Nowy Sącz is geographically located on the flat bottom of the Sądecka basin in the valleys of Dunajec and Kamienica Nawojowska. The oldest part of the city is located at the elevation between two beds of rivers, in ancient times it served as a natural defence for the settlement. This fact was taken into account by King Wacław II before he founded a settlement here. In ancient times the location of Nowy Sącz in Sądecka basin created the conditions for its isolation, until in the Middle Ages a trade route was paved through the south of Europe. This contributed to the development of the city as an important trade centre in Lesser Poland Voivodeship. Particularly it had dense trade relations with the cities of Hungary.
November 8, 1292 is considered to be the date of Nowy Sącz's foundation. In the XIVth century the castle and defensive walls were built on the instruction of King Casimir the Great. During numerous eras the meetings of Polish nobles with nobles of other nations were held in fortification. In the Medieval epoch the city suffered several floods, fires and epidemics of diseases, due to these the planning and architechtural view of the city had been frequently changed.
In the XVIIth century Nowy Sącz was captured by the Swedish army. Most of all the local population is proud of Nowy Sącz's story of its liberation from invaders, led by Wonsowicz brothers and military units of Gabriel Wojnilowycz. This event was a turning point for national resistance aiming at liberation of Polish lands from the Scandinavian invaders. The fightings under Nowy Sącz lasted for 13 days and eventually chased the Swedens from the lands of Lesser Poland. On 8 January, 1656 King Casimir during his visit to Krosno issued the letter of gratitude to the residents of Nowy Sącz for the defence of Polish lands.
In 1770 before the First Partition of Poland the Austrian authority seized the nearby territory of Nowy Sącz, аnd the town Nowy Sącz was given a German name Neu Sandez. During the World War I the settlement was temporarily occupied by the Russian troops (1914-1915) and later by the coalition of Central European States. The town joined the Commonwealth of Poland in 1918. On 31 October, 1918 in Nowy Sącz for the first time in the history of independence of the Polish State the "Mazurek Dąbrowskiego" was performed by the local orchestra and has become the national anthem of Poland. This event has also become a reason for pride for all the residents of the town. On 6 September, 1939 Nowy Sącz was occupied by the German troops. Later for almost the entire war period the town served the function of redislocation of Polish army, organized in England and France to the territory of Hungary. 30 years after war (during the period 1975-1998) the town served as a centre of Nowy Sącz Voivodeship, which dissolved due to the administrative reform in 1999.
Nowadays Nowy Sącz is considered to be a popular tourist centre of Lesser Poland Voivodeship. Among the most outstanding monuments of architecture situated here there are several that are worth noting- House of Lubomyrski (17th century), the ruins of the royal castle (1350–1360), Basilica of St. Małgorzaty (14th-16th centuries), Church of the Holy Spirit and the Jesuit Monastery (15th century) etc. Nowy Sącz skansen is frequently visited by tourists, as far as here historic and architectural inheritance of such ethnic groups as Sącz Lendians, western Pogoriany, Sącz Horiany, Nadpopradski Lemki is represented.