Gliwice Castle

Gliwice, Poland

The so-called Piasts' Castle in Gliwice dates back to the mid-14th century. It consists of a tower from 1322, which was originally part of the city walls, and an adjoining building which was probably an armory. Modifications were carried out in the 15th century, between 1558-61 it became the residence of Friedrich von Zettritz. Later it was an armory, a jail, a magazine and since 1945 a museum. Between 1956-59 it was thoroughly rebuilt and partially reconstructed. Since that time it is claimed to be a Piast castle, although no sourced evidence backs this claim. Since 1959 the castle has been part of the Gliwice Museum.

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Address

Pod Murami 2, Gliwice, Poland
See all sites in Gliwice

Details

Founded: 14th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Poland

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

Rating

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Grzegorz “Roody” Witek (33 days ago)
The castle looks inconspicuous from the outside, but the exhibition inside is very interesting. Lots of exhibits showing life in Silesia throughout history. You can spend a whole day or an hour or two, depending on how much you want to immerse yourself in history.
Agnieszka Maj (40 days ago)
Byłam w sobotę, zachwyciły mnie wnętrza zwłaszcza sufity! Fantastyczne miejsce - można zobaczyć piękne rzeczy. NAPRAWDĘ WARTO! ?
Piotr Barnert (2 months ago)
Despite the small size of the castle, the exhibition is interesting; ladies willing to help
Marianna Delka (12 months ago)
The castle itself did not make a great impression on us, but we appreciate the Museum within its walls.
Renata Anna (13 months ago)
The castle looks very nice from the outside, it is surrounded by a mini park, there are benches, a statue of Batory. Why him, and not, for example, Casimir the Great, under whose rule the castle was built, or of Prince Siemowit, who had it built, I have not guessed. The museum inside is small, but the exhibits are interesting and you can see in many places that attempts were made to introduce some modern forms of presenting the collections into the castle walls (a large tombstone or a reconstruction of a burial in the floor under tempered glass attracts attention). Children, of course, are most interested in the mammoth. And here a little "but" - we didn't manage to see the woolly rhinoceros, I don't know if it was due to covid or renovation, but this room was closed. Unfortunately, there is no information on the website on this subject ... Similarly with samurai weapons - we have not seen and there is no information about excluding some of the collections from visiting.
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Veste Coburg

The Veste Coburg is one of Germany's largest castles. The hill on which the fortress stands was inhabited from the Neolithic to the early Middle Ages according to the results of excavations. The first documentary mention of Coburg occurs in 1056, in a gift by Richeza of Lotharingia. Richeza gave her properties to Anno II, Archbishop of Cologne, to allow the creation of Saalfeld Abbey in 1071. In 1075, a chapel dedicated to Saint Peter and Saint Paul is mentioned on the fortified Coberg. This document also refers to a Vogt named Gerhart, implying that the local possessions of the Saalfeld Benedictines were administered from the hill.

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In 1353, Coburg fell to Friedrich, Markgraf von Meißen of the House of Wettin. His successor, Friedrich der Streitbare was awarded the status of Elector of Saxony in 1423. As a result of the Hussite Wars the fortifications of the Veste were expanded in 1430.

Early modern times through Thirty Years' War

In 1485, in the Partition of Leipzig, Veste Coburg fell to the Ernestine branch of the family. A year later, Elector Friedrich der Weise and Johann der Beständige took over the rule of Coburg. Johann used the Veste as a residence from 1499. In 1506/07, Lucas Cranach the Elder lived and worked in the Veste. From April to October 1530, during the Diet of Augsburg, Martin Luther sought protection at the Veste, as he was under an Imperial ban at the time. Whilst he stayed at the fortress, Luther continued with his work translating the Bible into German. In 1547, Johann Ernst moved the residence of the ducal family to a more convenient and fashionable location, Ehrenburg Palace in the town centre of Coburg. The Veste now only served as a fortification.

In the further splitting of the Ernestine line, Coburg became the seat of the Herzogtum von Sachsen-Coburg, the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg. The first duke was Johann Casimir (1564-1633), who modernized the fortifications. In 1632, the fortress was unsuccessfully besieged by Imperial and Bavarian forces commanded by Albrecht von Wallenstein for seven days during the Thirty Years' War. Its defence was commanded by Georg Christoph von Taupadel. On 17 March 1635, after a renewed siege of five months' duration, the Veste was handed over to the Imperials under Guillaume de Lamboy.

17th through 19th centuries

From 1638-72, Coburg and the Veste were part of the Duchy of Saxe-Altenburg. In 1672, they passed to the Dukes of Saxe-Gotha and in 1735 it was joined to the Duchy of Saxe-Saalfeld. Following the introduction of Primogeniture by Duke Franz Josias (1697-1764), Coburg went by way of Ernst Friedrich (1724-1800) to Franz (1750-1806), noted art collector, and to Duke Ernst III (1784-1844), who remodeled the castle.

In 1826, the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha was created and Ernst now styled himself 'Ernst I'. Military use of the Veste had ceased by 1700 and outer fortifications had been demolished in 1803-38. From 1838-60, Ernst had the run-down fortress converted into a Gothic revival residence. In 1860, use of the Zeughaus as a prison (since 1782) was discontinued. Through a successful policy of political marriages, the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha established links with several of the major European dynasties, including that of the United Kingdom.

20th century

The dynasty ended with the reign of Herzog Carl Eduard (1884-1954), also known as Charles Edward, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, a grandson of Queen Victoria, who until 1919 also was the 2nd Duke of Albany in the United Kingdom. Under his rule, many changes made to the Veste in the 19th century were reversed under architect Bodo Ebhardt, with the aim of restoring a more authentic medieval look. Along with the other ruling princes of Germany, Carl Eduard was deposed in the revolution of 1918-1919. After Carl Eduard abdicated in late 1918, the Veste came into possession of the state of Bavaria, but the former duke was allowed to live there until his death. The works of art collected by the family were gifted to the Coburger Landesstiftung, a foundation, which today runs the museum.

In 1945, the Veste was seriously damaged by artillery fire in the final days of World War II. After 1946, renovation works were undertaken by the new owner, the Bayerische Verwaltung der staatlichen Schlösser, Gärten und Seen.

Today

The Veste is open to the public and today houses museums, including a collection art objects and paintings that belonged to the ducal family of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, a large collection of arms and armor, significant examples of early modern coaches and sleighs, and important collections of prints, drawings and coins.