Castle History

Castle of the Knights of St. John (Zamek Joanitów) was built on a straight between two lakes: Trześniowskie and Łagowskie, on a knoll surrounded by an ancient park hiding numerous natural monuments. Today the building comprises the core structure erected in the 17th century, four two storey wings encircling a renaissance courtyard. A defensive tower, seen from miles around, rises over the castle. It is also a good lookout spot. Today, the castle houses a hotel and a restaurant. Komtur’s chambers, torture chamber and a knights hall can be found at the castle.
Knights of the Order of St. John commenced building the castle in 1350 at a site which had previously been raised. A four sided building was erected quickly up to a height of 12m and then walls with arrowslits ware built around the castle. In the beginning of the 16th century, the building of a 24 meter tower was ordered by the then commander, Liborius von Schapelow. The castle did suffer a great deal during the wars and the Swedish invasion. In 1810 the castle came under Prussian and then private ownership.
The first records of Łagów date back to 1299, when Otto and Henryk, the margraves from Brandenburg conferred castrum Lagowe onto the knight Albrecht de Klepitz. The fort was located approx. 500 m to the north west of the cattle on Sokola Góra.
In the middle of the 14th century Łagów came into the possession of the Order of the Knights of St. John, who swiftly began the construction of a castle on a moraine knoll located on a straight between Trześniowskie lake to the north and Łagowskie lake to the south. At the foot of the fort a settlement sprung up providing craftsmen services, protected by defensive walls with two gates. t the end of the 14th century a Commandry of the Knights of St. John was bestowed upon the castle
Access to the castle was along a slope of the knoll in the direction of a gate in the east side of the circumference wall. A residential house stood at the other side of the courtyard opposite the entrance. A chapel was to be found in the north section and a three bay ribbed vault supported by two pillars. The height of the gangway connecting the tower with the guard walkways suggest that the original building most likely reached a height of 13 m. In the south east corner, to the left of the entrance a tower was erected reaching approximately 20 m in height, built over a square footprint and cylindrical from a height of 17 m. The lower storey housed a prison, and the upper storey a guard house. The cylindrical section included space with two arrowslits and an oriel window. The top storey crowned off with battlements constituted a walkway for the guards. The tower, protruding outside of the line of walls on the east side was an effective defence of the entrance and played a threefold role: was a guardhouse prison and an element of the gate defences.
In the 15th century the castle knoll was surrounded by a quadrilateral of defensive walls, with small semi circular bastilles in the middle of the north and west sides. The walls were sparsely pocketed with arrowslits in gangways extending outwards on brick supports. The third line of defence comprised the city walls closing off the Łagowski straight on both sides. The latter expansions significantly marred the defensive character of the castle. In modern times the castle area was developed and an internal courtyard was established. Stairs were built in a in a roofed brick 22 m long neck leading from the foot of the knoll to the castle courtyard. The tower was raised even further and crowned off with new battlements.