Tower at the Lublin Castle
The tower at the Lublin Castle, also referred to as the donjon, is the sole monument of the Romanesque architecture east of Vistula river. This cylindrical brick building is one of the elements of the Lublin Castle complex.
At the southern wing of the Lublin Castle.
In the past it performed defensive function, later it was incorporated into the prison complex.
In historical sources one can encounter an assertion which claims that the tower in Lublin was built by the prince of Galicia-Volhynia, Daniel Romanovich, after he allegedly had captured the city. Arguments to support this claim are based on analyses of chronicles and on the attribution of constructing towers in Bieławin and Stołp to prince Daniel. Nevertheless, Kazimierz Myśliński’s findings attest incorrectness of attributing construction of the Lublin tower to the prince: analyzing the content of a Ruthenian chronicle referring to that period, this researcher came to the conclusion that prince Daniel had not captured Lublin at that time and therefore could not have built this monumental edifice.
The tower was erected circa mid-13th century in form of a cylindrical, homogeneous building, exhibiting features of late Romanesque style. The building was constructed in a manner typical for the strongholds of that time - located within a fortified ring, constituting the centre of fortifications. Since then it has not been remodeled to any greater extent. The tower and the castle chapel were the only buildings that had survived the destruction of the castle during wars in the 17th century. Since 1826 the tower, along with the castle, served for penitentiary purposes. Since 1957 it has accommodated exhibition rooms of the Lublin Museum.
mid-13th century - construction of the cylindrical tower at the castle hill
1826 - used as a prison
1954 - exhibition rooms of the Lublin Museum
Description of the building
Bottom sections of the building were built of fragments of limestone and bricks, and the upper ones of bricks. The building has a basement comprising three underground storeys and is covered with a roof of wooden structure. A small wooden belvedere with a gallery is located on top of the roof.
The cylindrical tower is built on a round plan. It stands on the castle’s courtyard, half-embedded into its southern flank. It comprises three storeys. A crenellation constructed on a frieze with lunettes serves as the coping of the building.
The interior accommodates a vaulted spiral staircase, constructed within the walls, leading from the lowest underground storey all the way up to the present-day attic. Every storey has a domed vault. Three different types of windows draw attention: narrow and rectangular, with splays opening towards the interior; rectangular loopholes; windows with half-circular tops, narrowing inside the wall. The uppermost storey has a mullioned window with preserved stone mullion in form of a square colonnette with truncated edges, passing into a trapezoidal capital which supports two brick arches.
The entrance to the tower leads through a door opening on the ground floor. Access to the basement or the upper storeys is possible via the spiral stairway inside the wall.
Compiled by Michał Bartnicki
Edited by Monika Śliwińska
Translated by Jarosław Kobyłko
Augustynek T., Zamek – baszta zw. Donżonem. Inwentaryzacja architektoniczna, Lublin 1974.