The history of the Gołuchów castle goes back to the Middle Ages and its first known owner was ¯egota of Gołuchów (1263-1282). A defensive fort stood here in the first half of the 15th century, probably where the castle stands today. The terrain definitely provides for adequate defence. It overlooks the Trzemsza River from the west and is surrounded by a moat and a secure embankment.
The Gołuchów estates became the property of the Leszczyñski family in 1507. The work on the residence, which had progressed in stages from the early 16th century, was completed between 1600 and 1628. This was now one of the most magnificent renaissance castles in Poland. A graphic recreation of its appearance back then was made possible by 18th-century surveys and inventory measurements from 1850.
The castle consisted of a tower house with four octagonal towers in the corners, closing the premises from the north. The basement and three keeps (reconstructed during the 19th century) have been preserved. It may have been erected prior to 1507. There used to be another building on the southern side. The two wings, which centred around a small interior courtyard with an arcaded cloister, were joined by built-on porches. The sandstone door frames, main entrance portal and marble and stone chimney housings have survived from those days. There are accounts of richly carved doors, decorated floors and polychromed and carved ceilings.
The estate changed hands frequently from the end of the 17th century until the middle of the 19th. Jan Działyński, son of the owner of Kórnik, purchased Gołuchów in 1853 and set about improving the economy of Gołuchów and beautifying the park in front of the castle. Only necessary repairs were made to the residence itself.
The plans to restore the castle were worked out by the leading French architect and conservator Eugène Viollet-le-Duc in the 19th century. Work began on the castle in 1876 and continued for 10 years.
The castle has been part of the National Museum in Poznañ since 1952. The expansive 150 ha park, together with the remaining buildings, was acquired by the State Forests National Forest Holding, which opened a Forest Culture Centre here in 1974. The entire complex is now open to the public.References:
Château de Falaise is best known as a castle, where William the Conqueror, the son of Duke Robert of Normandy, was born in about 1028. William went on to conquer England and become king and possession of the castle descended through his heirs until the 13th century when it was captured by King Philip II of France. Possession of the castle changed hands several times during the Hundred Years' War. The castle was deserted during the 17th century. Since 1840 it has been protected as a monument historique.
The castle (12th–13th century), which overlooks the town from a high crag, was formerly the seat of the Dukes of Normandy. The construction was started on the site of an earlier castle in 1123 by Henry I of England, with the 'large keep' (grand donjon). Later was added the 'small keep' (petit donjon). The tower built in the first quarter of the 12th century contained a hall, chapel, and a room for the lord, but no small rooms for a complicated household arrangement; in this way, it was similar to towers at Corfe, Norwich, and Portchester, all in England. In 1202 Arthur I, Duke of Brittany was King John of England's nephew, was imprisoned in Falaise castle's keep. According to contemporaneous chronicler Ralph of Coggeshall, John ordered two of his servants to mutilate the duke. Hugh de Burgh was in charge of guarding Arthur and refused to let him be mutilated, but to demoralise Arthur's supporters was to announce his death. The circumstances of Arthur's death are unclear, though he probably died in 1203.
In about 1207, after having conquered Normandy, Philip II Augustus ordered the building of a new cylindrical keep. It was later named the Talbot Tower (Tour Talbot) after the English commander responsible for its repair during the Hundred Years' War. It is a tall round tower, similar design to the towers built at Gisors and the medieval Louvre.Possession of the castle changed hands several times during the Hundred Years' War. The castle was deserted during the 17th century. Since 1840, Château de Falaise has been recognised as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture.
A programme of restoration was carried out between 1870 and 1874. The castle suffered due to bombardment during the Second World War in the battle for the Falaise pocket in 1944, but the three keeps were unscathed.