"It's the landscape ABOVE you'll be staring at!" Spisske Podhradie by kit_mc
Spisske Podhradie Travel Guide: 17 reviews and 94 photos
The main reason most visitors come to Spisske Podhradie is to see the amazing castle (Spis Hrad) that looms above the town. Pretty much our whole itinerary in Slovakia had been geared around our trip to this place and I wasn't disappointed.
The spectacular ruins of Spis Castle, perched on a rocky outcrop 2km from the town are designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Deservedly so. I have to say I had seen nothing like it before. It looks like some mythical place, standing on the ridge - something from a gothic film set. If you see this place and you don't gasp in awe, then you've either no imagination or you need your sight fixed!
To put it in bluntest terms, this is almost something you'd have seen in Lord of the Rings!
The ruins are being restored bit by bit and as they stand a bit of a trek away up the ridge and as we had our backpacks with us, we weren't inclined to hike up there.
We arrived here by bus from Levoca. The bus passes the 13th century walled ecclessiastical settlement of Spisska Kapitula. The town was used in this capacity right up until the late 1940's when the priests were kicked out.
The settlement's single street is lined by medieval gothic houses. Taking centre stage is the Cathedral of St Martin. Unfortunately the cathedral was closed for the winter but the outside allows for plenty of photo ops.
From Spisska Kapitula you'll also get an amazing first view of the castle. It doesn't seem to matter how many photos you take, you somehow can't replicate the vista of the castle. I'm sure that the view in summer must be more picturesque, but the winter vista was remarkably haunting.
Buses from Levoca pass by Spisska Kapitula, but you'll have to either ask the driver or a friendly local passenger (as we did) to make sure you get off at the right place as it doesn't stop automatically. It's well worth the extra walk into town from here - we had backpacks with us and it was no effort walking the 5 minutes down the hill to the town. And I really don't do hiking darling!
We passed through Spisske Podhradie on the way to Kosice and it was well worthwhile. The town itself doesn't really have much to see, but it's still a nice place to have a wander.
Note that buses out from Spisske Podhradie appear to now leave from the square around the corner from Marianske nam (LP is incorrect now). Just look out for the people waiting by a large timetable at the edges of the churchyards round the corner from Marianske nam
It may also be worth taking a map of the place with you as things aren't well signposted. We bumped into a few other visitors wandering around trying to find the train station (I think it is a legend - we never found any indication of it) so as to leave their bags in the left luggage and make the trek up to the castle.
Visiting this place, just wandering around and seeing the castle from various angles, letting my imagination wander, was one of the highlights of my visits to Slovakia.
And try the restaurant noted in my tips - it's a real surprise!
- In a nutshell:Views like something out of a gothic film
Putting this as a 'must see' is kind of superfluous - if you've come to Spisske Podhradie, it was almost certainly in... more travel advice
The cathedral in Spisska Kapitula may well be closed in winter and has erratic opening hours in summer, but you'll pass... more travel advice
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Spisske Podhradie Travel Guide
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- "Home To Spis Castle"
- "It's the landscape ABOVE you'll be staring at!"
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- "Spissky Hrad"
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