Giżycko – teutonic castle

History

The first stronghold in Giżycko (Lötzen) was founded by the Teutonic Knights in 1340 as a lonely outpost deep in the forest. This probably still wooden structure was destroyed by the Lithuanians in 1365. The new brick castle has been mentioned since 1399. It was the komornik office, and from the 15th century, the Teutonic pfleger seat. During the Thirteen Years War between the Kingdom of Poland and the Teutonic Order, the local population burned the castle in 1455. The destruction was so great that another Teutonic pfleger was mentioned only in 1489. From 1525, the castle passed into the hands of lay administrators, the staroste of the Prussian princes moved here. In the 16th century castle underwent a renaissance reconstruction, and subsequent changes took place in the 17th century during its adaptation to the role of the hunting house of the prince electors.

Architecture

The main element of the castle was the currently existing, brick house on a rectangular plan with dimensions of 14.5 x 22 meters. It is a three-floor building with a cellar and buttresses in corners. Inside the storeys were originally separated by timber ceilings. The ground floor probably had economic functions, the first floor representative and residential, and the highest defensive – storage. The building was surrounded by fortifications reinforced by a moat. The outer ward was located on the west. In the 16th century, there was a reconstruction during which two late-renaissance gables, preserved to this day, were created.

Current state

To this day, a medieval main house with buttresses and renaissance gables has been preserved. For many years abandoned and decaying, in 2011 it was renovated. Currently, it houses a hotel.

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bibliography:
Leksykon zamków w Polsce, L.Kajzer, S.Kołodziejski, J.Salm, Warszawa 2003.
Garniec M., Garniec-Jackiewicz M.,  Zamki państwa krzyżackiego w dawnych Prusach, Olsztyn 2006.