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. Ivanko’s son Andrew saved the life of Béla IV in a battle at the Slaná River and became his protégé. Andrew as the patriarch of the Forgáč line, had the stone castle built on the site, replacing an old hill fort that had stood there.
The castle did not escape the interest of Maté Csák of Trencsén and decades passed before the royal army won the castle back from him in 1312. The castle remained the property of the crown until King Louis the Great gave the castle to his queen, Mary, in 1356. The Forgáčs had to wait more than seventy years for the castle to be returned to them. They lived to see the castle and related property returned to them after Blažej Forgáč, on the orders of Queen Mary of Hungary, killed her implacable enemy, Charles II of Anjou.
In the 18th century, the Forgáčs built in the village a Baroque church and also a manor house where the family later moved. As the village grew, the castle fell into decay. When it subsequently burned down in 1833, the iron support structure was used to build the local sugar refinery. The Forgáč family lived in Jelenec until 1919.References:
The city walls of Avila were built in the 11th century to protect the citizens from the Moors. They have been well maintained throughout the centuries and are now a major tourist attraction as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors can walk around about half of the length of the walls.
The layout of the city is an even quadrilateral with a perimeter of 2,516 m. Its walls, which consist in part of stones already used in earlier constructions, have an average thickness of 3 m. Access to the city is afforded by nine gates of different periods; twin 20 m high towers, linked by a semi-circular arch, flank the oldest ones, Puerta de San Vicente and Puerta del Alcázar.