Saturday, November 5, 2016

Poland 5 Złotych 2016 -Pomeranian Dukes’ Castle in Szczecin

Poland 5 Złotych  2016 -Pomeranian Dukes’ Castle in Szczecin

Discover Poland series

                     Nominal Value 
Mintage    Year
               5 Zlotych   
  24 mm
   1 200 000   2016   

The  Pomeranian  Dukes’  Castle  in  Szczecin  was  the historical residence
 of the House of Griffins who  ruled  Western  Pomerania  for  nearly  500  years. The building, best seen from the bank of the  Oder,  has  undergone  multiple  conversions,  bearing  witness  to  the  complex  and  turbulent  history of the region.  As  early  as  in  the  12th  century,  it  was  home  to  the  duke’s  court.  In  the  following  century,  Barnim I made it the main family residence, while in the 14th century Barnim III built the so-called Stone House and St. Otto’s Chapel. Casimir V added the  so-called  Big  House  and  the  prison  tower,  while at the end of the 15th century Bogislaw X had the castle enlarged significantly. In the 16th century, thanks to Barnim XI, the building gained a   new shape. The south wing was raised, a clock tower and an east wing were built, and traceries (openwork  elements  in  brick  or  stone)  were  added. 

In Johann Friedrich’s time, the castle was significantly remodelled in Renaissance style and – by adding a north and west part – a four-winged structure was created. In the early 17th century, Philip II added a mint wing. It housed an armoury, ducal  library  collections  and  a  kunstkamera  –  a cabinet of curiosities.

Following Bogislaw XIV’s death in 1637, the Duchy of  Pomerania  was  split  between 
 Sweden  and  Brandenburg.  In  1720,  the  southern  part  of  Swedish  Pomerania  was  ceded  to  Prussia  and  the  castle  became  the  seat  of  the  Prussian  administration.
 Restoration of the building to its former residential character started in the early 20th  century,  to  be  interrupted  by  World  War  II.  The  reconstruction  of  the  Renaissance  form  of the castle was resumed only in the 1950s, on the basis of historical prints, paintings and drawings. The foundations of older buildings and the Griffins’ crypt  with  family  sarcophagi,  among  others,  were  excavated in the course of the works. 

At present the Pomeranian Dukes’ Castle in Szczecin houses  a  local  government  cultural 
 institution  bearing  the  same  name,  the  Opera  in  the  Castle  and  the  Marshal’s  Office  of  the  West  Pomeranian  Voivodeship.  In  2015,  the  antique  polychromy  in  the  prison  tower  was  renovated,  and  in  2014-2015  the north wing was refurbished: ceilings in the Duke Bogislaw X’s room were decorated with Renaissance style  paintings,  fragments  of  the  14th-century  foundations  of  St.  Otto’s  Church  were  displayed,  the  ducal  sarcophagi  were  returned  to  the  crypt  and  the  Stone  House  foundations  were  uncovered  in front of the crypt.

source: / own