Trenèín Castle is relatively large renovated castle, towering on a steep limestone cliff directly above the city of Trenèín. It is a dominant feature not only of Trenèín, but also of the entire Považie region. The castle is a national monument.
History of the castle cliff dates back to the Roman Empire, what is proved by the inscription on the castle cliff proclaiming the victory of Roman legion against Germans in the year 179.
Today’s castle was probably built on the hill-fort. The first proven building on the hill was the Great Moravian rotunda from the 9th century and later there was a stone residential tower, which served to protect the Kingdom of Hungary and the western border. In the late 13th century the castle became a property of Palatine Matúš Csák, who became Mr. of Váh and Tatras.
Matúš Csák of Trenèín built a tower, still known as Matthew’s, which is a dominant determinant of the whole building. Another owner of the castle, Sigismund of Luxemburg, built a new palace and a chapel in the 15th century. All these buildings have been restored and are now used for museum purposes.
The 15th century was the century of fortification reinforcement, caused byHussite ventures, which directed to Slovakia. In the late 15th century, the castle together with the entire town belonged to Stephen Zápoµský, who began extensive alterations.
Trenèín Castle, together with the Spiš Castle and Devín Castle, belonged to the largest European castles in 1540-1560. At that time a star-defense artillery was built and modernized in accordance with historical patterns. The silhouette of the castle has changed – tall Gothic roofs were exchanged for horizontal Renaissance attics with swallow-tails, which were typical Italian elements of the 16th century. The castle was damaged during a fire in 1790. Nowadays, the castle is under a complex reconstruction. Restored objects are progressively used for museum purposes and for exposures.
A unique view offers from the Matthew’s tower. It offers an open view to the White Carpathian Mountains. Spaces of the Matthew’s tower document the housing of the nobility in the mid of the 11th century. Barbora’s palace interior and the cannon bastion have a modern renovated vault system.References:
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.