Slovakia is a land full of culture and history and the many magnificent Slovak castles that you are able to visit are a testament to this.
This is a look at seven of the most impressive ones in Slovakia and reasons why you should make a point of going to visit them.
Spis Castle is one of the largest in Central Europe, with an area of over 4 ha. In 1993, it was included in UNESCO’s World Cultural and Natural Heritage List. Today, it houses the Spis Museum and offers superb views of the surrounding countryside.
Orava Castle, in Northern Slovakia, is one of the most well known in the country, with people coming from all around the world to admire its historic and aesthetic values. A guided tour in English is well worth the admission fee, and includes a demonstration by medieval hawkers and a sword fight between knights. Those of you that venture to the top towers, will enjoy a stunning view over the River Orava.
Bojnice Castle is one of the most well known historical monuments in Slovakia and is certainly one of the most beautiful. The fairy-tale castle houses art and historical expositions all year round. There is also a falconry in the grounds and the country’s oldest lime tree. However, it is the cultural activities, such as the International Ghost and Spirit festival, which make it a must see attraction.
Trencin Castle overlooks the city of Trencin from a high rocky headland. Owned by Trencin Museum, it displays a number of interesting exhibitions. Engraved into the rock it sits on is an inscription by the Roman army, which dates back to 179 AD.
As any vampire enthusiast will tell you, Cachtice Castle is infamous for being the home of the Blood Countess, Elizabeth Bathori. According to legend, she bathed in the blood of virgins to preserve her youth. In reality, the Countess was one of the biggest serial killers in history, torturing and murdering over 600 women from nearby villages. Knowing the history behind it, this ruin is well worth a visit.
Situated on the Danube, 5 miles to the west of Bratislava, Devin castle is only a stone throw away from Austria. It was destroyed in 1809 by Napolean’s army, and today lies in ruins. There is a memorial to Ludovit Stur there, who fought for Slovak independence from Hungary and made Devin Castle a symbol of Slovakia’s past.
Often referred to as an upside-down table, Bratislava Castle certainly has a unique design, which is unmistakable. Parts are open to the public, containing exhibitions from the Slovak National Museum, which are well worth checking out.