By the early 1300s, Gostynin emerged as an important administrative center of Mazovia. In 1329, it became the seat of a castellan. In 1352, Siemowit III for the first time used the title “Duke of Gostynin”. It was probably during his reign that a defensive castle with a tower was built. Siemowit IV expanded the castle, making it his favorite residence. W³adys³aw II Jagie³³o visited Gostynin twice (1414, 1419). Siemowit IV died here in 1426, and after his death, the complex was rebuilt, with a wooden chapel added to it in 1439.
In 1612, Russian Tsar Vasili IV died at the Gostynin castle, in which he had been kept with two brothers since 1611. In 1793, following the second partition of Poland, Gostynin was captured by Prussian army. The castle, which had for long time been neglected, was pulled down, and its archive was seized by the occupiers. In 1824, the government of Russian-controlled Congress Poland invited to Gostynin 124 German cloth makers, who came with their families. The town began the process of recovery: St. Martin church, town hall and inn were rebuilt, and ruins of the castle were turned into a Protestant church.References:
Sweetheart Abbey was a Cistercian monastery, founded in 1275 by Dervorguilla of Galloway in memory of her husband John de Balliol. His embalmed heart, in a casket of ivory and silver, was buried alongside her when she died; the monks at the Abbey then renamed the Abbey in tribute to her. Their son, also John, became king of Scotland but his reign was tragic and short. The depredations suffered by the Abbey in subsequent periods, have caused both the graves to be lost. The abbey, built in deep-red, local sandstone, was founded as a daughter house to Dundrennan Abbey; this Novum Monasterium (New Monastery), became known as the New Abbey.
The immediate abbey precincts extended to 120,000 m2 and sections of the surrounding wall can still be seen today. The Cistercian order, also known as the White Monks because of the white habit, over which they wore a black scapular or apron, built many great abbeys after their establishment around 1100. Like many of their abbeys, the New Abbey's interests lay not only in prayer and contemplation but in the farming and commercial activity of the area, making it the centre of local life. The abbey ruins dominate the skyline today and one can only imagine how it and the monks would have dominated early medieval life as farmers, agriculturalists, horse and cattle breeders. Surrounded by rich and fertile grazing and arable land, they became increasingly expert and systematic in their farming and breeding methods. Like all Cistercian abbeys, they made their mark, not only on the religious life of the district but on the ways of local farmers and influenced agriculture in the surrounding areas.
The village which stands next to the ruins today, is now known as New Abbey. At the other end of the main street is Monksmill, a corn mill. Although the present buildings date from the late eighteenth century, there was an earlier mill built by and for the monks of the abbey which serviced the surrounding farms.