Slovakia belongs to the countries with the highest number of castles in Europe. You can find there 425 manor houses and 180 castles, including castle ruins.
Unfortunately, most of them are only ruins nowadays. However, Slovakia still has tens of castles and manor houses, which are beautifully reconstructed, and many of them offer very luxurious accommodation.
Two castles are located directly in Bratislava, and 10 more of them are situated in its proximity.
Which are the most famous Slovakia castles?
This castle is the largest in Slovakia and belongs also to the largest castles in Europe. The oldest writing about the castle is dated on 1120. In the second half of the 15th century, new owner of the castle – Štefan Zápoľský – started with the reconstruction with the aim to create representative manor house for nobles. From that time, the castle includes the palace, hall of knights and the chapel of St. Elizabeth. His son, John, who later became the king of Hungary, was born in the chambers of this castle.
The castle is listed in the historical heritage of UNESCO.
Bojnice Castle, with the look like from a fairytale, belongs to the most visited and the most beautiful castles not only in Slovakia, but also in the whole Central Europe. The castle was built on the place of an old medieval castle from the 11th century. In the past, it was owned by the most famous noble families, and the last known owner was the lord Ján Pálfi, who asked the architect from Budapest, J. Hubert, to reconstruct the whole building. The reconstruction was carried out by the end of the 19th century and the castle had to look like the castles standing by the river Loire in the middle of France.
To the most unique and the most valuable works belong the late-gothic set of paintings – so-called Bojnický oltár from Florent master N. di Cione Ortagno, created in the 14th century. The part of the castle excursion is a visit of the stalactite cave under the castle, which is connected also with 26 meters deep castle well.
An inseparable part of the castle is its park and gardens. There is very famous linden tree – Bojnická lipa of the King Matej – standing in front of the main gate. The perimeter of the tree is 12,5 m and it is 600 years old. The king himself liked visiting Bojnice and organizing various feasts and meetings under this linden tree.
The castle was the place for filming various movies and fairytales, such as The Princess Fantaghiro.
This castle is one of the most visited castles in Slovakia. It is situated in Northern Slovakia, close to the borders with Poland. It is built on a massive rocky cliff. As well as in Bojnice Castle, so as in Orava Castle were filmed various movies and fairytales (for example, one of the first horrors of the 20th century – Vampire Nosferatu – was filmed at this location).
Since the 11th century, Trenčín Castle was the royal castle, under which the town started to develop. A massive fortification system is the result of gradual improving of an important frontier fort, and later also the regional residence.
In the list with Spiš Castle and Devín Castle, Trenčín castle is also one of the largest in Europe. Since 11th century, it was the royal castle, under which the town started to develop. The town of Trenčín and its castle played a very important role mainly in the period of the attacks from the Turks. During different periods, it was under the ownership of various noble families.
The dominant building of the oldest Slovak town Nitra is Nitra Castle built on the place of a mighty Slavic settlement, the seat of knights from Nitra and lords of Great Moravia. Today, it is the seat of Nitra diocese.
The castle built in 11th century consists of several units. Its core is the cathedral with neighboring bishop´s residence.
The oldest preserved part of the cathedral is the Romanesque Church of St. Emeram built in 11th or 12th century.
One of the most significant tourist attractions in Small Carpathians is the fairytale-like Smolenice Castle belonging to the main romantically reconstructed buildings in Slovakia, rebuilt in the style of the castles situated in the middle of France.
The castle was built on the place, where another castle from 14th century stood before. Since 1777, it was owned by Pálffy family, which carried out the reconstruction in the second half of the 19th century.
A massive tower with the observation terrace dominates the Smolenice Castle. Steep roofs, fortified courtyard with the chapel and towers, and well-cared verdure create amazingly unique atmosphere on this fabulous place.
Devín Castle stands on a massive rocky hill over the meeting point of two rivers – Danube and Morava. The oldest history of Slovaks and Slovakia has started at this place.
The castle has unpredictable ground plan adjusted to the shape of the castle cliff. The entrance to the castle is located on the western side by Moravian gate. The stony gate is protected by two semicircular towers built in 15th century.
Several meters beyond the gate, there is very unique archeological site from the Roman era, located on the right side from the pathway. By its ground plan, the residues of a massive rocky building from the 4th century resemble the ancient tomb.
The castle is built on a high and massive rocky cliff with the height of 50 meters. The castle was firstly mentioned already in 1200, and originally belonged to the king. Its main purpose was the protection against Turks and Tatars.