Gýmes Castle Ruins

Jelenec, Slovakia

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.



Your name

Website (optional)


Jelenec, Slovakia
See all sites in Jelenec


Founded: 13th century
Category: Ruins in Slovakia

More Information



4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Andrej Lenner (2 years ago)
Beautiful view on surroundings and Slovak landscape with history and nature around you
John Němeček (2 years ago)
Excellent castle ruins - enjoyned it a lot
Peter Stolc (2 years ago)
Easy climb for about 3.5 km you will reach summit of 450 meters above sea level. There are remains of the ancient castle Gymes. Beautiful views all around.
Black Dragon (2 years ago)
Just nice view, but the place is not so amazing. The road to the castle is arroud 1 hour on foot. Needs more investments.
Jorge Clementez (2 years ago)
Wonderful views on all surroundings!
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Kromeriz Castle and Gardens

Kroměříž stands on the site of an earlier ford across the River Morava. The gardens and castle of Kroměříž are an exceptionally complete and well-preserved example of a European Baroque princely residence and its gardens and described as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The first residence on the site was founded by bishop Stanislas Thurzo in 1497. The building was in a Late Gothic style, with a modicum of Renaissance detail. During the Thirty Years' War, the castle was sacked by the Swedish army (1643).

It was not until 1664 that a bishop from the powerful Liechtenstein family charged architect Filiberto Lucchese with renovating the palace in a Baroque style. The chief monument of Lucchese's work in Kroměříž is the Pleasure Garden in front of the castle. Upon Lucchese's death in 1666, Giovanni Pietro Tencalla completed his work on the formal garden and had the palace rebuilt in a style reminiscent of the Turinese school to which he belonged.

After the castle was gutted by a major fire in March 1752, Bishop Hamilton commissioned two leading imperial artists, Franz Anton Maulbertsch and Josef Stern, arrived at the residence in order to decorate the halls of the palace with their works. In addition to their paintings, the palace still houses an art collection, generally considered the second finest in the country, which includes Titian's last mythological painting, The Flaying of Marsyas. The largest part of the collection was acquired by Bishop Karel in Cologne in 1673. The palace also contains an outstanding musical archive and a library of 33,000 volumes.

UNESCO lists the palace and garden among the World Heritage Sites. As the nomination dossier explains, 'the castle is a good but not outstanding example of a type of aristocratic or princely residence that has survived widely in Europe. The Pleasure Garden, by contrast, is a very rare and largely intact example of a Baroque garden'. Apart from the formal parterres there is also a less formal nineteenth-century English garden, which sustained damage during floods in 1997.

Interiors of the palace were extensively used by Miloš Forman as a stand-in for Vienna's Hofburg Imperial Palace during filming of Amadeus (1984), based on the life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who actually never visited Kroměříž. The main audience chamber was also used in the film Immortal Beloved (1994), in the piano concerto scene.