Rydzyna Castle

Rydzyna, Poland

Rydzyna Castle was built in the early 15th century by Komes Jan of Czernina. Eighteenth-century architecture and town planning were such as to have made it a classic example of a baroque urban configuration joined to a manor house.

Rafał Leszczyński, then owner of Leszno, purchased the property in late 17th century. He oversaw construction work in 1690-1694 to convert the medieval castle into a baroque manor with four four-storey wings arranged around an internal courtyard, with four alcove towers in the corners. The conversion was led by the Royal Architect Giuseppe Józef Szymon Belotti. The interior arrangement, with its economical basement, first floor private apartments, and lavishly decorated second floor with its elegant interiors, are his work as well. The architect Pompeo Ferrari was commissioned to complete the work c. 1700. He redesigned the western wing of the castle with a two-storey ballroom over an elliptical vestibule. To the west, a garden was built over the former castle moats.

Rafał’s son, Stanisław Leszczyński, became King of Poland in 1704. The castle was burnt down during the Saxon Wars and Rydzyna was placed under Saxon administration from 1709. Stanisław Leszczyński left for France.

Aleksander Józef Sułkowski, a minister of Augustus II the Strong, purchased the Leszczyński property in 1738. Sometime around 1740, he hired Silesian architect Karol Marcin Frantz and set about reconstructing the manor. The monumental, elegant stairway added to the north wing is his work. The stairway is connected to each floor via a stately vestibule. The west wing ballroom was rearranged and stucco decoration added by Jan Chrystian Grünewald from Legnica. The polychrome ceiling features Apoteoza Rodu Sułkowskich (The Apotheosis of the Sułkowski Family) by Silesian painter Georg Neunhertz. He probably painted the polychrome on the internal courtyard walls as well (their remains were uncovered during work carried out in the 1970s and 1980s.

The castle island was also extended and new moats were dug. A semi-circular courtyard was installed in front of the northern elevation of the castle. This was enclosed by annexes, a stable, a coach house and a dressage arena connected via galleries. August Sułkowski inherited the property in 1762. He aligned the manor and the city along a composition axis. In 1776, Ignacy Graff placed a semi-circular closed pool in the garden, surrounded it with stone sculptures by Jan Rimpler, and designed several park pavilions, including an orangery in which plays were staged. Graff is also credited with rebuilding the ballroom and having monumental marble columns installed inside it. The city also experienced a boom during the time of August Sułkowski, who created Rydzyna as an entailed estate in 1775.

The German government purchased the estate and turned the castle into a collegiate school when the last male heir in primogeniture died in 1909. When the country regained independence in 1918, the Rydzyna property was acquired by the Ministry of Education and converted into a boys’ high school with a dormitory. The castle was seized by Germany during WWII and was almost completely burnt down in 1945. Renovation, restoration and conservation work was carried out in the 1970s and 1980s.

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Founded: 15th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Poland

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4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Merusiak (2 years ago)
Fantastyczny, przepiekny zamek, obsluga bardzo mila, jedzenie przepyszne. Poprpstu wszystko na 100punktow :) polecam serdecznie. Napewno jeszcze odwiedze nie raz.
Tomasz Z (3 years ago)
Beautiful palace
Denis (3 years ago)
Recommended superb
Przemysław Wędzicha (3 years ago)
Wow! Very nice place for a wedding!
MARIA Kwaczynska (4 years ago)
I love Rydzyna castle. When you consider that the castle has been ruined by Soviet Russian army during the 2nd world war who set it on fire and did not let the locals to put the fire down for a week and that it was only restored during 1970-ies with minimum cash, you will become more understanding why some things here are the way they are. Lovely NY concerts and balls take place here.
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