Bojnice Castle

Prievidza, Slovakia

Bojnice castle is a neo-Romantic castle with some original Gothic and Renaissance elements built in the 12th century. Bojnice Castle is one of the most visited castles in Slovakia, receiving hundreds of thousands of visitors every year and also being a popular filming stage for fantasy and fairy-tale movies.

Bojnice Castle was first mentioned in written records in 1113, in a document held at the Zobor Abbey. Originally built as a wooden fort, it was gradually replaced by stone, with the outer walls being shaped according to the uneven rocky terrain. Its first owner was Matthew III Csák, who received it in 1302 from the King Ladislaus V of Hungary. Later, in the 15th century, it was owned by King Matthias Corvinus, who gave it to his illegitimate son John Corvinus in 1489.

The Thurzós, the richest family in the northern Kingdom of Hungary, acquired the castle in 1528 and undertook its major reconstruction. The former fortress was turned into a Renaissance castle. From 1646 on, the castle"s owners were the Pálffys, who continued to rebuild the castle.

Finally, the last famous castle owner from the Pálffy family, Count János Ferenc Pálffy (1829-1908), made a complex romantic reconstruction from 1888 to 1910 and created today"s beautiful imitation of French castles of the Loire valley. He not only had the castle built, but also was the architect and graphic designer. He utilized his fine artistic taste and love for collecting pieces of art. He was one of the greatest collectors of antiques, tapestries, drawings, paintings and sculptures of his time. After his death and long quarrels, his heirs sold many precious pieces of art from the castle and then, in 1939, sold the castle, the health spa, and the surrounding land to Ján Ba»a.

After 1945, when Bata"s property was confiscated by the Czechoslovak government, the castle became the seat of several state institutions. On 9 May 1950, a huge fire broke out in the castle, but it was rebuilt at government expense. After this reconstruction, a museum specializing in the documentation and presentation of the era of architectural neo-styles was opened here. Bojnice Museum is now part of the Slovak National Museum today.

Bojnice Castle is surrounded by the castle park featuring numerous species of trees. The park also contains the Bojnice Zoo, the oldest and one of the most visited zoos in Slovakia. The castle park continues in the form of a forest park in the Strážov Mountains. There is also 'The Linden Tree of King Matthias', approximately 700 years old, one of the oldest documented trees in Slovakia.

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Details

Founded: c. 1113
Category: Castles and fortifications in Slovakia

Rating

4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Peter Stolc (3 years ago)
This is an interesting man made lookout on the top of a hill above Castle of Spirits (Castle Bojnice). It is probably two times as tall as treetops. Interesting walkway available also to people on wheelchair. Entrance fee is around 10 Euro. You can get there on a " train" or walk for approximately 40 minutes from the castle. Definitely recommend to visit.
Tim Husain (3 years ago)
Probably the most beautiful and interesting castle I've ever visited. It's huge and so much to see. In a great condition, very well preserved. Lots and lots of steps so take your time and enjoy a fairytale visit. Very reasonable price to enter. I didn't see gallery but Castle is enough to spend at least 2 hours. Stunning views from the top.
Katarína Bugárová (3 years ago)
Love this place! The staff was very pleasant, helpful and knowledgeable. The castle itself is one of the most beautiful ones I've seen. Strongly recommend for anyone interested in history or art. The town itself has many attractions too, that are all close to each other, so you can spend the rest of the day entertained.
Vidal Elliott (3 years ago)
Really stunning castle and surroundings. Clear where to go and see on your own. The plaques however only had a translation for what the room or item was that I was looking at, not the story behind which was the only constructive remark I'd give. Other than that, great experience
Laco K (3 years ago)
A fantastic place! Talk about architecture! Great guided tour, tons of information and things to see - furnished rooms with original furniture, staircases, etc. Wish I could move in! The ZOO outside of the castle was undergoing renovations (it's been 5-6 years now), so it was kind of hard to navigate but still a lot of fun.
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