wycieczka po miasteczku Dobra w powiecie łobeskim
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users tour NID.OT.Szczecin

wycieczka po miasteczku Dobra w powiecie łobeskim

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several hours

zachodniopomorskie

Castle Von Dewitz
Dobra

One of the most formidable and beautiful late-Gothic knight’s castles in Western Pomerania, converted at the request of outstanding Pomeranian statesman Jobst von Dewitz. The authentic Renaissance plaster has been preserved on the façades; it has not been repaired since the fourth quarter of the 16th century. The castle in Dobra is also one of the first examples of modern protection of historic monuments in Pomerania.

History

The history of the caste has not been thoroughly and reliably researched and documented so far. The theses developed by authors of the history of the castle are not always proved by the surviving relics. The knight’s seat was established probably by Przybysław IV of Parchimia, owner of the local land, in the 1280s. In the documents, the earliest mentions of “castrum” in Dobra date back to 1287 and 1294. The next owner of Dobra was Beyrow of Mecklenburg and since 1308 Dobra was owned by Henryk de Dobere, also known as Heydebrecke. The then castle was located on a hill surrounded by wetlands; it had the shape of a quadrangle approximating the shape of a square with a rectangular wing projecting at the west side of the building. The courtyard was surrounded by a defensive wall (curtain wall) with an entry gate from the west. The castle was destroyed during the invasion of the Brandenburg army in 1308. In 1338, ownership of the castle was taken over by Ulrich von Dewitz. His successor Gerhard von Dewitz extended his seat at the end of the 14th century making it the most formidable knight’s castle in the Duchy of West Pomerania. According to Zbigniew Radacki, at that time the western wing was rebuilt and a new wing from the south was erected. Next, the second defensive enclosure was built with a tower in the south-eastern corner. Thus, the building consisted of the actual castle and the castle grounds; the character of the buildings is not known. The castle was surrounded by a moat. The fortress was accessed probably via a road from the town through a drawbridge, and then through the castle grounds to the main gate situated from the east.

During the war between Pomerania and Brandenburg, in 1478 Bogusław X, Duke of Pomerania together with two hundred soldiers took refuge in the castle in Dobra from the army of Albrecht Achilles, Elector of Brandenburg. In that time, equipped with modern artillery, the army of Brandenburg conquered the castles in Vierraden, Penkun, Torgelow, Löcknitz, Klempenow, Drawno, Złocieniec, Pełczyce, Wapnica, and Szadzko. After a brief cannon fire, the Pomeranians came to the conclusion that the fortress in Dobra will not meet the requirements of modern war and signed a truce.

The most important extension was made by Jobst von Dewitz, humanist and Chancellor of the Duchy of Wolgast ruled by Philip I of Pomerania, who converted the old fortress into a still clearly defensive late-Gothic residence. The external and internal defensive walls with embrasures have been preserved. According to Z. Radacki, the previously existing residential buildings were demolished to the ground. Their place was taken by a new southern and northern wing with an avant-corps next to the eastern curtain wall. At the same time, the tower also underwent modernisation. As a result of the extension, the actual castle was enlarged to two floors. The shape of the roof is unknown. The main residential wing of the castle was located at the southern end. The northern wing consisted of residential rooms (from the west) and a kitchen and brewery (from the east). The eastern avant-corps included a stable. The most magnificent southern wing was open towards the courtyard with a large semi-circularly closed recess, situated in the middle of the front façade, the brick plastered face of which was embellished with a rhombic decoration constructed of burr bricks. The asymmetrical façades of the castle wings were pierced by a row of windows varying in size and shape. These were mostly terminated by tented arches; some were placed in recesses, the pointed arched ending of which incorporated a trefoil-shaped bar tracery design. The castle featured a single-bay interior layout. Access from one storey to another was made possible by brick stairs located in the oval staircases and within the thickness of the walls. The interior of the lower storeys was covered by vaulting, while the interior of the upper storeys was covered with wood-beamed ceilings. Some of the rooms were equipped with fireplaces.

This alteration was commemorated with a memorial plaque with the coats of arms of the von Dewitz and von Arnim family, which was once located on the façade of the southern wing. The words “JOBST VA DEWICE DILLING VA ARNIM 1538” were engraved on the plaque. It is not known precisely what the buildings in the castle grounds looked like. Based on an analogy and historical reports on other castles, for example in Maciejewo, it can be assumed that the castle grounds were covered with half-timbered utility buildings varying in size.

In the fourth quarter of the 16th century the late-Gothic castle in Dobra has been slightly modernised under the influence of Renaissance. The curtain walls were demolished and the courtyard was probably covered with cobblestones. The façades were covered with textured plaster existing until today, accentuating the corners with characteristic smooth quoins, which are typical of the Renaissance buildings in Western Pomerania. The preserved traces indicate that the northern and southern wings were connected by a two-storey half-timbered building with a porch on the first floor at that time. A small number of window openings were modified. Probably in the fourth quarter of the 16th century, the interior underwent extensive modernisation and a number of representative rooms were created, including the so-called golden chamber (Goldenen Gemach), the walls of which were covered with wood panelling.

Bernd Joachim von Dewitz (1599-1645) was the last lord of the castle. During the Thirty Years’ War the northern wing was destroyed. The Brandenburg troops who were stationed in Dobra devastated the interior of the castle. According to historical records, the fittings of the chambers, furniture, doors, and even stoves were destroyed. The Thirty Years' War in the Duchy of Western Pomerania ended as a political, economic and demographic disaster. After the Griffin dynasty went extinct, their duchy was divided between Sweden and the Margraviate of Brandenburg. As a result of war, depredation and famine, many towns and villages were almost completely depopulated. The cost of the reconstruction and maintenance of the castle in these difficult times were too expensive for the von Dewitz family. The building was used only partially and was eventually abandoned forever.

In 1808, Karl Ludwig von Dewitz sold the castle and property in Dobra to Müller, clerk of the municipal court, and the Kamenberg brothers. Part of the castle was blown up later in the same year to obtain building materials. The inscription plaque with coats of arms was taken by Karl Friedrich Ludwig von Dewitz, who placed it over the front door of the newly built manor house in Mołdawin. In 1840, the castle and property were bought by Karl Julius Lübke, at whose request the Prussian heir apparent (later German Emperor Wilhelm I) spent 425 thalers to in 1859 on tidying up the ruins. In addition, 390 thalers were also collected for this purpose as contributions. In 1862, cleaning and protective works were carried out. Further conservation of the remains of the castle was conducted in 1906. As a result of the efforts of Lieutenant-General von Dienst, owner of the estate, a State grant was obtained in the amount of 1,200 marks, to which a certain amount was contributed by the von Dewitz family.

The ruins were cared for until 1945. Since the end of the war, no protective works have been carried out. Large fragments of the walls were destroyed.

Description

The castle is located on a hill on the northern edge of the town, along the road leading to Nowogard. The area around the castle hill is considerably lowered and partially waterlogged to the east, north and west. The area includes a pond and ditch. The hill has the shape of a quadrilateral approximating the shape of a square with a side of 60 m. The ruins include the remains of the actual castle and the castle grounds located at a slightly lower level. The actual castle is made up of the remains of two wings: the southern wing in the form of the northern wall and the foundations of the southern wall, and the northern wall in the form of a fragment of the northern and southern wall. The remains of the former castle grounds include fragments of the outer wall and a rectangular tower situated in the north-western corner. The walls of the buildings were built of brick laid in Monk bond and Gothic bond (northern wing), Gothic bond (southern wing), and header bond (tower). The brick walls were partly complemented by stones. The peripheral walls are built of unworked stones varying in size. The corners were made of finely worked ashlars. The tower in the north-eastern corner is built of stone in its lower sections and brick in its upper section. Sections complemented during the repairs carried out in the 19th and 20th century are visible against the background of the original sections of the castle walls. The northern façade of the southern wing features the original Renaissance plasterwork: textured plaster on the face of the wall and smooth plaster in the corners accentuated by rustication. Rhombic Late-Gothic decoration made of burr brick is exposed underneath plastering. The central part of the façade features a recess terminated by a round arch, the archivolt of which rests on a distinctly profiled late-Gothic support. The section of the façade to the east of the recess is topped with an arcade frieze. Some of the late-Gothic windows topped by tented arches have been preserved. Some of them are placed in pointed-arched recesses with trefoil tracery. Some of the windows are topped by basket-handle arches. The walls of both wings feature the relics of the former staircases, vaults and ceilings.

The structure is open to the public.

compiled by Radosław Walkiewicz, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Szczecin, 27-10-2014.

Bibliography

  • Gerd Heinrich, Staatsdienst und Rittergut. Die Geschichte der Familie von Dewitz in Brandenburg, Mecklenburg und Pommern, Bonn, 1990
  • Radacki Zbigniew, Średniowieczne zamki Pomorza Zachodniego, Warszawa 1976
  • Wegner Ludwig, Familiengeschichte der von Dewitz, Neugard 1868
  • Karata ewidencyjna zabytku architektury i budownictwa, opr. M. Słominski, 1998, mps. w WUOZ Szczecin

Filial Church of St Clare
Dobra

It is a typical example of an early Gothic church built of granite ashlars in Western Pomerania. Its interior is covered with a unique late-Gothic ceiling with a crown moulding, decorated with rich figural wall paintings.

History

In the Middle Ages, Dobra Nowogardzka was a private town and originally belonged to the von Fürstenberg family, and later to the von Dewitz family until 1808. The owners of the town also have the patronage of the church. Its chancel with a sacristy was built in the first half of the 15th century. The nave body was built in the late 15th century and early 16th century, while the chapel next to the chancel with a founder’s gallery in the 16th century. Since the Reformation, i.e., since the 1530s, the church was used by the Protestants. A late Renaissance ambo and baptismal font were built in 1596. In 1614, Zofia von Dewitz funded a late Renaissance altar. The half-timbered top section of the tower was erected in 1742. In 1819, 1840, 1842, the church underwent renovations. In 1897, the old tower which fell into disrepair was replaced with a new one designed in the Gothic Revival style. Between 1897 and 1898, the church underwent comprehensive restoration according to a design by Prüfer, master builder specialising in churches. During that period, the walls of the interior were decorated with wall paintings with geometrical and floral motifs. In 1945, the church was taken over and consecrated by Catholics. In 1959, the church underwent renovation involving adaptation to the Catholic liturgy.

Description

The church is situated in the north-western part of the town. It is oriented and designed in the late Gothic style with a Gothic Revival tower. The three-aisled and four-bay hall features a two-bay chancel closed off on three sides, chapel to the south and sacristy to the north, large rectangular chapel on the south side of the nave body, and square-shaped tower to the west. The tower is tall, slender, and features a cuboid body topped with corner turrets-pinnacles on the top two floors. The octagonal top section of the tower features a spiked pyramid dome and a cross. The nave body and the chapel on its south side are covered with tall gable roofs, chancel; the chancel and the adjoining chapel and sacristy are covered with a common gable roof with three additional faces over the alter apse. The church was built of Gothic brick laid in Gothic bond, whereas the tower was made of factory brick in a smaller format. The roof is clad with beaver tail tiles, and the tower dome with sheet metal. The end sections of the chancel and the wall of the tower and aisles are buttressed and pierced by pointed-arch windows with brick bar tracery. The nave body and southern chapel are crowned with gables featuring pointed-arch blind windows. The façades of the tower body are characterised by a separate plinth and lower storey and a divided by tall pointed-arch blind windows at the level of the upper two storeys, and topped with a brick frieze with a quatrefoil motif. The top storey of the body is separated by a step and gallery with corner turrets, pierced by bell openings with stepped reveals, and topped with clock faces and corner pinnacles. The octagonal finial feature four narrow bell openings. The main entrance portal was designed in the Gothic Revival style and is characterised by stepped reveals. The interior of the nave body is divided by octagonal pillars. The nave is covered with a barrel vault with lunettes, and the aisles with groin vaults. A wooden neo-Gothic choir is located at the western wall. The chancel is partitioned by a wide rood arch, profiled brick mouldings, and covered with stellar vaulting. The interior of the large chapel next to the southern aisle is topped with two bays of diamond vault; the sacristy is covered with a stellar vault. The chapel next to the chancel has two storeys, features a founder’s gallery, and is covered with a groin vault. The preserved rich late Renaissance furnishings of the church include carved, painted and gilt altar with the Crucifixion scene from 1614, an ambo from 1596 made using the same technique, baptismal font, forepart of the founder’s gallery, organs with neo-Gothic casing, and two Renaissance grave slabs affixed to the walls of the chancel — the first one of chancellor Jobsta von Dewitz (died in 1542) and his wife Otilie von Arnim (died in 1576) and the second one of Wolf von Borcke and his wife Jutta von Putbus (died in 1576).

Viewing of the structure is only possible by arrangement with the parish priest.

compiled by Maciej Słomiński, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Szczecin, 20-09-2015.

Bibliography

  • Lemcke, Die Bau- und Kunstdenkmäler des Regierungsbezirks Stettin, H. IX, Der Kreis Naugard, Stettin 1910, s. 156-167
  • Pilch J., Kowalski S. Leksykon zabytków architektury Pomorza Zachodniego i ziemi lubuskiej, Warszawa 2012, s. 50-5
  • Karta ewidencyjna zabytku architektury, opr. A. Szerniewicz, 1994 (mps w WUOZ Szczecin)

Residential house
Dobra

One of the oldest (late 17th c.) half-timbered residential houses in Western Pomerania. The building is characterised by its narrow front with a gate passage, original architectural form and half-timbered wall structure with wood carvings.

History

The house was built in 1695, as evidenced by the inscription on the front wall beam [… ANNO 1695 DEN 20 MAY]. The date of construction has been established based on the architectural form of the building characterised by a tall front and an asymmetrical roof, and components of the wooden framework. The structure was built during the reconstruction of the town after the Thirty Years’ War. There is no information about the original owners or builders. The type of the building and the size of the plot of land indicates that this was a craft-type or craft and agricultural real property. In the late 19th century, the back wall was modified and the windows and doors were replaced. After 1945, the building was taken over by the State Treasury and converted into four municipal flats. Between 1978 and 1979, it was renovated and revalorised by the Historical Monument Restoration Workshops to be used as a Civil Registry. Since 1995, it has been a private property and served as a residential area and restaurant (“Taber” guest house).

Description

The house is located in the middle of the old town, in the immediate vicinity of the market square, in a densely built-up area of the southern frontage of Kościuszki Street. The building is characterised by its uniform architectural form (a type of a small tenement house) and the original façade décor based on the half-timbered wall structure. The house was built on a rectangular floor plan and measures 12 m by 13.2 m; its front faces the north-east; it has two entrances located in the gable walls. The building consists of two distinct sections and features a two-storey body and a one-storey gateway; the entire building is covered by a gable roof. The peripheral walls feature a timber-framed structure with spaces between the transoms infilled with bricks (secondary); the southern (back) was reconstructed. The wooden framework is composed of rhythmically spaced posts, embedded in the sill plates in the lower sections, fastened with top plates in the upper sections, and combined together with two levels (on the ground floor) and one level (on the first floor) of transoms; the corners are reinforced by diagonal braces. The original timber-framed structure of the inner walls have been partly preserved. The ceilings are made of wood, exposed beams, and wooden boards laid on the beams and angle braces adjacent to the walls. The wooden roof truss features a rafter and collar structure with two levels of collars and a single queen-post support. The roof is clad with ceramic beaver tail tiles forming a “lace” pattern. The façades feature the original arrangements and arrhythmic axial partitions, and are divided by the drawing of a black and white truss of the half-timbered walls. The front façade is five-axial on the ground floor (with a gateway next to the gable end), four-axial on the second storey, and accentuated by old-style forms of windows (with shutters) and doors and a profiled beam with the inscription: SOLI DEO GLORIA. MENSCH SIEG BEY GOTT IN GNADEN, SOLDEN HAT KEIN MENSCH IHRE SCHADEN. ANNO 1695 DEN 20 MAY. The back façade is three-axial, rhythmic, and styleless. The interior is arranged in a two-bay layout with a gateway next to the gable end and partitions adapted to the new function of the structure.

Private property. The structure can be viewed from the outside. The interior is open to visitors during the opening hours of the restaurant.

compiled by Waldemar Witek, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Szczecin, 13-07-2015.

Bibliography

  • Miler Z., Dobra Nowogardzka i okolice - szkice z dziejów miasta i gminy. Gorzów Wlkp. 1998.
  • Wójcik K., Zabytkowe drzwi w Dobrej k. Nowogardu. [w:] VII Polsko-Niemiecka Konferencja Architektura Ryglowa - wspólne dziedzictwo, Szczecin 2007, s. 311-319.

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