Krakow

The Royal Castle in Niepołomice

  ul. Zamkowa 2 (Niepołomice)     13 Nov 2018
The castle in Niepołomice began as one of many fortifications throughout Małopolska initiated by King Kazimierz the Great in the 14th century, however this one soon became his favourite residence which he used as a retreat from the royal seat in Kraków. Kazimierz wasn’t the only king to favour the isolated outpost however, as his successors all invested themselves in further embellishing and expanding the castle into a magnificent royal residence where much time was spent. The castle’s heyday came during the rule of Władysław Jagiełło who held meetings of the royal council here, often entertaining foreign dignitaries and passing official court judgements from Niepołomice rather than Wawel. It was also from here that the famous royal hunts set out, bringing back the big game trophies of bison, bears and boars that would line the castle halls. In the mid-16th century King Zygmunt August rebuilt the residence on the model of contemporary Renaissance palaces – the appearance of which has been restored today. The ‘Second Wawel’ (as it was known) maintained its splendour for another hundred years before the Swedish deluge brought an end to its golden age and, along with the country, the castle gradually fell into ruin during Poland’s eras of partition and occupation.

A long and costly reconstruction began in 1991 and was finally completed in 2007. Today the castle is a multi-functional space hosting several museum exhibits, an excellent restaurant, 3-star boutique hotel, spa and conference facilities. Despite all that however, the space retains its authentic historical character. Perfect for a family outing, across from the Castle entrance is a park with a large playground, Queen Bona's picturesque gardens lie beside, and the Wisła River flows just beyond it.

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