were embedded in the main line of fortifications. In the 19th century, some of them were adapted to serve as residential premises, of which significant part survived until today. In three corners of the defensive walls, round fortified towers were built, and in the fourth one — a square tower preserved in the form of a residential building. The external complement of the new municipal fortifications was constituted by a doubly moat fed from Drwęca and an earthen rampart — both indiscernible today. In the 17th century, fortifications were partially damaged, even if during the wars with Sweden they efficiently inhibited attacks of the enemy. This fact was documented in the form of a fresco painted in 1638 on the wall of the Gothic church of St. Thomas. Municipal walls of Nowe Miasto Lubawskie entirely lost their importance in the 19th century, and brick and stone taken from them constituted raw material for houses built by Okólna Street. In the 1930s, in both survived gate towers passages for pedestrians were made, and in the 1950s, the rooms of the Brodnicka tower were adopted for the headquarters of the Museum of the region of Nowe Miasto Lubawskie.

Description

The most discernible fragments of municipal fortifications are located in the southern part of the town, to the west from the Brodnicka tower; along Okólna Street and in the north-east part, nearby the Gothic parish church of St. Thomas, where relics of a corner round fortified tower are also preserved. The side walls of both gate towers, Brodnicka and Lubawska, feature remains of former passages to the walls, enabling to recreated the original height of the latter, which was from 4 to 5 metres.

Accessible structure.

Compiled by Adam Mackiewicz, 6.12.2014.

Bibliography

  • Wojciechowski M.(red.), Nowe Miasto Lubawskie zarys dziejów, Nowe Miasto Lubawskie 1992, s. 37
  • Witkowski Z. (red.), Nowe Miasto Lubawskie, z dziejów miasta i powiatu, Olsztyn 1963,
  • s. 193-200
  • [b. aut.] Nowe Miasto Lubawskie - magiczne spotkanie z historią, Urząd Miejski w Nowym Mieście Lubawskim 2011

transport time to the next site

2 min

kościół parafialny pw. św. Tomasza
Nowe Miasto Lubawskie

30 minutes

transport time to the next site

8 min

fragmenty murów zamku zakonnego
Bratian

15 minuts

transport time to the next site

15 min

miasto
Lubawa

one hour

transport time to the next site

1 min

Bishop castle, currently permanent ruins
Lubawa

15 minuts

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

History

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.

Description

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.

 

Bibliography

  • 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.

transport time to the next site

29 min

Grunwald (Tannenberg) - battlefield
Grunwald

30 minutes

The Grunwald (Tannenberg) battlefield commemorates one of the largest battles of medieval Europe. By the latter half of the 14th century the Teutonic Order had become a major political power playing a leading role in the Baltic region. The last hurdle in the construction of their empire was the state of Lithuania, in particular Samogitia, which lay between the Order’s Prussian and Livonian properties. However, the Polish-Lithuanian Union forged in the 1380s struck a blow to the Teutonic Knights’ policy of expansion. The prospect of their pagan neighbour’s conversion to Christianity left not only the reason for their Teutonic mission under question, but also the very raison d’etre of the Order itself. After years of relative peace, Poland’s conflict with the Order was renewed, and events began to lead towards a conclusive resolution.

In 1409 the Teutonic Knights began a campaign which culminated in the Battle of Grunwald (formerly Grünfeld). On 15 July 1410 the Teutonic armies, commanded by the Grand Master Ulrich von Jungingen, consisted of around 16,000 cavalry (among them c. 500 brothers of the Order) and c. 3700 mercenaries from Silesia, Bohemia, Moravia and Western Pomerania, as well as guests from western Europe. Their ranks also included around 5000 foot soldiers with field artillery at their disposal. The allied Polish-Lithuanian forces, led by King Jogaila (Ladislaus Jagiełło), outnumbered their opponents: the Polish army comprised c. 20,000 cavalry and c. 2000 mercenaries from Bohemia and Moravia. Including the armed peasant soldiers and Taborites it amounted to around 35,000 men. The Lithuanian armies, under the command of Grand Duke Vytautas, assisted by Russian and Tartar units, numbered c. 11,000 light cavalry. The all-day battle, a regular feature of Polish and Slavic traditions, ended in a crushing defeat for the Teutonic Knights. The course of the battle proved that Jagiełło had been right in deciding not to participate in the battle in person. Commanding from a hilltop position, he could influence the direction of events, sending support troops to the sectors under threat. The Grand Master, who took part in the battle personally, was devoid of this opportunity, and at the moment of defeat was even unable to order a retreat. He died, along with over 200 brothers of the Order and several thousand soldiers fighting for the Teutonic cause. Around 40 banners were captured by the Polish forces. This splendid military success was not, however, built on. The Peace of Thorn (Toruń) entered into with the Teutonic Knights in 1411 did not give Poland any satisfactory resolutions. The Order remained a dangerous enemy, its state cutting off Poland’s access to the Baltic and limiting its export opportunities. Thus, Poland was to wage war against the Teutonic Knights for a further 13 years before finally returning to the Baltic in 1466.

The victory at Grunwald took on a symbolic dimension and became of national value, permanently etched in the Polish conscience and memory. The battle became the subject of numerous books and paintings; memorials and plaques commemorating the victory were founded. The battlefield itself became a pilgrimage destination. Prayers were said before the painting of Our Lady adorning a chapel built after the battle, and later demolished in the 18th century by the Prussian authorities, who formally banned pilgrimages to the site in 1866. In the early 20th century a monument honouring Ulrich von Jungingen was raised in its place. After the Second World War the chapel ruins were excavated and made accessible to visitors.

The landscape of the battlefield survives to this day probably in unaltered form. The area was demarcated in 1960. That same year work began on the construction of a memorial designed by Jerzy Bandura and Witold Cęckiewicz. It comprises a monolith depicting the faces of knights in visors, and several 30-metre-high masts symbolising the standards of the Polish and Lithuanian banners. The site also features an amphitheatre and a museum, opened in 1963.

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