The castle in Gola Dzierżoniowska, located picturesquely between Krzyżowe Hills and Gumińskie Hills, is a valuable Renaissance monument.
It has retained its character of the Renaissance era till present as one of few facilities constructed in the 16th century. Some minor reconstructions covered solely addition of stylised neo-Gothic battlements and crenellations in the 19th century. Thanks to its authenticity, the palace in Gola Dzierżoniowska remains an exceptionally valuable evidence of Renaissance architecture.
The castle near Niemcza and Dzierżoniów survived the war without major damages. Its last owners, von Prittwitz und Gaffron family, were forced to leave the real estate. As of that time, the castle had been gradually falling into disrepair. Abandoned, it had been waiting for better times which came at the beginning of the 21st century. In 2000, intensive 13-year works aimed at reinstatement of its former splendour with maintenance of the original qualities of the facility started. All works were performed with extreme diligence, with maintenance of the historical shape, its spatial disposition and important construction elements designed in the 16th century.
The used materials maintained the qualities of the structure, thanks to it the panorama and the external image corresponds to the historical reports. The performed renovations and cooperation with the inhabitants of the neighbourhood resulted in the fact that Uroczysko Siedmiu Stawów has started to live again. The buildings in the reinstated spatial outlay have obtained new functions. The long-term works have allowed for their adaptation to the needs of a luxurious hotel.
The shape of the roof with marvellous Renaissance gables has been successfully reconstructed. The windows and portals have been restored. Also the vaults on the level of the cellar and ground floor and in the northern wing as well as the old battlement have been reconstructed. The barrel vault of the former kitchen as well as the vault of the ground floor and of the gate passages of the palace in Gola Dzierżoniowska have been successfully reconstructed. Two stone fireplaces, which were once used both for heating and for decoration of the rooms, have survived as well. The superstructure in the shape of decorative volutes in the palace having a unique architectural form attracts attention. Today, the internal courtyard and the western terrace with the view on the surroundings, are an undoubted attraction.Reconstruction of the missing fragments of the main portal above the entry gate has been a real construction masterpiece. This portal is the most valuable work of Renaissance architectural sculpture in Silesia. The doorjambs in the shape of pilasters have been supported on pedestals with decorated caps. Additionally, the portal is crowned with beautiful triangular tympanum. One of the motives filling it is carefully developed foliated scroll on the archvolt. The bottom part is made of three triglyphs. An inscription containing texts of psalms, which are written in small majuscule in German, is found on them. The superstructure of the entablature, which is closed by a prominent cornice, is constituted by sixteen coat of arms. Next to it, there are names of the family members and their ancestors. Also some religious symbols, inter alia Faith and Hope, texts of psalms and a sentence about the fragility of life, Hodie mihi cras tibi, are visible as well.
BEGINNINGS IN THE 13TH CENTURY
Later, the property went - most probably via marriage - into possession of von Rohnau family, the presence of which in Silesia had been noted already since the 13th century and which may had originated from Rohnau (Wieściszowice) in Kamienna Góra poviat. The latest, already in the late Middle Ages, a manor house was created in this place under their auspices, the administrative and architectural centre of which was constituted by the four-floor tower house built in the 15th century, which shapes the image of the castle from its south-east side still today.The construction of the latter one commenced in 1570 upon the initiative of Leonhard von Rohnau. The fortified castle created in this place, surrounded by a ditch and wall, was established on the quadrilateral plan with a small internal courtyard, being typical for this period. The main portal above the entry gate, available via the stone bridge, the missing elements of which have been reconstructed during the last restoration works, is the artistic masterpiece of the southern side.On its architrave, which had been full of religious sentences reported only in the first written stocktaking of the structure from 1870, the owner had announced in 1580 completion of the construction of the complex, inserting also the inscription which was later lost: ‘IN THE NAME OF GOD AMEN. ON 29 FEBRUARY 1580, LEONHARD VON ROHNAU COMMENCED THE CONSTRUCTION AND THANKS GOD COVERED IT WITH THE ROOF’. The double roll of arms constituting an evidence of the origin of Rohnau survived above it.On the other hand, in the upper part - from the left to the right - next to his own coat of arms, there are the ones of his predecessors from the following families: von Nassau, von Reibnitz, von Nimptsch, von Senitz auf Rudelsdorf, von Reibnitz, von Pfeil auf Kleinellguthm and Pogarell auf Deutsch-Jägel; below, there is the coat of arms of his wife Barbara von Gfug, as well as the coats of arms of her predecessors from the following families: von Porwitz auf Koitz, von Reibnitz de domo Falkenberg (at Jaworzno), von Eichholz, von Wiesen auf Kaiserswalde and von Reibnitz as well as the coat of arms of the Moravian & Silesian family, von Tunckel. The groins of the portal arch inlaid with acanthus shoots and lion masks are decorated by allegories of hope with an anchor in hand (on the left) and of faith with a cross (on the right); at the sides, it is flanked by pilasters in Ionic style with shafts decorated with candelabra. In the tympanum above the roll of arms, there is a personification of death with a death's-head, a sandglass and a board with the sentence: ‘Hodie mihi, cras tibi’ (‘Today for me, tomorrow for you’) indicating transiency of everything that is earthly. Unfortunately, the original colours, the remains of which covered the entire portal still at the end of the 19th century, have been lost as a result of earlier restoration works. Wilhelm Lübke, an art historian, was writing about them in 1870 in the following way: ‘The portal is worth attention especially due to its seemingly perfectly preserved polychrome, which I have not seen in this form in any other place’. Only an old historical illustration demonstrates today its exceptional condition at that time.
Directly behind the portal, the gate passage with a stellar vault, rhythmicised by means of telescopes, which leads to the internal courtyard, starts. Vis-a-vis, in the northern wing, there is another entry to the courtyard with a narrower access road. At its left flank, there is a two-floor porch, which was created probably between 1600 and 1610, when the quadrilateral manor house was apparently being rebuilt. Nevertheless, the alleged construction of the four-floor tower house located at the south - east corner is in the centre of attention of the Polish scientists who examined the history of the construction and the date of reconstruction of the facility for the first time in the 70s of the 20th century. The finds discovered during the restoration works indicate reconstruction of the habitable tower house apparently coming already from the Middle Ages to later Renaissance forms with great level of certainty. Thus, the habitable & defensive structure from the Middle Ages obtained large double windows according to its use at that time. Moreover, the façade of the entire castle was decorated in the sgrafitto technique, the remains of which have partly survived till present. Together with the death of Rohnau family, Gola Dzierżoniowska went in 1668 into possession of an old gentry family, von Hentschel von Gutschdorf, which was confirmed by the chronogram above the wooden gate of the main portal lost long time ago as well. The buyer of the property was most probably Johann Friedrich Casimir von Hentschel, holding the alderman office in Żagań and being later the chancellor of the Duchy of Wrocław, who obtained the knight status in the same year. When his grandson, Johann Gottfried Joseph, who in 1701 obtained the title of a baron, died without leaving any descendants, the real estate was acquired by Seydlitz family, which gave the Baroque nature to the interior of the structure. In connection with it, in the western wings two-quarter-turn stairs leading upstairs were constructed and at least one room was equipped with a fireplace with abundant stuccowork, in the superstructure of which two eagles were once holding the coat of arms of the family.
RUIN AND NEW BEGINNING
Before 1820, Gola Dzierżoniowska went into the hands of Kossecki family, which in 1827 sold the property to the ‘lieutenant and police district commissioner’ of Moritz, the prefect and the senior landowner, von Prittwitz und Gaffron, who was called ‘von Kreckwitz’. His son, Konrad Bernhard Karl von Prittwitz, who in later years became famous as a poet and an essayist, had been born here already one year earlier, i.e. on 01 August 1826. In the period between 1888 and 1889, the structure was being modernised and then, the old gable roof on the south tower was replaced by neo-Gothic crenels and a hipped roof. During the reconstruction renovation of the monument, in late 30s of the 20th century this shape obtained a wavy gable referring to the gable of the main building, which was rather historical but on the other hand matching the general image of the building, and moreover, the sgrafitto plaster of the entire castle was renovated. After driving of the last owner, Christian Moritz von Gaffron und Prittwitz, away, the castle was completely plundered and devastated; later at that time, also all furniture, which Hans Lutsch, a conservator-restorer, wrote about in his inventory of monuments published in 1889 in the following way, was lost: ‘Baroque-style furniture, partly with mounted wooden veneer, partly varnished in white and gilded, especially a small table, the plate of which consists of faience panels’ (Delfter Fayence, water landscapes)’. The land belonging to the castle became the state property while the marvellous real estate maintained in quite good condition remained unused to a great extent and soon started to fall into ruin. In spite of the fact that the conservation stocktaking was prepared for the ruined building already in late 70s of the previous century and in 1993 a labour-intensive study relating to reconstruction of the complex was developed, only in 2000, together with MC DIAM Sp. z o.o from Warsaw, an investor which directly afterwards commenced the works on castle reconstruction emerged. After establishment of a foundation for restoration and future use of the monument called ‘Gola Castle Foundation’ in 2003, the renovation works accelerated, thanks to which the facility had a new roof in 2009. In the same year, also the fit-out works inside the castle were completed.
Renovated to the smallest details
It is so due to the fact that the reconstruction of the ruined building has been performed to a great extent with consideration of the preserved building structure as well as the historical presentation of the complex. For example, the damaged Renaissance wavy gables have been reconstructed according to old illustrations, in the same way as roofs with their oeil-de-boeuf windows, typical for the 19th century. The finishing of the roof of the habitable tower house with a hipped roof and a brick attic coming from the 19th century has been reconstructed as well. On the other hand, reconstruction renovation of the decorative plaster in sgrafitto technique has been deliberately resigned from; instead, its preserved remains have been reinforced and cleaned - today, they are the signs of time of the building ruined after 1945. The main portal, preserved to a great extent to the 80s, which in particular in the subsequent 90s important parts were stolen from, has been disassembled, its original elements have been restored and its missing elements have been supplemented according to the preserved historical illustrations. Also the remains of the earlier wall fittings, especially the door frames and some fireplace cases originating from Renaissance, found inside the building, have been preserved in their original condition. For the purposes of renovation of the castle, the fireplace case from the beginning of the 17th century, found in the Museum of Architecture in Wrocław, has been reconstructed and installed as well. The walls in the public rooms in the castle have been usually left without plaster and the rustic effect obtained in this way contrasts with the modern furnishing of the interiors in an impressive manner. In addition to the castle, also the former dominion has been restored or potentially created anew, which has been adapted to the needs of the Hotel.