About Bojnice Castle

Bojnice Castle (Bojnicky zamok) is seen by many as Slovakia's most romantic castle, with a history dating to the 12th century. The castle has undergone many changes over the centuries. In its present form it is more similar to a French chateaux or Bavaria's Neuschwanstein than to other Slovak fortresses.

A castle is first recorded on the site in 1113; in the early 14th century a castle on the site belonged to Matus Cak Trenciansky, who had captured it in the 13th century, before passing to other aristocratic owners. Amongst these nobles were members of the Thurzo family who were first gifted it by King Ferdinand I in 1527 and updated the castle from a Gothic to a more comfortable Renaissance palace.

In the 17th century the Palfi family received control of Bojnice Castle. It was Count Jan Palfi who decided in the late 19th century to renovate the castle in the romantic style seen today.

Bojnice Castle has been part of the Slovak National Museum since 1950. The interiors include furniture from the early modern period through to the late 19th century. The chapel features a 14th century Florentine altar, and Count Jan Palfi is buried in a chapel in the rock below the castle.

Beneath the courtyard is a cave that contains the castle's water source. The grounds around Bojnice Castle include a moat with swans and a 600-year-old tree. Besides the standard daytime tour, the castle also offers night tours. In late April and early May the International Festival of Ghosts and Spirits is held there.

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