Zamek na Mirowie Książ Wielki
Mirów Castle Książ Wielki
The castle is a gem of Renaissance architecture even though it was rebuilt by the subsequent owners in various architectural styles. It was erected between 1585 and 1595 at the initiative of the Kraków Bishop Piotr Myszkowski and his nephew, the Chęciny Staroste. The design has been prepared by the outstanding architect Santi Gucci from Florence. On both sides of the palace, Gucci symmetrically positioned two pavilions –with a chapel in one of them and a library in the other (later a Baroque kitchen). The facility is one of the earliest examples of a palazzo in fortezza type structure, combining the functions of a residence and a defence facility. At the beginning of the 18th century, the owners of the castle were the Wielkopolski family, who refurbished it in a Baroque style. During another renovation in the 19th century, the structure acquired neo-Gothic features with a characteristic crenelated attic and corner towers. At the present moment, it is the seat of the Complex of Non-Public Schools and Educational Establishments in Książ Wielki and the ‘Mirów’ Association.
The castle is located approx. 1 km east of the centre of Książ Wielki, on the Mirów Hill, surrounded by old trees and romantic linden alleys.
Santi Gucci (ca. 1530–ca. 1600)
The outstanding architect and sculptor from Florence was an artist whose patrons included King Sigismund Augustus as well as Queen Anna the Jagiellonian and King Stefan Batory; he also worked for famous magnate families. His works make references to Florentine mannerism and late Renaissance. He came to Poland at the beginning of the 1550s and married Katarzyna Górska, with whom he lived in neighbouring Pińczów. In his works, Santi used Pińczów limestone extracted in the local quarry. He was engaged, among others, in the construction of the Cathedral at the Wawel Castle, the royal castle in Niepołomice; he is the author of palaces in Baranów and Pińczów along with countless tombs of well-known historical figures.