Dunajec Castle, Castle in Niedzica or maybe Niedzica-Castle?
Dunajec Castle tell me – why do you have so many names? Why such confusion? Is it because of the wrong terminology, that made mess on the Internet? Although there are many versions, it’s one thing I know for sure! This is one of the most beautifully situated castles in Poland! Additionally, it has a really great history! For seeking closer contact with the culture and the castle, you can rent a room in this amazing place. For us, this was a regular trip out of town, with small surprises! If you want to avoid them, or prepare for them, I invite you to read!
How to get from Kraków?
The castle is located about 113 km south of Kraków, on the lake Czorsztyn. Not that far is also the Pieniński National Park and the border with Slovakia is literally at your fingertips. The area is really lovely, but being honest with you, I recommend you go there by car. Although the castle is quite a popular attraction in Galicia, however, access without car is not so easy. Especially if you choose the off-season. We went there on a warm weekend in April 2015.
If you don’t have a car, take a bus…
It’s good to go to Nowy Targ. You will get there easily from Kraków – there are lots of buses. Depending on company prices are between 11-13 zł for one way (count around 26 zł round way). Buses starts from Central Bus Station (next to the Railway station), but you can also catch them, for example in Borek Fałęcki!
Here you can check the bus schedule: http://www.busy-krk.pl/en/nowy-targ-krakow.php
In Nowy Targ you have to change. There are no direct buses from Kraków. However, in Nowy Targ beginns lottery. When we were entering bus station we have seen our bus already pulling away. We checked a bus schedule, but it has turned out that those buses are not going according to the schedule…
Don’t ask me why. Our next bus supposed to be 2 hours later. We sat down and we were waiting for luck. At some point we started to ask bus drivers if they are going via Niedzica-Castle. Finally, one guy said that he was passing Niedzica (yes, Niedzica, not Niedzica-Castle) and he could take us till the dam. We agreed. We paid 6 złotych per person and 30 min later we were on the spot! We only had to climb and then the castle was exactly ahead of us!
Here you can check a bus schedule Niedzica – Nowy Targ http://www.ibert.republika.pl/nied.html
and here Niedzica Zamek – Nowy Targ http://www.ibert.republika.pl/sro.html
It’s only in Polish, but I’m sure you will understand how it works! And of course be careful, because you never know when the bus comes 😉
Before we went to the castle, we checked again the bus schedule. The last one was at 04:00 PM, so we had around 5 hours. We came back to the bus stop 15 min before departure. Of course bus didn’t come. We catch a “no name” bus and the bus driver told us that the last bus to Nowy Targ was one hour earlier. Ok, that wasn’t funny… However, Mr. busdriver was so kind and he took us to another village where we could catch a bus to Nowy Targ. We were really grateful and he even didn’t want to take our money! He left us in this village and 10 min later came another bus to Nowy Targ. We paid around 5 zł and after 20-25 min we finally approached Nowy Targ 😀
When we were hunting on a bus to the castle, we realized that there are actually two villages: Niedzica and Niedzica-Castle. We only knew rumors, but what really happened, we were able to find only in a newspaper article from 2013. It turned out that part of the Niedzica population had registered Niedzica-Castle as a place of residence. Although, before 2014 this place didn’t exist. It means, that those people didn’t have valid ID cards or passport, because this village didn’t exist.
Holders of this ID defended that they had older documents and records which confirm that the village used to be known as Niedzica-Zamek, not just Niedzica. However, not everyone liked the idea, but citizens decided to divide the village, and from 2014 we have Niedzica and Niedzica-Castle.
Thus, the internet still can find popular Castle in Niedzica. Although it follows that the correct name should be now: Dunajec Castle in Niedzica-Castle 😀
Dunajec Castle and its brief history
The history of the castle encouraged me to visit this place. The story of the legendary Inca treasure stimulated my imagination and I wanted to visit Dunajec Castle as fast as possible! Ok, but let’s start from the biginnig. It was built in XIV-th century. Though polish kings never lived there, but it was often in the possession of royal families (Grandpa of Bona Sforza – the wife of king Zygmunt Stary lived there). In the XVIII-th century the Incan princess was hiding in the castle. That is was some people (even scholars) believe that the Inca treasure might be hidden somewhere in the castle. However, no one is able to find it. If you want more information click here.
Inside the Dunajec Castle walls
Before you planned youe visit at the castle, I highly recommend you to check their page (just in case to check if they are not closing earlier). We were so lucky again, because they were closing castle this day earlier at 01.00 PM, but we entered the castle at 12;50 PM! Ticket costs are 12 zł for youth and regular 14 zł. Here you can check opening hours. Sightseeing took us less than one hour. Unfortunately, a large part of the Castle is not available, and I think it works quite negatively on the image of the Castle. To be honest, its interior was quite poor and a little disappointed us. Fortunately, beautiful views of the Castle definitely charmed us. That is why our overall impression was much better!
Well, even if you not enter the castle, it’s worth to come and admire all this amazing views 🙂
After sightseeing we went to the restaurant. Food was quite ok, but prices for tourists 😛
Hydroelectric power plant Niedzica
Through this Hydropower plant we can enjoy a beautiful view of the castle (or even castles) or just get quickly to the other side of the lake! It’s hard to believe that the plans for the construction of these Hydropower plant back to the early XX-th century. In 1997 Hydropower plant was done. It makes a great impression!
As mentioned I above, from the dam we can notice the two castles! In addition to the Dunajec Castle, we still have the ruins of Czorsztyn Castle. It is less popular and far worse. We didn’t manage to get to the Czorsztyn Castle, but at least we could admire it from afar.
Have you been to the Niedzica-Castle? Share with us your memories! Or ask for more tips 🙂