Blatnica Castle (Blatnický hrad)

 

Description of Blatnica Castle

Blatnica Castle is a medieval stronghold situated near a village of Blatnica in Turiec region of Slovakia. Blatnica Castle was constructed in the 13th century to protect trading routes in the region. It was possibly done by the orders of Petra of Brezovnice in 1252. Occasionally it served as a private royal residence for the Hungarian kings, but it was sold in 1445 to Ladislav Necpalsky. It was sold again to the Revay family in 1540 who increased the size and complexity of the citadel through late 16th century. Blatnica Castle lost much of its military significance in the late 18th century. Some reconstruction projects were carried out here in 1744, but it was finally abandoned around 1790’s. You can get here by hiking from a Blatnica village. The footpath is well marked and fairly easy to follow. It usually takes about half an hour to get to the ruins of the ruins of the Blatnica Castle. Today it is protected by Tiara- Blatnica Castle Rescue Association who try to preserve remains of the structure.

 

History
Blatnice Castle on a steep hill behind the village of the same name was built in the second half of the 13th century and we have the first report about it from 1300, when it was owned by Peter of Brezovice. It later became a royal property. The castle was built to protect the road called magna via, which leads north from Nitra. When the more comfortable road from Nitra via Mošovce to Martin and further north began to be used, the old road under the name antiqua via lost its original meaning and the importance of the castle declined. Therefore, the rulers were not more interested in him. It was often given as a deposit, so in the 15th and in the first half of the 16th century the castle passed through the hands of various owners (Pongrác of St. Nicholas, Peter Komorovský, Necpalsk family, etc.), who often only managed and used it than maintained it.

The castle was expanded by the Révai family, who took possession of it in 1540. In the second half of the 16th and at the beginning of the 17th century, they built a large fortification with new buildings.

At the end of the 17th century, the castle was seized by the rebels of Imrich Tököli and at the beginning of the 18th century by the Kurucs of Francis II. Rákociho. After the uprising subsided, the importance of Blatnice Castle declined. In 1744 it was repaired, but in 1790 it was no longer inhabited and since then it has been slowly abandoned.

Description of the castle
The castle consisted of a long, relatively narrow palace, reinforced on the north and south sides by semicircular towers and protected on the northeast side by a steep abyss. The western tower, built in a more vulnerable place, is much more powerful and larger than the eastern one. It was accessed by a separate spiral staircase, built on its southern side. On the southeast, more accessible side, was a small courtyard enclosed by walls with a square tower. The wall of fortifications that surrounded the first courtyard had an entrance to the west over a moat cut into the rock. It was protected by an open round bastion.

The masonry of the western tower has been preserved, which still rises to a great height even today, and slit loopholes can be seen on it. The upper castle, sandwiched between two towers, is falling apart considerably - especially its connecting palace part. On the farm buildings in the lower castle, the demanding blocking is quite well preserved. The masonry is slowly weathering into the valley, especially above the steep slope. It is possible to ascend to both areas along the bastions and there is a wonderful view from there. However, the castle, like any ruin, is accessible only at your own risk and therefore appropriate care must be taken.