Gelnica – castle


   The castle was built near an old Slavic settlement, probably shortly after the Mongol invasion in the 13th century. Managed by castellans, it secured the output of ore in nearby mines and royal income. In the years 1447-1462 it was occupied by the soldiers of John Jiskra of Brandýs, and in 1465 king Matthias Corvinus donated it along with the city and the surrounding mines, to the Zapolya family. The stronghold suffered greatly during the civil war after the death of Louis II of Hungary in 1526. After pushing back John Zapolya’s supporters, king Ferdinand confiscated the castle and gave it to Thurzon family, who had to carry out the necessary repairs. After the expiration of Thurzons in the seventeenth century, the castle passed into the hands of the Csák family. In 1685 it was conquered and burned by kurucs, armed insurgents fighting against the rule of the Habsburgs. From that moment it stood deserted. In 1838, the city council decided about its demolition and the use of its material for the construction of the town hall.


   The castle occupied a relatively large area of 90 x 85 meters. In the southern part of the perimeter of the walls there was a rectangular tower and a building with a width of 9 and a length of over 25 meters. It is also possible that it was a stone neck leading to a tower placed on a rock spur. The entrance gate was located on the opposite side of the castle. According to the plans from the eighteenth century, at the perimeter wall was a spacious residential building, located in the safest place of the hill.

Current state

   Only minor relics in the form of a few-meter-long wall after the tower and gate and the remnants of defensive walls remain from the castle. There are no traces of internal buildings. Admission to the ruins area is free.

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Bóna M., Plaček M., Encyklopedie slovenských hradů, Praha 2007.
Wasielewski A., Zamki i zamczyska Słowacji, Białystok 2008.