The Gothic Tower, also known as the Half-Round Tower because of its shape, is one of the oldest monuments in Lublin. The building has just undergone a thorough renovation, and thanks to new illumination, it is to attract the eyes of tourists and residents to an even greater extent.
Although the tower was erected – along with the remaining elements of the defensive walls – in 1341, the oldest information about it comes from 1576. At that time, the city registers wrote that it was being repaired, which should be associated with the great fire in the city that broke out a year earlier.
– Originally, the tower had a defensive function. There are nine arrowslits in the walls on the south and west sides. However, when the city – from around 1585 – began to develop intensively in the suburbs, the Old Town fortifications lost their defensive character – says Dr. Dariusz Kopciowski, Lublin Provincial Conservator of Monuments.
Merchants looked after her
As the building is “open” on one side (ie there is no full wall on the side of today’s Old Town – editor’s note), it could not have a residential function. Sources say that from 1651 the care of each of the towers in Lublin was given to the guilds. Merchants took care of this one, hence another name is used – the Merchant Tower.
In the 18th century, it had a small workshop where candles were made, and in 1786 it was leased to a carpenter, Jakub Koopa.
The photos from the interwar period show that the tower was covered with a sheet of metal
– Koops and their heirs, who owned a neighboring tenement house, arranged a closet in the building. The further fate of the tower did not change until the Second World War. Despite its ungrateful function – thanks to its integration into the buildings – it has survived to a fairly good condition until then, emphasizes the conservator.
In the interwar photos it can be seen that the tower was covered with a flat sheet metal. So it no longer had the original pointed finial. During World War II, although the buildings around the building were mostly damaged, the tower was not significantly damaged. However, it lost the ceilings and the roof.
In the 90s of the last century the roof of the tower was covered with red tiles
In 1958, the historic building was cleared of outbuildings and covered with a temporary tent-shaped roof. In the 1950s, its walls were also secured.
– It remained in this condition until the 1990s, when it was decided to carry out further renovation and conservation works. In the years 1992-1993, among others: the secondary roof was demolished, the crowns of the walls were rebuilt and a roof truss was made. In 1994, the roof was covered with red monk-nun tiles, and in 1995 renovation and restoration works were carried out on the walls – lists Dr. Kopciowski.
The cost of the last works is over PLN 850,000
In 2019, a major renovation project was approved. The work has just finished. The monument gained, among others a new floor. The roof covering was also replaced, while maintaining the tile type. The main emphasis of the works was put on solving technical problems of the building, such as its dampness or delamination of walls.
The facility also received, among others new illumination in the form of five LED lamps mounted in the floor. The value of construction and conservation works performed amounted to over PLN 850 thousand. zloty.
– The renovation of the Gothic Tower was a key element of the cross-border project “New life in the Old Town” implemented by Lublin in partnership with the Ukrainian city of Lutsk. Thanks to him, we managed to thoroughly improve the technical condition of this valuable monument and make it available to residents and tourists to a greater extent – says Krzysztof Żuk, Mayor of Lublin.
The tower is located in Lublin at Królewska 8
Main photo source: UM in Lublin