Leopoldov Fortress

Leopoldov, Slovakia

The town of Leopoldov was founded in 1664-1669 as a fortress against the Ottoman Turks on the initiative of Emperor Leopold I (hence the name). It was granted town status in 1669. The fortress has served as a state prison since 1855. During the Communist Czechoslovakia, the Communist government used the prison for holding and liquidating political prisoners, particularly in the 1950s. The conditions were harsh for prisoners, and the prison was one of the most notorious in the former Czechoslovakia. Among the inmates was Gustáv Husák (from 1954 to 1960), who would be later communist president of Czechoslovakia. The prison was modernized and reconstructed in the second half of the 20th century. Before 1989 there were approximately 2,600 inmates in the prison. As of 1990, it was the biggest prison in the present-day Slovakia.

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Founded: 1664-1669
Category: Castles and fortifications in Slovakia

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Château de Falaise is best known as a castle, where William the Conqueror, the son of Duke Robert of Normandy, was born in about 1028. William went on to conquer England and become king and possession of the castle descended through his heirs until the 13th century when it was captured by King Philip II of France. Possession of the castle changed hands several times during the Hundred Years' War. The castle was deserted during the 17th century. Since 1840 it has been protected as a monument historique.

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