The origins of the castle in Lipowiec, which for centuries belonged to the bishopric of Krakow, go back to the 13th century. It was to act as protection and provide safety for the many buildings on the trade route from Cracow to Silesia. The bishop of Krakow Jan Prandota acquired the Lipowiec stronghold in the year of 1243. Another important bishop, who became the owner of the building was Jan Muskat. Until the end of the 18th century, the castle and the surrounding goods were managed by various lords, representing the bishops of Cracow. In the days of Prandota, the fortress was enlarged and the construction of a brick castle was undertaken. During the reign of Muskat, Lipowiec castle became his claim in a defensive struggle for the throne of 'Wladyslaw the Short.' The bishop Jan Muskat had ambitions to significantly strengthen its power to pursue and strengthen towns and castles belonging to his diocese. However, after Muscat came into conflict with the future king, he was exiled from his diocese, and shelter in the Lipowiec castle.
During the reign of Casimir the Great the Castle in Lipowiec began to function as a border fortress, as well as continuing its defense functions along the mercantile route, which ran at the foot of the castle hill in Lipowiec. In the 14th and 15th century, the castle was rebuilt several times. By the 15th century, it was taking shape close to the present-day appearance of the castle, with a clearly dominant tower over the body of the building. Restlessness at the beginning the 15th century, which abounded in the Hussite wars, favored strengthening the defense of the castle. It was then surrounded by a deep moat with a drawbridge, while the buildings were surrounded by an extra defensive wall. Most developers involved in the construction of the castle during the medieval times in Lipowiec were bishops.
With the growing reformation of the church, the castle in Lipowiec was appointed a prison for priests. Prisoners were usually clerics, according to the church authorities who spread heresies, as well as those who committed common crimes and misdemeanors. The most famous prisoner was one from Italy 'Franciszek Stankar,' who already was in prison, when he began his work on the reform of the Church. The adaptation works started in the 15th century, turning the castle into a prison, gained momentum in the 16th century. In times of peace and political stability, there was no need for additional strengthening of the castle fortifications, therefor it was mainly focused on deepening the role of the prison. The work was commanded by two bishops: John Konarski, and Andrew Zebrzydowski.
The 17th century brought the downfall of the castle. This happened as a result of the damage that the stronghold in Lipowiec encountered during a great fire in the early 17th century and during the Swedish invasion in the middle of the century. Another reason for the loss of the splendor of this castle, was the changing trend in architecture, according to which the castle in Lipowiec was outdated and no longer meet the standards of living residence for bishops.
The castle remained in the state of oblivion until the first half of the 18th century, when bishop Felicjan Szaniawski undertook its reconstruction. In the meantime, the walls of the castle played host to King Jan III Sobieski, who stopped in Lipowiec in 1683, during an expedition to Vienna. At the beginning of the 19th century, the castle passed to the State, and then into private hands. Unfortunately, also during this time a great fire broke out within the castle, which did enormous damage not only inside but also to the roof of the castle. After this tragedy, the castle never returned to the state of its medieval glory.
Mainly ruins of the castle survived until the mid-twentieth century, when the decision was taken to protect this monument. The castle at this time under went partial reconstructions, that were aimed at protecting the already decayed architectural elements from further destruction. The castle is designed to be explored and is listed as a 'historic building in a permanent state of ruin.'References:
The Seaplane Harbour is the newest and one of the most exciting museums in Tallinn. It tells stories about the Estonian maritime and military history. The museum’s display, that comprises of more than a couple of hundred large exhibits, revitalizes the colourful history of Estonia.
British built submarine Lembit weighing 600 tones is the centrepiece of the new museum. Built in 1936 for the Estonian navy, Lembit served in the World War II under the Soviet flag. It remained in service for 75 years being the oldest submarine in the World still in use until it was hauled ashore in 2011. Despite its long history, Lembit is still in an excellent condition offering a glimpse of the 1930s art of technology.
Another exciting attraction is a full-scale replica of Short Type 184, a British pre-World War II seaplane, which was also used by the Estonian armed forces. Short Type 184 has earned its place in military history by being the first aircraft ever to attack an enemy’s ship with an air-launched torpedo. Since none of the original seaplanes have survived, the replica in Seaplane Harbour is the only full-size representation of the aircraft in the whole World.
Simulators mimicking a flight above Tallinn, around-the-world journey in the yellow submarine, navigating on the Tallinn bay make this museum heaven for kids or adventurous adults.
Seaplane Harbour operates in architecturally unique hangars built almost a century ago, in 1916 and 1917, as a part of Peter the Great sea fortress. These hangars are the World’s first reinforced concrete shell structures of such a great size. Charles Lindbergh, the man who performed the first solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean, landed here in 1930s.
On the outdoor area visitors can tour a collection of historic ships, including the Suur Tõll, Europe's largest steam-powered icebreaker.