Kežmarok Castle dates from 1463. It was built for the defence the town on the site of the medieval community of Svätá Alžbeta (St. Elisabeth). The original castle was built in the Gothic style with thick walls and massive bastions. The castle gained its contemporary Renaissance form after extensive rebuilding which proceeded in various stages in the years 1572, 1575, 1583, and 1624. The last phase was completed by Šebastián Thököly, the founder of the famous family, who invited renowned Italian stonemasons, bricklayers and painters to change the original stronghold into a representative family mansion. The buildings in the castle courtyard were equipped with Renaissance arcades, its sumptuous halls were adorned with wall paintings, and the interior of the castle chapel was renewed in the Early-Baroque style.

Curiosity and courage were properties the noble Princess Beata Laská of Kežmarok Castle certainly possessed. Otherwise she would never have set out on a trip accompanied by several burghers from Kežmarok to the not too distant Snow Mountains (today called the Tatras) in 1565. When the princess returned three days later, after having visited Zelené pleso lake, her angry husband was waiting for her at the gate of the castle. He decided to have the Princess interned in the strongest tower where she passed six long years in extremely hard conditions. The only relief for the unfortunate princess was that the tower had two small windows, one overlooking her beloved Snow Mountains, and the other through which she was given food.

In 1931, the first exposition of the regional Museum of Kežmarok was opened in a part of the castle compound. After general repairs to the castle that took place in the years 1962-1985, its collections were expanded. Visitors can see many expositions and theatre performances in summer nights at the Castle.

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Founded: 1463
Category: Castles and fortifications in Slovakia

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4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

David F (4 months ago)
It looks like real fairy tale one from outside. If you would goes on tour. You would hear about local nobles from past centuries. If you climb on tower you could observe picturesque view on High Tatras mountains.
Zalay Sebestyén (7 months ago)
Quiet downtown with some nice historical houses and sights, worth visiting and checking it’s history. ⛪️??
Ján Jeleň (9 months ago)
Very beautiful city castle with one hour guided tour. One of the best things to do in Kežmarok.
Tim Husain (15 months ago)
Really lovely castle to visit, with free entry. Some nice market stalls, cafes and restaurants inside. You can also walk around the castle walls. A quick visit, but well worth it if in the area.
Lena Pustay (16 months ago)
Beautiful slovak historical heritage.Well worth visiting! Inexpensive tickets can be purchased right on the spot.Beware- cash only- for the tickets! Guided walk around the castle runs every hour- not possible to browse without a guide.Last walk- 4pm!
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