"The castle of Niedzica" Top 5 Page for this destination Poland Things to Do Tip by magor65
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The big asset of this castle is its location - it is picturesquely situated on a steep rock offering beautiful views of the vicinity.
This once Hungarian castle has been well preserved till our times. Its oldest part built in the 14th century is a big square tower and a courtyard with a deep well which is said to have been connected with the Dunajec river.
The most interesting part of the castle's history seems to be the 20th century. For several hundred years the castle belonged to the Horvath family. When after WW I Niedzica with 13 other villages of this region became Polish, the castle's owner was the countess Ilona Bethlen Salamon - the descendant of the Horvath dynasty. She used to spend most of the time in Budapest, coming to Niedzica only in summer. She turned out to be a sincere friend of Poles during the WW II, saving some of them from death and helping many others. After the war she lost all the rights to the castle and was persecuted in her own country - Hungary. Forced to leave Budapest, she finally died in poverty in an old people's home somewhere in Hungary. And the castle? The Soviet army helped by local people vandalized it, stealing all valuable objects, including the doors and windows.
No history of a castle would be full without a legend. So here is one connected with the Horvath family. It is said that they were very brave but cruel for people. One day Jan Horvath saw a Gypsy woman with a pack of cards. He agreed to hear her fortune-telling. The Gypsy told him off for being cruel and threw an acron on the ground telling the man to protect an oak which would grow out of it, because the fate of the Horvaths depended on it. At first the man didn't want to listen, but when a young plant appeared, the place was protected by the family. The Gypsy was right - several hundred years later the tree died and so did the Horvath dynasty. Today we can still see the trunk of the oak in front of the castle.
Directions: a village in the Pieniny Mts., close to Nowy Targ
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