The Trail of Gothic Castles
Around 1370 began the construction of the castle in Nidzica. The vicious fate of the castle led him to ruin several times. Fortunately, people always rebuilt this castle. Today, it is a part of 12 Gothic castles, located in Warmia, Masuria and Kaszuby. Our castle is located in the Warmian-Masurian Voivodship. Pay attention to how you will look for Nidzica, because in Małopolska there is a city with a similar name – Niedzica. In addition, there is also a castle! Although, both cities are far apart, it is not so difficult to confuse them. Just look at random browser – under the slogan Nidzica you will find pictures of the Dunajec castle and vice versa! We have already learned how to distinguish them, now it’s your turn. 🙂
How to get to Nidzica?
Our starting point was Warsaw East Station. Therefore, in this case, the best option was the IC train. Trains to Nidzica runs directly 3-4 times a day and tickets cost about 30-40 PLN one way. I recommend 2-3 h for sightseeing, so it’s a half day trip from Warsaw! 🙂
A brief history of the castle
As you know from the introduction, Nidzica and it’s Gothic castle has a rich history dating back to the Middle Ages. In addition, the castle is quite large, which encouraged us to discover its secrets. Unfortunately, we were a little disappointed. Of course, we didn’t expect chambers and rooms like in Malbork, but we were hoping for some miniature versions of this largest castle in Europe. Especially that the castle in Nidzica was also built by the Teutonic Knights, who with intervals were rulers of the castle for a long period of time. Apart from them, the castle was also visited by French troops at the beginning of the 19th century. The result of this hospitality was the visit of the Cossacks, which contributed to the destruction of the castle. A dozen or so years later the castle was rebuilt and some of its chambers were allocated to offices and even to private homes.
The present history of the castle is equally interesting. During WW II the Nazis were stationed here, therefore during the Soviet offensive the castle was seriously damaged again. In the 60’s the castle was rebuilt. Since that time the castle is a home for the city museum, the Museum of the Nidzica Land, the modern conference and exhibition room, the sculpture workshop, the knight’s guild, the Hieronim Skurpski painting gallery, the tourist office, the hotel and the restaurant.
Unfortunately, so extensive use of the castle by the authorities and other entities doesn’t leave too many for tourists. Still, we wanted to see some of the available rooms. We didn’t think it would be such a challenge. In fact, we were out of season, but there was no sign anywhere or any information where tu buy a ticket?!?! For a few minutes we walked up and down, until we finally caught a man, who looked like a castle keeper. When he found out that we wanted to see the castle, he disgustedly replied that it costs 10 PLN and he can show us 40 min later (although he didn’t look very busy). He added that it’s not worth it, because there is nothing to see. I sincerely admit that with such auto-promotion I wanted to leave the castle ASAP. We decided to walk around the castle and enter at least free rooms.
We regretted that we didn’t come by car, because we would return home. Instead, we had to wait a few hours for the train. First we went to the castle restaurant, which for such a small town was very expensive !! Yes, we got a very good cheesecake and coffee, but for 20 PLN. In addition, we had to leave before 1 PM, because after that hour everything was booked. We spent the rest of the time on the ghostly train station.
I don’t like saying this but, this castle disappointed us a little. After such a large castle we expected something more than this. Although we spent more time in the restaurant and at the train station waiting for the train, I don’t think this tour was completely pointless. It is a pity that we met a “guide” who preferred to discourage rather than encourage. Maybe you won’t meet him and your tour will be much better than ours! I still have plans to see all the castles on the Gothic Trail. 🙂
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