Lubawa – bishop’s castle


   The first timber stronghold was built in the second half of the 13th century, perhaps shortly after 1257, when Lubawa became the property of the bishops of the Chełmno diocese. This small castle was destroyed rather quickly by the Prussians, perhaps during their uprising from 1260-1274. The construction of a brick castle was begun by bishop Herman of Pryzna in the years 1303-1311, and was continued after a nine-year vacancy on the bishop’s stool, by his successor Nicholas Afri. After the destruction by the Lithuanian army in 1330, the works were continued and their first phase ended in the years 1363-1385, under the rule of bishop Wikbold Dobilstein. The final gothic form of the castle was obtained at the beginning of the fifteenth century in the times of Arnold Stapil, although even before the mid-fifteenth century, the castle’s defensive system was slightly modernized, raising a semicircular corner cannon tower.
   After the Second Peace of Toruń from 1466, Lubawa was incorporated into Poland. Her first bishop appointed by the king was Wincenty Kiełbasa. In 1545, the building was destroyed by a fire, and after 1624, at the initiative of bishop Jakub Zadzik, it was rebuilt into a baroque residence, surrounded by early modern earth fortifications.
The political and economic regression at the end of the 18th century led to the gradual fall of the castle. Abandoned by bishop Jan Hohenzollern in 1815, it burnt down. In 1826, it was finally demolished.


   The castle consisted of external walls, forming a quadrangle measuring 71×74 meters, zwinger and four-winged internal buildings with sides of about 50 meters. Four wings surrounded the inner courtyard. The entrance led through the western part, that is from the city side and the outer bailey. The corners were reinforced by four-sided turrets, and in the north-west corner a later main tower was located. In the middle of the fifteenth century, the castle was adapted to artillery defense. At that time, a semicircular cannon tower was erected in the north-east corner of the outer perimeter of the walls and perhaps also a quadrilateral defensive bastion in the south-west corner.

Current state

   Up to now, retaining walls of the main castle corpus, extending from the outside to 4 meters high, cellars and the portal of castle’s gate have been preserved. For some time, work has been underway on securing and managing the ruins. Unfortunately, it is also planned to build a contemporary pavilion at the castle grounds.

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Leksykon zamków w Polsce, L.Kajzer, S.Kołodziejski, J.Salm, Warszawa 2003.
Zamek w Lubawie, red. L.Kajzer, Lubawa 2001.