History

 The history of the Castle and Manor of Lomnitz goes far back into the Middle Ages, and in the course of centuries they changed owners several times. Between 1835 and 1945 the property belonged to the von Küster family, after World War II the Castle was seized and the Polish state became the new owner. After the fall of the Iron Curtain the family was able to purchase the Great Castle back, which had fallen into ruins and slowly new life awoke within the old walls...


The typical country ribbon settlement lying on the small River Lomnitz was first recorded in the 14th. Century. In the lower village is the Manor of Lomnitz, to which belongs the Baroque so-called Great Castle of 1720, and the so-called Small Castle, built in 1805 as a dowager’s residence. During its history the Manor had many well-known owners. In the 15th and 16th. Centuries it was the property of the Dukes of Zedlitz. From the mid-17th Century to 1738 the Barons of Tomagnini possessed it; they also built the old Baroque Castle in 1720. The famous Baroque Silesian master builder Martin Frantz may have been responsible, who also had the magnificent Grace Church in Hirschberg, as well as other buildings erected.

Certainly the most important owner in the history of Lomnitz Manor was the wealthy Hirschberg Veiling Master (linen merchant) Christian Mentzel (1667-1741), who bought the Castle in 1738. He made himself a name as a generous patron of the Protestant church parishes of Lomnitz and Hirschberg. He contributed financially to the building of the Grace Church in Hirschberg and donated the fine Baroque organ there. Baron Moritz von Roth purchased the Castle afterwards.

 


          

The Prussian Legation Councillor Carl Gustav Ernst von Küster bought Lomnitz Castle from his heirs in 1835 and had it remodelled in the Biedermeier style by the architect Tollber, a student of Schinkel. Lomnitz Manor remained in the possession of the von Küster family until 1945 when the family had to flee to the west, their property was seized and nationalised. A school was set up in the Great Castle and in the Small Castle there was the administration of the agricultural state manor. The Park went back to nature and in part was misused as a dump for rubbish and building materials. From 1980 the Great Castle fell into ruin.

 

              


The Prussian Legation Councillor Carl Gustav Ernst von Küster bought Lomnitz Castle from his heirs in 1835 and had it remodelled in the Biedermeier style by the architect Tollber, a student of Schinkel. Lomnitz Manor remained in the possession of the von Küster family until 1945 when the family had to flee to the west, their property was seized and nationalised. A school was set up in the Great Castle and in the Small Castle there was the administration of the agricultural state manor. The Park went back to nature and in part was misused as a dump for rubbish and building materials. From 1980 the Great Castle fell into ruin.

The reconstruction

In 1991 the von Küster family decided to purchase back the family seat, now a total ruin, and to save the Castle from its doom. Up to now it has been possible with the tireless work of various foundations and societies ( VSK, the Foundation for German-Polish Co-operation) and the help of innumerable private donors to restore the Great Castle externally to its old magnificence. In 1995 the Small Castle, standing just a few metres from the Great Castle could be bought back. Here too a total restoration had to be carried out. The great Park was gradually cleared of rubble and reconstructed in its old form.

 

       


Since 1997 there have been a cosy hotel and restaurant in the Small Castle. Meanwhile, the Great Castle of Lomnitz, just a few metres away is almost completely restored. In May 2005 all the formal rooms on the ground floor were reclaimed. Painstakingly restored wall paintings, painted marbling and magnificent Silesian-Bohemian chandeliers and lamps give a lively impression of the wealth and the splendour of the resurrected Baroque country castle.

The Cultural and Educational Centre was able to take up its work in the rooms on the ground floor, the first exhibitions, concerts and conferences took place in spring 2005.

 

       


The Future

Many plans and projects based in Lomnitz are waiting to be achieved. Especially interesting is our project to save the damaged Protestant Prayer Hall of Schönwaldau / Rzasnik, a very typical example of the many evangelical prayer houses which once - from the 18th. Century  - used to characterise the image of the landscape in this part of Silesia. The Prayer Hall was used in the last 6 decades for storage and as a workshop, and was in a miserable condition with a partly collapsed roof.

As a rescue of the Prayer Hall onsite in Schönwaldau itself was no longer possible – the private owner wanted to erect a commercial building there - , we decided to transport the Hall and rebuild it in a new position. We agreed on a place within the grounds of the Park at Lomnitz , exactly where a manor building in the timber-framed style had stood since the 18th. Century, which was dismantled after the war. So the Prayer Hall of Schönwaldau will hopefully soon be standing 25 km away from its original position and be both an interesting sight at the edge of the Castle Park of Lomnitz for visitors from far and near, as here the history of Lower Silesia and its people are reflected in this building and also a sign of remembrance and reconciliation between people and faiths. An exhibition in the Prayer Hall is planned, which will give a lively impression of the rich religious history of Silesia.

The newly erected Schönwaldau Prayer Hall, as a part of the Cultural Centre of Lomnitz Castle will certainly bring together many people from Germany and Poland and make an important contribution to a tolerant co-operation in Silesia.

We are sure that many centuries full of events and meetings with interesting personalities await Lomnitz.
The future has just begun...

 

 

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