Medieval castles in 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

Blh Castle Ruins

Blh (Velky Blh) castle was built in the 13th century. In 1323 it was renovated in the Gothic style and in 1483 it was extended and fortifications were added. It played an important role at the times of Turkish invasion. It was destroyed in 18th century.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Veľký Blh, Slovakia

Brekov Castle Ruins

Brekov Castle was built in the the 13th century on the site of an older fort from the Great Moravian period. In time of the Rebellion of Estates in the 17th century, one or another fighting party repeatedly damaged it. It decayed in the late 17th century and only part of its walls and some domes survive.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Brekov, Slovakia

Pustý Castle Ruins

Pustý hrad is a castle whose ruins are located on a forested hill. With an area of 76,000 m² it is arguably one of the largest medieval castles in Europe. The original name was Zvolen Castle or Old Zvolen; Pustý hrad (meaning 'deserted castle') is a much later name used to distinguish the ruin from the present-day Zvolen Castle. Pustý hrad consists of two parts, the Upper Castle and the ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Zvolen, Slovakia

Divín Castle Ruins

Ruins of the medieval Divín Castle can be seen above the village. The castle was built by the end of the 13th century and it played an important role as an anti-Turkish fort in the 16th century. Its ill-famed owner Imrich Balassa, robber knight seated here in the 17th century and undertook assaults in its environs. After his death, the Castle was conquered by the Imperial troops in 1683 and fell in decay. Only part ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Divín, Slovakia

Dobrá Voda Castle Ruins

The Dobrá Voda castle was built on the site of an earlier castle in the first quarter of 13th century in the mountainous terrain on one of the roads that cross the crest of a small Carpathian Mountains. It was first time mentioned in 1263. In ancient times, the castle formed an elongated structure of the palace, which was close to both sides of the four-sided tower, a palace located on the southeast side of the ass ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Dobrá Voda, 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

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

Ilava Castle

Ilavský castle dates from the turn of the 11th - 12th century. It was probably founded by Knights Templars and later it served as a monastery. The first document of the castle dates from 1446. The state administration established a state prison in the castle, which, in a new form, has remained there until the present day. There was also a concentration camp during World War II.
Founded: c. 1100 | Location: Ilava, Slovakia

Jasenov Castle Ruins

At the turn of the 13th and 14th centuries Jasenov castle belonged to the noble man Peter from Bačkov. He was formerly an ally of the king, Charles Robert, during the period of struggle with the family of Omodejs (of the Abov county). Later, because Peter turned agains the king and tried to murder him, his property was thus entirely confiscated and in 1317 most of it given to the faithful Philip Drugeth. Since then i ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Jasenov, Slovakia

Lednica Castle Ruins

Lednica castle ruins stand on the picturesque Lednické bralo rock. The site is perhaps the most inaccessible one among the castles in Slovakia. The castle was built at the end of the 13th century and it was the seat of the Lednice estate. Imperial troops destroyed it at the beginning of the 18th century. Only the remains of walls survive. The legend says that the spirit of the beautiful lady of the castle Katarína walk ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Lednica, Slovakia

Liptov Castle Ruins

Liptov castle is the highest situated castle in Slovakia, located in the height of 993 metres. The first written record about the Liptov castle comes from 1262. Liptov castle was a royal castle in the past and its duty was to protect the borders of the country. Now you can admire the beauty of Liptov from there, but also rich archeological exposition in the nature.
Founded: 1262 | Location: Ružomberok, Slovakia

Markušovce Castle Ruins

The castle of Markušovce dates from 1284, but was not used after a fire in 1773.
Founded: 1284 | Location: Markušovce, Slovakia

Sklabina Castle Ruins

The Castle of Sklabiňa was first mentioned in 1242. After 1320, it became the seat of the county administration of Turiec. In 1630, the family of Révay had it adapted and a Renaissance manor house built in its courtyard. It was also fortified then. It remained the seat of the county administration until the mid-18th century. The Renaissance manor house survived until the Second World War. After it burnt in 19 ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Martin, Slovakia

Sulov Castle Ruins

Súľov Castle was built in first third of the 15th century. By it’s size, the castle was very small. Its main function was to protect and watching near by road. After 1550 fire it was rebuilt to its original shape and size. In 1730 the castle heads military garrison. There used to be upper and lower castle. Heavy earthquake damage in 1763 accelerated its final destruction. Fortified formation was found in ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Bytča, 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

Zniev Castle Ruins

Although the first written mention of the Zniev or Turiec Castle (castrum Turuc) is from 1243, archaeological excavations prove the existence of a fortified settlement as early as the 11th – 12th century. According to a document issued in 1253 by King Bela IV the castle was refortified by Ondrej Forgáč, who apart from other loyal deeds managed to save king´s life after the defeat of the royal army ...
Founded: 1243 | Location: Kláštor pod Znievom, Slovakia

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Kisimul Castle

Dating from the 15th century, Kisimul is the only significant surviving medieval castle in the Outer Hebrides. It was the residence of the chief of the Macneils of Barra, who claimed descent from the legendary Niall of the Nine Hostages. Tradition tells of the Macneils settling in Barra in the 11th century, but it was only in 1427 that Gilleonan Macneil comes on record as the first lord. He probably built the castle that dominates the rocky islet, and in its shadow a crew house for his personal galley and crew. The sea coursed through Macneil veins, and a descendant, Ruari ‘the Turbulent’, was arrested for piracy of an English ship during King James VI’s reign in the later 16th century.

Heavy debts eventually forced the Macneil chiefs to sell Barra in 1838. However, a descendant, Robert Lister Macneil, the 45th Chief, repurchased the estate in 1937, and set about restoring his ancestral seat. It passed into Historic Scotland’s care in 2000.

The castle dates essentially from the 15th century. It takes the form of a three-storey tower house. This formed the residence of the clan chief. An associated curtain wall fringed the small rock on which the castle stood, and enclosed a small courtyard in which there are ancillary buildings. These comprised a feasting hall, a chapel, a tanist’s house and a watchman’s house. Most were restored in the 20th century, the tanist’s house serving as the family home of the Macneils. A well near the postern gate is fed with fresh water from an underground seam. Outside the curtain wall, beside the original landing-place, are the foundations of the crew house, where the sailors manning their chief’s galley had their quarters.