Castels and palaces
There is a late-Renaissance palace in Dąbrowa, which was built in the years 1615-1617 by Joachim von Tschetachau-Mettich. As a result of thorough renovation in the years of 1894-1897, the palace acquired a neo-Renaissance image. It is a one-storey construction with a yard surrounded by galleries. Right next to the church, there is a park abounding in rare specimens of trees. Currently the palace is owned by the Opole University. In the village of Niewodniki there is a beautiful and stylish palace – a cradle of Wichelhaus aristocratic family, which was built in 1870. Surrounded with a vast old park, it was extensively demolished as a result of World War II. After it was renovated a couple of years ago by its new private owner, it was earmarked for the hotel and restaurant. A little bit to the north, in the village of Narok, there is a manor house built in 1752 by the family von Bees. In the years 1859-1869 it was renovated and rebuilt in neo-gothic style by Friedrich Wichelhaus. It was further restored in the 1930s. Currently the manor house is a private property (unfortunately, it is largely demolished and dilapidated). The settlement of Prószków was first mentioned in 1250. In 1560 Prószków was granted a town charter. Up to 1769 the town belonged to the aristocratic family of Prószkowscy. In 1644 Prószków was utterly destroyed as a result of 30-year-war. In 1763 Leopold Prószkowski built there the faience manufacturing works, the first business of this kind in Europe. At the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries Prószków was revoked a town charter. It managed to reclaim it only in 2002. There you may admire a bricked defence castle, which construction was started in 1562 by baron Jerzy Prószkowski, a high-ranking emperor’s official. In accordance with the Renaissance design, the construction combines the best qualities of both residential and fortified constructions. In 1644 the castle was burnt down by the Swedes advancing from the north. In 1677 it was renovated by a famous architect from Milano – Jan Seregano – and the castle irrevocably lost some important qualities of its original construction. In 1769, just after the death of Leopold Prószkowski, the last representative of that famous aristocratic family, the ownership was granted to the family of Dietrichstein. The entire estate was the exclusive possession of this Moravian family until the year of 1783 when it was repurchased by the Prussian king, Friedrich II. In the years 1845-1847 the castle was partly converted due to the adaptation for an Academy of Agriculture and after its dissolution it served the purposes of a local hospital. Currently, the palace houses a community care centre. Today tourists may admire, among others, escutcheons and shields of the Prószkowscy family (outside the building, right over the entry gate), stucco ornaments with plafonds in the old knights hall and chapel, as well as a marble fountain pool in the courtyard dating back to the 18th century. The outside walls (from the side of the park) show battle and mythological scenes produced in a scratch-work technique. The castle is opened only for visitors upon the permission of the Foreman of the Opole County. St. George Parish Church is a bricked construction. It was first mentioned in 1447. The present day church was built in baroque style in 1687, with stucco and pictorial ornaments dating back to the 17th century as well as cartouches featuring coats of arms of aristocratic family of Prószkowscy.
The market square in Prószków is surrounded by old baroque tenement houses dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries, including the outhouse, which is the remains from the old manufacturing works where faience and stoneware were once produced.
Arboretum – it was established in the years of 1866-1867 when the first trees were planted in that area. Today the arboretum in Prószków covers more than 15 ha and resembles an English park. One may admire the specimens of trees from China, Manchuria, Japan and Europe. Particularly noteworthy is an oak reserve with 46 different kinds of oaks, such as American Liquidambar, old walnut tree, magnolias, plane trees and beeches, all of them considered monuments of nature. An interesting specimen is undoubtedly a petrified tree, which is more than 2 millions years old.
The Royal Academy of Agriculture. In 1847 on the premises of the old castle of Prószkowscy family, the Prussian government established the Royal Academy of Agriculture, the first institution of this kind in Europe. After the Word War II the academy was converted into Secondary Technical School of Horticulture, and today there is a School Complex still functioning there. The collection of books as well as geological collections of the then Academy of Agriculture may be accessed by anyone after confirming the date with the principal of the School Complex. Telephone: 077 464 80 70.
Niemodlin, which was first mentioned as a trade settlement in 1224, was granted a town charter by the Prince of Opole, Bolko I, in 1283. The defence castle was built by Bolko I of Niemodlin around 1313 on the spot of the wooden castellan magistrate. At the same time, Niemodlin became the centre of separate Principality of Niemodlin, which had close ties with principalities of Strzelce and Opole. In 1460, after the death of Bolesław V of Niemodlin, it was incorporated into the Principality of Opole. In the 16th century, the entire estate is purchased by the family von Logau and later, in 1572, it was taken over by the family of Pueckler who exercised control over the castle as a pledge. The von Pueckler family repurchased both the town and the castle from the emperor Rudolf II and commenced its modernization.
The Castle, which was built in 1313 by princes from the Piast dynasty, was transferred to the family von Logau as a pledge, and later on it was repurchased by the family Puecklers who extended it and built a wing with an entry gate. In 1610 a wing with a chapel was built, this time by von Promnitz family, who were subsequent owners of the castle. Von Promnitz gave the castle its present day shape and image. The castle is a four-wing-construction with opened galleries surrounding the yard. Before Silesia was annexed by Prussia, the castle was renovated in a baroque style. The last owners of Niemodlin estate was the Moravian family of Praschm. After the World War II the castle housed a secondary school, and in 1990 it was purchased by the private person. In the village of Karłowice there is a castle which was built in the 14th century by the family of Tschamer and in 1440 it was taken over by the family of von Bees. In 1565 it was purchased by the Piasts from Brzeg who completed its thorough renovation. Subsequent modernizations took place in the 18th and 19th centuries. The castle features a well-preserved gothic style with a baroque chapel. Once it harboured a portrait painting of the last Piast from the Brzeg line, Jerzy Wilhelm. The castle is surrounded by the moat and the park. Today it is the private property. The settlement of Tułowice was first mentioned in 1447 together with the parish of St. Roch. The very name ‘Tułowice’ originates from the first name 'Tilo', but no exact data has survived up to now. One of a few traces of old masters is the well-preserved plaque of Heinrich von Dreske (he died in 1598), which may be admired by the wall of the parish church. Tułowice estate has a long and complicated family history. Once it belonged to the Upper Silesian family of von Bischofsheim who owned a few more neighbouring estates. In the 16th century the village was taken over by Mikolaj Dobischowski, then by Jan Pange from Sady near Niemodlin. In 1604 Polixena von Pueckler purchased Tułowice for 16,250 thalers. Later it was owned by the Praschm family and in 1835 they transferred ownership to Ernest von Frankenberg-Ludwigsdorf. Subsequent descendant of Ludwigsdorf family ordered the palace to be renovated. In the 1930s Tułowice estate was nationalized by the Nazis as von Frankenberg was an ardent activist for the opposition to the Hitler’s regime. The last heir, Konrad von Frankenberg, died heirlessly as a result of a suicide when he was escaping to Switzerland in the aftermath of World War II. The palace was renovated and modernized in 1879 by count Friedrich Frankenberg-Ludwigsdorf in accordance with the project design by the architect Carl Ludecke from Wroclaw. Developed in 1871, the project of representative stairwell was supposed to reflect German victory in the France-Prussia War. The palace features an impressive architectural decor; it is built on a plan of the letter U with a gate tower in the middle of the central wing. The palace is surrounded by a monumental park (entered in the Registry of Monuments and Cultural Achievements) and harbours rare specimens of trees, such as cypress limicolous which is 160 years old. In the vicinity of the palace one may admire an old water mill, living quarters for castle labourers, stable, pheasantry and dogs graveyard. At present, the palace functions as a boarding house of the Secondary Technical School of Forestry. The main corpus of the palace in Turawa was built on the initiative of Martin von Lowencron in the years 1728-1730. In 1751 it was extended with the chapel and a couple of years later – with a wing.
At the end of the 19th century, on the initiative of the family von Garnier, the palace was renovated and the two of its fragments were joined with a new wing. The palace features a baroque style with neo-rococo ornaments and moulding. The palace harbours a neo-rococo fireplaces, a stove and a baroque wardrobe from the 18th century. Currently it houses an orphanage. In the village of Zimnice Małe there was a knight's castle, which was most probably erected by the Prószkowscy family in the 16th century. Sometime around the 19th century it was converted into a granary.