Międzyrzecz – castle

History

   A brick castle was erected on the site of an older wooden – earth hillfort located in the forks of Obra and Paklica rivers. This hillfort was one of the most important Polish fortresses in the times of the first Piasts, defending the territory of Wielkopolska from the north-west. Probably already in the thirteenth century there was a stone tower here, but a complete reconstruction in a brick castle occurred in the times of king Casimir the Great, around 1350.
  
In 1474 it was occupied by the army of Maciej Korwin, and in 1520 destroyed by mercenaries supporting the Teutonic Knights in the war with Poland. Due to these failures, it was rebuilt and strengthened until 1574. At that time two, round artillery, low towers were erected. The starosts of Międzyrzecz were then eminent magnates and soldiers, such as Jan Służewski, Aleksander Zborowski, Jan Zamoyski, and Stanisław Żółkiewski.
  
In 1655, the castle was damaged by the Swedish army, and despite the attempt to rebuild by Piotr Opaliński, it did not rise from the fall. At the beginning of the 18th century, its condition was so bad that a new building was built from the city side and was the seat of the starosts. After the Second Partition of Poland, the castle together with court buildings, a farm and a park were transferred by the Prussian authorities to the German landowning family. From 1945, the monument serves as a museum.

Architecture

   The castle was located west of the town in a naturally defensive environment amidst river floodplains and marshy meadows. It was separated from the town by the Paklica channel. The oval outline of the walls repeated the line of earlier wooden and earth hillfort ramparts. The entrance to the castle was from the east, there was also a main house. An important element was a cylindrical tower, difficult to locate today, but probably placed north of the gatehouse. It was dismantled during the sixteenth-century modernization. To the south-east of the castle, separated by a moat, there was a outer bailey with timber economic buildings. After 1520, the modernized castle was equipped with two cylindrical bastions adapted to the artillery fire.

Current state

   To our times, from the castle have survived the full outline of the perimeter walls, partially rebuilt gatehouse and two 16th-century bastions. The prices and opening hours of the castle museum can be checked on the official website here.

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bibliography:
Leksykon zamków w Polsce, L.Kajzer, S.Kołodziejski, J.Salm, Warszawa 2003.
Pilch.J, Kowalski S., Leksykon zabytków Pomorza Zachodniego i ziemi lubuskiej, Warszawa 2012.