Krościenko – Pienins castle


The first informations about the castle contains the Life of Saint Kinga from the early fourteenth century. It informs that in the Pieniny Mountains, duchess Kinga was hiding with the nuns during the Mongol invasion on Lesser Poland in 1287. The chronicler Jan Długosz also remembers the stay of the prince Bolesław V the Chaste along with his wife in castle, during the attack of the Mongols in 1241. The credibility of this information, however, raises serious doubts among historians. Source and excavation research shows that the Pienins castle was erected on the initiative of princess Kinga in the early eighties of the thirteenth century. It was a guardian-refugial building, as a place of final shelter, where the nobleman with his court could wait out the assault of the enemy, and if necessary actively defend himself. The castle ceased to fulfill its functions probably in the fourteenth century, and in the fifteenth century it ceased to be used.


The castle was built of limestones joined with mortar. A 1,2 meters thick shield wall was erected close to the summit of mountain. It ran about 90 meters with a bow, connecting two rock ridges. Entrance leading through a small postern, located in the western part. Perhaps a rectangular tower also existed here. At least two buildings and a square water tank were adjoining the wall. Near the wall, there probably were also timber buildings. An additional, emergency exit from the castle existed at the eastern end of the wall.

Current state

Up to now, fragments of the shield wall, the outlines of the gate on the western edge of the wall, and the foundations and fragments of the walls of the two buildings have survived. Admission to the castle area is free.

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Leksykon zamków w Polsce, L.Kajzer, S.Kołodziejski, J.Salm, Warszawa 2003.
Moskal, K. Zamki w dziejach Polski i Słowacji, Nowy Sącz 2004.