Spišský Castle

Walk or drive up a hill to reach this imposing medieval fortress, one of the most photographed landmarks in Slovakia.

Spišský Castle is one of the biggest castles in central Europe and an important historical site in Slovakia. The formidable structure impresses with its size and scenic hilltop location. Climb the hill upon which it sits and marvel at the scale of this famous monument.

Construction of the castle started in the first half of the 12th century and continued through several phases during subsequent years. Many parts of this fortified complex are in a good state of preservation despite the ravages of time and extensive fire damage toward the end of the 18th century.

The walk up to the castle entrance from the town below takes about an hour and passes through scenic countryside. It brings you to an elevation of about 2,080 feet (634 meters) above sea level. You can also drive up to the castle. Before touring the old ruins, enjoy the views of Spišské Podhradie and the surrounding plains.

Wander around the expansive Gothic and Romanesque site, which covers 10 acres (4 hectares). Explore the upper part of the castle to see its oldest elements, including a well and walls dating back to the Middle Ages.

Stroll through the courtyards then investigate some of the castle’s rooms. Visit the small chapel with its simple altar and statues adorning the stone walls. See the castle kitchen, which is furnished to look how it would have done centuries ago. Stop by one of the old bedrooms.

Among the other must-see sights are a 13th-century tower and a three-story palace, which was rebuilt in the 15th and 16th centuries.

Learn about the history of the fortification and the surrounding region by browsing the exhibitions of the castle’s Spišské Museum. The collections include weapons and armor, while informative displays provide context.

Spišský Castle is located above the town of Spišské Podhradie. If you decide to drive up the hill, there is on-site parking available for a fee. The castle is open daily between October and April and there is an admission fee.

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