In mid-14th century, the owner of Koźmin, upon royal conferment, was Maćko Borkowic, Voivode of Poznań, famous for his wealth and robberies, whom King Casimir the Great ordered to be starved to death, on account of his numerous crimes. His brother Jan of the Nałęcz family took over the property after him; since mid-14th century, accounts mention a certain Bartosz Wezenborg, son of Peregryn, to whom erection in Koźmin around the year 1360 of a new mediaeval fortified castle edifice is ascribed.
Built of bricks around mid-14th century, the castle was quadrilateral-shaped, close to square-shaped. The inner yard was surrounded by high-rising walls on three sides; on the fourth, it was closed up with a two-storey single-tract residential building founded on a quasi-L-shaped projection and covered with a tall roof. The ramparts’ angles were reinforced by powerful buttresses; to the east, where the town was situated, a quadrate gate tower was situated, with a bridge crossing the moat surrounding the castle.
Around 1470, the property was purchased by the Gruszczyńskis of the coat-of-arms Poraj; the family’s line settled down in Koźmin started naming themselves Koźmiński soon after. It was on their initiative that, still in 15th century, the castle was reconstructed and redeveloped, a project that was mainly due – it is believed – to the changes having taken place in that period in the fortification system, which themselves were caused by the invention of firearms.
The building survived in such form to mid-16th century when it was transferred to the Górka family of the coat-of-arms Łodzia. The rebuilding exercise managed by this family has altered the castle’s shaping, giving it certain features of modern-era residence.
It was only after the estate was taken over in 1701 by the Sapieha family, who lasted in Koźmin by the end of 18th century, its developments gained a uniformed character, the façades being given a baroque décor.
In one of the inner yard’s corners, a tower containing a stairwell was built; also, the interiors were reconstructed, gaining a more representative character. The scale of the project then undertaken can be testified to by the theatre room arranged by the Sapiehas on the premises, or the fountain, once in operation at the yard, as historic records tell us. The castle as pictured in a panorama of the town from 1772 shows an impressive edifice whose solid is dense and consists of three two-storied wings, forming an U-like shape to frame the inner yard with a turret and a tremendous corner donjon.
In 1904, the estate came to the hands of the so-called Colonisation Committee. The buildings were henceforth to serve schooling purposes – as they have been doing to date.
The castle is presently home to Post-Junior-High Schools and the Museum of the Koźmin Land.References:
Roman Walls of Lugo are an exceptional architectural, archaeological and constructive legacy of Roman engineering, dating from the 3rd and 4th centuries AD. The Walls are built of internal and external stone facings of slate with some granite, with a core filling of a conglomerate of slate slabs and worked stone pieces from Roman buildings, interlocked with lime mortar.
Their total length of 2117 m in the shape of an oblong rectangle occupies an area of 1.68 ha. Their height varies between 8 and 10 m, with a width of 4.2 m, reaching 7 m in some specific points. The walls still contain 85 external towers, 10 gates (five of which are original and five that were opened in modern times), four staircases and two ramps providing access to the walkway along the top of the walls, one of which is internal and the other external. Each tower contained access stairs leading from the intervallum to the wall walk of town wall, of which a total of 21 have been discovered to date.
The defences of Lugo are the most complete and best preserved example of Roman military architecture in the Western Roman Empire.
Despite the renovation work carried out, the walls conserve their original layout and the construction features associated with their defensive purpose, with walls, battlements, towers, fortifications, both modern and original gates and stairways, and a moat.
Since they were built, the walls have defined the layout and growth of the city, which was declared a Historical-Artistic Ensemble in 1973, forming a part of it and becoming an emblematic structure that can be freely accessed to walk along. The local inhabitants and visitors alike have used them as an area for enjoyment and as a part of urban life for centuries.
The fortifications were added to UNESCO"s World Heritage List in late 2000 and are a popular tourist attraction.