The Royal Castle of Lublin

Lublin Castle as a Museum

Lublin Castle as a Museum ©Jean & Nathalie/Flick

Lublin is the biggest city in eastern Poland, the capital of the Lublin voivodship and the ninth largest city in the coutry.

Although attracts fewer visitors than Krakow or Warsaw, Lublin is a charming city with many architectural buildings and beautiful tourist attractions.

If you consider visiting Poland, we recomand you this marvelous city.

We would like to present you one of the most beautiful tourist attractions of the city: the Royal Castle of Lublin.

 

 

Construction and reconstructions of the castle

The Royal Castle of Lublin was built on the fort hill in the 12th century. In the 13th century a bastion fortress was added to the castle, then a round residential tower. After Lublin became the center of Lesser Poland, Russians, Tatars and Lithuanians often tried to occupy the castle. Therefore, after Casimir the Great came to the throne, the reconstruction of the castle was necessary. After the Mongol invasion he built the Gothic castle, adding brick walls and bastions around on the bottom of the castle hill.

View of the Lublin Castle in Poland

View of the Lublin Castle in Poland ©Jean & Nathalie/Flick

Extensions of the castle

During the reign of Zygmund Stary reign the Royal Castle was extended, then a second tower was built on the southern wing. Bertoleni Berecci rebuilt in Renaissance style presumably following the king’s will. Then the whole fort was surrounded by oak piles to strengthen its sides.

The medieval palace with two floors already led to the gate. The palace walls and the windows sills were decorated with medallions, the balconies had  wrought-iron breastworks. Each level had 23 rooms. On the groundfloor of the building was the prison. The office of the elder and the treasurer was in the Gothic hall of the first floor. The second floor has only representational purposes.

Road to Lublin Castle in Poland

Road to Lublin Castle in Poland ©Emmanuel Dyan/Flick

The Royal Castle of Lublin was equipped with a plumbing. The inspector for wells was responsible of the plumbing and the necessary water was obtained from the local well. A Renaissance clock and a bell were places on the tower. In the courtyard were three outbuildings with kitchen and the cook and the baker also had separate residences that time. The cannons were located in the north-western side of the court.

Well in the courtyard of the Lublin Castle

Well in the courtyard of the Lublin Castle ©PolandMFA/Flick

In the 16th century, the castle was enlarged and rebuilt in Renaissance style. In the prison cellars were placed, the castellan’s apartment (the treasury) and the board room were on the ground floor and the upper floor was occupied by the royal apartments.

Deterioration of the castle

In the 17th century the royal palace began to deteriorate, because of the wars in the middle of the century. The building than was neglected for a long time, then it was renovated by Mikolaj Firlej, then after the third reallocation of Poland the castle was in ruins again. The building was empty, nothing left from the once magnificent Royal Castle.

The castle as a prison

In 1825/26 the place of the castle was taken by a Gothic style prison combined with neoclassical elements. It was probably designed by Jan Strompf with the help of Jakub Hempl. Every building of the palace was in the service of the new prison (tower, courtyard, church). Since that for about one hundred and thirty years prisoners lived their everyday lives within the walls of the castle. In the five years of Nazi occupation about 400 thousand Poles were imprisoned in the castle dungeon. After the war the Royal Castle of Lublin continued to be a prison for ten more years.

The courtyard of the Lublin Castle

The courtyard of the Lublin Castle ©Jean & Nathalie/Flick

The castle as a cultural center

In 1954 the castle was declared by the Polish communist leadership a cultural institution. Then walls of the inner courtyard needed a new architectural decoration. The cultural center lies in the north wing of the castle, while the southern wing houses a museum. The Museum presents permanent exhibitions as: History of Lublin, Ethnography of Lublin, Numismatic Exhibition (16th-17th. century), Polish and foreign armaments exhibition, Flemish and Dutch painting (17th-18th. century), Martyrs and the history of dungeon prisoners between 1930 and 1944.

Lublin Castle as a Museum

Lublin Castle as a Museum ©Jean & Nathalie/Flick

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