Today our group visited Pieniny Mountains, where on both river banks, are located two castles: in Czorsztyn (on the historic Polish side, but today only the ruins remained) and Niedzica Castle, an important center of Polish-Hungarian relations since the 14th century. We had a guided tour there.
The castle erected between the years 1320 and 1326 by Kokos of Brezovica. Due to its location on the hill over the artificial lake (created in 1997 on the Dunajec river) it is known as one of the most picturesque castles in all of Poland.
The castle has a long, beautiful history with many mysteries and riddles hidden in the castle walls. One of them is a story of an Inca princess married to Sebastian Berzevicy, one of Niedizca’s owners, in the 18th century. Testaments of the family have mentioned some lost treasures of the Incas hidden in the castle and some ‘Quipu’ writing.
After seeing the castles our group was taken to Dunajec river rafting. In spite of the stunning nature there is also a cultural aspect of this trip: traditional, wooden canoes steered by a group of Highlander people called ‘flisacy’. They have been rafting with tourists, here in Dunajec, since the 19th century. All of the Highlanders are gathered in a special association and traditionally come from only five villages : Czorsztyn, Krościenko, Sromowce Niżne, Sromowce Wyżne and Szczawnica. They control the rafts with long, wooden poles, and also act as guides – telling many interesting stories, jokes and anecdotes in the local dialect.
Special thanks to Kristin for sharing her pictures from the trip with us!