The castle was built in the 13th century, and the first written mention of it dates from 1276. It was built to protect the road leading to central Slovak mining towns. In the fourteenth century it was conquered by the nobleman Matthew Csák, sovereignly ruling the western part of today’s Slovakia. After his death in 1321, the castle returned to the king. In 1511, it became the property of the Esztergom archbishop, from whome initiative, castle was rebuilt into a modern fortress against the Turks. In the 17th century, the castle was taken over by the Koháryi family, which transformed its interiors into a comfortable residence. The fall of the stronghold was accelerated by the owners in 1812, when they set castle on fire, for fear of being taken over by the robbers, after moving to a more comfortable palace in Sväty Anton. From that time, the castle remained in a state of ruin.
The castle was erected on the hill elongated on the north-south line, which secured the stronghold with steep slopes on three sides, allowing the only convenient access from the north. The medieval, the oldest core of the castle consisted of a four-sided residential and defense tower with dimensions of 11 x 11 meters, placed in the corner of the quadrilateral circumference of the defensive walls on a plan similar to a rectangle. Due to its dominant position, considerable size and fulfilling a residential function, it can be considered a keep.
As a result of the 15th century extension, the castle was enlarged by a fortified outer ward on the north side, protected by a four-sided tower on the western side. Also, the original perimeter of the walls was reinforced with an additional four-sided tower on the west side, and a small building was erected in the upper castle, in the north-west corner. An additional defensive wall was placed on the south-east end of the hill. It protected the access road to the castle located below, which arched from the south, north and north-west, through the outer ward, probably the drawbridge and to the upper ward. In the sixteenth century, the whole complex was surrounded by the outer circumference of the fortifications.
Bóna M., Plaček M., Encyklopedie slovenských hradů, Praha 2007.
Wasielewski A., Zamki i zamczyska Słowacji, Białystok 2008.