Cachtice Castle Ruins

Čachtice, Slovakia

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 the road to Moravia. Later, it belonged to Máté Csák, the Stibor family, and then to the famous Bloody Lady Elizabeth Báthory. Čachtice, its surrounding lands and villages, was a wedding gift from the Nádasdy family upon Elizabeth's marriage to Ferenc Nádasdy in 1575.

Originally, Čachtice was a Romanesque castle with an interesting horseshoe shaped residence tower. It was turned into a Gothic castle later and its size was increased in the 15th and 16th centuries. A Renaissance renovation followed in the 17th century. Finally, in 1708 the castle was captured and plundered by the rebels of Ferenc II Rákoci (Francis II Rákóczi). It has been in decay since.

References:

Comments

Your name



Address

504023, Čachtice, Slovakia
See all sites in Čachtice

Details

Founded: c. 1250
Category: Ruins in Slovakia

Rating

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Jana Paučová (4 years ago)
Nice walking but I expected much more than ruins. Nice trip for Sunday afternoon
Radim Horak (4 years ago)
Beautiful place with thrilling history...
Ja Ktoiny (4 years ago)
Easy access, nice mid-sized semiruin with gorgeous views and if reconstruction will continue, also basic services and exposition should be enlarged.
Peter Valach (4 years ago)
Opening of the season event was a nice addition to the largely renovated castle and the views. The area of the castle could still be improved a bit as it is slippery on some places and smaller kids needed support to overcome them. The new terrace with seating is great to rest, refresh and enjoy the sight. During the event we also had the chance to see medieval swordsman techniques explained and showcased.
Andreas Heierli (4 years ago)
The view of the castle is most impressive from the village of Višňové. The easiest access, however, is by car from Čachtice. The road brings you to a parking lot a short 15 minutes walk from the castle. The access is easy and can be done with strollers. The castle itself (entrance fee of currently 2.50€ for adults) offers information in Slovak, English, German and Hungarian. The offered views are nice and with some imagination you can feel the spirit of the ancient time when exploring the site. Recommended for all interested in the local history.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Lorca Castle

Castle of Lorca (Castillo de Lorca) is a fortress of medieval origin constructed between the 9th and 15th centuries. It consists of a series of defensive structures that, during the Middle Ages, made the town and the fortress an impregnable point in the southeast part of the Iberian Peninsula. Lorca Castle was a key strategic point of contention between Christians and Muslims during the Reconquista.

Archaeological excavations have revealed that the site of the castle has been inhabited since Neolithic times.

Muslim Era

It has not been determined exactly when a castle or fortress was first built on the hill. The first written documentation referring to a castle at Lorca is of Muslim origin, which in the 9th century, indicates that the city of Lurqa was an important town in the area ruled by Theudimer (Tudmir). During Muslim rule, Lorca Castle was an impregnable fortress and its interior was divided into two sections by the Espaldón Wall. In the western part, there was an area used to protect livestock and grain in times of danger. The eastern part had a neighbourhood called the barrio de Alcalá.

After Reconquista

Lorca was conquered by the Castilian Infante Don Alfonso, the future Alfonso X, in 1244, and the fortress became a key defensive point against the Kingdom of Granada. For 250 years, Lorca Castle was a watchpoint on the border between the Christian kingdom of Murcia and the Muslim state of Granada.

Alfonso X ordered the construction of the towers known as the Alfonsina and Espolón Towers, and strengthened and fixed the walls. Hardly a trace of the Muslim fortress remained due to this reconstruction. Muslim traces remain in the foundation stones and the wall known as the muro del Espaldón.

The Jewish Quarter was found within the alcazaba, the Moorish fortification, separated from the rest of the city by its walls. The physical separation had the purpose of protecting the Jewish people in the town from harm, but also had the result of keeping Christians and Jews separate, with the Christians inhabiting the lower part of town.

The remains of the Jewish Quarter extended over an area of 5,700 square m, and 12 homes and a synagogue have been found; the synagogue dates from the 14th century and is the only one found in the Murcia. The streets of the town had an irregular layout, adapted to the landscape, and is divided into four terraces. The synagogue was in the central location, and around it were the homes. The homes were of rectangular shape, with various compartmentalized rooms. The living quarters were elevated and a common feature was benches attached to the walls, kitchens, stand for earthenware jars, or cupboards.

Modern history

With the disappearance of the frontier after the conquest of Granada in 1492, Lorca Castle no longer became as important as before. With the expulsion of the Jews by order of Ferdinand and Isabella, Lorca Castle was also depopulated as a result. The castle was abandoned completely, and was almost a complete ruin by the 18th century. In the 19th century, the castle was refurbished due to the War of Spanish Independence. The walls and structures were repaired or modified and its medieval look changed. A battery of cannons was installed, for example, during this time. In 1931 Lorca Castle was declared a National Historic Monument.

Currently, a parador (luxury hotel) has been built within the castle. As a result, archaeological discoveries have been found, including the Jewish Quarter.