Ruins in Slovakia

Spisskà Kapitula

Spišskà Kapitula, a unique fortified ecclesiastical ensemble, began as a small fortified settlement overlooking Spišské Podhradie in the 12th century. It was the site of the residence of the Provost of the castle, in the no longer extant St Martin"s monastery, and later became a capitulary. This was destroyed in by Tatars in 1241-1243, but the pilgrim"s chapel, in rotunda form and dedicated to ...
Founded: 1285 | Location: Spišské Podhradie, Slovakia

Lietava Castle Ruins

Lietava Castle was built after 1241, most likely as an administrative and military centre. In the early 14th century, it is mentioned with Máté Csák III, one of the powerful magnates in the Kingdom of Hungary. The castle changed hands until the 16th century when the Thurzó family gained it. It was reconstructed and fortified, and given its own military garrison. After the death of Imre Thurz&oa ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Lietava, Slovakia

Katarínka Monastery Ruins

Katarínka was a Franciscan monastery and church dating back to the early 17th century, located deep in the forests of the Little Carpathian Mountains in western Slovakia. The church was dedicated to Saint Catherine of Alexandria, and that is where the nickname of the place Katarínka comes from. First Gothic chapel was made of stone on the site in the late 1400s. The monastery was established in 1618 when count Krištof ...
Founded: 1618 | Location: Trnava, Slovakia

Cachtice Castle Ruins

The Čachtice castle ruins stands on a hill featuring rare plants, and has been declared a national nature reserve for this reason. The castle was a residence and later the prison of the Countess Elizabeth Báthory, who is alleged to have been the world"s most prolific female serial killer. Čachtice was built in the mid-13th century by Kazimir from the Hont-Pázmány gens as a sentry on th ...
Founded: c. 1250 | Location: Čachtice, Slovakia

Fil'akovo Castle Ruins

The first written record of the Fiľakovo town and the Castle is from 1242, where the castle withstood the Mongol invasions. In 1423 the town received municipal privileges. In 1553 the town with castle fell to the Turks and was seat of a sanjak (an administrative division of the Ottoman Empire) until 1593, when it was reconquered by the Imperial troops. However, it fell once more to the Turks in 1662 and the town alon ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Fiľakovo, Slovakia

Vinné Castle Ruins

Vinné Castle is the ruin of a Gothic castle probably built in the second half of the 13th century to protect the road leading to Poland. During the war of the Hungarian King Matthias and the Polish monarch Casimir IV it was severely damaged in 1466. In the beginning of the 16th century the castle repaired and fortified but in 1594 it was again damaged by the imperial army. In the mid-17th century Vinne castle was l ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Vinné, Slovakia

Saris Castle Ruins

Šariš Castle is one of the oldest castles and biggest in Slovakia. It was permanently settled from the Neolithic to the 4th century AD, then from the 10th to the 12th century, and finally a new castle was built in the 13th century. This castle burned down in 1678.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Veľký Šariš, 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

Gýmes Castle Ruins

A striking dominant feature in the greater Nitra vicinity is the ruins of Gýmeš Castle, lying on the steep, quartzite Dúň hill. The first written mention of the village of Gýmeš was in the Zobor Deed of 1113 as part of the property belonging to the Benedictine abbey. King Andrew II presented the village in 1226 to Ivanko, descended from the ancient Hunt–Poznán family. I ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Jelenec, Slovakia

Levice Castle Ruins

The castle in Levice was built in the 13th century, when the near Tekovsky castle’s importance had declined due the devastation of Tartars. It was built on andesite rock, the remnants of Neogenic volcanic activity, which extended to the Štiavnica hills. The west side of the castle was bounded by the marshy meadow of the river Hron, with its several river branches. The castle itself had been a fortress for pro ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Levice, 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

Hrusov Castle Ruins

The origins of Hrušov castle are not known, but it was probably built after the invasion of Tatars around 1253. From 1321 to 1344 it belonged to the family Levické and then became a royal property. In 1347 King Louis I of Hungary gave it to the governor Hrušov. The castle was destroyed by the Imperial army in 1708 and is in decay since then. However, its surviving walls induce a romantic atmosphere an ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Topoľčianky, 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

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

Holumnica Castle Ruins

The village of Holumnica was first mentioned in 1293 and was known for cloth production in the 17th century. Due to lack of historical research, it is not clear which of the stately families (Berzeviczy, Ujhazy, or Görgey) built their castle on the village, but it is estimated to 15th or 16th century. The castle was built in Gothic-Renaissance style and it was inhabited until in 17th century when a mansion in the cen ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Holumnica, 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

Murán Castle Ruins

Muráň Castle is noteworthy for its unusually high altitude of 935 m. It also figures in several romantic legends about its remarkable owners. Muráň Castle was built in the 13th century on a cliff overlooking a regional trade route. Its name was mentioned for the first time in 1271. One of its owners, the robber baron Matúš Bašo, transformed the castle into a stronghold of band ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Muráň, 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

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

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

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Sweetheart Abbey

Sweetheart Abbey was a Cistercian monastery, founded in 1275 by Dervorguilla of Galloway in memory of her husband John de Balliol. His embalmed heart, in a casket of ivory and silver, was buried alongside her when she died; the monks at the Abbey then renamed the Abbey in tribute to her. Their son, also John, became king of Scotland but his reign was tragic and short. The depredations suffered by the Abbey in subsequent periods, have caused both the graves to be lost. The abbey, built in deep-red, local sandstone, was founded as a daughter house to Dundrennan Abbey; this Novum Monasterium (New Monastery), became known as the New Abbey.

The immediate abbey precincts extended to 120,000 m2 and sections of the surrounding wall can still be seen today. The Cistercian order, also known as the White Monks because of the white habit, over which they wore a black scapular or apron, built many great abbeys after their establishment around 1100. Like many of their abbeys, the New Abbey's interests lay not only in prayer and contemplation but in the farming and commercial activity of the area, making it the centre of local life. The abbey ruins dominate the skyline today and one can only imagine how it and the monks would have dominated early medieval life as farmers, agriculturalists, horse and cattle breeders. Surrounded by rich and fertile grazing and arable land, they became increasingly expert and systematic in their farming and breeding methods. Like all Cistercian abbeys, they made their mark, not only on the religious life of the district but on the ways of local farmers and influenced agriculture in the surrounding areas.

The village which stands next to the ruins today, is now known as New Abbey. At the other end of the main street is Monksmill, a corn mill. Although the present buildings date from the late eighteenth century, there was an earlier mill built by and for the monks of the abbey which serviced the surrounding farms.