Castle was raised by Spycimir Leliwita, voivode of Cracow, in the years 1328-1331 in the area of Tarnów Mały, assigned to him by king Władysław Łokietek. It served the next generations of Leliwit – Tarnowski family as the main seat and the administrative center of the vast land goods. In 1441 the castle was severely damaged during the invasion of the Hungarians. The fortress was rebuilt after the destruction, and the next heir, hetman Jan Amor Tarnowski made it one of the most magnificent castles in the then monarchy. After the death of hetman and his son in 1567, there was a dispute about the inheritance between prince Constantine Ostrogski and the castellan Stanisław Tarnowski. It ended with the siege and the capture of the castle by Stanisław Tarnowski, although he did not keep it long. Since then the devastated residence has begun to decline. Further owners of Tarnów: Zasławscy, Lubomirscy, Zamoyscy, Koniecpolscy and Sanguszkowie did not make efforts to restore its magnificence. From the middle of the 18th century the ruins began to be dismantled.
In the Middle Ages, the stronghold consisted of a upper castle occupying a hill and a low castle of economic purpose. Both parts were separated by a moat in the rock over which the bridge was located. In the fourteenth century, the upper castle consisted of a stone wall to which they were attached one-story buildings, and in the western part was a cylindrical tower of about 10 meters in outer diameter. The internal diameter was only 5 meters, which is why the tower certainly played the role of a bergfried. At the south-east section there was the Chapel of the Visitation of the Virgin Mary. The buildings surrounded an internal courtyard with a well drilled in rock.
The low castle was also surrounded by a wall, erected from brick on a stone foundation. It surrounded the rectangular area measuring 65 x 13 meters. In the east there was an entrance gate with a bridgehead and a tower in the west. The southern part of the wall was surrounded by wooden buildings of an economic character.
In the fifteenth century, the south and east wing of the high castle were reinforced, series of rooms were added from the south, and in the south-east corner a second, more massive cylindrical tower was erected. Timber buildings on outer bailey were probably replaced by brick buildings. In the sixteenth century the eastern part of the castle was surrounded by a wall equipped with towers, half towers and so-called arsenal.
Castle has not survived to modern times, only relicts of ground parts are visible. Entry into the castle area is free.
Leksykon zamków w Polsce, L.Kajzer, S.Kołodziejski, J.Salm, Warszawa 2003.
Moskal, K. Leliwici z Melsztyna i ich zamki, Nowy Sącz, 2007.
Wróblewski S., Zamki i dwory obronne województwa sandomierskiego w średniowieczu, Nowy Sącz 2006.