"Castles in Slovakia" Slovakia Things to Do Tip by GentleSpirit
Slovakia Things to Do: 218 reviews and 337 photos
Slovakia, by virtue of being quite small, has a lot of castles to see, few of which are very from from the major centers. They do vary, however, in the state of reconstruction. Some, like Bojnice castle (near Prievidza) is carefully and tastefully restored and gives you a good idea of how the owners (the last ones at least) might have lived. Many other castles have been restored but not to the same extent as Bojnice.
You have castles in use as early as the 11th century for defense of the borders/frontiers and trade routes. From about 1000AD onwards until 1918 Slovakia (or large parts of it at least) were part of The Kingdom of Hungary or the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Gradually the original wood structures were reconstructed as stone fortresses. Gradually, again, their functions continued to change.
For example, the stone walls and battlements were more than enough for medieval combat, but once gunpowder became common there was a need to thicker walls and more impenetrable fortresses. Some of the castles fell into disuse, as they were either too small to merit being upgrade, too indefensible or too isolated.
Some castles were renovated to become palaces (zamok in Slovak), which served an exclusively residential function. This was just the lord's palace, it had no real common defense elements like previous eras (where the castle would protect the entire village for example)
Regardless of their state of restoration, due to their original function, most castles are in pretty impressive locations with a great view of the surrounding area. Some slovak friends tell me that hiking up to some abandoned castle ruins are some of the best day trips due to the view.
Some castles you might want to see:
- Bojnice Castle ( Prievidza)
- Orava Castle (Zilina)
- Devin Castle (Bratislava)
- Bratislava Castle (Bratislava)
-Spis Castle (Poprad)
-Trencin Castle(Trencin) directly above town square in Trencin
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