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IMG BORDER=1 style=

CASTLE IN NIEPOLOMICE, FRONT ELEVATION



uring the reign of Wla­dy­slaw Lo­kie­tek (+1333), Nie­po­lo­mi­ce be­ca­me a part of the ro­yal e­sta­te, com­bi­ned with the Ma­lo­pol­ska lands in or­der to cre­ate a com­mon e­co­no­my. In the ti­mes of Ca­si­mir the Great (+1370), this small set­tle­ment be­ca­me one of the fa­vou­ri­te re­sting pla­ces for the ru­ler, who built a for­ti­fied ca­stle he­re to pro­tect the ca­pi­tal ci­ty of Cra­cow from the east, and at the sa­me ti­me to ser­ve as an ad­mi­nis­tra­tion for the king and his court. The ol­dest pre­ser­ved do­cu­ment con­fir­ming the e­xis­ten­ce of the de­fen­si­ve seat in Nie­po­lo­mi­ce da­tes back to 1358, al­though it is not en­ti­re­ly cer­tain that its con­tent re­fers to the brick re­si­den­ce; this one could ha­ve been built on­ly in the 60s of the 14th cen­tu­ry. Un­doub­te­dly, ho­we­ver, this pla­ce was im­por­tant for Ca­si­mir, as evi­den­ced by at least eight ro­yal vi­sits, as well as the in­ten­si­ve de­ve­lop­ment of the vil­la­ge as an eco­no­mic ba­se for the court. Mo­re­o­ver, tra­de roads from the east to Cra­cow and fur­ther to Si­le­sia and from Ma­zo­via to Hun­ga­ry cros­sed he­re, what was re­flec­ted in the num­ber of inns fun­ctio­ning in the vil­la­ge, which in the ti­mes of me­dia­eval chro­ni­cler Jan Dlu­gosz was as ma­ny as twe­nty! Due to its con­ve­nient lo­ca­tion, the ca­stle was of­ten vi­si­ted by the mes­sen­gers and po­li­ti­cal re­pre­sen­ta­tions at the hig­hest le­vel who tra­vel­led to Wa­wel Ca­stle in Cra­cow. The­se in­clu­ded, among ot­hers, the pro­ces­sion ac­com­pa­nying the four­teen-year-old Si­gis­mund of Lu­xem­bourg (+1437), son of Em­pe­ror Cha­rles IV, that sta­yed in Nie­po­lo­mi­ce for a short time in De­cem­ber 1382, from where - dis­­ap­poin­ted by the at­ti­tu­de of the Po­lish lords pre­ven­ting him from en­te­ring Cra­cow, and thus re­aching for the ro­yal crown by Si­gis­mund - went to No­wy Sacz, and then to Hun­ga­ry.


IMG BORDER=1 style=

VIEW FROM THE SOUTH, BONA'S GARDEN IN THE FOREGROUND


fter the death of Ca­si­mir the Great, the ca­stle did not lo­se its sta­tus of ro­yal re­si­den­ce, as evi­den­ced by at least ten vi­sits of the dau­ghter of Lu­dwig the Hun­ga­rian - Ja­dwi­ga (+1399), who was e­lec­ted by the no­bi­li­ty to ru­le after her fa­ther. The re­al pro­spe­ri­ty of the vil­la­ge ca­me du­ring the reign of Wla­dy­slaw Ja­giel­lo (+1434) who did not li­ke Cra­cow and du­ring his short stays in Ma­lo­pol­ska as ma­ny as thir­ty-six ti­mes vi­si­ted the ca­stle si­tu­a­ted in the midst of the fo­rest, from whe­re he could en­joy his fa­vo­ri­te en­ter­tain­ment, which was hun­ting. Du­ring ro­yal stays, fo­rti­fied ca­stle al­so be­ca­me the admi­ni­stra­ti­ve cen­tre of the sta­te, whe­re an­nu­al meet­ings of the king and his coun­cil took pla­ce, whe­re courts we­re he­ld, and whe­re ma­ny im­por­tant do­cu­ments we­re is­su­ed. Ja­giel­lo vi­si­ted Nie­po­lo­mi­ce re­gu­lar­ly, mo­stly in mid-No­vem­ber, after San­do­mierz and Rus tours, and just be­fo­re le­aving for Lit­hu­a­nia, whe­re he u­su­al­ly spent win­ters. Ma­ny im­por­tant de­cis­ions, as well as tho­se of les­ser im­por­tan­ce con­cer­ning the per­so­nal li­fe of the king, we­re ma­de not in the ca­pi­tal ci­ty of Cra­cow, but in a small vil­la­ge on the ed­ge of the Nie­po­lo­mi­ce Fo­rest. This was the ca­se in 1407 when the court was buz­zing with ru­mours a­bout the al­le­ged be­tra­yal of the king's wi­fe An­na Cy­lej­ska (+1416), which was di­re­ctly cau­sed by the Queen's cham­ber bre­aking off, al­le­ge­dly un­der the in­flu­en­ce of her in­ten­se" play" with two or e­ven three knights. Initially Jagiello, in a state of envy, publicly exposed his wife to defamation, and then, at the insistent request of the queen, revoked his accusations, as he did during the convention at Niepolomice. The fol­lo­wing year, on St. Mar­tin's Day, Ja­giel­lo ho­sted a de­le­ga­tion of knights re­tur­ning from Wi­told's un­suc­ces­sful ex­pe­di­tion to Mo­scow, du­ring which he­avy rains and mas­si­ve hun­ger cau­sed e­nor­mous los­ses of pe­ople and e­quip­ment. The King, ex­pres­sing his sym­pa­thy for their ef­forts [...] re­war­ded them mo­re ge­ne­rou­sly than they wi­shed, all the los­ses they suf­fe­red, as if they we­re fig­hting for the de­fen­se and gre­at­ness of the Kin­gdom of Po­land.


IMG BORDER=1 style=

THE SOUTHERN WING OF THE CASTLE IN NIEPOLOMICE


IMG BORDER=1 style=

ENTRANCE GATEWAY IN THE WEST WING


mong the events which ha­ve been wri­tten in­to the hi­sto­ry books and which con­cer­ned the ro­yal Nie­po­lo­mi­ce, it is worth men­tio­ning the con­ven­tion cal­led he­re in the au­tumn of 1409 just after the an­noun­ce­ment of the ce­ase­fi­re in the Po­lish-Teu­to­nic war. The de­li­be­ra­tions con­duc­ted un­der Ja­giel­lo's le­ader­ship we­re ac­com­pa­nied by a trial a­gainst War­ci­slaw of Gor­tra­to­wi­ce, who, ac­ting faith­ful­ly and wit­hout any ne­ces­si­ty, han­ded o­ver the ca­stle Bo­bro­wni­ki to the Teu­to­nic Knights. And al­though the de­fen­dant swo­re that he had sur­ren­de­red the for­tress with the know­led­ge and per­mis­sion of the arch­bis­hop of Gnie­zno, Ku­row­ski, and e­ven pre­sen­ted e­vi­den­ce to con­firm the truth of his words, the king did not gi­ve him faith and sen­ten­ced him to li­fe im­pri­son­ment in the Che­ci­ny ca­stle. This de­ci­sion was chan­ged la­ter, ap­pa­ren­tly, sin­ce War­ci­slaw en­jo­yed free­dom al­re­a­dy in 1410. Anot­her in­te­res­ting e­pi­so­de af­fec­ting the Nie­po­lo­mi­ce lo­ca­tion took pla­ce du­ring a con­ven­tion held he­re in 1420. At that ti­me, on St. Mar­tin's Day, the ro­yal court con­fir­med the con­sent to the mar­ria­ge of Wla­dy­slaw Ja­giel­lo and Zy­gmunt Lu­xem­burg's sis­ter-in-law Of­ka, gua­ran­teed by a do­wry in the form of Si­le­sia and a la­rge sum of one hun­dred thou­sand flo­rins. Ho­we­ver, the wed­ding ne­ver took pla­ce, be­cau­se Za­wi­sza Cza­rny, sent with an of­fi­cial de­ci­sion to the Hun­ga­ry, joi­ned the mi­li­ta­ry ac­tions a­gainst the Czechs and was im­pri­so­ned by them. The si­tu­a­tion was u­sed by Prin­ce Wi­told, who in the mean­ti­me con­vin­ced Ja­giel­lo to chan­ge his plans and mar­ry his nie­ce, Prin­cess Zo­fia Hol­szan­ska (So­nka) (+1461). This u­ne­xpec­ted cour­se of e­vents brought ma­ny be­ne­fits for the Ja­giel­lo­nian dy­na­sty, as So­nka ga­ve birth to Wla­dy­slaw as ma­ny as three sons, whi­le Of­ka on her wed­ding day would be ap­pro­a­ching the age of fi­fty.


IMG  BORDER=1 style= IMG  BORDER=1 style=

IN FRONT OF THE CASTLE IN NIEPOLOMICE, ON THE LEFT A MONUMENT OF CASIMIR THE GREAT


IMG  BORDER=1 style= IMG  BORDER=1 style=

ENTRANCE TO THE SOUTH WING FROM THE GARDEN SIDE


n 1442, the el­dest son of So­nka and Wla­dy­slaw Ja­giel­lo, Wla­dy­slaw III (+1444) pled­ged Nie­po­lo­mi­ce to bro­thers Piotr and Mi­chal Dy­bacz, and sin­ce the ple­dge was ge­ne­ral­ly ne­ver bought out, the e­sta­te was la­ter se­pa­ra­ted from the ro­yal do­main and re­na­med in­to a ple­dge sta­ro­sty. Sin­ce 1454, the ca­stle was in­ha­b­ited not only by the sta­rost but al­so by a cu­stoms of­fi­cer ta­king ca­re of a fer­ry on the Vi­stu­la and by fo­rest gu­ards. After the tra­gic death of his bro­ther in the Bat­tle of Va­rna, Ka­zi­mierz Ja­giel­lon­czyk (+1492) ru­led the King­dom, who, li­ke Ja­giel­lo, al­so tra­vel­led a­round the coun­try, but did not do so as of­ten and re­gu­lar­ly as his fa­ther. He was a fre­quent vi­si­tor to Nie­po­lo­mi­ce, ho­we­ver, but mo­re to en­joy hun­ting wild a­ni­mals than in sta­te mat­ters, as he pre­fer­red to set­tle the­se is­su­es in Cra­cow or No­wy Kor­czyn. In 1471 and 1472 the ro­yal court re­si­ded in the Nie­po­lo­mice ca­stle for so­me ti­me, but the re­ason for the­se lon­ger vi­sits was the king's fear of the pla­gue. The el­dest sons of Ka­zi­mierz Ja­giel­lon­czyk al­so did not sha­re the me­thod of in­ter­nal po­li­tics-ma­king pra­cti­ced by their grand­fa­ther and spent most of their ti­me in Cra­cow, or - li­ke Jan Ol­bracht (+1501) - in San­do­mierz, Mal­bork and To­run, or - li­ke Ale­ksan­der (+1506) - in Li­thu­a­nia. They ap­pe­ared spo­ra­di­cal­ly in Nie­po­lo­mi­ce, and the stays we­re main­ly re­cre­atio­nal.


A COLOURFUL POSTCARD FROM THE 2ND DECADE OF THE XX CENTURY


A CASTLE IN A PAINTING DATED 1913, AUTHOR: M. TRZEBINSKI


uring the reign of Si­gis­mund I (+1548), a sys­tem of ro­yal tra­vels was for­med, which con­sis­ted of qui­te re­gu­lar jour­neys be­tween Cra­cow and Vil­nius, de­le­ga­tions to par­lia­men­ta­ry con­ven­tions, oc­ca­sio­nal ex­pe­di­tions con­nec­ted with di­plo­ma­cy and war, as well as short trips for re­cre­a­tio­nal and lei­su­re pur­po­ses. Thanks to its con­ve­nient lo­ca­tion, the Nie­po­lo­mi­ce ca­stle was per­fec­tly su­ited to the needs of ro­yal jour­neys and was of­ten u­sed as such by the king and his court. No won­der that it be­ca­me the sub­ject of in­cre­ased at­ten­tion from the ru­ler, who re­deem­ed it from the ple­dge and then mo­der­ni­zed it. In the 20s and 30s of the 16th cen­tu­ry, un­der the di­rec­tion of ma­ster Be­ne­dict and Bar­to­lo­meo Ber­re­ti, a com­pre­hen­si­ve re­no­va­tion of the old strong­hold was car­ried out, in­clu­ding at least the re­pla­ce­ment of floors and sto­ves and the in­stal­la­tion of de­co­ra­ti­ve ar­chi­te­ctu­ral de­tails. The con­ve­nient lo­ca­tion of the re­si­den­ce a­way from the lar­ger po­pu­la­tion cen­tres meant that it was al­so tre­ated as an a­sy­lum from in­fe­ctious di­se­a­ses, which of­ten oc­cur­red in the ca­pi­tal ci­ty of Cra­cow. This was the ca­se, among ot­hers, in 1526 and 1527, when Queen Bo­na with her child­ren and part of the court found shel­ter from the pla­gue in Nie­po­lo­mice. Du­ring the se­cond of the men­tio­ned stays, in one of the hunts or­ga­ni­zed in Se­ptem­ber 1527, an un­for­tu­na­te ac­ci­dent hap­pe­ned, which per­haps chan­ged the hi­sto­ry of Ja­giel­lo­nian dy­na­sty. When the bear at­tac­ked the hor­se on which Bo­na was sit­ting, her hor­se got sca­red and threw the pre­gnant queen who had a­bor­ted. The death of Bo­na's un­born child, who was gi­ven the na­me Ol­bracht, made Si­gis­munt Au­gust (+1572) re­main the on­ly li­ving ma­le re­pre­sen­ta­ti­ve of the ru­ling fa­mi­ly. And sin­ce all three of his mar­ria­ges ap­pe­ared to be child­less, the Ja­giel­lo­nian dy­na­sty soon ex­pi­red.



VIEW OF THE CASTLE FROM THE WEST (ABOVE) AND FROM THE SOUTHEAST, 20S XX CENTURY


he above-mentioned Si­gis­mund Au­gust, sho­rtly after re­mo­ving the da­ma­ge of the ca­stle cau­sed by the fi­re in 1550, un­der­took the ef­fort to con­ti­nue the work sta­rted by his fa­ther and led in the years 1548-71 a ma­jor re­con­stru­ction of the Go­thic for­tress in­to a Re­nais­san­ce re­si­den­ce. Ar­chi­tec­tu­ral plans we­re pre­pa­red and su­per­vi­sed by ma­ster To­masz Grzy­ma­la, and Po­lish and Ita­lian craft­smen co­ope­ra­ted with him, in­clu­ding San­ti Guc­ci Fio­ren­ti­no - the cre­a­tor of ma­ny ro­yal gra­ve­sto­nes and the ar­chi­tect of ca­stles in Ksiaz Wie­lki and Ba­ra­now San­do­mier­ski. The re­sult was an epoch-com­pa­ti­ble buil­ding ba­sed on the ou­ter walls of the me­die­val ca­stle but e­quip­ped with new li­ving spa­ce, com­mu­ni­ca­tion and de­co­ra­tion. Even be­fo­re the co­stly in­vest­ment was com­ple­ted, in 1563 the nie­po­lo­mice sta­ro­sty was ta­ken o­ver by Grze­gorz Bra­nic­ki (+1595), and in 1585 it be­ca­me the pro­per­ty of his son Jan (+1612). King Ste­fan Ba­to­ry (+1586), who rei­gned in Po­land af­ter Hen­ryk Wa­le­ze's e­sca­pe, was qui­te a fre­quent guest in Nie­po­lo­mi­ce, and du­ring one of his stays he­re one win­ter night a thief got through the win­dow to the ro­yal cham­ber and sto­le from the­re a ca­ftan and two fur-coats. The rob­ber was soon ca­ptu­red in Cra­cow du­ring an at­tempt to sell his ro­yal clo­thes, and the sen­ten­ce was quic­kly jud­ged and e­xe­cu­ted, as evi­den­ced by an in­scrip­tion in the pe­nal books: 18 gro­schen for the e­xe­cu­tio­ner who han­ged Jan Go­ry­czow­ski, who sto­le the ro­yal ro­bes. Af­ter 1635, the ca­stle be­lon­ged to the Rus­sian Voi­vo­de Sta­nis­law Lu­bo­mir­ski, and af­ter his death in 1649 it was ta­ken o­ver by his son Ale­ksan­der Mi­chal (+1677). The Lu­bo­mir­ski fa­mi­ly em­pha­si­zed their pre­sen­ce in Nie­po­lo­mi­ce by ma­king a small al­te­ra­tion of the re­si­den­ce, du­ring which new cloi­sters we­re ma­de, fi­re­pla­ces we­re re­built and the in­te­rior de­sign was chan­ged.



PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE CASTLE FROM THE INTER-WAR PERIOD


he bar­ba­ric in­va­sion of Swe­dish troops in 1655-57, du­ring which the oc­cu­pants plun­de­red the vil­la­ge, de­stro­yed the pa­rish church and ar­ran­ged a food wa­re­hou­se in the ca­stle, de­va­sta­ting it and ste­aling all its e­quip­ment, en­ded the ma­gni­fi­cen­ce of the re­si­den­ce. Af­ter the es­ca­pe of the Swe­des from Po­land, abo­ve men­tio­ned Ale­ksan­der Lu­bo­mir­ski, who held the of­fi­ce of the sta­rost of the town, car­ried out on­go­ing re­pairs after the war, but al­re­a­dy in 1702 Swe­dish troops on­ce a­gain en­te­red Nie­po­lo­mi­ce, plun­de­red the ca­stle and bur­ned down the ma­nor buil­dings. When Te­o­fi­la Za­slaw­ska O­stro­gska, the wi­dow of the Great Crown Mar­shal Jo­zef Lu­bo­mir­ski (+1702) died in 1709, King Au­gust II (+1733) in­cor­po­ra­ted Nie­po­lo­mi­ce e­sta­te in­to the ro­yal do­main. And al­though on the ini­tia­ti­ve of his suc­ces­sor, Au­gust III (+1763), the pa­la­ce was re­no­va­ted in 1740s, the re­no­va­tion was on­ly tem­po­ra­ry and did not re­sto­re its for­mer glo­ry. As a re­sult of the first par­ti­tion of Po­land, Nie­po­lo­mi­ce be­ca­me the seat of the Au­strian mi­li­ta­ry gar­ri­son, and the pre­vious two-sto­rey ca­stle was re­du­ced by one floor after the fi­re, and trans­for­med in­to mi­li­ta­ry bar­racks. This re­con­struc­tion was com­pel­men­ted by the strengt­he­ning of the we­ake­ned walls with scarps and a cha­nge in the de­sign of the we­stern fa­ça­de, which gai­ned a clas­si­cis­tic ap­pe­a­ran­ce. Un­til World War I, it hou­sed va­rious ad­mi­ni­stra­ti­ve of­fi­ces, a mi­li­ta­ry ho­spi­tal (un­til 1856), uti­li­ty rooms and, in the in­ter­war pe­riod, a pu­blic u­ti­li­ty buil­ding. With the be­gin­ning of the new post-war re­a­li­ty in 1945, the sym­bol of Nie­po­lo­mi­ce was u­sed to hou­se ma­ny un­re­la­ted in­sti­tu­tions, such as lo­cal high school, post of­fi­ce, birt­hing room, town bath, gym hall, mu­ni­ci­pal li­bra­ry and pri­va­te a­part­ments. The con­di­tion of the ca­stle and the a­wa­re­ness of its u­sers at that ti­me is best il­lu­stra­ted by the fact that in the 1990s the a­mount of gar­ba­ge de­po­si­ted in the cel­lars was so la­rge that 150 trucks we­re need­ed to tran­sport it! In 1986 the ca­stle was en­te­red in­to the re­gi­ster of mo­nu­ments, and fi­ve years la­ter it was han­ded o­ver to the Mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty of Nie­po­lo­mi­ce, on the ini­tia­tiv­e of which a com­pre­hen­si­ve re­no­va­tion was un­der­ta­ken, in­clu­ding the re­no­va­tion of the cloi­sters with the court­yard, pa­rtial re­con­struc­tion of the we­stern fa­ça­de, re­pla­ce­ment of the roof and a tho­rough re­no­va­tion of in­ter­iors and ex­ter­nal e­le­va­tions, as well as the re­vi­ta­li­za­tion of the im­me­dia­te sur­round­ings of the re­si­den­ce. The works com­ple­ted in 2007 re­sto­red the for­mer gla­mour of this va­lu­able buil­ding, ma­king it the big­gest tou­rist at­tra­ction in the re­gion.


THE CASTLE COURTYARD IN 1970, L. KAJZER, J. SALM, S. KOLODZIEJSKI LEKSYKON ZAMKOW W POLSCE


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A VIEW FROM A SIMILAR PERSPECTIVE AFTER A MAJOR RENOVATION OF THE CASTLE



he Gothic ca­stle of Ca­si­mir the Great was built on a qua­dri­la­te­ral plan, of brick, on a sto­ne ba­se. It pro­ba­bly con­sis­ted of two brick buil­dings: a two-sto­rey, sin­gle-tract hou­se in the east­ern part and a long sout­hern hou­se, al­so with two sto­reys, con­nec­ted with a de­fen­si­ve to­wer, who­se re­mains ha­ve sur­vi­ved in the south fa­ça­de. The­se buil­dings we­re cer­tain­ly com­ple­men­ted by one-sto­rey or two-sto­rey wood­en con­struc­tions ar­ran­ged a­round a re­gu­lar court­yard and in­ten­ded for u­ti­li­ty pur­po­ses. The de­fen­ce of the ca­stle was sup­por­ted by two main to­wers e­rec­ted on a qua­dri­la­te­ral plan, one in the north-west cor­ner and the other in the north-east cor­ner. The north-we­stern to­wer, which had at least three sto­reys, was par­ti­cu­lar­ly so­lid­ly strengt­he­ned. It had a cham­ber in the ground floor, whe­re the­re was a well pro­vi­ding wa­ter for de­fen­ders e­ven du­ring the long sie­ge. Both to­wers we­re con­nec­ted and the who­le pe­ri­me­ter was clo­sed by a cur­tain wall, pro­ba­bly equip­ped with a cre­nel­la­tion and a porch for guards. The en­tran­ce to the court­yard pro­ba­bly led through the ga­te or ga­te to­wer si­tu­a­ted in the we­stern wall.


RECONSTRUCTION OF A MEDIEVAL CASTLE ACCORDING TO M. KOZERA


n its Go­thic form, the ro­yal buil­ding sur­vi­ved un­til the 16th cen­tu­ry, when it was re­built in­to a be­au­ti­ful Re­nais­san­ce re­si­den­ce on the ini­tia­ti­ve of Si­gis­mund the Old and Si­gis­mund Au­gust. As a re­sult of the works car­ried out by Po­lish and Ita­lian ar­chi­tects, the four-win­ged pa­la­ce, equip­ped with sin­gle-track buil­dings on the east­ern and west­ern si­de and dou­ble-track buil­dings in the sout­hern and nort­hern parts, was cre­ated in the out­li­ne of the me­die­val ca­stle. The buil­dings we­re sur­roun­ded from the court­yard si­de by wood­en cloi­sters, which we­re re­pla­ced by brick o­nes after the fi­re in 1550. The new­ly built north wing was in­ten­ded for li­ving quar­ters, whi­le the re­pre­sen­ta­ti­ve func­tions we­re con­cen­tra­ted in the south wing ex­ten­ded from the for­mer Go­thic buil­ding. The new­ly sha­ped si­lho­uet­te of the ca­stle was de­void of mas­si­ve de­fen­si­ve to­wers, which we­re dis­man­tled and re­pla­ced by small to­wers that we­re u­sed as stair­ca­ses. In the im­me­dia­te vi­ci­ni­ty of the re­si­den­ce, near its sout­hern fa­ça­de, Ita­lian gar­dens we­re e­sta­blis­hed which we­re the re­a­li­za­tion of the aes­the­tic am­bi­tions of Queen Bo­na.




CONTEMPORARY PLAN OF THE CASTLE ACCORDING TO T. CHRZANOWSKI AND M. KORNECKI


A VISION OF THE CASTLE AFTER LUBOMIRSCY REBUILDING IN THE XVII CENTURY, AUTHOR: R. LISOWSKI,
R. SYPEK: ZAMKI I OBIEKTY WAROWNE JURY KRAKOWSKO-CZESTOCHOWSKIEJ



fter a ge­ne­ral re­vi­ta­li­za­tion of the ca­stle in Nie­po­lo­mi­ce, its star shi­nes a­gain in full bright­ness. The­re ha­ve been pre­ser­ved and ca­re­ful­ly re­sto­red be­au­ti­ful Re­nais­san­ce ar­chi­te­ctu­ral de­tails de­co­ra­ting the win­dows, cham­bers, en­tran­ce ga­te, as well as a ma­gni­fi­cen­tly flo­we­red court­yard, which de­lights the vi­si­tors with e­le­gant aes­the­tics. The main at­tra­ction of the ca­stle court­yard, al­though dis­cree­tly si­tu­a­ted in one of its cor­ners, is a scul­ptu­re of a Stan­czyk sit­ting on a bench - a je­ster of three Ja­giel­lo­nian kings: Ale­ksan­der, Si­gis­mund the Old and Si­gis­mund Au­gust, with whom tou­rists wil­lin­gly ta­ke sou­ve­nir pho­tos. To­day, the for­mer re­si­den­ce is ma­na­ged by the Foun­da­tion Ro­yal Ca­stle in Nie­po­lo­mi­ce, ser­ving as a cul­tu­ral cen­tre, ho­tel with re­stau­rant and con­fe­ren­ce cen­tre.


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IN THE COURTYARD OF THE CASTLE IN NIEPOLOMICE


he castle cham­bers al­so ho­use the Nie­po­lo­mi­ce Mu­se­um, which gat­hers and pro­vi­des vi­si­tors with col­lec­tions of hi­sto­ry, art and na­tu­re. As part of the per­ma­nent ex­hi­bi­tions, the Su­kien­ni­ce Hall in Nie­po­lo­mi­ce and the Eu­ro­pe­an Sa­lon are pre­sen­ted he­re in­te­res­ting col­lec­tions of paint­ings and scul­ptu­res ow­ned by the Na­tio­nal Mu­se­um in Cra­cow, in­clu­ding land­sca­pes, por­traits, re­li­gious and hi­sto­ri­cal sce­nes by such aut­hors as Hen­ryk Sie­mi­radz­ki, Ar­tur Grot­tger, Le­on Wy­czol­kow­ski, or Sta­ni­slaw Wi­tkie­wicz, as well as paint­ings and scul­ptu­res re­fer­ring to an­cient myths and bi­bli­cal sto­ries ma­de by West­ern Eu­ro­pe­an ar­tists. The ex­hi­bi­tion cal­led Ca­stle Cha­pel ta­kes us in­to the at­mo­sphe­re of me­die­val and ba­ro­que cler­gy, pro­vi­ding ac­cess to old vo­lu­mes, pa­pal do­cu­ments, ro­bes and Re­nais­san­ce li­tur­gi­cal ob­jects: mon­stran­ces, re­li­qua­ries, vo­ti­ve of­fe­rings.


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FRAGMENT OF THE EXHIBITION SUKIENNICE HALL IN NIEPOLOMICE, PORTRAIT CHAMBER IN THE UPPER RIGHT CORNER


he who­le a­rea clo­ses with a con­tro­ver­sial and de­pres­sing Ex­hi­bi­tion of hun­ting tro­phies, whe­re stuf­fed a­ni­mals from both the Nie­po­lo­mi­ce Fo­rest and dis­tant re­gions of the world are pre­sen­ted in se­ve­ral rooms. The­re are two bears a­mong them: the brown bear and the ba­ri­bal bear, the big os­trich, the ze­bra, se­ve­ral spe­cies of an­te­lo­pe, the wolf, the lion and e­ven the gi­raf­fe. The "col­le­ction" is com­ple­men­ted by smal­ler hun­ting tro­phies and ni­ne­teenth-cen­tu­ry hun­ting we­apons. The tour of so­me of the ca­stle rooms ta­kes pla­ce in the com­pa­ny of a gui­de, which in my ca­se was a ve­ry ple­asant and e­du­ca­tio­nal ex­pe­rien­ce, be­cau­se his le­vel of know­le­dge and per­so­nal cul­tu­re put him as an e­xam­ple to fol­low for ot­her ob­jects of this ty­pe in Po­land.


Castle in Niepolomice
ul. Zamkowa 2, 32-005 Niepolomice
tel. (12) 261 98 52
e-mail: muzeum(at)muzeum.niepolomice.pl

Opening hours / Prices



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IN THE HUNTING ROOMS



iepolomice is lo­ca­ted se­ve­ral ki­lo­me­ters east of Cra­cow, from whe­re bu­ses no. 211, 221 and 301, as well as pri­va­te bu­ses run. The ca­stle is lo­ca­ted near the Mar­ket Squa­re, on Zam­ko­wa Street. You can le­ave your car at the par­king pla­ce lo­ca­ted at the nort­hern wing of the ca­stle, at the free par­king pla­ce on Szew­ska Street or di­rec­tly at the Mar­ket Squ­are. (map of cas­tles in Ma­lo­pol­skie Voi­vo­des­hip)




1. B. Guerquin: Zamki w Polsce, Arkady 1984
2. L. Kajzer, J. Salm, S. Kolodziejski: Leksykon zamkow w Polsce, Arkady 2001
3. J. Kracik: Ludzie krolewskich Niepolomic, Urzad Miasta i Gminy Niepolomice 2008
4. M. Murzyn-Kupisz: Dziedzictwo kulturowe a rozwoj lokalny. Przyklad podkrakowskich Niepolomic, ZN 835
5. T. Olszacki: Rezydencje krolewskie prowincji malopolskiej w XIV wieku, Architektura 7/2011
6. T. Ratajczak: Nie tylko Wawel. Przebudowa monarszych rezydencji w Krolestwie Polskim...
7. R. Sypek: Zamki i obiekty warowne Jury Krakowsko-Czestochowskiej


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VIEW OF THE CASTLE FROM THE NORTHWEST


Castles nearby:
Wieliczka - 'salt' castle 14th century, 13 km
Nowy Wisnicz - a bastion magnate's castle 14-17th century, 24 km
Krakow - Wawel Royal Castle, 25 km
Dobczyce - the ruins of the royal castle 14th century, 26 km



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text: 2019
photographs: 2013, 2017
© by Jacek Bednarek