In the northernmost lands of the historic Spiš Region lies the impressive Niedzica Castle.
Since the construction of the Niedzica Dam (20th century, 2nd half) it overlooks the Czorsztyńskie Lake but before that, since the 14th century it protected a ford (shallow water passage) on Dunajec River which was a border between the Polish and Hungarian Kingdom. It was built by Berzeviczy noble family.
Initially a fortified castle, in the 16t century turned more into a Baroque residence that it remained until today. After WW1 when the northern small part of Spisz (including the castle) was granted to Poland, the castle remained a property of Salomon family that lost it only with the arrival of the Soviets who dispossessed all the noble families. It was turned into a museum and a hotel. There is a scenic terrace from which you can see the Lake with the ruins of Czorsztyn Castle (opposite side of the Lake), Gorce Mountains and Pieniny Mountains. In summer season there are boat cruises on the Lake.
Inca Secret at Niedzica Castle.
Andrzej Benesz was a descendant of Waclaw Benesz and Waclaw a cousin of Sebastian de Berzeviczy. Sebastian was a noble man who emigrated to Peru in 18th century where he married a local Inca woman. She gave birth to a daughter named Umina who was married to the last living heir of Tupaca Amaru II, a leader of anti-Spanish revolution and gave him a son - Antonio, Sebastian’s grandson. Because of the Spanish persecution, the family escaped to Venice and later to Niedzica where they stayed. Both Umina and his husband (Sebastian’s son-in-law) were stabbed by Spanish agents who kept chasing them in Europe. Sebastian, to protect his grandson’s life calls Inca emissaries who accept a formal adoption of Antonio by a Czech family called Benesz. The Inca emissaries gave Antonio a so-called Inca Testament in a form of an Inca khipu (information encoded in knots) that allegedly contained information about Inca gold that could be used for another anti-Spanish revolution.
Some 150 years later, in 1946, Antonio’s grandgrandson - Andrzej Benesz comes to Niedzica castle and probably founds it. He might have even tried to start looking for the Inca gold, but… we will never find out. He died in a car crash. Some say, it was an Inca curse. The khipu has never been found. Without any doubt however, Berzeviczy - Benesz family history is a fact.