In 2016 I bought an old film camera, a Nikon F1. It was older than me and hadn’t been used in quite some years. I decided to take it on holiday to Bratislava with us and got through a number of rolls of film(I think Kodak 400) but due to an error with it, it only processed 1 in 5 photos. The more I used it, the less this number became so over time 1 in 3 photos would process. Due to this of the 50 photos I took at Bojnice Castle only 21 processed. Due to space, the camera got packed up & left in storage but I recently discovered these photos and thought I’d share them. If any of you are asking yourselves ‘Can I travel with a film camera?’ the answer is yes and I hope to be able to again really soon! Film is fun.
Bojnice Castle, Trenčiansky As A Day Trip From Bratislava
Bojnice Castle is a medieval castle in Bojnice, Slovakia. It is a Romanesque castle with some original Gothic and Renaissance elements built around the 11th century. It is situated in Bojnice, a town 167 km northeast of Bratislava, approximately a 90 minute drive.
There is no public transport out to Bojnice so you will need to drive or get a driver. Driving in Slovakia was easy and we had a hire car whilst we were house sitting near Krupina.
It is definitely not off the beaten track
Bojnický Zámok Castle is one of the most visited castles not only in Slovakia, but also in central Europe, receiving more than 200,000 annual visitors. The castle has become a major cultural landmark throughout Europe serving as a popular on-site filming location for a variety of historical & fantasy films and television programs but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t visit. It’s definitely one of the better preserved castles and receives a considerable amount of money for its upkeep.
This Fairy Tale Castle Was Once A Wooden Shack..
The Castle stands on a large travertine monticule on the site of a medieval castle from the 11th century and although its exact date of construction is unknown, the first written documentation of the castle dates back to 1113.
The castle was originally constructed as a wooden fort but during its 13th-century ownership by the Poznan family, it was reconstructed into a stone castle with architectural elements integrating the uneven terrain surrounding the structure.
A Little Bit Of History
The first owner of the castle in its modern form was Matthew III Csák, who received ownership of it from Hungary’s King Ladislaus V. It was passed through a number of aristocratic families in the 14th and 15th centuries, until King Matthias Corvinus transferred ownership of the castle to his son John Corvinus in 1489. Corvinus continued to visit the castle as a retreat for working on royal decrees, working famously under a linden tree that has now become a historic landmark on the property.
Following Corvinus’ death, control of the castle was seized by the Zápolya family until it was transferred to Alexej Thurzo in 1527. Thurzo reconstructed the structure into a grand Renaissance-style castle, converting its Gothic elements into a more lavish and detailed residence. Further renovation of the castle continued in 1646, when the Pálffy family acquired the residence, with much of the castle’s current French Gothic-inspired architecture and design completed by Count János Ferenc Pálffy between 1888 and 1910.
Pálffy hired architect Jozef Hubert to renovate the castle, though he personally oversaw much of the design and construction himself. Following Pálffy’s death in 1908, conflict over the castle’s rightful heir broke out, which was not resolved until 1923, when many of the castle’s interior collections were sold at auction. The castle was briefly sold to Czech shoe company entrepreneur Jan Antonín Bata in 1939, but following World War II, it was confiscated by the Czechoslovakian government and became an official government facility housing several state institutions. After a 1950 fire in the castle caused damage to government property, government offices were relocated and the castle was converted into a public living history museum.
A large number of elaborate rooms are showcased throughout the castle, including a Golden Hall, Marble Hall, Knights’ Hall, Hunady’s Hall and several clubhouses.
There is a room of arms in one tower, complete with medieval tools of destruction – swords, halberds, maces & shining suits of armour. In one room, the ornately carved ceiling glitters with pressed gold. A lustrous oil portrait of Jan Pallfy occupies the centre panel of that ceiling whilst another room is covered in hand-painted Turkish tiles, with huge Chinese vases sitting on either side of the porcelain mantlepiece.
The extensive grounds surrounding the castle have been landscaped into a naturalistic park since the turn of the 20th century. The grounds are noted for their historic trees, including the King Matthias Linden Tree, one of the oldest documented trees in the country, planted in 1301.
Four courtyards are also showcased on the castle’s grounds, along with a historic tomb and natural travertine cave.
The castle is the scene of the annual International Festival of Ghosts and Spirits in April and May. Visitors can meet witches and see tragic love stories, vampires´ tricks, an invasion of aliens and more whilst touring the castle.
You cannot visit without undertaking a tour. Daily tours of the castle take approximately 75 minutes and are presented in Slovak, English and German. Night tours are also offered, taking you through the castle by candlelight whilst highlighting the castle’s famous ghost stories.
Want to visit Slovakia? Get cheap car rental with RentalCars and drive yourself around, like we did.
Open daily between May – September, 9:00 – 17:00.
Open Tuesday to Sunday October – April, 10:00 – 15:00.
Ticket Info and Tours
Children aged 6 – 15 years €2.90
Children aged 3-6 years €0.70
A night tour is available for groups more than 15 people at €6.70 each
Other things to do in Slovakia
Spend A Little Longer In Bojnice: Other Things To Do Close By
The Prehistory Museum
The museum is located at the travertine cave Prepoštská, inhabited by Neanderthals during prehistoric times. You will learn what tools the Neanderthals used, how they hunted animals & what they wore. From April to October you can take part in night tours with burning torches.
The Observation Deck (Čajka V Oblakoch)
The recently opened observation deck sits at a height of 30m and offers panoramic views over Bojnice, Prievidza and mountains Kremnické vrchy, Ždiar and Vtáčnik. Walk up and slide down! It has a slide.
Bojnice; town of spas
The Bojnice spa dates back to nearly 1,000 years ago and all treatments are based on the natural healings of thermal water with the water temperatures ranging from 28 to 52 ºC.
Alternatively the Bojnicky vinny dom spa offers a selection of wine-themed services. At the wellness and spa area, you can enjoy a scrub massage with wine and grape seed oils as well as sauna and a hot water treatments.
With five swimming pools, two kids pools, two steel pools & thermal water between 26-33 °C , it’s not hard to see Cajka Public Pool is popular. It also offers a panoramic view of the Bojnice castle. Open during the summer season only.
The Mirror Maze
The mirror maze will surprise and confuse you with endless corridors and optical illusions. Open between May-September.
The escape room in Bojnice Mysterium offers an hour long game (choose between two) where you’ll use clues and symbols to crack a msytery. Advance booking necessary.
Seriously cheap flights to Bratislava! Can you say No?
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