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Sun bath in the middle of forests

Považská Bystrica


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Považský castle

Category: Castles

Považská Bystrica, Slovensko

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A silhouette of castle ruins is a reminder of important historical events. Shiny Váh is telling tales of bright and dark sides of human nature. Castles like Súľov, Bytča, Lednica or Domanižský castle witnessed some of these tales.         


This castle, like many others, was built by the Hungarian King Belo IV. in the late 13th century in response to Tatar invasion in Slovakia in 1242. The first written record on the castle Bystrica is from 1316. For a long period it was managed by castellans. Podmanický family got the castle Bystrica and the surrounding area as a gift from the King Matthias Corvinus in 1458. Podmanický family was a significant Hungarian family - Michal Podmanický fell in the Battle of Mohacs in 1526 alongside the Hungarian king Louis II. Štefan Podmanický as the oldest bishop in the Old Hungarian Kingdom crowned the successor of Louis II Ján Zápoľský and a year later also Ferdinand I of Habsburg. The castle covered with shingles was one of the best fortified buildings of its kind. At the time of its greatest glory it could house 400 people. Water was supplied through underground wooden pipes from the well Sklepitá. After Podmanický family the castle got into the hands of Ondrej Baláž, the chief royal chamberlain and administrator of Novohradsko, in 1571. His son Imrich built a manor house in 1631 and left the castle which had already burnt down in 1623.     


One day in the late autumn robber knights Ján and Rafael Podmanickí decided to rob someone. This time, however, they split and each of them together with their armed company headed in a different direction. Rafael got to Jablunkov pass where he stumbled upon an armed escort of a Polish nobleman Juraj Lasinkovič who travelled together with his daughter Hedviga. Rafael seized Lasinkovič’s property, captured the beautiful Hedwiga and took her to the castle with him. Despite his efforts Hedviga did not fall in love with him. The more she was unattainable, the more Rafael loved her. After some time Ján Podmanický and his companions returned. Upon seeing Hedviga he fell in love with her as well. Brothers fought each other over Hedviga. However, as soon as they learned that the master of Budatín left his castle, they stopped arguing, gathered their companions and immediately rode off to the castle. Little did they know it was all a ruse to free Hedwiga. Meanwhile, a son of a nobleman Lasinkovič along with his peasants attacked the abandoned Považský castle, seized it and freed his sister.        


HOW TO GET TO THE CASTLE?                                                

Bystrický castle is situated on a steep limestone cliff 497 meters above sea level on the right bank of the river Váh, above the village of Považské Podhradie and north of Považská Bystrica. Visitors can reach the castle from Považské Podhradie. They just need to pass around Baláš’s manor house and walk approximately for 20 minutes up the steep hill. The ruins feature partially preserved walls, towers and fortifications. The castle walls are, however, structurally disrupted and the current owner of the castle, Považská Bystrica, is planning to reconstruct the castle.

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Opening hours



Address Považské Podhradie
017 04 Považská Bystrica

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