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).References:
The Abbey of Saint-Etienne, also known as Abbaye aux Hommes ('Men"s Abbey'), is a former monastery dedicated to Saint Stephen (Saint Étienne). It is considered, along with the neighbouring Abbaye aux Dames ('Ladies" Abbey'), to be one of the most notable Romanesque buildings in Normandy. Like all the major abbeys in Normandy, it was Benedictine.
Lanfranc, before being an Archbishop of Canterbury, was abbot of Saint-Etienne. Built in Caen stone during the 11th century, the two semi-completed churches stood for many decades in competition. An important feature added to both churches in about 1120 was the ribbed vault, used for the first time in France. The two abbey churches are considered forerunners of the Gothic architecture. The original Romanesque apse was replaced in 1166 by an early Gothic chevet, complete with rosette windows and flying buttresses. Nine towers and spires were added in the 13th century. The interior vaulting shows a similar progression, beginning with early sexpartite vaulting (using circular ribs) in the nave and progressing to quadipartite vaults (using pointed ribs) in the sanctuary.
The two monasteries were finally donated by William the Conqueror and his wife, Matilda of Flanders, as penalty for their marriage against the Pope"s ruling. William was buried here; Matilda was buried in the Abbaye aux Dames. Unfortunately William"s original tombstone of black marble, the same kind as Matilda"s in the Abbaye aux Dames, was destroyed by the Calvinist iconoclasts in the 16th century and his bones scattered.
As a consequence of the Wars of Religion, the high lantern tower in the middle of the church collapsed and was never rebuilt. The Benedictine abbey was suppressed during the French Revolution and the abbey church became a parish church. From 1804 to 1961, the abbey buildings accommodated a prestigious high school, the Lycée Malherbe. During the Normandy Landings in 1944, inhabitants of Caen found refuge in the church; on the rooftop there was a red cross, made with blood on a sheet, to show that it was a hospital (to avoid bombings).