Although the first written mention of the Zniev or Turiec Castle (castrum Turuc) is from 1243, archaeological excavations prove the existence of a fortified settlement as early as the 11th – 12th century. According to a document issued in 1253 by King Bela IV the castle was refortified by Ondrej Forgáč, who apart from other loyal deeds managed to save king´s life after the defeat of the royal army by the Tartars near the river Slaná, when he gave a very fast horse to the king to escape.
That is why the legend says the Zniev castle gave refuge to Bela IV from the Tartars. Forgáč had the castle reconstructed and had a new habitable tower called 'Forgač´s tower' built in 1241-1242 in the distance of 250 metres from the castle. In January 1243 the King and the royal family paid visit to the castle. The castle was a seat of the Turiec region form the middle of the 13th century till approx. 1339 when the Turiec County became separated from the Zvolen County and the task of its administrative centre was passed to the Sklabiňa Castle because of its better strategic position. In 1312-1321 the Zniev castle was owned by the powerful noble Matúš Čák of Trenčín.
The castle, however, gradually lost its importance, changed its name from Turiec to Zniev and became the property of the Premonstratesians. In the following period it constantly passed through various owners until it was in 1532 forcefully seized by the royal army after it had fallen, thanks to a betrayal, into the possession of the Kostka family fighting on the side of Ján Zápoľský. At the beginning of the 18th century an archive was kept there.References:
Roman Walls of Lugo are an exceptional architectural, archaeological and constructive legacy of Roman engineering, dating from the 3rd and 4th centuries AD. The Walls are built of internal and external stone facings of slate with some granite, with a core filling of a conglomerate of slate slabs and worked stone pieces from Roman buildings, interlocked with lime mortar.
Their total length of 2117 m in the shape of an oblong rectangle occupies an area of 1.68 ha. Their height varies between 8 and 10 m, with a width of 4.2 m, reaching 7 m in some specific points. The walls still contain 85 external towers, 10 gates (five of which are original and five that were opened in modern times), four staircases and two ramps providing access to the walkway along the top of the walls, one of which is internal and the other external. Each tower contained access stairs leading from the intervallum to the wall walk of town wall, of which a total of 21 have been discovered to date.
The defences of Lugo are the most complete and best preserved example of Roman military architecture in the Western Roman Empire.
Despite the renovation work carried out, the walls conserve their original layout and the construction features associated with their defensive purpose, with walls, battlements, towers, fortifications, both modern and original gates and stairways, and a moat.
Since they were built, the walls have defined the layout and growth of the city, which was declared a Historical-Artistic Ensemble in 1973, forming a part of it and becoming an emblematic structure that can be freely accessed to walk along. The local inhabitants and visitors alike have used them as an area for enjoyment and as a part of urban life for centuries.
The fortifications were added to UNESCO"s World Heritage List in late 2000 and are a popular tourist attraction.