Zborov Castle Ruins

Zborov, Slovakia

Zborov castle was built in the 14th century as a strongpoint defending the northern frontier of the Kingdom of Hungary and guardeda commercial route to Poland. The first written account of the castle dates from 1347. The original gothic castle was composed of a courtyard and was embattled by a defensive wall and atower. It also sported apalace with a chapel. Between the fourteenth andthe middle of the sixteenth century the castle switched hands among three noble families – Cudar, Rozgonyi and Tarczay. In all probability it was the Cudar family who built an additional courtyard strengthened by two fortified towers.

A major overhaul of the gothic core came in the second half of the 16th century when the castle belonged to the Serédy family. The family modified and strengthened the castle to an unprecedented level making it one of the biggest and best defended residences in all of Upper Hungary.

Moreover the second courtyard was rebuilt and expanded. Another courtyard was guarded by two fortified towers and an ingenious entry gate with a drawbridge. The old medieval fortifications were improved by the Serédys according to the more advanced period Italian military architecture. The castle was further gradually transformed into a comfortable nobleman’s residence fulfilling all the demanding needs of renaissance aristocracy.

The Rákóczi family, who took the building in their possession during the seventeenth century, only preserved the castle and brought no new innovations.

The famous marriage between Francis I. Rákóczi and his spouse Helena Zrínyi in 1666 took place at Zborov castle. Francis died ten years after the marriage and Helena’s new partner became the infamous Emmerich Thököly. It was during the uprising led by count Thököly in 1684 when the castle was stormed and put to fire by the imperial forces under the command of General Schultz despite a strong resistance of the defenders led by Helena Zrínyi herself.

The castle is still listed as operational in an inventory from the period of Francis II. Rákóczi’s uprising in 1704. After the destruction of the castle the Rákóczi family moved to a nearby manor house in the village of Zborov. The church of Saint Sophia, which belonged to the manor house, still remains in the village.

The castle ruin was further damaged by fighting between the Russian and the Austrian army during the First World War. The area around the castle hill was declared areservation in 1926 which made it the oldest protected sites in Slovakia.

The castle ruin, called according to the nearby noble estate also Makovica. The ruin is also accessiblevia a road passing through the village of Dlhá Lúka and then a hike trail from Bardejovské Kúpele (Bardejov Spa).

The castle is fully accessible and is currently undergoing reconstruction by the Civic association for the preservation of Zborov castle.

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Address

Podhradie 46, Zborov, Slovakia
See all sites in Zborov

Details

Founded: 13th century
Category: Miscellaneous historic sites in Slovakia

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Tim Young (6 years ago)
This is a ruined castle undergoing a bit of work to stop it falling down further - but it's still plenty dangerous, with great views, falling rocks, no amenities, no charge to enter... All the things that you can't find in many other parts of Europe these days! Definitely worth a visit!
adam t (6 years ago)
Beautiful day great location nice people
Linda Driessen (6 years ago)
Last year, 2017, we also visit Zborov Rhad and we've seen a lot of difference with this visit. What a transformation! Really a place you must visit.
Richard Medzihradský (6 years ago)
From the beginning you can choose, whether you prefer easier (but longer) or harder (shorter) way. Once you're on the castle, it may be a bit tricky to get to some places, since there are still works everywhere, but the view is tremendous. I hope it will be repaired soon.
Piotr Stępniak (6 years ago)
Very nice place. The way is accessible for children, but a bit uphill. The castle ruins are well preserved and there is no paiment required.
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