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Zygmunt Kretkowski (1702-1766)

The manor history


Before and after the reconstruction and restoration made by the present owners

Biały Dwóris situated on a high bank over the Vistula River valley. It was long ago that the natural defensive features of the area, proximity of trade routes, especially of so-called “Amber Route” were appreciated. In the neighbourhood there are numerous remains of the Prussian and Teutonic settlements.

First written records go back to the Teutonic conquest of Prussian Pomezania. In 1236 Dytryk von Dypenow (Dietrich von Tyfenowe), a nobleman from Saxony, was granted the surrounding land as a credit for his service to the Order. He founded a village Tiefenau (Tyfenow), today’s Tychnowy. Till the end of the 15th century most of surrounding estates belonged on and off to people connected with that family. After the fall of the Teutonic state (1466) when so-called Royal Prussia was created they became the property of Polish owners.­­

At the beginning of the 16th century Bystrzec (Weisshof) grange - present Podzamcze - was the property of Jan Ulkowski, Castellan ofElbląg. His daughter Anna married JerzySokołowskiand as a dowry among other things she contributed Bystrzec. It was her husband who began the construction of the manor. It was a two-storied building, with a basement under the whole construction, standing on a natural hill.

At the­­ beginning of the 17th century, probably before the Swedish invasion (1626-1629) the manor was considerably enlarged and strengthened, e.g. a tower with embrasures was erected in the south-east corner. The hill was fortified with a wall on the north and west sides, and on the south side the moat was dug up. Some of those fortifications could still be seen at the end of the 19th century.

At the beginning of the 18th centuryBiały Dwórbecame the property of the Kretkowski family.
At that time the other tower was erected in the north-east corner. It did not have a defensive function but only an aesthetic one - it was meant to keep the proportions of the layout of the façade. Hence the thinner walls and lack of embrasures. It housed an alcove (similarly today - there is a bedroom of the suite no. 2).

In 1763 Bystrzec estate was purchased by Jerzy Dziewanowski, the then Governor ofChełmno.
In 1772 after the first partition of Poland that area was incorporated into Prussia. Five years later (1777) the Dziewanowskis sold the estate to the Prussian War and Treasury Department, which established its seat in Kwidzyn. It is not known whether the Department had its headquarters in the manor itself.

About 1800 Johann Borris became a leaseholder ofBiały Dwór. In 1850 the War and Treasury Department let Bystrzyce estate to the previous leaseholders, i.e. to the Borris family (it was rent on terms of ground lease). In 1912 they were still recorded as the owners of the estate (Rudolph Heinrich Borris).

Later on - because of the lack of explicit records
- the matter of the ownership is rather complicated. Supposedly before 1939 and then after 1945 (till 1948) a man called Buszkiewicz lived in the manor. It is not known who stayed there during the war. The abandoned buildings were completely stripped of everything that
could be removed. The roofs sank and the part
of the walls collapsed. The same happened to
the nearby graveyard, where residents of the manor had been buried. Only in 1960 the remnants of the manor were taken under the restorer’s protection.

The estate’s neglected graveyard

The estate’s neglected graveyard

In 1994 the present owners started the reconstruction and restoration of the devastated buildings. You should assess on your own whether they succeeded .

 Podzamcze 36a, PL 82-500 Kwidzyn, +48 (55) 275-77-10, 275-74-89, 275-74-88 (fax)
update September 20, 2008