Cultural Directory of Slovakia - Castle

Situated atop a hummock in the vicinity of an ancient trade route leading to the mining areas of the Slovenské Rudohorie, Krásna Hôrka Castle is a prominent feature of the Upper Gemer region, and one of the oldest and best-preserved castles in Slovakia; it was declared a National Cultural Monument in 1961.
This neo-Gothic chateau at the foothills of the Mala Magura mountain range is one of the oldest and most significant Slovak castles. First mentioned in 1113, its first important owner was Matúš Čák Trenčiansky. The castle and its manor have always been royal property, and the king assigned them in earnest or into inherited property to devoted magnates.
Červený Kameň Castle is a unique example of medieval military architecture of European importance, a National Cultural Monument which through its advantageous position and unique collections is among the most visited castles in Slovakia.
This massive rectangular structure with four corner towers stands on a rocky outcrop directly above the River Danube in the middle of Bratislava.
Originally constructed in Gothic style during the period 1272-1277, Modrý Kameň Castle belonged for several centuries to the prominent Old Hungarian family Balass, who adapted the castle several times and established it as part of the anti-Turkish line of defence. The castle was also the birthplace of the famous Old Hungarian Renaissance poet Valentín Balass. Destroyed in 1593 by Turkish forces, it was rebuilt in 1612 with a new bastion, new artillery platforms and deep embankments below the lower castle.
A set of medieval building objects with original art and craft equipment has been preserved in Levoča. This set is the peak of Master Paul’s work. His hands are likely to create the highest Late Gothic wing altar in the world located in Levoča‘s parish church of St. Jacob. This monumental main altar together with the altar of St. Johns in a unique way document the style and opinion change of the end of the Middle Ages and incoming Modern Times.
Situated above the town of Spišské Podhradie and the village of Žehra in the Spiš region of eastern Slovakia, the ruins of Spiš Castle form one of the largest castle sites in Central Europe. The castle and its surroundings (including Spišská Kapitula and the Church of the Holy Spirit at Žehra) were inscribed in 1993 on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Zvolen Castle was built by the Hungarian king Louis I of Anjou in 70s of the 14th century as a Gothic residence influenced by architecture of Italian city palaces. Originally it served as an occasional residence of the king, however due to Turkish threat it was rebuilt into a Renaissance fortress in 16th century.
The site of Devín Castle – a cliff high above the confluence of the Danube and Morava rivers upstream from Bratislava – has been occupied almost continuously since Neolithic times. It is known to have been fortified during the Bronze and Iron Ages, and both the Celts and the Romans built strong fortresses here; the first Christian church located north of the Danube has been identified amongst the Roman ruins.
Kežmarok Castle was constructed as a defensive castle shortly before 1463, when it is first mentioned in connection with the Hungarian Zápoľský family. It was acquired in 1577 by the Thoköly family which had the existing Gothic fortress rebuilt as a luxurious Rennaisance residence. They also built the Baroque chapel. Confiscated by the Habsburgs in the late 17th century following the Thoköly family’s involvement in a failed anti-imperial plot, the castle was sold in 1687 to Ferdinand Rueber, but following his death it was purchased in 1702 by the town of Kežmarok.
Magnificently situated on a 112-metre cliff above Oravský Podzámok village, Orava Castle was built in the 13th century on the site of an earlier, wooden fortification and subsequently became an important administrative and defensive focus within the Orava region. After 1474 Hungarian King Matthias Corvinus extended the castle, constructing a palace and inhabitable wings in the upper section.
The National Cultural Monument Banská Štiavnica Town Castle (known as the Banská Štiavnica Town Castle) is one of the enduring features of the former royal town. It came into being following the Renaissance reconstruction of the original 13th-century Romanesque Church of the Virgin Mary and its integration into the town fortification system during the period 1546-1559. This reconstruction into a central anti-Turk fortress turned the main nave of the former church into a castle courtyard.
Komárno Fortress was the first bastion-fortified structure in inland Europe and in its day the largest and most sophisticated fortified structure in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Situated at the crossing of the trade routes by the confluence of the Vah and Danube Rivers, it was constructed between 1546 and 1557 on the ruins of the 13th-century Komárno Castle as part of the anti-Turk defensive system, probably according to the ideas of Italian fortification specialist P Ferrabosco. After several reconstructions it got its final design in 1592.
Smolenice Castle was built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries on the site of a 14th-century castle which had guarded the border mountain pass between Slovak and Czech territory. In 1777 the castle passed to the Pálffy family, but due to its poor condition and lack of money reconstruction did not commence until 1887.
This annual open-air international Summer festival has been organised since 1979 at the beginning of theatrical season and summer holiday in Zvolen in the historical exteriors and interiors of the Gothic-Renaissance Zvolen Castle. The State Opera in Banská Bystrica organises the opera programme. Thanks to its attractive repertoire which focuses on less well-known opuses by great masters with all-star solo casts the event has recently attracted interest in surrounding foreign countries.
Under Likava Castle is the national children’s folklore festival and competitive show of children’s folkloric ensembles. Its mission is to foster the development of children’s folkloric ensembles, raise their artistic level, popularise education through folk art, and highlight the significance of folklore in the comprehensive education, encouraging deeper knowledge of folk traditions and guiding children to learning about traditions directly from their protagonists.