Rakowice Wielkie – Prince’s Tower


   Rakowice Wielkie was first recorded in written sources in 1287 as the property of a certain Heinrich von Raussendorf. In the 14th century, there were already three knightly estates in the village, which were owned by von Raussendorfs, von Niebelschützs and von Kittlitzs. Until the middle of the 16th century, they were repeatedly sold in whole or in parts, passing through the hands of knights and townspeople. The tower house called Prince’s Tower was erected at the turn of the first and second quarters of the 16th century at the earliest, or in the middle of the 16th century at the latest. Despite the name, along with the farm, it belonged to the knight Hans Reussner, who then held this part of Rakowice. After him, for many years the estate was owned by petty knights, whose property usually did not exceed one village. Perhaps due to unstable ground or flooding of the Bóbr waters, in the second half of the 19th century, the neighboring farm buildings were moved by several hundred meters, and the tower was abandoned.


   The tower was erected on a trapezoidal plan similar to a rectangle with dimensions of 9.5x10x11.5×12 meters. Its walls were relatively thick, 1.4-1.8 meters wide, but not very stable, in the facing structure without sufficient reinforcement. Therefore, in an unknown period, buttresses were added to the two façades, the eastern and the southern one. For its construction, erratic sandstone and ashalr were used, and the whole was covered with a steep gable roof, although the original cover may have had a different form.
   Tower was entered from the ground level through a stone portal with a semicircular arch. The interior was divided into three floors: the ground floor and two upper floors. Inside the lowest floor there was a large room and a narrow hallway separated by a wall, containing stone stairs to the first floor. The second storey had a very similar layout and, like the ground floor, was covered with a barrel vault. There was a larger room and a staircase there. The difference was the installation of wooden stairs, which lightened the load and prevented collapse. The third floor was divided into a living room and a chamber, both of which were covered with a wooden ceiling. Moreover, in addition to the aforementioned rooms on the second floor, by the north wall, right next to the stairs, there was a very small room with a metal vessel and a drain. It was a stone gutter used to drain waste outside, functioning as a latrine.

Current state

   Although the tower was completely preserved after 1945, it was falling into ruin. The roof collapsed in the 1960s, followed by ceilings and the upper parts of all walls in the early 1970s. To this day, only the relics of the two lowest storeys of the tower have survived, reaching a maximum height of about 5.5 meters. There is a passage with stairs leading to the second floor, but the main room is full of debris. Among the architectural details, the parapet cornice of one window and the semicircular portal leading from the passage to the main room have survived. After all, the tower is a sad example of scandalous negligence in the field of monument protection.

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Chorowska M., Rezydencje średniowieczne na Śląsku, Wrocław 2003.
Chorowska M., Dudziak T., Jaworski K., Kwaśniewski A., Zamki i dwory obronne w Sudetach. Tom II, księstwo jaworskie, Wrocław 2009.

Leksykon zamków w Polsce, red. L.Kajzer, Warszawa 2003.