The beginning of the Korczyn settlement can reach even the 11th century. In the 13th century, there was in it a royal court, in which prince Bolesław V the Chaste was supposedly born in 1226, but it was in the area of today’s Old Korczyn. The location of the new town was made by Bolesław in the 50s of the 13th century, and the old court was probably burned by the Ruthenians in 1300.
The brick castle on the old route from Kraków to Sandomierz was built on the initiative of king Casimir the Great in the fourteenth century. It was the favorite residence of king Władysław Jagiełło, thanks to which in the years 1388-1389 repair was undertaken and between 1403 and 1408 the castle was extended. The enlarged residence was meant to give a representative character, as well as to transfer temporarily the royal treasury from Wawel Castle in Kraków. In 1416, a starosty center was also established in Nowy Korczyn. Until the 16th century, the castle and the town served as one of the most important political and economic centers in Małopolska region. There was a royal court here, there were numerous congresses and foreign embassies were greeting here. In 1403, king Jagiełło visited in castle several Piast princes, in 1404 he accepted the Muscovite mission, and in 1409, the Teutonic legation, which gave the king a written declaration of war. In 1438 a Czech Hussite delegation visited the castle and offered the Crown of Bohemia to prince Kazimierz. The congress of the knights, which took place here in 1456, officially received the news of the death of king Władysław and proclaimed king his brother, Kazimierz. In 1479 a great master of the Teutonic Order, Martin Truchsess, made a tribute to the Polish king in the castle chamber.
In 1517, another renaissance reconstruction took place. Its initiator was the great chancellor of the Crown, Krzysztof Szydłowiecki. However, in the 17th century, the castle lost its importance, and Swedish invasions in 1655 and 1702 led the building to ruin. The castle walls were finally demolished in 1776.
The castle was erected on the marshy swamps of the right bank of the Nida River, which separated it from the north town. On the other three sides it was surrounded by an irrigated moat, about 10 meters wide and by an earth rampart. The Nida River protected the castle from the north and on some distance from the east. From the south, Vistula was the natural protection on the further foreland, and from the west the branch of Nida called Czantoria, falling into the Vistula under the village of Winiary Dolne. The access from the town led through a timber bridge with a wooden tower for the guards and then after the bend through another timber bridge came to the gate tower.
The main castle was erected in the lower parts of limestones, and higher partly from brick. The plan of the castle was regular, quadrangular, about 90×90 meters. Inside the defensive wall, the main buildings were two houses, from the south and from the north (one came from the times of king Casimir the Great, the other was probably added by king Władysław Jagiełło). From the south-west there was also a tower, serving as a prison. According to the sixteenth-century catalogues, the residential part consisted of about 80 rooms, including 8 apartment, 9 rooms, 3 chambers, 5 halls and more than 20 other chambers. In the economic part there were 2 kitchens, 3 pantries, 5 basements and 6 “shops”. The castle also housed a chapel and living quarters for podstarości (vicecapitaneus) and the town writer.
The castle has not survived to modern times. In the former castle area there are currently buildings of the Podzamcze village.
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Moskal K., Zamki w dziejach Polski i Słowacji, Nowy Sącz 2004.
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Późnośredniowieczne zamki na terenie dawnego województwa sandomierskiego, red. L.Kajzer, Kielce 2005.
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