Karol Henckel Estate in Swierklaniec

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The city of Świerklaniec was famous for its palace. This place was the former residence of, you guessed it, the Henckel von Donnersmarck noble family! The magnificent and amazing castle complex was commonly known as Upper Silesian Versailles. Both the original and the New Castle of Świerklaniec were burned down by the Red Army in 1945 and demolished in 1961. The entire castle grounds, the Cavalier Palace guest house, the Donnersmarck funerary chapel and several auxiliary buildings made it through okay however.

When the Hohenzollern estates in Silesia were seized by the Habsburg emperor Ferdinand II after the 1620 Battle of White Mountain, he gave Świerklaniec in pawn to his money lender Lazarus I Henckel von Donnersmarck. The Donnersmarcks acquired Neudeck in 1629 and held it for more than 300 years until the end of World War II. Elevated to Reichsgrafen in 1651, the Protestant Tarnowitz-Neudeck branch of the House of Donnersmarck had the Old Castle rebuilt in a Renaissance style with extended gardens and again redesigned during the Baroque era.