Based on a quadrilateral plan, with a spacious square-shaped arcaded courtyard and cloisters, the Castle is a gem of Renaissance architecture. At the same time, it is proof of the extraordinary craftsmanship of Tomasz Grzymała and the Italian sculptor Santi Gucci, who contributed most to the present appearance of the Castle. The work they did was carried out in 1551-1568 during the reign of King Sigismund II Augustus. The only significant change was the reconstruction of the cloisters into early Baroque design in later years (1635-1637). The fate of the Castle is closely connected with Polish history. The end of the building’s splendour came with the Swedish Deluge, when a food warehouse was set up here. Attempts at renovation failed, and it was turned into barracks and partly demolished after the first partition of Poland in 1772, when the Castle came under the rule of the Austrian monarchy. Later, it was used as warehouses and flats. After World War II, it began to fall into ruin. Only when the Castle came under the care of the Niepołomice municipality in 1991 did its reconstruction and renovation begin. At present, the Royal Castle in Niepołomice houses the Niepołomice Museum and a conference centre.
Zamek Królewski Niepołomice
For centuries, the Castle in Niepołomice, known as the "second Wawel", was a place of rest and work for kings and princes from the Piast and Jagiellon dynasties, as well as elective rulers of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. It was also supposed to play a defensive role. Royal hunts to the Niepołomice Forest set off from here. It was built during the reign of King Casimir the Great.