Golczewo Castle Ruins

Golczewo, Poland

Golczewo castle was one of the biggest and best-built castles in Pomerania. There was even a legend saying that it was connected to the Kamień Cathedral through an underground tunnel. The first records mentioning castrum Gülzow date back to 1304. At that time, Bishop of Kamień Pomorski, Heinrich Wacholz, bought from Wulvekin Smeling and Echard Wedel­stedt the castle in Golczewo for 1200 marks, paying them 500 marks of advance payment. Four years later, after the invasion of the Brandenburg army on Kamień Pomorski, during which the Cathedral and the neighboring buildings were destroyed, the bishop was forced to transfer his residence to the Golczewo castle. However, only Bishop Friedrich von Eickstedt managed to pay off the next installment for the castle in 1331. The presence of bishops in the Golczewo Castle is documented in the records from 1315, 1354, 1355 and 1363; however, the castle was used already by the Wedelstedt family.

During the next centuries, the castle along with the estate frequently changed its owners and was the cause of numerous conflicts, pledges, trials and debts of the bishops and dukes wrangling over it. Ultimately, towards the end of the 17th century, the desolate castle started to fall into ruin. The demolition of the walls (apart from the tower) took place after 1812. Then, the property was handed to a private owner.

Later, however, on the orders of Frederick William IV, the state bought back the castle tower, which was later thoroughly renovated. Presumably, a jail was situated in the lower story. The building was the first and foremost watchtower guarding the road leading from the duke’s estates to the residence in Kamień. In the Protestant times, between 1653 and 1816, Golczewo was the seat of Synod (the equivalent of a deanery in the Catholic Church).

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Founded: 1304
Category: Castles and fortifications in Poland

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