Bytow Castle - Bytow - Poland
Bytów Castle is a gothic Teutonic
castle and a former stronghold for Pomeranian dukes. The Teutonic Knights began building the castle in 1390 on a hill in southeast
Bytów. Mikołaj Fellenstein directed the castle's construction works in 1398–1406. The castle was raised
on the plan of a rectangle out of stone and brick with dimensions 49 metres by 70 metres. In the corners of the castle, three
cylindrical and one square tower was built. The northwestern castle wing was a three-floor
building that served as living quarters. The most important rooms were in this building, including the refectory, the chapel
and the prosecutor's office. Warehouse space was located on the third floor. The castle's southwest wing housed a kitchen
and food storage, and nearby stood a water well. The gate was raised from the northeastern side of the castle. Approaching
the gate, there was a moat and drawbridge that served as the entranceway. The four towers in each corner of the castle served
as defensive structures, housing weaponry. The Kingdom of Poland under the command of Władysław
Jagiełło seized by the castle in 1410.
Pomeranian Dukes - Castle
The Kingdom of Poland took control of the castle during the Thirteen Years' War.
In 1466, King Kazimierz Jagiellończyk ceded the castle to the fiefdom,
Duchy of Pomerania, then ruled by Eric II, duke of Pomerania. In 1500, the stronghold was surrounded with fortifications and
bastions. In the second half of the 16th century, the castle was the residence of the House of Pomerania,
which in the years 1560-1570 had their living quarters in the southeastern wing. The Thirty Years' War wrought little damage
to the stronghold. Along with the death last member of the House of Pomerania in 1638, the
castle was made the residence of the starosta. The Swedish army razed the castle during the Deluge, . In the 19th century
the castle was partly rebuilt after Frederick William I of Prussia, elector of Brandenburg, took over. The castle housed
a court and a prison. First conservation works were conducted in between the years of 1930 and 1939. The castle was later
rebuilt at intervals between the years of 1957 to 1962 years and between the years of 1969 to 1990, when the castle housed
the Western Pomeranian Museum (Museum Zachodnio Pomorskie), a hotel with a restaurant and a library.