Niepolomice Travel Guide: 8 reviews and 15 photos

Kazimierz Wielki, the King of Poland in the first half of the XIV cent. had the spacious, Gothic castle built beside the Vistula River bank. The hunting trips to Niepolomice Forest all began in the castle.

The small village called Niepo³omice was founded at the same time to provide all necessary services to the castle and the court, and the parish church was built next to the market place.
The King's successors: W³adys³aw Jagie³³o, Zygmunt I Stary and Zygmunt August carried on his task. During the reign of Zygmunt August the castle was rebuilt and got its present, quadrangle shape with inner courtyard and galleries. The Italian gardens, also called "Bona`s gardens", were founded near the southern side.

Still grazing in the forest of Niepolomice, you will find the European bison - indeed a regal creature, weighing a ton, three and a half meters long and two meters high at the shoulder. Its noble mane and long beard give it a majestic appearance. Once it was the object of monarchial protection. A decree of King Zygmunt the Old imposed the death penalty on anyone who killed a bison without the king's permission. One of the first books printed in Poland was De bisonte et eius venatione (On the Bison and on Hunting It), a Latin poem written by Mikolaj Husowczyk and dedicated to Queen Bona Sforza, printed in 1523 by Hieronim Wietor's publishing house.

I am the bison,
zubr in Polish,
bisont in German;
the ignorant call me aurochs.
Foreigners visiting Poland were also intrigued by this - to them - exotic beast, which had long since disappeared in other parts of Europe (in England at the end of the twelfth century, in France and Italy in the fourteenth). Seigmund von Herberstein, Emperor Ferdinand I's envoy to the Russian czar, traveled through Poland several times in 1516-1551. In an account of his journeys he described the bison and inserted a portrait of it, with the caption "Bisons sum, polonis suber, germanis bisont, ignati uri nomen dederant" (I am the bison, zubr in Polish, bisont in German; the ignorant call me aurochs). The bison was frequently mistaken for the aurochs, ancestor of the domestic ox, which survived in Poland until 1627. Herberstein's is a firsthand account; it is known that King Zygmunt August invited him to hunt and that he killed an enormous bison himself.

Once again, this noble beast is protected and a herd is flourishing in the forest

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Very few tourists but a wealth of history and natural beauty
  • Cons:The only good restaurant is in the castle - not such a con!
  • In a nutshell:Well worth the half hour bus ride from Krakow
  • Intro Written Sep 10, 2002
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Reviews (3)

Comments (5)

  • acemj's Profile Photo
    Oct 17, 2005 at 5:17 PM

    I wish I could have visite the restaurant in the castle. The food I had here wasn't great! Nice intro!

  • Apr 18, 2005 at 3:24 AM

    Many many happy returns of the day. Have a great time . Greetings from India.

  • olja1234's Profile Photo
    Jun 2, 2003 at 1:44 PM

    I like your page and its nice photos. Introductory information is complete. Thanks

  • Imbi's Profile Photo
    Jan 27, 2003 at 1:05 PM

    Hunting lodge looks more like a palace

  • Pawtuxet's Profile Photo
    Nov 20, 2002 at 2:04 PM

    My husband would love to travel the woods there. He enjoyed the game on the menus in Rzeszow.


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