Krásna Hôrka Castle (Hrad Krásna Hôrka)

Krásna Hôrka



Location: Krásnohorské Podhradie, Košice Region Map

Constructed: 13th century


Description of Krásna Hôrka Castle

Krásna Hôrka Castle is a medieval citadel situated in a village of Krásnohorské Podhradie in Košice Region in Slovakia.  Krásna Hôrka Castle was constructed in 13th century by Ákos family who later switched the name to Bebek family. The castle was owed by this clan until 1578 when it was transferred to Hungarian noble Péter Andrássy. His family reconstructed the citadel to make more livable and lost its possession in 1918. Today Krásna Hôrka Castle is nationalized and holds a museum of medieval weapons. It was badly damaged by fire in 2012, but reconstruction is underway to restore the interior of the fortress to its previous glory.



The castle was built to protect the medieval road that led through the mining areas of the Slovak Ore Mountains. It probably stands on the site of an older fortified settlement, which in 1241 provided a refuge to King Bel IV before the Tartars. The king donated large estates in Gemeri to the Ákoš family (from whom the Bebek family came), where they also settled and ruled on the Krasnohorské estates for more than 300 years.

The original castle, which was built sometime in the 13th century, consisted of a prismatic tower and a residential palace with a common fortification. In 1441, Spark's army occupied Gemer, but it did not destroy the castle, and when the garrison left the castle, it belonged to the Bebek family again until 1566. The threat of a Turkish invasion and the struggle for the royal throne forced František Bebek in 1546 to build a new fortification designed by the Italian architect A. de Vedano. Its castle, Fiľakovo, was also attacked and occupied by the Turks. After finding out that the Turks had seized Fiľakov with the emperor's consent, he attacked his troops and attacked the aristocratic residences in the area. The injured demanded that Bebek be punished by exile, and after his son Juraj spent 5 years in Turkish captivity and was suspected of an organized uprising against the emperor. His troops thus occupied Bebek's property, and in 1567 the Bebek family also died in Transylvania in the death of Juraj.

The royal captains took turns at the castle, which did not help the castle very much until the young, ambitious Peter Andráši got to the castle. When the castle was leased for a long time, it began at the end of the 16th century with the reconstruction of the castle, which eventually lasted 100 years. In 1642, the Andráš family acquired the castle by a deed of donation and gradually rebuilt it into an aristocratic representative seat, which contained all the elements of ingenious defense. Juraj Andráši, Mikuláš's son, became the founder of a new branch of the family. The castle was renovated after 1710, at the same time as the Betliar manor house, which was owned by his brother Štefan. The Baroque chapel was created by rebuilding the cannon bastion in 1770. The castle burned down in 1818 and was repaired in an emergency by Štefan's wife. His son Juraj continued to work, and Krásna Hôrka finally became their family museum in 1857, which was opened to the public after 1875. In 1903, Count Dionýz Andráši established a reverent museum of Countess Františka Hablawcová in the castle. After the restoration of the castle in the years 1903 - 1905, the influential Andráš family maintained their positions until 1945. Since then, the castle has been the property of the state and after its monumental restoration it is open to the public again.

On Saturday, March 10, 2012, a fire broke out in the castle. The shingled roofs, the exhibition in the upper Gothic palace and the bell tower burned down. The ceiling was broken in the congregation hall. Firefighters saved 90 percent of the exhibits, but the inner parts of the castle grounds remained smoky. The damage was estimated at 8 million euros. The fire spread after careless handling of the open fire. From the burning grass, a shrub on the slopes of the castle hill ignited, from where the fire quickly spread to the roofs of the castle. The roof of the castle was completely destroyed, but in December 2012 the roof was replaced by a wooden temporary roof, which will be replaced in April 2013. Work was stopped for the Christmas holidays, after which repairs began on the roof and in the interior. In March 2013, work continued.

According to the current estimate, the lower and middle part of the castle should be opened to the public in 2021. The upper part of the castle will not be opened until later due to extensive damage and ongoing archaeological research.


At the highest point of the hill, there is a palace with a defensive tower, below which are other fortified palaces, a chapel and other residential and farm buildings, documenting the gradual expansion of the castle grounds. The castle originally consisted only of a tower with a defensive wall, to which a residential palace was added. The building was enclosed by a fortification and entered through a gate. František Bebek made extensive building alterations in the middle of the 16th century. The castle acquired a triangular floor plan with semicircular bastions on the corners. The original castle thus got to the middle of the area. The entrance to the castle was blocked from the southeast by a new multi-storey half-cylinder bastion. In front of the southwest bastion was the second entrance to the castle - a gate with a drawbridge. There was a wide fence wall between the south-eastern and north-eastern bastions, and heavy cannons cast in 1545 and 1547 still stand on the terrace. At the same time, they also modified the castle interiors. The Andráš family turned the upper castle into a representative seat and completed the lower castle in particular. They built a new gate under the cannon bastion, which extended the lower courtyard and closed it with a residential tract for the crew and stables below. In the second half of the 17th century, they built a representative residential wing between the south-eastern bastion and the third gate in front of the south-western bastion, connected it with the castle palace and built a county council hall on the upper floor. They built a covered Renaissance porch and a staircase to the representational spaces. They increased the palace space by one floor and built a new building in the courtyard between the palace and the north wall. A bakery and a kitchen were built on the west side of the lower castle. In the 1930s, they built a small representational courtyard, the Baroque chapel before entering the castle in 1770, the Andráš family had a horseshoe-shaped bastion rebuilt above the entrance to the chapel, and at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries they built a crypt in the ground floor and wings of reverent spaces. Thus, the reconstruction of the castle into a family museum was completed and the last modification was the reconstruction of the Žilina Monuments Office in the second half of the 20th century.

The specialized permanent castle exposition presents fortification construction from the 13th to the 18th century, basic information about the castle and its owners. The exposition is located in three parts of the castle, in the oldest part (the core of the castle) there is an exposition dedicated to the ancient past - prehistory of the eastern part of Gemer, rare exhibits of Romanesque and Gothic times (military equipment), handicrafts in the castle and its surroundings. The torture chamber documents examples of unique tools used in coercion. Rare is a collection of medieval weapons: stabbing, cutting, cutting, drums and multipurpose (halberds, spears, maces, swords), a collection of firearms (castle rifles, pistols and historical works) and a collection of weapons of oriental origin. The residential area of ​​the middle castle is dominated by the original 17th century furnishings, which are closely connected with the history of the castle (the meeting hall of the county congregations, a large decorative cabinet from the end of the 17th century) and another rare collection of historical furniture and paintings. In the four rooms of the Bebek wing there is a reverential museum, a castle chapel with a classicist interior, a rare painting of the Madonna of Krásnohorská from 1739 and a family tomb of the Andráš family next to the chapel. In the lower castle, one of the most interesting rooms of the tract is the castle kitchen, with an open fireplace and original equipment, and a music lounge with a rare collection of musical instruments.

To the village SAD, public transport Rožňava. From the village, a road (3 km) leads to the castle by car to the parking lot in front of the castle. On foot along the road from the mausoleum through the village 1/2 h, or along (from the west side) from the road to Pače also 1/2 h.