Tower, Lipowiec Castle, Wygiełzów

The 27m high tower with thick stone walls is one of the oldest parts of the Lipowiec Castle. Built at the turn of the 14th century, it was improved in mid-15th century and made suitable for the use of firearms and artillery. It was initially a detached observation post that if necessary could serve as a last place of defence. The only entrance to it was more or less about halfway up, located on the west, which was the side of least danger. It has survived to the present day and, following the inclusion of the tower within the castle development, is located on the attic level now. The bottom part of the tower houses the dungeon prison, which is about 8 m deep. It can be accessed through an opening in the floor of the round room next to the entrance to the tower. The spiral staircase leading to consecutive floors has been preserved until today. Higher floors of the tower consist of two artillery rooms. This was where the cannons called ‘fauconneau’ stood on special brick supports. Their special construction allowed them to fire at the bailey in the event of enemy occupation. An interesting feature of the cannon rooms are the battlements facing the only access road to the castle. When the cannon was being loaded, the firing ports were covered by embrasures, special flaps that were lowered on chains . These medieval artillery rooms are unique in Europe. The highest part of the tower has not survived in its initial form. It was likely to contain a cannon room as well as battlements around the perimeter for the use of light firearms such as muskets. The interior was surrounded by a thick wall protruding from the tower and suspended on corbels that have survived to this day. The highest room was covered with a shingled wooden roof. All cannon rooms could be used as prisons in addition to the dungeons but the tower lost its military function in the 17th century. Today, there is an observation deck on the horizontal floor of the highest floor of the tower from where one can admire the Vistula River valley and the distant peaks of the Beskids with Babia Góra in the foreground.


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