Lębork – teutonic castle

History

Castle Lauenburg was erected by the Teutonic Knights around 1343 at the same time as the city was founded. It served as the seat of the vogt subordinate to the commander of Człuchów. It was partially destroyed in 1410 and 1455 during the Polish-Teutonic struggle. In the sixteenth century, it became the property of the West Pomeranian dukes. In the second half of the sixteenth century it was rebuilt. The main residential building received an external stair tower and a renaissance decor. A new building was erected from the east, as well as a granary and stables. In later centuries, the castle lost its defensive character, the defensive walls disappeared, and the towers were rebuilt for residential and economic purposes. The adaptation of the offices of the 1930s led to the rebuilding of the interiors and changes in the façade’s decor.

Architecture

The castle was linked to the defense system of the town. It occupied a rectangular area measuring 50×60 meters in the south-east corner of Lębork. A brick dwelling house with dimensions of 11×47 meters stood along the southern curtain. In the other three corners there were quadrangular towers. The gate leading to the city was probably in the north. There was also a gate leading to the eastern foreground of the fortifications. Defensive values were increased by the moat powered by the Łeba river. A canal was led through the courtyard, supplying water to the mill and brewery at the western section of the walls.

Current state

Until today, castle’s main house has survived in a heavily rebuilt form. Only its short eastern wall, topped with a stepped gable and two pointed blendes, remained its medieval character. Currently, the building is the seat of the court and prosecutor’s office. Next to it is a sixteenth-century salt granary.

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bibliography:
Leksykon zamków w Polsce, L.Kajzer, S.Kołodziejski, J.Salm, Warszawa 2003.