Niedzica Castle – Niedzica-Zamek, Poland - Atlas Obscura

Niedzica Castle

Niedzica-Zamek, Poland

This picturesque castle in Poland has a rich history, including a legend that ties it to lost Incan treasures.  


This magnificent castle looks as though it was pulled directly from the set of Dracula.

Niedzica Castle sits towering over the artificially created Lake Czorsztyn in southern Poland, close to the border of Slovakia. For centuries, the castle sat on the border between Poland and Hungary. Niedzica Castle was constructed during the 1320s, and currently houses an interesting museum that plays host to a magnificent, eclectic collection of materials from the surrounding region.

The castle was built under the orders of a Hungarian aristocrat known as Kokos of Brezovica. Soon after its completion, the castle was passed onto the Zápolya family. In 1528, John Zápolya gave the castle and surrounding land to the person who assisted him in securing the Hungarian throne, Viliam Drugeth. 

The castle passed through the hands of various Hungarian aristocrats until 1943 when the last countess moved out two years before the Red Army captured the structure. In 1963, the castle was refurbished by the Polish Ministry of Culture.

An Inca treasure legend relating to the castle stems from an 18th century Hungarian aristocrat, Sebastián Berzeviczy, then the owner of the castle who was believed to have traveled to Peru and married an Inca princess. As the legend goes, their daughter Umina fled South America with her son and Sebastián with sacred Incan scrolls following a revolt against the Spanish. It’s believed they contained a map that indicated the location of lost Incan treasures. In the following years, an Incan quipu was found inside the castle tucked away in a leaden box, however, it was eventually lost to history. 

As with any good legend, there are always doubts, as no other evidence has been discovered. Perhaps more clues are still hidden somewhere within the castle. 

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March 2, 2020

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