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Zamek książęcy Zator

Zator Castle

Front wyremontowanego zamku w Zatorze z odnowioną elewacją

Plac Kościuszki 5, 32-640 Zator Tourist region: Oświęcim i okolice

The gothic defensive castle was built in the 15th century over a steep slope of the Skawa River valley as the main residence of Wacław, the Duke of Zator. Today it is a Renaissance palace owned by the Potocki family.

In 1477 the castle was a modest building that in the 17th century was destroyed by the Swedes.In 1778, it was bought by the last starosta of Zator, Piotr Dunin. The building was partially rebuilt and the second floor was added. Subsequent owners of the palace and the Zator estate, the Poniatowskis, the Tyszkiewiczes, the Wąsowiczes and the Potockis, rebuilt it many times. In 1836, the Potockis gave it its present shape. In 1939, the castle was occupied and looted by the Wehrmacht. Earlier, the descendants of Maurycy Potocki had taken away some of the famous furnishings, magnificent works of art and national memorabilia. In 1945, the castle was turned into a grain warehouse and then into barracks, and later was also the seat of the Zootechnical Institute and more recently of the Fisheries Experimental Centre. It was renovated between 1964 and 1973. The building is built on a rectangular plan and has three storeys and an overhanging tower, which is the oldest part of the gothic castle. A loggia and an outbuilding are located at the shorter sides. The neo-Gothic character of the castle is emphasised by the battlements on the tower and the gate, the entrance portal and the decoration around the cornice and the windows. The rich decoration of the hunting, gold, fern and ivy halls has been preserved, including the arched vaults, precious frescoes, marble fireplaces, and Pompeii-style stuccowork by the Italian Liatti. Today the palace is in the hands of the Potocki family and is inaccessible to tourists.

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