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Slovakia - Castles, Manor houses See all

Spiš castle

Spiš Castle - initially a border fortress and royal castle is the largest castle complex in Central Europe. The oldest written record to the castle is from 1120. Function of boundary fortress at the northern border of early Hungarian feudal state replaced seat Spiš governor, and became the main center of secular power in the Spiš region. The castle, together with complex Chapter of Spiš are entered into the UNESCO World Heritage Site - World Heritage List .
Spiš castle
Spiš castle
World Natural Heritage
Slovakia, Košice region
City: Spišská Nová Ves
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Spiš Castle

Spiš Castle is a unique example of a medieval royal castle county. Located on the limestone (travertine), the rock, the visual links to Dreveník and Sobotisko. Architecture Spiš Castle can be divided into three distinctive parts - Upper castle, middle and lower courtyard. In the first half of the 12th century there was already an advanced fortification complex, whose central object was a circular tower of the upper castle.

Spiš Castle is an outstanding example of the development of castle architecture not only in the Spiš region but also in the European context. Its wide flat Romanesque disposition of 13 century shows defense and residential function of the castle with fortified castle`s core (acropolis), Romanesque ward, refugio (shelter) and typological buildings, such as defense towers, residential royal palace, water tank, entry gates (towers). Readability of these buildings are preserved to a considerable extent till today. All other style`s reconstructions illustrated architectural development of the castle and transformation of his functions. Initially as a boundary fortress, royal residence and later as a noble residence.

Spis castle


In the castle complex Spiš Castle is now located Spiš museum`s exposition of the museum of the castle history, medieval weapons and feudal justice. History comes alive in the castle in the form of historical games, music, torch singers, knight`s tournaments. There is the opportunity to see such noble men fighting for the hand of a beautiful maiden and common people with their crafts.

Within school holiday on Saturdays (July and August) night visits of Spiš Castle. In the atmosphere of flashing torches and night sky stars , you may obtain romantic impression of historical place.

History

Fort was crossed by important trade routes connecting southern Europe to the north and east with the west. Castle hill have always created a natural shelter for residents. Slavics began to appear at the turn of the 5 - 6 century. In the period from 10 in the middle of 13th century was filled with fighting for the early formation of the Kingdom of Hungary. Positive development was disrupted in the first half of the 13 century by destructive Tatar`s invasion, which generate acute necessity to secure the country against external enemies. Spiš Castle was one of the few castles to withstand devastating Mongol`s invasion in 1241.

After death of King Sigismund of Luxembourg in 1437, his wife Queen Elizabeth of Luxembourg aimed to protect the interests of her son Ladislav, invited brother troops John Iskra from Brandys. He, after conquered the surrounding area has focused on the conquer to the castle. After the first unsuccessful attempt, he managed to succeed with castle captain betrayal.

Spis castle


The second half of the 15th century, brings some relief in the political life and economic prosperity. Nobles rebuilt castles for more comfortable accommodation. New owner of Spiš castle - Palatine (prime minister) Štefan Zápoľský whose intention was to remake castle it into a noble residence start with reconstruction. He had made a palace a knight hall and chapel of St Elisabeth in the castle. His son John, later King of Hungary was born at the Castle. Castle was a subject of disputes and fighting between the nobility and at the middle of the 16th century fell to the noble family Turzo`s. After the extinction of the male gender, castle was assigned by Royal decree to the noble family Csáky`s, who managed the last reconstructions at the upper castle.

In the mid-17th century Social changes and reducing the defense necessity of the castle and the rising expenses for maintenance, the owners moved to more comfortable mansions and castle began to deteriorate and in 1780 the castle complex was destroyed by wildfire and majestic Spiš Castle fells in to ruins and process of deterioration continued by time and cheap building material necessity. In 1970 he started technically demanding restoration and preservation of walls and palaces. Today the castle walls and ruins as silent witness rush history of Hungary, is an integral dominate Spiš.

Spis castle
 

Museum

Spis Castle museum exposition - history of the castle:

  • Medieval weapons
  • Feudal justice
  • Historic games, music, knights tournaments
  • Historical crafts
  • Every Saturday within school holiday (July and August) night visits.

Spis castle
 

Surrounding

Spiš is the historical territory in the north of Slovakia. Spiš contains of all basic natural features characteristic to the typical Carpathian country. Intactness of Spiš monuments together with the surrounding travertine fields of national nature reserve Dreveník create a unique entirety. Around of Spiš Castle leads educational footpath Sivá Brada - Dreveník. Within eight stops you can discover the history of this area as well as its natural attractions.

Near the town of Spiš Castle Podhradie with typical Renaissance and Baroque burger houses, a small church town Chapter of Spiš - Slovak Vatican with multiple sacral monuments and particularly impressive double tower catedral of St. Martin and Gothic church of the Holy Spirit in Zehra of 14 century with the interior decorated with frescoes of 14 and 15 century .

Spis castle

Dreveník is travertine mound table-shaped hill, which was formed from the mineral water springs rising up from the tectonic fault. It merged by several limestone-travertine mounds. It is the oldest formation of its type in the area of Spiš Podhradie and largest travertine area in Slovakia. Among the large number of rock formations include the gorge Hell or rock city Stone paradise. On its slopes are 3 caves.

A part of Spiš group is the historic town of Levoča with well-preserved historic center, dominated by historic town hall and Gothic - Renaissance church of St. James, with unique Gothic altar from the workshop of Master Pavol from Levoča, which is tallest in the world (18.6 meters). The city is surrounded by preserved high defensive wall. Levoča as gem of Spiš has been entered into the UNESCO World Heritage Site - World Heritage List .

Spis castle
 

Useful information


Price list

Adults:   5,00 € Night visits: 6,00 €
Children [3-15]: 3,00 € Night visits:  3,50 €

 

  • Open daily May - September: 9 - 19 h., Last entry: 18:00 hrs.
  • Night visit: upon to request and each Saturday at 2.30 in July, August.
  • December - March closed.
     

Source: www.snm.sk

Spiš castle

Spišská Nová Ves
LAT: 48.9984650 = 48° 59' 54.474"
LON: 20.7704190 = 20° 46' 13.5084"

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