Murán Castle Ruins

Muráň, Slovakia

Muráň Castle is noteworthy for its unusually high altitude of 935 m. It also figures in several romantic legends about its remarkable owners. Muráň Castle was built in the 13th century on a cliff overlooking a regional trade route. Its name was mentioned for the first time in 1271.

One of its owners, the robber baron Matúš Bašo, transformed the castle into a stronghold of bandits who robbed merchants and looted villages. After a siege by the royal army, the castle fell in 1548 and Matúš Bašo was executed.

Another famous owner was Maria Széchy, better known as 'The Venus of Muráň'. This astonishingly independent woman divorced her second husband to marry the love of her life – magnate Ferenc Wesselényi. When Wesselényi was besieging Muráň Castle, which was occupied by her relatives at the time, she even managed to get his soldiers inside through trickery. In 1666, Wesselényi organized a failed coup against Leopold I, but he died before any major confrontation. Subsequently, Maria Széchy bravely led a defense of the castle against Imperial troops. Outnumbered, she eventually surrendered to Charles of Lorraine in 1670.

The castle was damaged by fire in 1760 and today it is in ruins.

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Muráň, Slovakia
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Founded: 13th century
Category: Ruins in Slovakia

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4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

David Barbora (2 years ago)
Not much to see
Jozef Hudec (2 years ago)
The views from the ruins are breathtaking! The castle has been huge centuries ago, but now it's a broken wall here-and-the in the middle of trees and bushes. The area is large, rails are strong so not much danger of falling to some pit or a valley-but keep your kids under control, please. The access via yellow trail is not for those with ill knees, it's rocky and steep at places. A cottage under the castle serves some food and drinks, but is not cosy, but kind of dark old building. The trip to castle ruins is definitely worth the effort of climbing the steep hills
Peter Adamka (2 years ago)
Great hike. Quite good preserved site. 'Presentation' could be better.
Nazar Go (2 years ago)
Cool place with nice view
László T. (3 years ago)
The ruins are not the most spectacular ones, but the views from there are great, definitely worth the climb.
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Lorca Castle

Castle of Lorca (Castillo de Lorca) is a fortress of medieval origin constructed between the 9th and 15th centuries. It consists of a series of defensive structures that, during the Middle Ages, made the town and the fortress an impregnable point in the southeast part of the Iberian Peninsula. Lorca Castle was a key strategic point of contention between Christians and Muslims during the Reconquista.

Archaeological excavations have revealed that the site of the castle has been inhabited since Neolithic times.

Muslim Era

It has not been determined exactly when a castle or fortress was first built on the hill. The first written documentation referring to a castle at Lorca is of Muslim origin, which in the 9th century, indicates that the city of Lurqa was an important town in the area ruled by Theudimer (Tudmir). During Muslim rule, Lorca Castle was an impregnable fortress and its interior was divided into two sections by the Espaldón Wall. In the western part, there was an area used to protect livestock and grain in times of danger. The eastern part had a neighbourhood called the barrio de Alcalá.

After Reconquista

Lorca was conquered by the Castilian Infante Don Alfonso, the future Alfonso X, in 1244, and the fortress became a key defensive point against the Kingdom of Granada. For 250 years, Lorca Castle was a watchpoint on the border between the Christian kingdom of Murcia and the Muslim state of Granada.

Alfonso X ordered the construction of the towers known as the Alfonsina and Espolón Towers, and strengthened and fixed the walls. Hardly a trace of the Muslim fortress remained due to this reconstruction. Muslim traces remain in the foundation stones and the wall known as the muro del Espaldón.

The Jewish Quarter was found within the alcazaba, the Moorish fortification, separated from the rest of the city by its walls. The physical separation had the purpose of protecting the Jewish people in the town from harm, but also had the result of keeping Christians and Jews separate, with the Christians inhabiting the lower part of town.

The remains of the Jewish Quarter extended over an area of 5,700 square m, and 12 homes and a synagogue have been found; the synagogue dates from the 14th century and is the only one found in the Murcia. The streets of the town had an irregular layout, adapted to the landscape, and is divided into four terraces. The synagogue was in the central location, and around it were the homes. The homes were of rectangular shape, with various compartmentalized rooms. The living quarters were elevated and a common feature was benches attached to the walls, kitchens, stand for earthenware jars, or cupboards.

Modern history

With the disappearance of the frontier after the conquest of Granada in 1492, Lorca Castle no longer became as important as before. With the expulsion of the Jews by order of Ferdinand and Isabella, Lorca Castle was also depopulated as a result. The castle was abandoned completely, and was almost a complete ruin by the 18th century. In the 19th century, the castle was refurbished due to the War of Spanish Independence. The walls and structures were repaired or modified and its medieval look changed. A battery of cannons was installed, for example, during this time. In 1931 Lorca Castle was declared a National Historic Monument.

Currently, a parador (luxury hotel) has been built within the castle. As a result, archaeological discoveries have been found, including the Jewish Quarter.