Hričov – castle

History

The Hričov castle was built on the site of an old hillfort, around the middle of the 13th century. The first mention of it comes from 1265, but it is known that in 1254 Bela IV gave Hričov property to knight Bartholomew. Like other royal castles, Hryčov often changed tenants. At the end of the 13th century, the Balassas became leaseholders, however, after the siege, Matthew Csák took them stronghold away. In 1321, the Zvolen zupan Donch regained the castle for himself and Balasses. After his death fifteen years later, the castle returned to the king. In the 16th century, the castle was taken over by Zapolya family and they expanded it a bit. During the battles between John Zapolya and Ferdinand, it changed hands twice, until finally came under the authority of the Habsburgs. Podmanic family, supporters of Zapolya, finally managed to keep the castle. In 1563, it became the property of Thurzon, who left it in 1574, moving to a more comfortable residence in Bytca. From that time the castle was inhabited by the servants and a small crew. The expansion of the castle was limited due to the shape and size of the hill on which it was located. Therefore, the small Hričov lost its military significance and could not resist the siege in 1605 by hajduks of Bocskay. Although it did not suffer any major damages, it was soon abandoned and slowly began to fall into ruin.

Architecture

The castle was built on top of a hill, surrounded by steep cliffs on three sides. The entrance to the center led through a natural rock gate, which after partition with a wall became a castle gate. Next, there was a natural, rocky courtyard, over which a square tower was towering. Behind it stood a main house (rear and upper palace) and smaller economic and utility buildings. At the end of the Middle Ages, the so-called front and the middle palace were erected and the gatehouse tower preceded by a long, two-step foregate’s neck. From the north and east side there were two fortified outer ward.

Current state

The castle has been preserved in the form of a ruin. In the best condition have survived the walls of a large, quadrangular residential building and palace, the least was left from the entrance gate. Entrance to the castle is free.

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