The ruins of Spiš Castle in eastern Slovakia form one of the largest castle
sites in Central Europe. The castle is situated above the town of Spišské
Podhradie and the village of Žehra, in the region known as Spiš.
It was included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 1993.
The castle is situated on an ancient trade route so this place was inhabited since Palaeolithic Period. Sometimes around the beginning of the 1st century it was a place of a very large fortress called Púchov and since then the place underwent a rich history.
It was back in 1120 when the Spiš Castle construction first began. Back in those days, it was nothing more than a boundary fort and was used to protect the region during the old Hungarian feudal days.
Later on, it was set as the head of the region for several centuries. As a result of the numerous attacks on the castle throughout the centuries, many sections had been destroyed.
As early as the 15th century, reconstruction efforts were performed in order to convert the castle into a residence. It was Štefan Zápoľský who can be credited with turning the boundary fort into the castle it is today.
Unfortunately, back in 1780 there was a massive fire within the castle compound which just destroyed a large portion of the Spiš Castle. Since there is nobody living on the property or caring for the castle at the time, the Spiš Castle fell into disrepair.
It was not until the 1970s with the help of conservationists, that extensive reconstruction and repair of the foundation, walls and other parts the castle were undertook.
And while the castle today is still partially in ruins, it has long since been stabilized and many sections had been completely refurbished.
Today, the castle is openly accessible as a museum filled with multiple collections that date back through the centuries. Most of the political documentation back from the medieval days is also on display within the Castle Museum.
The Spiš Castle is a historically important castle not just in Slovakia, but also within Central Europe.
Spiš Castle is a beautiful display of medieval architecture.
It is also a picturesque, stately manor home which has been referred to by many as a palace which has inspired countless storybooks over the centuries.
If you are heading to Košice (European Capital of Culture), I storongly recomand you should take some time for a trip and visit this castle, which is situated only 70 kilometres away.
After the tour of the castle we had a coffee break at this restaurant. I was touched with young guide’s kindness and impressed by this castle.
It will take an hour to Spiš Castle from Spišské Podhradie on foot.