The construction of a stone castle in Niepołomice was started in the mid 14th century on the order of King Casimir the Great. It soon became the king’s favourite residence but its heyday came with the reign of Władysław Jagiełło. It was a meeting place of the royal council, a place where court judgments were passed and where royal hunts for foreign guests were held. In the mid-15th century Władysław III of Varna pledged the castle and until the end of 18th century it remained in the hands of the Czuryło, Branicki and Lubomirski families.

In 1506 Zygmunt Stary ordered the castle to be rebuilt. It received it present Renaissance shape under the reign of Zygmunt August. The Swedish invasion in the mid-17th century put an end to the golden age of the royal residence. In 1655 the Swedish troops sacked Niepołomice, destroyed the parish church and turned the severely damaged castle into a forage depot. After the partition of Poland in 1772 the castle fell under Austrian rule. The Austrians converted the castle into army barracks and removed part of the 2nd floor. In the interwar period and after World War 2 it was a public building. It housed council flats, a telephone exchange and even a hospital labour ward. In 1991 it became the property of Niepołomice municipality which financed its renovation.

The renovation work was very extensive and costly. Apart from cosmetic renovations, the whole structure of the building needed to be strengthened and dried. Beautiful Renaissance architectural details adorning the windows, rooms, entrance gate have all been painstakingly renovated. So has the flowery courtyard which still continues to amaze tourists and guests. Today the castle serves as a cultural and business centre. It is a venue for concerts, exhibitions, business conferences, weddings and banquets. In the attic there is a 3 star hotel with 24 rooms. The castle also houses the Lech Wałęsa Conference Centre.

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