PL EN DE

DANKÓW - THE LOST TOWN.

rysunki: Leszek Włodkowski-Moszej

The village of Danków was first mentioned in 1300. At its peak it was frequently named a town. In 1347 margrave Ludwig mentions this place in a letter, calling it the "town Tankow" Within the town, there was a castle belonging to the Kitlitz family, build in 1380. Its only remains are the hill and the defensive embankments. Moreover, there is a pre-historical settlement on a pass between two lakes.

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The watchtower at the ancient route to Barlinek

 

The area of the former, late medieval watchtower was called by German researchers The Embankment Hill or The Castle Hill. In the fourteenth-sixteenth century it was a small outpost, defending access to the town from the west. It was built on an elevation surrounded by the waters of a lake (Lake Kinołęka). The archaeological research conducted, shows that the building where burghers or knights guarding the city resided was likely to form a small wooden tower.

In the course of excavations at the top of the elevation the construction of wooden walls of the building was found, numerous fragments of jugs and pots, hundreds of animal bones forming the so-called post-consumer remains, and many other sights. These include damaged late-medieval coins and a few crossbow bolts, confirming the features and character of settlements on the hill. The watchtowers were probably used during the heyday of the town from the 2nd half of the fourteenth century (when Danków was among the most important towns and castles of Neumark) till the sixteenth century (when the town was handed over to the families of knights). From then on, the abandoned elevation was overgrown by a forest, and traditions of the place were fixed in the local legends.

 

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The watchtower at the ancient route to Strzelce


 

The area of the former watchtower. In the fourteenth-sixteenth century it was a small outpost, defending access to the town from the south. It was built in the vicinity of the town's defensive walls, on an elevation surrounded by the waters of a lake (Lake Wielgie). It was situated by the main route leading out of Strzelce and going through the town at that time. The archaeological research conducted, shows that the building where burghers or knights guarding the city resided was likely to form a small wooden tower.

In the course of excavations at the top of the elevation the construction of wooden walls of the building was found, numerous fragments of jugs and pots, hundreds of animal bones forming the so-called post-consumer remains, and many other sights. These include iron nails and a few crossbow bolts, confirming the features and character of settlements on the hill. The watchtowers were probably used during the heyday of the town from the 2nd half of the fourteenth century (when Danków was among the most important towns and castles of Neumark) till the sixteenth century (when the town was handed over to the families of knights). After some time, the abandoned elevation was included in the area of a manor park and its form was partly redesigned. In the nineteenth century the adjacent remains of defensive walls surrounding the old town were pulled down.

 


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The town's embankments (remains of the rampart and moat ).


 

At this point, in the late Middle Ages, a gate leading to the town via the route from the north was located. The half-timbered gatehouse building was included in the system of two embankments (among which a wet moat fed with the water from the lake was located) protecting the town from the north and west. At the top of the outer shaft a wooden palisade was installed. To date, at the stretch of several hundred meters by the lake, a fragment of the system of ramparts is still visible.

The conducted archaeological research show that the fortifications were dug artificially using sand from the elevation that existed probably in that place and that it was leveled later on, during the reconstruction of the town. The earthen fortifications associated with two watchtowers probably used during the heyday of the town from the 2nd half of the fourteenth century (when Danków was among the most important towns and castles of Neumark). The embankments were part of the defensive system of a prince's residence (a castle) located by the lake. The fortifications gradually lost its importance beginning with the sixteenth century when the town was handed over to the families of knights. In the nineteenth century a greater part of the embankments was leveled on the occasion of building of a new road.

 

The Book "Danków na przestrzeni wieków"

Brochure "Badania archeologiczne Danków 2009"