Powisle. The kingdom of plumps and the Teutonic castles.

Situated on the east coast Powisle is at the bored of two vaivodeships:  Pomeranian and Warmian-Mazurian.  Luckily for the Pomeranian, in its borders there are many lakes, rivers and forests full of beautiful walking paths.  Those who love history and architecture will come to Powisle to visit the castles, fortresses and crypts, which there are quite a lot of them.

Powisle is situated in the area of Lower Vistula , which is the land of beautiful landscapes and quite complicated history. This land changed its nationality many times and finally became part of Pomerania and Poland.

Flavours of Powisle

Powisle is rich with lakes and rivers. There are also forests here, which are an excellent palace for strolling and active way of spending time. There are also quite a lot of farming areas, which especially in the Spring time create charming panoramas and orchards with apples, pears and plumps. Those are the plumps that locals farmers are so proud of. The plump of Powisle is a rarity and the good of the region. The most famous plump is from the Neborowo Wielkie. It is used for  a classical plump jam and the tincture, which is the hallmark of the region.

  Fot: http://arabiasaudyjska-ksa.blogspot.com

Powisle is appreciated not only for its geographical location and features. This is the land where there are two artefacts from the Teutonic times.

Powiśle - what's worth seeing?

First, let’s go to Kwidzyn, called the capital of the Lower Powisle. Over the city, situated at the Liwa river, there is a castle of the wormer chapter house of the Pomesanians. The castle was modelled on the other Teutonic castles from the region. The castle was built in XIII/XIV c. and during its golden age it was the centre of the religious and political – administrative life. The most characteristical feature of the castell in, so called  “Gdanisko”, the tower emerging form the castle walls. It was connected with the rest of the castle with the corridor supported on brick arcades. It looks really spectacular and visiting Kwidzyn You have to drive down Gdanska Street, beneath the arcades. Visiting the city, it is worth looking at the former. Medieval, brick city walls from XIV c. , four-storey granary, brick granary from XVIII and the crypt of the three Grand Masters of the Teutonic Order in the St. John Evangelist Cathedral.

Castle in Kwidzyn, fot: pomorskie.travel

Sztum, situated at the two lakes: Sztumskie and Barlewickie is another stop while visiting the region. Sztum is famous not only due to its beautiful location at the two lakes but because of its history so much joined with the Teutonic Order. This was the place where in XIV c. Teutons built the defensive fortress, which became the sit of the mayor. The fortress was built from the field stones and the bricks, due to that it lasted till today. Now, it is a part of the Castle Museum in Malbork. There is also a Sztum Land Gild, so the knight tradition is still alive in the city.

Driving around Sztum, it is worth to see Waplewo Wielkie, to see the Sierakowski Palace. This place, during the difficult times of XIX c. was the centre where Polish tradition, culture and language was cultivated. There were many Polish aristocrats, artists, poets and writers coming here.

The Sierakowski Palace in Waplewo Wielkie, fot: M. Michalska

In Prabuty, on the other hand, almost at the border of the Pomeranian and the Warmian-Mazurian vaivodeships, it is worth visiting the underground waterworks route. The corridors under the Old Town were built around XVIII due to many dangerous fires.

Powisle, during the day full of charm, in the evenings, mysterious. Who knows, maybe in the former Teutonic castle, there are still some ghosts of the Grand Masters?

The Castle in Kwidzyn

The Castle in Kwidzyn

The 14th-Century’s defensive castle was erected in a tetragon with an internal courtyard and four corner towers.
As a square structure with 44-metre-long sides, made of brick and laid on granite foundations, the castle included basements and involved several stages of construction spread over the entire 14th Century. The courtyard measured 12.80 x 16 metres and, from its three sides - the south, the west and the north - featured two-storey cloisters which served as corridors. During construction, changes were made to the architectural concept, and the exact dates of the start and completion of works are unknown. The castle's wings, with the eastern one built first, followed by southern, western, and northern, included five or six storeys, and were covered by pitched roofs. The external facade had ogival, variously-sized blends, windows, and portholes. Over the surrounding tracery frieze, one can see portholes in the defensive gallery. Here we will find the entrance gate (also called "The Cold Gate"), fitted in a richly-ornamented gate niche with a decorative brick arrangement. The niche, crowned with a Gothic arch, contains a runner for the former defensive grating.
Upon entering the courtyard, we head towards the viewing deck, which presents us the panorama of the Vistula valley. There are also two cannons here, dating back to 1861 and 1863, seized by Prussia in the war with France (1870-1871). During the Middle Ages, the castle's basements and ground floor housed a kitchen, a pantry, a hearth for central heating, and servants' rooms. The northern wing on the first floor contained a winter refectory (a dining room) with a unique palm vault, the ribs of which spread radially. Other premises were a chapel and the curate's apartment. The western section included a bedroom (a dormitory), while the eastern wing (no longer existing) had a small hospital (an infirmary). On the ground floor, the "Zamkowa" cafe operated during the 1970's and 1980's. The southern wing housed a summer refectory and a session hall (a chapterhouse). The majority of premises featured star vaults. Many tourists fascinated by the castle in Kwidzyn choose, as their target attraction, the medieval dansker (Gdanisko) which performed the function of a lavatory tower (a tloilet).
The castle became the seat of the Chapter of the Pomesanian episcopate in 1525, when Bishop Erhard von Queiss converted to Protestantism. After Evangelical Bishops, from the 2nd half of the 16th Century, the Kwidzyn starosts resided here for 200 years. In 1772, a court was opened in the castle whose interiors underwent transformation into court rooms and prison cells. Six years later, the Prussian authorities ordered the eastern and southern wings to be demolished. Traces of seams and vault arches can still be seen on the courtyard's eastern and southern walls. The remaining part of the castle was completely refurbished between 1855 and 1885, which mainly involved efforts to restore its medieval look. In the late 19th Century, the castle was turned into a school for blind soldiers and a vocational school. During the German occupation, it also served as a training facility for the commanders of theNazi youth. After the war, it was not until 1950 that the damaged and devastated castle became the headquarters of the Castle Museum.
The Museum functions in a Gothic castle of the Pomesanian Chapter, built in the 1st half of the 14th Century. Its collections showcase the material culture of the Lower Powiśle covering the Kwidzyn, Sztum, and Susz districts. The Museum has gained some very interesting permanent exhibitions devoted, e.g., to punishment and torture devices (16th-18th Centuries), handicrafts from Warmia and Masuria (15th-20th Centuries), baroque sculptures from Lower Powiśle, and the wildlife of northern Poland (which received a new form of presentation in 2006). These are supplemented by annual temporary displays, characterised by a wide thematic diversity in fields such as nature, history, arts and folk works, as well as the culture of the Lower Powiśle, Pomerania, and Warmia and Masuria regions.