The Castle of the Masovian Dukes in Płock is a Gothic castle built under the reign of Casimir III the Great, becoming a stronghold of the Dukes of Masovia until the fifteenth century. The castle is located on a steep Vistulan hillside, most likely since the eleventh century, a wooden fortress - defended by walls and dikes, where in the middle there was a small stone built stronghold. On the turning point of the eleventh and twelfth century, when one of the largest Masovian strongholds where already located on the hillside - a chapel and wall-defended living quarters were built in 1194.
At the end of the thirteenth century, the raising of the castle had begun, when the stronghold was fortified, and took on its current form under the reign of Casimir III the Great. The expansion of the castle was done on the hillside of the former stronghold, which was reconstructed with bricks and expanded, the stronghold was also raised with two towers. The castle was built in square-shaped complex. In the south-west of the complex, the Szlachecka Tower was raised - with a squared base and lower half; and an octagonal upper half. In the northern part of the castle, by a Romanesque building, there is a clock tower. The castle's courtyard is closed off by the north-western, eastern and southern wing. The castle is fortificated by a double encirclement of defensive walls - securing the stronghold and Płock, being just outside the castle's walls.
The castle was a residence of the Masovian Dukes up until the fifteenth century. Due to a partial removal of the hillside, in 1532, the castle suffered damage, which was rebuilt. In 1538, the Masovian dukes had resided in the newly built palace, outside the castle walls, allowing the castle complex to be given to the Benedictines. During the times of the wars against the Swedes, the castle was severely damaged, first in 1657, and then in 1705. After the castle's reconstruction, the castle complex became a Baroque architectural style Benedictine Abbey, which existed until 1781. When after the Partitions of Poland, Prussia took over the castle, the authorities ordered some of the defensive walls to be deconstructed. From 1865, the castle hosted spiritual seminars.
After World War II, the castle was renovated, and since 1973, the castle houses a museum.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.