Artophilia  •  2456   •  31 July 2016

Moszna – a castle in Poland, which is worthy Harry Potter


The castle in Moszna is a stunning place. After a long drive through vast fields, nothing portends what is then revealed to our eyes. A huge fairytale castle emerges on the horizon. Restored with taste and sensitivity, it gives the impression that time has stopped, but all that without artifice. When we get closer, the building reveals to our eyes its details adorning the towers, namely – the head of a boar and also of a bear. Our admiration does not stop here. And yet nothing prepares us for what we will see inside.

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photo by Jarosław Małkowski / AF BANKFOTO www.jmalkowski.pl

History

The name of the village Moszna comes probably from the name “Moschin”, of a family who has come here in the fourteenth century. According to legend, Moszna belonged to the Templar Knights in the medieval times.

In 1679 Moszna was owned by the family von Skall. In 1723, after the death of the owner, who was Ursula Maria von Skall, the village passed into the hands of her cousin – the court marshall of Frederick the Great – Georg Wilhelm von Reisewitz. In this period a hunting palace was built, the central part of today’s castle. In 1771 the family von Reisewitz lost Moszna, and the property was purchased at auction by Heinrich Leopold von Seherr-Thoss, whose family had also owned the castle in the nearby village Dobra. In 1853, Karl Gotthard Seherr-Thoss sold Moszna to Heinrich von Erdmannsdorff, who sold it in 1866 to Hubert von Tiele-Winckler from Miechowice. His son Franz Hubert was the founder and builder of the castle. It was built after the baroque palace partly has burnt down in 1896.

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photo by Jarosław Małkowski / AF BANKFOTO www.jmalkowski.pl

However, the history of this family started much earlier. The grandfather of Franz Hubert named Franz Winckler began working as a 16-year-old miner in silver mines „Fryderyk” in Tarnowskie Góry. His career is a typical path from the bottom to the top. In 1830 Franz Winckler appeared in Miechowice, dealing with the bookkeeping of his employer Aresin, the owner of a number of mines smelters in Upper Silesia. As an extremely hardworking and brilliant person, he soon became the right hand of his superior. When his first wife Alwina died, he was left alone with his daughter and out of despair completely devoted himself to work. Aresin became ill and he needed more and more help from his trusted accountant. Franz became something more than just an employee, he was almost a member of the family. And when Aresin was travelling, Winckler was taking care of all his business.

Aresin’s wife Maria was a very intelligent woman and she was still beautiful. When Aresin died, there were many contenders for her hand. But she unhesitatingly chose the young Winckler. Although Maria was 14 years older, they were a perfect match. She was an experienced and mature beauty, and he was a charismatic man, full of energy.

In 1840 the Prussian king raised him into the ranks of nobility. His only heir was his daughter Valeska, who in 1854 married Hubert von Tiele. In 1866 they bought Moszna. After the wedding they used the combined names – Tiele-Winckler. Hubert died in 1893. The property was inherited, in line with the principle of primogeniture, by the eldest son – Franz-Hubert. In 1895 he entered the ranks of the aristocracy by getting the title of count, given to him by the Emperor Wilhelm II. A year later, after the fire, he rebuilt and expanded his castle in Moszna. In 1904 and later in 1911 and in 1912 the count was visited by the ruler of Germany. He arrived to hunt here. In the years 1911-1913 the western wing of the castle was built especially for him.

The son of Franz Hubert, Claus-Peter, spent part of the fortune of his ancestors in the interwar period. Dying childless, he adopted his cousin, who has inherited the fortune and the title of a count. His family lived in the Castle Moszna until the end of the war, fleeing to Germany before the Red Army approached. After the war, the fate of the castle was changing as since 1972 the building served as a hospital for treating neuroses, now being an exclusive hotel.

Architecture

The castle has 99 towers, reflecting the number of estates of the Tiele-Winkler family. The number may be puzzling , but it was a reasonable choice. In Prussia, the owner of 100 or more estates had to finance a military garrison. The number of rooms is also symbolic – in the entire castle there are 365 of them.

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photo by Jarosław Małkowski / AF BANKFOTO www.jmalkowski.pl

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photo by Jarosław Małkowski / AF BANKFOTO www.jmalkowski.pl

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photo by Jarosław Małkowski / AF BANKFOTO www.jmalkowski.pl

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photo by Jarosław Małkowski / AF BANKFOTO www.jmalkowski.pl

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photo by Jarosław Małkowski / AF BANKFOTO www.jmalkowski.pl

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photo by Jarosław Małkowski / AF BANKFOTO www.jmalkowski.pl

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photo by Jarosław Małkowski / AF BANKFOTO www.jmalkowski.pl

We recommend

If you like books with monuments in the background, we extremely recommend „Seven fat cows” by Maria Klimas-Błahut. You will probably not find it in a bookstore, it is an old book published in the 80’s by the publisher house “Czytelnik”. But it will be in any larger library or on online auction service called Allegro. It contains very interesting stories about the beginning of the family, a young Franz Winkler climbing the career and social ladder. The description of his affair with his employer’s widow spices up the story. It is light and pleasant to read, you will not notice when you swallow the 300 pages of the novel.


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