Bojnice Castle (Bojnický zámok)

Bojnice Castle




Location: 5 km (3 mi) from Prievidza, Trenčín region   Map

Tel. (046) 543 0535

Official site

Open: May, June, Sept 9am-5pm Tue- Sun

Jul, Aug 9am-5pm daily

Oct, Apr 10am- 3pm Tue- Sun


Description of Bojnice Castle

Bojnice Castle is a residence situated 5 km (3 mi) from Prievidza in a town of Bojnice in Trenčín region of Slovakia.  The original medieval wooden fortress of Bojnice was constructed in the 12th century. Although much of the modern structure you see today was actually reconstructed in 1889- 1910 by the orders of Count Ján Pálfi and under supervision of architect J. Hubert. Some locals claim that the structure of the castle is haunted by the spirit of the Black Lady who was wrongly accused of adultery and was thrown off the castle wall.



12th - 13th century
Archived documents about the castle or the fortified settlement located on this site date back to the beginning of the 12th century. The first written mention of the castle is in a document of the Zobor Abbey from 1113.

The original fort was wooden. It was not until the 13th century, when the castle belonged to the Poznan family (some sources mention the family's name as Hont-Poznan), that it was later rebuilt into a stone castle. The first feudal owners, whose names have been preserved in historical sources, were the sons of the nobleman Casimir of the Poznan family. At the end of the 13th century, the castle was acquired by Matúš Čák Trenčiansky, who was its owner until 1321.

14th - 15th century
After the death of Matúš Čák Trenčianský, the castle became a royal property, so it changed owners several times. During the 14th and 15th centuries, the castle belonged to the Gilethov family, Ladislav of Opole, Leustach family, the lords of Jelšava and the Noffry family. It was the Noffry family who expanded the castle and built the fortifications.

After the extinction of their family, the castle passed into the ownership of Ján Korvín, who was the illegitimate son of Matej Korvín. According to legend, King Matej often visited Bojnice. He dictated and signed official documents under the linden tree in front of the castle entrance. He always ended the documents with the sentence: "Sub nostris dilectis tillis bojniciensibus", ie "Under our nice Bojnice lindens."

16th century
After the death of Ján Korvín, the castle was acquired by the Zápoľ family, who were its owners from the end of the 15th century until 1526. After them, the Turz family acquired the castle in 1527. František Turzo expanded the castle considerably and had the fortifications strengthened. He also changed the character of the building - he had the Gothic castle rebuilt into a Renaissance chateau.

17th - 19th century - Pálfi period
When the Turz family died out, the castle became a royal property. In 1644 the king donated it to the Pálfi family, who rebuilt it in the Baroque style in the second half of the 17th century. They respected this reconstruction due to its high artistic value, even during later building modifications. During this reconstruction of the chateau, a Baroque chapel with a unique stucco vault was created in 1662, which was supplemented by a figural fresco with religious motifs. New residential buildings were also built, which were located in the former fort. Between 1889 and 1910, the last feudal owner, Ján František Pálfi, carried out the last extensive reconstruction of the chateau, which was in the neo-Gothic style. It is thanks to this reconstruction that the castle has acquired its characteristic features and current appearance. Ján František Pálfi personally, until his death in 1908, took part in the reconstruction of the chateau. The monumental medieval European architectures from Italy and France served as his model.

20th century
In 1939, the chateau and the land belonging to it were bought by the Baťa company. On the basis of Beneš's decrees after the war, her property fell to the state.

Five years later, on May 9, 1950, the castle burned down. At the expense of the state, the consequences of the fire were removed and a complete restoration of the castle was carried out. At the same time, it was decided that a museum would be established here, which is part of the Slovak National Museum. The castle was declared a National Cultural Monument in 1970. 42 years after the death of Ján František Pálfy, his wish for the chateau to become a public museum was fulfilled.


The present

Bojnice Castle currently has a romantic character, which can also be seen on the facade of the residential tower, which is very divided. Also the openings in the walls, portals, walls, attics and various wrought iron details are typical of romantic architecture.

At present, the castle is part of the Slovak National Museum. It was declared a National Cultural Monument in 1970 and is open to the public. In the fifties, a cave was discovered under the castle.

Around the castle
Bojnice Castle also includes the adjacent castle park, which grows many different specimens of trees and a rare, about seven centuries old, linden tree in front of the castle entrance. This linden is probably the oldest tree in Slovakia. Part of the castle park is also a zoo, which contains rare specimens of foreign animals. The park continues through the forest park in Strážovské vrchy.