Exhibitions and Interiors
Ground floor of the eastern wing
As a result of the demolition of the eastern wing at the end of the 18th century, only the northern part of the interior with a cross vault, supported by massive brick pillars, has survived.
In its north-western corner, there is the only brick furnace of the medieval heating system preserved in the castle.
Cloisters: northern and western
Originally, the small courtyard of the Pomezan Chapter Castle was surrounded by cloisters from the north, west and south. The southern cloister was demolished together with the eastern and southern wings in 1798. The northern cloister, built around the mid-14th century, has preserved original Gothic walls in some parts. Five-bay, cross-vaulted. Keystones and consoles with floral decorations, with partially preserved polychrome. The interior is illuminated by four large tracery windows.
Due to the adaptation of the castle for court functions, it was rebuilt at the end of the 18th century and in the 1830s, when a half-timbered superstructure was erected over it. In the years 1860–62 it was reconstructed. The western cloister dates from the same period, which was partially demolished at the end of the 18th and early 19th centuries, and stairs leading directly from the courtyard to the first floor of the castle were built in its place. Reconstruction works were carried out in the years 1854-1858. Four-bay, cross-vaulted in the extreme southern bay, with tripartite vaults in the remaining bays. Vault fields and plastered ribs, keystones and consoles with floral decorations and partially preserved, multicolored polychrome from the second half of the 19th century. The interior is illuminated by four large tracery windows.
Winter Refectory – Exhibition of arts and crafts
Built on a square plan, vaulted, it is adjacent to the castle chapel on the eastern side.
After the castle was taken over by the officials of prince Albrecht in 1551, it was occupied by the castle administrator. In 1854, in the northern wall, due to the fact that the room was intended for court functions, two large windows were introduced in recesses vaulted in sections. In 1874, during the restoration work carried out by Gustav Reichert, the flat beam ceiling, introduced in place of the destroyed Gothic vault, was dismantled and the four-field stellar vault was reconstructed, supported by a centrally placed, granite, octagonal column, coming from the demolished south wing of the castle.
Currently, the interior is occupied by a permanent exhibition of paintings and artistic crafts. Its most important part are the exhibits from the famous collection of the Sierakowski family from the palace in Waplewo.
The room on a rectangular plan, above the gate passage, has an original, stellar Gothic vault from around the middle of the 14th century.
In the Middle Ages, the interior served as a chancellery, and after 1551, similarly to the adjacent Winter Refectory, it was occupied by the castle administrator. In 1854, as part of the construction work carried out by Heinrich Koch, the window in the northern wall of the Chapel was enlarged, in connection with the use of the first floor for court functions. In 1874, during conservation works under the direction of Gustaw Reichert, the architectural detail was supplemented by introducing gypsum keystones with plant decorations and consoles with tracery decorations. In the past, the interior of the room had painting decorations on the walls and vault fields. Their fragments were discovered during the research carried out in 1994. In 2017-2018, conservation works were carried out in the room, restoring its medieval character.
In the Middle Ages, the room was probably the provost’s apartment.
The room is set on a rectangular plan, has a stellar, two-bay vault. The vault fields and the ribs are plastered. In the northern wall there is an ogival niche with a window. The hall is connected to a small, cross-vaulted room in the north-east tower, which most likely served as the chapter’s treasury and archive. In the 1820s, after the demolition of the Gothic vault of the hall, a division into two floors was introduced, allocating them to the offices of court employees. The current vault was reconstructed in 1874, during restoration work carried out under the direction of Gustav Reichert.
Built on a square plan, in an intermediate moat, about 18 meters from the north facade of the castle, connected to it by a covered porch supported by a brick pillar.
The tower in the springs, referred to as aquaductos, played a very important role – the well located inside it provided the inhabitants of the castle with spring water. At the end of the 18th century, the well in the tower no longer fulfilled its function. In 1843, in connection with the adaptation for prison cells, the well shaft was bricked up, and the space of the tower was divided into two floors, connected by wooden stairs. In 1874, during the restoration works directed by Gustav Reichert, the roof of the tower was reconstructed, replacing the hip roof with a gable roof with stepped gables, referring to the roof of the Gdanisko tower. During conservation works in 1963, a concrete well shaft was uncovered and secured with a steel grille. The division of the interior and the stairs introduced in the 19th century were also eliminated.
Dormitory – Room of temporary exhibitions
The largest of the preserved castle rooms. Founded on a rectangular plan, it has a three-bay stellar vault. The vault fields and ribs are covered with a layer of mortar. The keystones have a rich floral decoration, while the consoles have tracery. In the western wall, two large windows and a passage to the porch of the dansker tower. In the eastern wall, there are two ogival, richly profiled door openings.
In the Middle Ages, during the initial period of the castle’s functioning, the interior most likely served as a dormitory, i.e. a bedroom. Later, its space was divided into a number of smaller rooms, in connection with the administrative function of the castle. After 1860, according to the design of Heinrich Koch, it was adapted for the needs of the court, eliminating the 18th- and 19th-century divisions and introducing large window openings to provide more light. During the restoration works in 1874, conducted under the direction of Gustav Reichert, the vaults and architectural details were supplemented.
It currently serves as an exhibition hall.
Gdanisko – Ethnographic exhibition
It is the most characteristic and at the same time the most recognizable element of the architecture of the Kwidzyn castle. A defense and sanitary tower, 25 meters high. Until 1569, a stream flowed under the ogival passage, which carried away all impurities from the castle. The tower is connected to the west wing of the castle on the first floor by a 54-meter-long covered bridge (the longest of the surviving ones), supported by five brick pillars.
The main level of the tower is occupied by a room with a brick floor and a rib vault. There is an almost square hole in the floor for throwing out waste. A wooden cabin was probably placed above its part. Above this room, there are two more, which in the past served as warehouses in the event of a siege of the castle, when Gdanisko turned into a point of final defense. In the years 1817-1935, Gdanisko and the porch leading to it served as a prison.
Currently, in the porch of Gdańsk there is an ethnographic exhibition presenting the art and material culture of the Lower Powiśle region.
Second floor of the castle – Natural Exhibition
The second floor of the Kwidzyn castle is occupied entirely by the modern exhibition Nature of Northern Poland. Based on the largest natural collections in the Baltic part of the country, an exhibition was organized showing the richness and biodiversity of native fauna and flora and the most important problems of modern times in relation to nature protection.
The exhibition presents numerous species of plants and animals in scenery reflecting their natural habitats, enriched with light and sound effects, supplemented by a professional voice-over commentary. The most valuable natural collections presented at the exhibition include specimens of protected and rare species, such as the European pond turtle, golden eagle, bustard, capercaillie, eagle owl, European bison, brown bear, as well as collections of insects, eggshells, fish and herbariums of herbaceous plants from northern Poland. Paleontological exhibits, such as a mammoth tooth, an aurochs skull and a fossilized dinosaur egg, allow you to broaden the perspective of looking at the world and its inhabitants.
The exhibition was prepared with a wide audience in mind. For organized groups, it is possible to conduct ecological and natural workshops, after prior arrangement.
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