Zvolen Castle

Zvolen Castle (foto Ľubica Pinčíková)
Zvolenský zámok

Contact: Peter Heneš Administrator

Contact: Mária Ťavodová Lecturer

Námestie SNP 1, 960 01 Zvolen, Slovakia

421 (0) 45 532 1903
421 (0) 45 532 0534

Winter season: 10am-5.30pm Wed-Sun last admission 4.45pm, closed Mon-Tue; Sommer season: 10am-5.30pm Tue-Sun last admission 4.45pm, closed Mon

Slovak National Gallery - logoZvolen 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. Esterházy family, the last owners of the castle, carried out a Baroque reconstruction in 17th and 18th century, nevertheless it did not change fundamentally its appearance. After extensive restoration in 50s and 60s of the 20th century the castle is now under administration of the Slovak National Gallery.

Zvolen Castel - chapel (foto - Ľubica Pinčíková)
Zvolen Castel - chapel (foto - Ľubica Pinčíková)

The architecturally most interesting part of the castle is its chapel. It was built in 14th century and was originally shaped in Gothic style as a two-story construction with two independent entrances. It acquired its current form of a Baroque chapel during the second half of the 18th century. During the reconstruction of the chapel in 90s of the 20th century, fragments of original Gothic architecture were revealed, visible on both sides. The most interesting relic of the period of castle's Baroque restoration is the painted ceiling, which consists of 78 portraits of Roman and German emperors. It is presumed that the Gallery of Emperors originated during the reign of Charles VI. A large royal courtier, so called "green rooms" type, decorated in 15th century with wall paintings, used to be the dominant of castle's north wing. This hall is presently used as a place of temporary exhibitions of the SNG.

Exhibitions of the SNG offer:

- lapidary of Gothic art, which includes copies and facsimile casts of works by Master Pavol from Levoča, transfers of Gothic wall paintings of the old Catholic parish of 15th century and architectural stone articles from the castle chapel

- two units of exposure are represented at present by Slovak National Gallery old art collections: icons of north-eastern Slovakia, which belong to the Carpatho-Halych icons of 16th-18th century, and a Collection of Netherlands' Art of the "Golden Age" (15th-17th century) from Slovak collections under the name of Flying Dutchman.

Visitors can also view the extended exposure of the Forestry and Timber Museum entitled "From History of Zvolen", which offers a cross-section of city's history from prehistoric times to the 19th century. For exhibition purposes, other than premises of the main palace used by the Slovak National Gallery, also the north-west bastion is used; regular festivals of professional and amateur artistic production are held here. Representational areas of the castle are used all year-round for cultural and social purposes; accompanying events to exhibitions, concerts, theater and entertainment performances for the public take place here. Among the most popular there are the "Castle's Musical Spring", the International tournament in historical fencing, the International Children's Day, the Attractive Theatre Days and Zvolen Castle Plays. The premises of the castle are also used to organize congresses, receptions, to receive important visitors, as well as for civil and religious ceremonies.