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-Renaissance castle with strong outer fortifications including four corner bastions and the dike. The fort was damaged at the end of the Second World War and reconstructed recently.

Apart from fortifications and bastions, the ruins of the former monastery and part of the Romanesque church in the courtyard survive.

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Founded: 1530
Category: Ruins in Slovakia

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User Reviews

Gergely Gubányi (2 years ago)
Well, it is huge - its parameters open up slowly as you approach. One of the biggest castles in territory I ever seen - and I've seen a lot. Gladly pretty much remanied from the building itself, plus there is maintanance, refurnishing and rebuilding work going on. Surely will swing back sometime to see how far the rebuilding gets. Applause for those working on it while not even entra ce fee is taken (charity box placed)! A circa hour tour from the parking place to the castle in nearly untouched nature following the path of a stream.
Gergely Gubányi (2 years ago)
Well, it is huge - its parameters open up slowly as you approach. One of the biggest castles in territory I ever seen - and I've seen a lot. Gladly pretty much remanied from the building itself, plus there is maintanance, refurnishing and rebuilding work going on. Surely will swing back sometime to see how far the rebuilding gets. Applause for those working on it while not even entra ce fee is taken (charity box placed)! A circa hour tour from the parking place to the castle in nearly untouched nature following the path of a stream.
Richard Liptaj (2 years ago)
Nice
Richard Liptaj (2 years ago)
Nice
kuma zuki (3 years ago)
Unfortunately didn't get to the castle. Just saw it from a few hundred meters away. Tried to get there in a 2wd sedan but the road was too muddy. Had to pull over off the main road shortly into the drive in then continued on foot. Got to a fork in the road and took a left instead on a right (no signs) and ended up in a muddy forest on top of a hill over looking the castle. Ran out of time to go back and continue the walk to check out the castle. But from what I saw on top of the hill, it looks pretty damn amazing. What a location surrounded by 4 small mountains on each side. And it looks like it's been taken by nature. Found out afterwards that you apparently catch a bus from a town nearby to see it. Anyway, if you get the chance, I recommend it but best to do your research!!
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Broch of Gurness

The Broch of Gurness is an Iron Age broch village. Settlement here began sometime between 500 and 200 BC. At the centre of the settlement is a stone tower or broch, which once probably reached a height of around 10 metres. Its interior is divided into sections by upright slabs. The tower features two skins of drystone walls, with stone-floored galleries in between. These are accessed by steps. Stone ledges suggest that there was once an upper storey with a timber floor. The roof would have been thatched, surrounded by a wall walk linked by stairs to the ground floor. The broch features two hearths and a subterranean stone cistern with steps leading down into it. It is thought to have some religious significance, relating to an Iron Age cult of the underground.

The remains of the central tower are up to 3.6 metres high, and the stone walls are up to 4.1 metres thick. The tower was likely inhabited by the principal family or clan of the area but also served as a last resort for the village in case of an attack.

The broch continued to be inhabited while it began to collapse and the original structures were altered. The cistern was filled in and the interior was repartitioned. The ruin visible today reflects this secondary phase of the broch's use.

The site is surrounded by three ditches cut out of the rock with stone ramparts, encircling an area of around 45 metres diameter. The remains of numerous small stone dwellings with small yards and sheds can be found between the inner ditch and the tower. These were built after the tower, but were a part of the settlement's initial conception. A 'main street' connects the outer entrance to the broch. The settlement is the best-preserved of all broch villages.

Pieces of a Roman amphora dating to before 60 AD were found here, lending weight to the record that a 'King of Orkney' submitted to Emperor Claudius at Colchester in 43 AD.

At some point after 100 AD the broch was abandoned and the ditches filled in. It is thought that settlement at the broch continued into the 5th century AD, the period known as Pictish times. By that time the broch was not used anymore and some of its stones were reused to build smaller dwellings on top of the earlier buildings. Until about the 8th century, the site was just a single farmstead.

In the 9th century, a Norse woman was buried at the site in a stone-lined grave with two bronze brooches and a sickle and knife made from iron. Other finds suggest that Norse men were buried here too.