Niedzica Castle - known as the Dunajec Castle, a fortress on Lake Czorsztyńskie
Location show on map
Zamkowa 2, 34-441 Niedzica-Zamek, Poland
Date of build
Between 1320 and 1325
The Niedzica Castle is a medieval fortress located on the right bank of Lake Czorsztyńskie, also known as the Dunajec Castle.
The castle was built in the early 14th century on the site of former fortifications. The first mention of Dunajec Castle in documents is recorded in 1325. In the 14th century the stronghold was a very important center of Polish-Hungarian relations. For example, financial problems between Polish and Hungarian kings were solved here.
The fortress stands on a limestone hill with a height of 566 meters and is 300 meters from the Dunajec River. The fortress in Niedzica is considered to be one of the most beautiful in the country, adorning the covers of many books and notebooks.
The castle was originally owned by the Brezovica family, and in 1470 it moved to the aristocratic family of the Count of Spiš, grandfather of Sigismund the Old's first wife. During the next two centuries the fortress changed owners several times, until finally, in the middle of the 19th century, the castle went to the Hungarian noble family - Salamon.
After World War I, the castle was on Polish territory, although the Salamon family continued to be the owner until 1945. Interesting facts from the history of the castle is that here, until 1931 (the longest in Europe) a partial form of serfdom was retained in the estate.
The cobbled courtyard, surrounded by farm buildings representing various architectural styles, is the starting point for a tour of selected chambers of the castle.
In the chambers, visitors can admire antique clocks, furniture, a collection of firearms, stuffed animals, numerous works of art and documents of historical value, as well as a number of exhibits on local color and ethnography of the Spiš region.
The castle dungeons hide many secrets, they once served as cellars and also as a prison.
In the postwar years, work was carried out on the reconstruction of the fortress. Some of the rooms were occupied by the Society of Historians, and the rest were open to the public. In 1960, a seismological station of the Institute of Geophysics of the Polish Academy of Sciences was established here. After World War II, the fortress was closed.
After World War II, one of the castle's most mysterious pages was found, a message written in the Inca language, possibly containing information about hidden treasures.
Today the fortress houses a museum, hotel and restaurant. Niedzica Castle is one of the most important monuments in the southern part of Malopolska province. In the museum you can see the "Salamon's chambers", furnished with furniture from the 16th - 19th century. After climbing a wooden staircase you will find yourself on a viewing terrace. An interesting place is also the basement, which served as a prison.
As many castles, this one also has its own legend. It tells of the ghost of an Incan princess dressed in white. Princess Umina wanted to find refuge here from Spanish assassins and hide her treasure, but unfortunately, the greed of her tormentors led to her tragic death. Since then, her wandering spirit can be found in the castle courtyard.