Pieskowa Skala is the only castle on the Eagles’ Nests’ Trail which survived the stormy years of Polish history. We can enjoy its original, renaissance beauty till today.
The castle is proudly rising on the limestone cliff above Pradnik Valley guarding the road which in the middle ages was a strategic one for the country; between Cracow and the region of Silesia.
The King Casimir the Great understood the potential and importance of this place and ordered at the beginning of XIV century to erect the first wooden castle on the rock. Although some documents suggest that the first fortress was built on the same place in the XIII century already.
In 1377 the castle passed as a gift to Szafraniec family. Some of the members of this noble family are known for their contributions to the Polish culture and battles’ victories, some however were so called “black characters” turning Pieskowa Skala into the robbers’ nest.
In the XVI century Stanislaw Szafraniec, voivode of Sandomierz and one of the most prominent of the family members ordered rebuilding of the castle in renaissance style. At that time the original medieval tower was transformed into a scenic double loggia decorated in the sgraffito technique. Between 1557 and 1578, the castle’s courtyard was surrounded by arcades, embellished with 21 mascarons.
The last owner of the castle of Szafraniec family was Jedrzej, Stanislaw’s son, who died childless in 1608. After his death the estate was purchased by Maciej Lubnicki. who sold it later to the Zebrzydowski family. In 1640 Michal Zebrzydowski built the bastion fortifications with baroque gate and a chapel. The owners of the castle were changed many times over the next centuries. In 1903 Pieskowa Skala was bought by the Pieskowa Skała Society led by Adolf Dygasinski, famous Polish novelist and educator and with time turned over to the Polish state and meticulously restored.
Today you can still visit this beautiful castle which was turned into the museum. It is a part of royal’s exposition museum of the Wawel’s castle in Cracow. If you wish to visit Pieskowa Skala, please do not forget about other attractions nearby the castle; the whole Pradnik Valley, Ojcow Castle and Lokietek’s cave!