The Royal Castle in Niepolomice
The Royal Castle in Niepolomice is gothic castle from the mid-14th century, rebuilt in renaissance style, located in the centre of Niepolomice.
This spacious castle is known as „The second Wawel”. It was built by the order of king Kazimierz the Great, at the glacial valley of the Vistula river. From this castle, hunting journeys took off to the nearby Niepolomice Wilderness. The castle consisted of three towers, buildings in the southern and eastern wing, as well as the curtain walls surrounding the courtyard.
The construction of the building was continued by the following kings: Wladyslaw II Jagiello, Zygmunt I the Old, and later by Zygmunt II August. During the reign of King Wladyslaw Jagiello, Congresses of the Crown were organized, as well as courts of law. Apart from that, the castle was the royal family’s shelter from the epidemic that was spreading throughout Krakow in 1527.
During the reign of king Zygmunt August, the castle was rebuilt. The construction works were held between 1551 and 1568 under the leadership of Tomasz Grzymała and sculptor Santi Gucci.
Thanks to Queen Bona the castle’s southern wing gained Italian Gardens.
Unfortunately, the attack of the Swedish people brought the end of the castle’s greatness.
It was changed into a food storage. The church was destroyed and the town was plundered. From the mid-18th century the castle was owned by King August the Mighty. After the first partition of Poland in 1772, the castle and the town were owned by Austria. The Austrian people changed the castle into a barrack. They also destroyed the second floor.From the second half of the 19th century to World War I, the castle had various functions, serving as an apartment and a magazine.
Over the centuries the castle was a royal residence. Currently it is open for guests and tourists. It is also the location of a hotel and a conference center. The „Zamek” Culture center organizes recitals, concerts, knight shows and exhibits.