Slovakia is a country in the center of Europe. It is famous not only for its beautiful nature, health and ski resorts. The country managed to preserve more than 100 ancient palaces and castles. Not all of them survived, many suffered during the years of suppression of the uprising against the Habsburgs. The restoration and reconstruction of a large number of ancient fortresses are still underway.
Today we invite you to pay attention to the castles of Slovakia. Majestic, beautiful, surrounded by an aura of secrets and historical mysteries. Here you will find unique bastions, ancient castles erected at the beginning of the 10th century, Gothic fortresses, and fabulous palaces – both adults and children will have many vivid impressions from acquaintance with the ancient architecture of Slovenia.
The first written mention of the Slovenian castle Orava reached us from the second half of the thirteenth century. The castle was built to secure the country’s eastern border and protect the road to Poland. In the thirteenth century, the castle complex was in the possession of the Hungarian and Croatian king Bela IV. Despite significant reconstructions, carried out several times, the Orava Castle has retained the charm of true medieval architecture. By the way, many scenes of the film “Nosferatu: Symphony of Horror” were filmed here.
The ruins of the castle are located near the town of Levoca. The first mention appeared in 1209 as the property of the Hungarian Crown. In 1464, representatives of the Zapolyai family became its owners. The castle, which was the largest building of medieval Europe, occupied an area of 2 hectares, under its walls could hide and live up to 2000 people. Currently, the castle hosts performances organized by the Historical Reconstruction Club. Restoration work is underway.
Bojnicky zamok Slovakia Castle
Bojnický Castle (Bojnický zámok) is also called the Haunted Castle, thanks to the many legends associated with the building.
In late April – early May, the Bojnice Castle hosts the International Festival of Spirits and Ghosts. Specialized theatrical performances are held on the castle grounds.
Bojnice Castle is located on a hill and is surrounded by a town of the same name. This citadel is one of the oldest and most valuable in Slovakia. It has existed for more than 10 centuries – the first mention of the Bojnice Castle is found in historical documents in 1113. Initially, the Bojnice Castle was made of wood, but then it was rebuilt from stone. Already in the Middle Ages, the building could boast of the presence of a sewerage and water supply – this was a rarity for that time.
Trencin castle Slovakia
Trenčianski Castle was built around the eleventh century on the site of a settlement from the times of the Grand Duchy of Moravia. The castle complex is located on several terraces above the Vah river, therefore, a very beautiful view of the panoramas of the Trenčín region opens up from its walls.
The majestic Trenčanská fortress, unfortunately, is not completely well preserved due to the turbulent history and the great fire that raged here in the eighteenth century, but you can see a lot of interesting things here, including the inner chambers and halls, in which the original furnishings have been fully preserved. which has come down to our days from the Middle Ages.
Bratislava Castle is a monumental castle, a massive quadrangular structure, towering over the city on a cliff above the left bank of the Danube, on the southern spur of the Small Carpathians. It symbolizes more than a thousand years of Slovak history, and its towers and terraces in front of the main façade offer breathtaking views of the city and its surroundings.
It became a real, full-fledged castle by the 11th century, and acquired its present form in the 15th century. Unfortunately, a strong fire in 1811 marked the beginning of the destruction of the castle. It was recreated almost from ruins in the second half of the 20th century and houses the exposition of the Slovak National Museum. Also today, various exhibitions are held within its walls. Climbing to the castle, it is worth admiring the picturesque rooftops of the old town and the panoramas of the Danube floodplain.
Located in western Slovakia, close to the Czech border, Chahtitsa Castle has a long, eventful and rather spooky history. Built in the second half of the thirteenth century, over the centuries of its existence, it was repeatedly besieged, destroyed and rebuilt, but the name of Countess Elizabeth (Aljbeta) Bathory brought it fame.
Nicknamed the “Bloody Countess” for her cruelty and many murders, Elizabeth Bathory was convicted and imprisoned in the same castle – she was walled up alive in the very hall in which she committed her crimes. By the way, there is an alternative version of those events, according to which the Countess is an innocent victim, who was slandered and convicted on false charges by Gyorgy Thurzo, Palatine of Hungary.
Červený Kameň Castle
A beautiful medieval castle was founded on the slope of the Lesser Carpathians by order of the queen-widow of Constanta as a defensive fortification in 1230. He owns the largest cellars in Europe, used as a system of secret passages. After the reconstruction of 1976-98, expositions of the Museum of Noble Life were opened on the premises. Theatrical events on historical themes are staged in the courtyard of the castle, fairs and festivals are held.
Sveta Anton Castle ( Kaštieľ Svätý Anton )
Built-in the 15th century, the Sveta Anton (or St. Anthony) castle has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1985. It is another of the most popular castles in Slovakia and is always included in tourist routes. Originally the noble family of Kohari was built by Kastiel Svaty Anton in the Gothic style. But in 1744 the building was rebuilt and acquired expressive baroque features.
Sveta Anton’s appearance is classic and even austere. This is a two-story mansion with large windows. The building is white and the massive roof is painted dark. There are practically no architectural excesses or small details.
Castle of Slovenská Ľupča ( Ľupčiansky hrad )
Built-in the 13th century, the castle was part of the dowry of the Hungarian heiresses. The earthquake of 1443 was significantly damaged, after which it changed owners. Here you can admire the ancient frescoes in the chapel, sit under a 700-year-old linden tree and make a wish. A 62-meter wall is carved into the rock and ends with a secret passage outside the territory of the castle.
The castle was built at the confluence of the Danube and Morava as a defensive fortification. The first mentions date back to the times of the Celts. Blown up by the French conquerors in 1809. At present, it is a symbol of the popular movement for the national revival of the country under the leadership of L. Stuhr. The castle houses an archaeological museum. From April to November, you can see the ruins of a Roman camp.
Town Castle Kremnica
A complex of medieval buildings surrounded by a double defensive wall, with a main gate and three towers, which were gradually built during the period from the thirteenth to the fifteenth century. In the fifteenth century, the fortress was reconstructed.
On the territory of the castle complex Kremnica, there is the Church of St. Catherine, which is now the center of the architectural ensemble, from the high observation tower of which a very beautiful panoramic view of the city opens.
Strečno Castle in Mala Fatra
The castle built at the end of the XIII, the beginning of the XIV century on a rock 420 meters high as a defensive fortification by the order of Matush Chak. Moats were dug around the fortress. It passed to different owners until it was destroyed at the end of the 17th century. After reconstruction, it was given to the Povazh Museum. Now you can visit a real, old smithy here. The main and northern towers, South, North, and partly Eastern palaces are open for inspection.
The castle in the city of Nitra is one of the oldest in Slovakia. The beautiful architectural complex is located in the historical center of the city of the same name, on a hill in the bend of the Nitra River. The Nitra castle was founded by the Moravian kings in the eleventh century, but most of the ancient castle structures have been perfectly preserved to this day.
Kezmarský castle (Kezmarskу hrad) is the main attraction of the High Tatras. Tourists who come to the High Tatras to the ski resort, as a rule, do not deny themselves the pleasure of spending a few hours studying the history and architecture of the perfectly preserved castle.
The first mention of the Kezmarsky castle occurs in 1463. It is not known for certain where the name of the castle and the settlement around it came from. There are several versions of the history of the name of the castle, most of them are somehow connected with the influence of German culture. The most popular version is that the castle got its name in honor of a huge glacier in the Austrian Tyrol.
Krasna Horka Castle
One of the most beautiful and famous castles is located in Eastern Slovakia. Founded around 1320. At different times it belonged to the families of Bebeks, Mariasha, and Andrashi. The castle houses a permanent museum with a collection of weapons, torture devices, medieval furnishings, and musical instruments. A glass coffin with the mummy of Zofia Seredi, the wife of one of the owners, has survived.
First mentioned in the 12th century, the castle was built on a 70-meter rock in order to strengthen the borders of the Hungarian state. Rebuilt in Gothic and Renaissance style. There is a legend that the castle was named after the jester Betska, for whom it was intended. The castle burned down in 1729 and was not restored until the 1990s. Now on the territory, they stage theatrical performances on historical plots, they conduct tastings of local beer and meat delicacies.
Betliar Castle ( Kaštieľ Andrássyovcovc)
The original building looked little like a residential one, rather it was a two-story citadel with loopholes instead of windows. But three centuries after the construction, Betliar passed into the possession of the Andrássy family. The aristocratic family immediately began to rebuild the castle and turned it into a hunting palace.
Today Betliar is a three-story mansion. The castle was built of bricks and painted yellow. The main building is surrounded by towers on four sides. The style solution of the Betliar castle is Renaissance and Baroque.
The castle was built by Count Jan František Palffy in 1889. The wealthy aristocrat was fond of French architecture and wanted to make a house for himself in a similar style. Budmerice Castle is a two-story mansion with turrets and mansards. The building is stone, white. A monumental staircase leads to the main entrance.
During the construction of the castle, several styles were mixed at once: Gothic, Renaissance and Romanticism. Therefore, the architectural details are different, but they are harmoniously combined with each other.
The castle is surrounded by a neat English garden, as well as a virgin forest with artificial lakes and gazebos. In the park, there is a Gothic church dating from 1722. There is also the chapel of the Virgin Mary of the Seven Sufferings – a small baroque building with an arch and a quadrangular tower.
The West Slovak castle in the Lesser Carpathians appeared in the 15th century as a sentry outpost. Currently, the building belongs to the Slovak Academy of Sciences, which uses it for various scientific events. It is possible to get acquainted with the medieval interiors by prior arrangement of the visit.
The royal castle was built in the 13th century at the confluence of the Kisutsa and Vah rivers on the site of a trade route. Later it belonged to the Sunegovtsy and Chuck families, who made changes to the Gothic building. In 1715 a garden was laid out around the fortress. After a fire by the Habsburg troops in 1849, the owners restored the castle in the classical style. In 1922-23 the castle was reconstructed again. In 2007, the fortification was handed over to the Povazh Museum, which opened historical expositions here.
Stará Ľubovňa Castle
The fortified castle was built at the end of the 13th century on the trade route to Poland. The construction is attributed to the Polish prince Boleslav. It was both Hungarian and Polish until in 1590 it began to belong to Sebastian Lubomirsky. After the death of Theodor Lubomirski in 1745, the castle returned to royal possession. At present, it is given to the Lyubovnyansky Museum and is being restored. Its exposition features royal regalia, including copies of those that have not survived.
By order of Louis I the Great, the castle was built in 1360-1382 by Italian craftsmen. It was never taken by the conquerors. Currently, the expositions of the Slovak National Gallery present the work of European painters of the 16th-18th centuries, including original paintings by Rubens, Veronese, Hogarth. In summer, the complex hosts the Zvolensky Theater Festival and the Zvolensky Castle Craft Festival.
The ruins of the largest castle in Liptov, the historical region of Slovakia, have been preserved. The first mention of the castle dates back to 1315. It changed several owners until it became royal in 1447. The upper and lower locks were added. In the rock in the 17th century, a passage was cut from the lower tier to the western courtyard in the bastion of the upper castle. In recent years, the lower and upper locks have been restored.
One of the few defensive fortresses that did not fall under the onslaught of the Mongol conquerors. The first mention of a fortress built on a high hill dates back to 1242. In 1554, the Ottoman invaders took over by cunning. In 1682, Tököli was conquered by the rebels with a 60,000-strong Turkish army and blown up. Since 1972, restoration work has begun. In 1993, the remains of the castle were allowed to be visited by tourists. Finds of archaeological research are presented in the Babek tower.
The construction of a castle on a mountain hill as a defensive fortification against the raids of the Tatar-Mongols began in 1241. The building was considered the third-largest in the entire country. Much attention was paid to the fortress by the ruling families of Chaks and Thurzo. They built, fortified, reconstructed. It is said that the castle had 90 rooms. Since the 17th century, it has fallen into disrepair. From the majestic fortress, there are ruins, to which a country road leads. Issues on its restoration are currently being considered.