Legnica – the Piast Castle, Zamkowa street
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Legnica – the Piast Castle, ul. Zamkowa

The first settlement by the Kaczawa River was located on a hill, around the 8th or 9th century. It was subsequently converted into a castellan settlement around the  10th/11th century. A brick stronghold was erected here in the 1230s and it is one of the oldest in the Polish area. It was built upon the foundation of the older grad (a type of a medieval settlement). The originator of the construction was Henry I the Bearded, whereas the building works were carried out by the Cistercians from Lubiąż. The castle housed the residence of the Dukes of Legnica and Brzeg between 1248 and 1675.

The site included palatium – a representative ducal building. It was an imposing edifice, which was amongst the largest residential structures in Europe, in the Romanesque period. Its design was modelled on the architecture of the emperor’s castle.

It is a brick three-tier structure built on an oblong rectangular plan - the adaptation of the old grad. The chapel of Saint Benedict and Saint Lawrence and the defensive tower of Saint Peter are also located in that part of the site. The chapel is built on a dodecagon plan with the chancel closed with a apse. On the area of the former grad suburbium, by the second yard, the administrative and farming houses were grouped together, i.e. the house of the castellan. The second tower (of Saint Hedwig) soars over this part of the site. The whole is enclosed by wooden-earthen ramparts, part of the wall, with Lubińska Tower, and the moat.

The castle underwent numerous alternations over the centuries. By Duke Louis II of Brieg, the stone towers were elevated in the early 15th century. The most significant changes were carried out during the rule of Frederick II in the early 16th century. A thorough remodelling was conducted in the Romanesque palatium, the original arrangement of storeys was changed, a two-nave hall was built on the first floor. The late Gothic portals, the window framing, and the allegorical decoration of the Green Chamber (known also as the Rose Chamber) in the tower of Saint Hedwig, also date back to the time of those alternations. The inner walls of the Green Chamber are covered with paintings depicting models of chivalry and nobleness - the portrayals of Hector from Troy, Alexander III of Macedon and King Arthur, are decorated with stylised floral motifs

Frederick II modernised the fortifications arrangement, by adding the oblong, multilateral bastion tower with gun emplacement. The important part of the site is the main entrance to the area of the castle, which leads through the early Renaissance portal of the gate house, with the Piast coat-of-arms and the roundels with the busts of the ducal couple, Frederick II, and his wife Sophie of Brandenburg-Ansbach-Kulmbach. The portal was created in 1533, probably by Georg of Amberg.

In the early 17th century the chapel was demolished and the Wieża Zegarowa (Clock Tower) was erected.  In the 19th century the castle was reconstructed after a fire, in the neo-gothic style. After another fire in 1945, it fell into ruin.

In the 1960s the relics of the chapel – the remnants of the walls, the ceilings and the exquisite architectural details – were discovered in the yard. Currently they are covered by an exhibition pavilion and they comprise a subsidiary of the Museum of Copper in Legnica. Moreover, the castle houses educational institutions. The old castle park, now converted into a town park, is also included in the palace complex in Legnica.

 

Contact:

The Museum of Copper in Legnica (Muzeum Miedzi w Legnicy)

ul. Partyzantów 3, 59-220 Legnica

tel./fax 76 862-02-89, 76 862-49-49

www.muzeum-miedzi.art.pl

e-mail: biuro@muzeum-miedzi.art.pl

 

How to get there:

The castle is located by the main road

 

Visiting:

The chapel is located in the yard of the castle in Legnica, on pl. Zamkowym 1. Opening hours: Tuesday – Saturday between 11.00 and 18.00; during the wintertime (1st of October – 30th of March) it can be visited only by prior arrangement in the Museum of Copper. Tickets – 2,50 zł, on Saturdays entrance is free of charge

 

Parking:

Available.

 

Places to eat:

Mała MoskwaRestauracja rosyjska

ul. Kręta 6, 59-220 Legnica

tel. 790-887-091

www.malamoskwa.e-miasta.net

e-mail: mala.moskwa@wp.pl

 

Restauracja i KawiarniaRatuszowa

Rynek 39 (Ratusz), 59-400 Legnica

tel. 76 623-33-07

 

PizzeriaSapore

al. Marszałka Piłsudskiego 18, 59-220 Legnica

tel. 76 722-22-40

 

Hotel - Restauracja „Kamieniczka

ul. Młynarska 15-16, 59-220 Legnica

tel. 76 723-73-92 do 96

www.hotel-kamieniczka.pl

e-mail: info@hotel-kamieniczka.pl

 

Hotel i Restauracja „Arkadia”

ul. Gliwicka 6, 59-220 Legnica

Hotel tel. 76 850-78-00, 76 850-78-01, fax 76 850-78-02; restaurant tel. 76 850-78-03

www.hotel-arkadia.pl

e-mail: legnica@hotel-arkadia.pl, restauracja@hotel-arkadia.pl

 

Accommodation:

Hotel „Pałacyk

ul. Kościuszki 37, 59-220 Legnica

tel. 76 851-25-35, fax 76 862-04-44

www.hotelpalacyk.lca.pl

e-mail: hotelpalacyk@lca.pl

 

HotelNowodworski

ul. Nowodworska 30, 59-220 Legnica

tel. 76 722-09-91

www.hotelnowodworski.pl

e-mail: hotel@hotelnowodworski.pl

 

ApartamentySwiss-Pol

ul. Środkowa 24/5, 59-220 Legnica

tel./fax 76 722-65-53, 692-178-267

www.swisspol.legnica.pl

A contact form is available on the website.

 

Hotelik Villa

ul. Ks. B. Gładysza 12, 59-220 Legnica

tel./fax 76 850-22-23

www.hotelik-villa.pl

A contact form is available on the website.            

 

AkademikMiedzianka

ul. Żółkiewskiego 8, Legnica

tel./fax 76 723-80-47

 

Tourist Information Office:

www.portal.legnica.eu

www.elzbieta.beep.pl/cim.html