Żary – castle

History

   The origins of the tower house can be linked with Albrecht Dewin, who in the middle of the 13th century built a brick building corresponding to the current northern wing. Żary belonged to the meissen family of the Packers, who at the beginning of the 14th century enlarged their original headquarters. In 1355, the city became the property of von Biberstein. They made a late-gothic rebuilding of the fortress, and the next owners, the Promnitz, transformed it into a renaissance residence. Since the 18th century the main seat has been occupied by the baroque palace adjoining the castle. At that time the castle tower was rebuilt to give it a baroque character. In the beginning of 1824, the castle served as a prison. In 1930 it was set up as Regional Museum of the District of Żary, which functioned until 1945, when the fire destroyed the building.

Architecture

   The castle was built of stone and bricks. It occupied the northwest corner of the town, forming a conjugated defense system with urban fortifications. It was surrounded by a moat and an outer wall creating a zwinger. The original structure was a regular building, quadrilateral with dimensions of 30×34 meters and without a tower. It consisted of a peripheral wall with a gate in the east curtain and a main residential house along the northern curtain. In the fourteenth century a western wing was formed, and a south-facing, brick, four-sided tower.
   During the redevelopment of the 15th century, was created another south-east building, which closes the four-winged building with a small inner courtyard. The most interesting part of the decor was the medieval polychromes, preserved in a large, covered with a stellar vault, a triangular castle hall. These are heraldic frescoes with a frieze of the total length of 45 meters and about 90 coats of arms.

Current state

   The castle is preserved in good condition in the  gothic, renaissance and baroque form. Unfortunately, the devastated monument is sluttish and neglected, urgently awaiting the investor and general repair. Due to its state, visiting the interior is not possible.

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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.