Medieval castles in Slovakia

Slanec Castle Ruins

Slanec Castle is situated on the hilltop above the village. The exact date of construction is unknown but it was probably built after the Mongol invasion. It is thought to be originated in the Árpád era. The oldest authentic mention can be found in a charter of the chapter of Eger from 1303, when the sons and descendants of Szalánczi I Péter (Petri de Zalanch) shared the castle and other posses ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Slanec, Slovakia

Plavecký Castle Ruins

Plavecký Castlee was built as a royal frontier castle between 1256 and 1273. Until the 16th century it was owned by Counts of Jur and Pezinok. In the second half of the 16th century the castle was rebuilt into a Renaissance style with the lower court. Gradually it was again fortified and maintained during the 17th century (new cannon towers were added then). In 1706 the castle was damaged the imperial army that con ...
Founded: 1256-1273 | Location: Plavecké Podhradie, Slovakia

Oponice Castle Ruins

Oponice Castle was probably built in the second half of the 13th century by son Peter from the Csák clan. The castle was first mentioned in 1300 as 'Oponh'. Until the death of Máte Csák of Trencsén in 1321, Oponice Castle guarded part of his wide domain in the central Nitra area. The castle was later administered by the royal exchequer until it was passed in 1392 into the hereditary p ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Oponice, Slovakia

Sásov Castle Ruins

The ruins of the medieval Šášov Castle stand above the river Hron. According to a legend, the lord of the Zvolen Castle had it built for his court joker who saved his life while hunting. The task of the Šášov Castle was to guard the trade road and to collect toll. It became royal property in the 14th century and part of the dowry of the royal wives. In 1490 the family of Dó ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Žiar nad Hronom, Slovakia

Starhrad Castle Ruins

Starhrad castle was built to protect the old road leading Povazie and it was first mentioned in 1267. The oldest part of the castle was the tower. In the 14th century the castle was in royal hands and some houses and farm buildings were built. Since 1443 it belonged mostly to the Pongracovce family. In the 16th century Starhrad was abandoned and left to decay. By the beginning of the 18th century there lived only guards. ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Strečno, Slovakia

Pajstún Castle Ruins

Pajštún Castle was built in 13th century as part of a regional castle system aimed at defending the north-western border of the Kingdom of Hungary. One of the first known records mentioning the castle comes from 1314 in connection to its owner, Otto from Telesprun; many sources often, mistakenly, date the first mention of the castle to 1273. In 1390, Sigismund, the Holy Roman Emperor and King of Hungary at t ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Borinka, Slovakia

Hodejov Castle Ruins

Hodejov castle was built in 13th century and destroyed by Osmans in 1571. Today only some ruins remain.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Hodejov, Slovakia

Bzovík Castle Ruins

Bzovík castle structure originated by reconstruction of the Cistercian Abbey founded around 1130. Several decades later the Premonstratesian provostship moved here and became the largest feudal estate in the region of Hont. Its fort was repeatedly destroyed in the 15th century. In 1530 it ended up in hands of Sigismund Balassa who drove out the monks and had the Romanesque monastery reconstructed to the Gothic-Ren ...
Founded: 1530 | Location: Krupina District, Slovakia

Ostrý Kamen Castle Ruins

North of Smolenice is the village Buková with water reservoir and a marked route, which leads southward to the romantic ruins of the Castle Ostrý Kameň from the 13th century. The Castle was a royal border fort guarding the Czech road in the past. It is in decay since the 18th century though part of its walls, bastion, and adjacent buildings are still observable. The top of the Castle provides a nice vie ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Buková, Slovakia

Somoska Castle

Šomoška Castle is unique among the Slovak castles as it is built of unconventional hexagonal basalt pillars. It was probably built in the later half of the 13th century after the Tartar invasion. After suppression of the Rákoczis rebellion, the Emperor had pulled down several castles, but Šomoška was spared. However, it gradually decayed and the last tower burnt in 1826 when a lighting s ...
Founded: 1291 | Location: Somoskő, Slovakia

Korlátka Castle Ruins

Korlátka Castle was built in the mid-13th century. As a royal castle, it protected the western frontier of the Kingdom of Hungary. It has been left to decay since the 18th century. Only the outer walls of the upper castle and several stretches of lower fortifications were preserved.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Cerová, Slovakia

Vrsatec Castle Ruins

The original Gothic Vršatec castle from the 13th century was destroyed in time of Rákoczis rebellion in 1706. The legend has that the castellan of this castle cut his leg in order to help his master to escape from the Tartar prison. The ruins provide an excellent view of the whole of central Považie and the valley of the Váh river with the mountains Súľovské and Strážovs ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Pruské, Slovakia

Víglas Castle

The history of the Vígľaš Castle reaches to the early medieval times when Slavic fortifications were built on these very same hillsides overlooking the Slatina River. In addition,the monastery, most likely run by the Templar Knighthood, also was in operation. Soon thereafter, the property became the possession of the Johanit Order (later called the Maltese Knights) and King Karol Robert of Anjou. In 131 ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Vígľaš, Slovakia

Cicava Castle Ruins

The road south of the Veľká Domaša water reservoir leads below the ruins of the Čičava Castle, probably built in 1309-1316. The castle did not survive the last Rákoczis rebellion in 1711 when it was damaged. The Castle is known for its “Book of Lies and Liars” held here in the 16th and 17th centuries, also referred to as the Book of Čičava - in which curious lies ...
Founded: 1309-1316 | Location: Sedliská, Slovakia

Uhrovec Castle Ruins

The ruins of the Uhrovec castle, dating from the 13th century, lies on the steep hill. It was one of the most valuable castles in Slovakia. The estate of the castle belonged to an influential noble family Zayo in the 16th century, originated from Croatia. The irst documented records of the castle date from 1258.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Bánovce nad Bebravou District, Slovakia

Hajnácka Castle Ruins

Hajnáčka castle was built in the Gothic style against the Mongol invasion in the mid-1200s. Later, in the mid-15th century, the construction was finished. Hajnáčka was the seat of important feudal lords. In 1545 the castle was besieged and conquered by Ottomans. At the end of the 16th century and the first third of the 17th century castle was an important part of the anti-Turkish defensive line. Ne ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Hajnácka, Slovakia

Strecno Castle

Streèno Castle is located on top of the steep limestone rock on the left bank of the Váh river. The castle was mentioned for the first time in 1384. Based on indirect written reports it can be assumed that the Castle already existed in the first half of the 14th century. It was to safeguard the toll collection at a ford through the Váh river. The oldest castle had the area of only 18x22 m. It comprised a r ...
Founded: 1316 | Location: Streèno, Slovakia

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Castle Rushen

Castle Rushen is located in the Isle of Man"s historic capital, Castletown. The castle is amongst the best examples of medieval castles in the British Isles, and is still in use as a court house, museum and educational centre.

The exact date of castle is unknown, although construction is thought to have taken place during the reigns of the late 12th century and early 13th century rulers of the Isle of Man – the Kings of Mann and the Isles. The original Castle Rushen consisted of a central square stone tower, or keep. The site was also fortified to guard the entrance to the Silver Burn. From its early beginnings, the castle was continually developed by successive rulers of Mann between the 13th and 16th century. The limestone walls dominated much of the surrounding landscape, serving as a point of dominance for the various rulers of the Isle of Man. By 1313, the original keep had been reinforced with towers to the west and south. In the 14th century, an east tower, gatehouses, and curtain wall were added.

After several more changes of hands the English and their supporters eventually prevailed. The English king Edward I Longshanks claimed that the island had belonged to the Kings of England for generations and he was merely reasserting their rightful claim to the Isle of Man.

The 18th century saw the castle in steady decay. By the end of the century it was converted into a prison. Even though the castle was in continuous use as a prison, the decline continued until the turn of the 20th century, when it was restored under the oversight of the Lieutenant Governor, George Somerset, 3rd Baron Raglan. Following the restoration work, and the completion of the purpose-built Victoria Road Prison in 1891, the castle was transferred from the British Crown to the Isle of Man Government in 1929.

Today it is run as a museum by Manx National Heritage, depicting the history of the Kings and Lords of Mann. Most rooms are open to the public during the opening season (March to October), and all open rooms have signs telling their stories. The exhibitions include a working medieval kitchen where authentic period food is prepared on special occasions and re-enactments of various aspects of medieval life are held on a regular basis, with particular emphasis on educating the local children about their history. Archaeological finds made during excavations in the 1980s are displayed and used as learning tools for visitors.