Castles from the air
This fortified castle, picturesquely located high above the Dunajec River, was built around 1325 by a member of the Berzevics family of Hungary, which at that time controlled these lands.
For centuries the castle was a border-post with Hungary. Yet when the Turkish menace reached its peak five hundred years ago, a deal was done at Niedzica that made this region a Polish protectorate. However, the owners of the castle remained Hungarian right up until the middle of the Second World War.
The fortress was reconstructed in the fifteenth, sixteenth and eighteenth centuries by successive Hungarian lords of Niedzica. Currently, although only ruins remain of what used to be the Gothic castle, its dungeons and some of its residential rooms have survived, as have some of the paintings depicting the Crucifixion that once used to adorn the castle's chapel. The later buildings comprise a densely packed complex with a courtyard surrounded by residential wings with covered arcades, towers and fortified walls.
The castle has been open to visitors since reconstruction was completed in 1963.
The most famous legends refer to the lost Montezuma treasure.
During the 16th century, a relative of one of Niedzica's owners travelled to the New World, and became embroiled in the the troubles of the conquistadores. He fell in love with the daughter of the last Inca king, Tupac Amar II, who was himself murdered by the Spaniards, after rebelling against the invaders. However, the sacred scrolls of the Incas had been handed down to the princess, who then fled to Hungary with her new husband. The notion that Inca treasure lies hidden somewhere in the depths of the castle, is still cherished today.
The history of the castle goes to XIV century.
'Zawisza Czarny', famous Polish knight used to live there.
Before the death of the Polish king Kasimir the Great in 1370, the castle became kings property and residence of local officials, place for kings relaxation.
In 1795 the castle went up in flames, and at the end of the next century a restoration works started. In 1930 it was set as national heritage.
Since 1992 renovations were performed under supervision of the National Pieninski Park and today we may climb the highest floors in the castle by steel well secured stairs.
An exhibition providing the information on the castle's history and its surrounding is being displayed in two rooms.
From the ruins of the Czorsztyn castle, on a good day, one can clearly see the Tatra Highlands.