Tuchola – Teutonic Castle


   On the site where the castle later stood, there was a fortified seat of the Święc family, recorded in documents in 1307. After Tuchola passed into the hands of the Teutonic Order, an independent commandry was created in its place, and in 1346 the town was founded. Together with the castle, it was captured by Polish troops after the Battle of Grunwald in 1410, although it was regained by the Teutonic Knights shortly thereafter. In 1433, Tuchola defended against the Hussite armed expedition supporting the Kingdom of Poland. With the outbreak of the Thirteen Years’ War, control over the castle was taken by the Prussian Union, which held it until the end of the conflict. After 1466, the castle became the seat of Polish starosts. In 1657 and 1659, Tuchola was ravaged by the Swedes, and some of the castle buildings were to be destroyed as a result of a gunpowder explosion. When the Prussian authorities seized it after the first partition of Poland, the castle was already heavily ruined. It was almost completely demolished after the town fire of 1781, when medieval material was used to rebuild town houses.


   The castle was a vast complex, surrounded by a wall and a moat, which included the main part with the commander’s house and two outer baileys on the north-west and north sides, and the whole area from the east was adjacent to the town, also surrounded by a moat and defensive walls. The fortifications of the stronghold on a small part of the circuit were connected with the town fortifications, but the castle retained its independence because it was separated by a wall with a gate from the town buildings.
   The main castle house was built of bricks on a stone foundation, on a rectangular plan, in the south-west corner of the town and at the same time in the south-east part of the castle area. The house was surrounded by its own perimeter wall, additionally secured with a moat supplied with the waters of the Castle Lake. Probably in the ground floor it had a division into three rooms arranged in one run, typical of the Middle Ages.
   The larger north-west outer bailey was shaped in plan like a trapezoid. From the west it was secured by the Kicz River, from the north by swamps and a canal, and from the east by a moat separating the castle wall from the town fortifications. The moat also ran between the outer bailey and the main castle house, while between the second, smaller outer bailey there was a connection on the north side of the main house. In addition, two gates led to the area of ​​the outer bailey: the smaller postern on the west side and the main gate on the north side.

Current state

   The castle has not survived to modern times. Only relics of the walls are preserved in cellars in the current building of the Commune Office and District Office.

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Die Bau- und Kunstdenkmäler der Provinz Westpreußen, der Kreise Marienwerder (westlich der Weichsel), Schwetz, Konitz, Schlochau, Tuchel, Flatow und Dt. Krone, red. J.Heise, Danzig 1887.
Leksykon zamków w Polsce, red. L.Kajzer, Warszawa 2003.