Branc Castle Ruins

Podbranč, Slovakia

Branč Castle was a relatively large castle which was built probably in the second half of the 13th century. The castle together with other castles protected the roads to Moravia crossing the border of the country in the Karpaty mountains. It was was used as a refugee for local inhabitants against Osman threat in 1663. The castle was abandoned in the beginning of the 18th century, furniture from its rooms was removed, fortification destroyed and the castle started to fall into decay. Pamiatkostav Žilina was reconstructing the castle in 1968. Archeological excavation was made from 1978, nowadays the remnants of the castle wall are conservated step by step.

The short and undemanding ascent to the castle hill is worth the toil because it offers a wonderful panoramic view of the Myjavská pahorkatina hills.

References:

Comments

Your name



Address

500015, Podbranč, Slovakia
See all sites in Podbranč

Details

Founded: 13th century
Category: Ruins in Slovakia

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Peter Balaz (3 years ago)
Easy to access beautifully place with great views. A well kept ruin with visible improvements No coffee or buffet. But a splendid site for a picnic. Strollers will have a hard time getting to the castle but not impossible.
Stacey O'callaghan (3 years ago)
Great ruin and is being refurbished, short walk up a steep hill to the ruin. The view is amazing and there is plenty to see. We took our lunch and had a picnic there. Great for all the family plenty of exploring to do!
John B (3 years ago)
Spectacular views at the top... Well worth the short hike to get to the top! Paths are mostly loose stones so be careful on the steeper climbs. There are toilets but not sure if they are open all day. Also there was a souvenir shop but I did not expect that to be open at 7.00am !
Cedric Cottage (3 years ago)
Beautiful castle ruins. One can see that some works are being done to repair / maintain the remains. Also the view from the rings is stunning. Admission is free and place is open 24/7
Matt Pierson (3 years ago)
Your standard ruins, if you've seen ruins before you could skip these without feeling like you missed out on too much... They're still pretty sweet though.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba

The Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba, also known as the Great Mosque of Córdoba and the Mezquita is regarded as one of the most accomplished monuments of Moorish architecture.

According to a traditional account, a small Visigoth church, the Catholic Basilica of Saint Vincent of Lérins, originally stood on the site. In 784 Abd al-Rahman I ordered construction of the Great Mosque, which was considerably expanded by later Muslim rulers. The mosque underwent numerous subsequent changes: Abd al-Rahman II ordered a new minaret, while in 961 Al-Hakam II enlarged the building and enriched the Mihrab. The last of such reforms was carried out by Almanzor in 987. It was connected to the Caliph"s palace by a raised walkway, mosques within the palaces being the tradition for previous Islamic rulers – as well as Christian Kings who built their palaces adjacent to churches. The Mezquita reached its current dimensions in 987 with the completion of the outer naves and courtyard.

In 1236, Córdoba was conquered by King Ferdinand III of Castile, and the centre of the mosque was converted into a Catholic cathedral. Alfonso X oversaw the construction of the Villaviciosa Chapel and the Royal Chapel within the mosque. The kings who followed added further Christian features, such as King Henry II rebuilding the chapel in the 14th century. The minaret of the mosque was also converted to the bell tower of the cathedral. It was adorned with Santiago de Compostela"s captured cathedral bells. Following a windstorm in 1589, the former minaret was further reinforced by encasing it within a new structure.

The most significant alteration was the building of a Renaissance cathedral nave in the middle of the expansive structure. The insertion was constructed by permission of Charles V, king of Castile and Aragon. Artisans and architects continued to add to the existing structure until the late 18th century.

Architecture

The building"s floor plan is seen to be parallel to some of the earliest mosques built from the very beginning of Islam. It had a rectangular prayer hall with aisles arranged perpendicular to the qibla, the direction towards which Muslims pray. The prayer hall was large and flat, with timber ceilings held up by arches of horseshoe-like appearance.

In planning the mosque, the architects incorporated a number of Roman columns with choice capitals. Some of the columns were already in the Gothic structure; others were sent from various regions of Iberia as presents from the governors of provinces. Ivory, jasper, porphyry, gold, silver, copper, and brass were used in the decorations. Marvellous mosaics and azulejos were designed. Later, the immense temple embodied all the styles of Morisco architecture into one composition.

The building is most notable for its arcaded hypostyle hall, with 856 columns of jasper, onyx, marble, granite and porphyry. These were made from pieces of the Roman temple that had occupied the site previously, as well as other Roman buildings, such as the Mérida amphitheatre. The double arches were an innovation, permitting higher ceilings than would otherwise be possible with relatively low columns. The double arches consist of a lower horseshoe arch and an upper semi-circular arch.