Markušovce – castle


The small, knight’s castle was built by Nicholas, son of Mark, who managed the surrounding lands after the Mongol invasion in the 13th century. He received a royal permit to build the castle in 1284, so the building had to be built a few years later. Nicholas gave birth to the Mariassy family who ruled the castle and surrounding lands for the next centuries. At the turn of the fifteenth and sixteenth century, the stronghold was enlarged and re-fortified. This led to a dispute with Spiš cities, that saw a threat to themselves. A year after the Battle of Mohacz, they used the chaos and anarchy in the country, undertaking an expedition against Mariassy, as a result of which the castle was destroyed. It was rebuilt in the second half of the sixteenth century, on the occasion two new towers were erected. In 1773 the castle burnt down. It was repaired in 1789, but soon was deserted, this time ultimately.


In the fifteenth century, the castle consisted of two parts. In the smaller, western, there was an entrance gate, protected by two semi-circular towers. Inside the defensive walls there was a small courtyard measuring 25 x 20 meters with buildings of a difficult to determine purpose and a four-sided tower. It had massive walls and is considered to be the oldest part of the castle. A three-spatial dwelling building was located to the south of it. Between it and the tower, there was a narrow passage to the eastern, larger part of the castle, which also had a separate gate, enclosed between two cylindrical towers. A much larger courtyard of this part was also built-up. On its southern side stood an early-renaissance, two-story residential house. It had three rooms and a total dimensions of about 17 x 10 meters. The whole castle was surrounded by a moat.

Current state

The castle has survived in the shape from the times of rebuilding after the destruction of the early sixteenth century. Although in 1972 an attempt was made to rebuild, the scope of works was small. The gates have been walled up and the windows barred, which makes impossible to visit the castle inside. Currently, the stronghold is waiting for a new host who would take on the difficulty of the restaurant of this valuable monument.

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Wasielewski A., Zamki i zamczyska Słowacji, Białystok 2008.
Website, hrad Markušovce.