If you happen to stay in Cracow for more than several days only, it is recommended to visit Niepolomice, a town 30 km away from Cracow. Even though today it may seem remarkably small and silent, in the past, it played a very important role.
History of Niepolomice
Formerly, the town was enclosed by a dense moor. Only a small part of it survived till modern times. The 14th century was of significant importance when it comes to the development of Niepołomice, as then king Casimir III the Great built a castle and a church there. In the consecutive ages, the former was the second, right after Wawel, most important residence of kings, where they stayed before going hunting.
What to see in Niepolomice?
While in Niepołomice, one simply has to visit the aforementioned castle. It may seem rather underwhelming from the outside, but after passing through the main gate, one will see a breathtaking yard.
Inside the fortification, there is an intriguing museum with the collection of stunning antique remnants. The history of the castle has been remarkably turbulent. It was rebuilt many times. During the Austrian annexation, it served as barracks, and the invaders decided to demolish the second floor of the castle. After the Second World War, the condition of the fortification was quickly deteriorating. At the end of the 20th century, its renovation started and now it is a true jewel and the pride of the locals. On the yard, numerous concerts, tournaments, and fairs have been organized.
Exhibition on the castle:
Yet another antique building that should be visited in Niepołomice is a Gothic church from the middle of the 14th century. As of currently, it is the oldest object in the town. The building in question was rebuilt several decades after its erection, so it is advised to check its baroque interior as well.
We would also like to recommend all the tourists to check out the local town hall and go to the Grunwald Mound, from which the exceptional panorama of Cracow can be admired. According to one of legends, the mound was heaped up in the place, from which king Jagiełło took off to celebrate his victory to Cracow after winning the battle of Grunwald.
All the visitors looking for a place to drink a cup of coffee or order a snack in should visit the cafe next to the market. The choice is enormous, starting from coffee and cakes, through donuts and soups, up to salads and pastas. You will surely find something suitable there!
It is worth mentioning that in the town, there is also a Jewish cemetery and an astronomical observatory.
Forest of Niepolomice
Please note that Niepolomice is not only the aforementioned town, but also the moor surrounding it, which should also be visited. To find it, follow the “King’s Road” signs.
It is a narrow path by travelling along which, one can reach the nearby forester’s lodge located near a car park. From there, one can embark on the quest of exploring the moor. Such a trip is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to meet wild animals, such as does, European bisons, deer, as well as to admire nature at its finest.
In the moor, there are numerous tourist trails, so you will surely not get lost.
You may also limit yourself to visiting a part of the moor nearby the town. There are numerous historic remnants there, being the commemoration of World War II soldiers, who were killed in the region.
How to reach Niepolomice?
The most convenient way is by car – by travelling down the A4 motorway (Targowisko turnoff) or Road 79.
One can also reach the spot by travelling by private buses running from Worcella 6 Street (right next to the Krakowska Gallery) or from the Ghetto Heroes Square. The trip lasts about 30 to 40 minutes and costs about 3 PLN. In Niepolomice, one can travel back to Cracow from the market (next to the Town Hall).