Witków – tower house


   The residential-defense tower in Witkowo was built around 1400 by one of the von Warnsdorf family members, probably Franczke von Warnsdorf. In 1431, his sons resided there: Kaspar, Nickel and Stibor, as well as Hans von Warnsdorf. In the second half of the 15th century the only owner of the village was Nickel, then his heirs. During this period, the first large rebuilding was completed. The layout of the windows on the upper floor was changed and bay window was suspended on the south-east wall, which probably functioned as a chapel. Around 1560 the tower was increased by one floor, the usable area was increased also by the house, built in the southern part of the peripheral wall. At that time, the village belonged to the von Schoenach family. After the death of their last representative in 1596, the property was transferred to Henry von Dohn and his successors, who stayed there until 1711. The next owners did not live in the tower. After 1945 the tower was nationalized.


   The tower was erected on the flattening of a conical mound with a diameter of about 20 meters, in the midst of wet meadows in the Bobrzanka river valley. The mound was 2.5 meters high and was surrounded by a moat with a width of between 10 and 15 meters. On the northern and eastern sides, traces of an earth rampart with a height of 1.5 meters were also discovered.
   The central part of the mound was occupied by a tower house on a plan similar to the square with sides 10.7 and 11.1 meters, erected from erratic stones and bricks. The tower had the cornice at height of 12 meters, while the ridge of roof was at 18.7 meters. It has been divided into four floors (including the basement), separated inside with partition walls for three rooms in the basement and ground floor and four rooms on the upper floors. Originally, however, in the Middle Ages rooms did not have internal brick divisions. The basement was covered with a high barrel vault, and three overground storeys were originally topped with wooden, flat ceilings. The ground floor was illuminated by slit openings, while the floors by tall, narrow windows. There were three portals leading to the tower: one from the ground level, one to the cellar and the upper one with a sill at a height of 4 meters. The north-west façade had a latrine.
   During the rebuilding of the middle of the fifteenth century, the external façades of the second floor were decorated with flat, plastered blendes and a representative bay window, probably with  chapel, on the first floor. Inside the tower, paintings from around the middle of the 15th century were also discovered, including scenes from the wedding of the then owner Nickel von Warmsdorf.
The tower was originally surrounded by an already mentioned moat, reinforced later by an earth rampart and a defensive wall with a semicircular tower and a four-sided gatehouse. The gate, which was preceded by a drawbridge, was located in the southern section of the fortifications.


Current state

   The tower has survived to this day along with a fragment of 16th-century fortifications and an adjacent building. Its original appearance was changed mainly due to the large early modern windows and the addition of brick stairs leading to the entrance. The original layout of the rooms was also changed by inserting partition walls. The tower is currently privately owned and awaits thorough renovation work. Therefore, unfortunately, it is not possible to visit its interior.

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