Oponice – castle

History

The castle was built at the end of the 13th century by the Csak family. It was mentioned for the first time in 1300. In 1321, it gave up to the royal army without a fight and from that time it belonged to the crown’s property, remaining under the management of the royal castellans. In 1392 it was bought by Nichola’s from Czeklisz daughters and their spouses. One of them was Nicholas from Ewrs, who soon became the sole owner of the estate. In 1411, he took the name associated with the name of the castle and from that time it was called Appon or in the Hungarian version of the Apponyi. The Apponyi family was not the richest, so the extension of the castle did not progress quickly. Despite this, it managed to defend against the Hussites, and a century later against the Turkish army’s escapades. At the turn of the sixteenth and seventeenth century, the owners moved to the newly built palace, and the castle gradually deserted. Disputes over property between the two Apponyi brothers, that broke out in 1612, led to the suspension of all works at the stronghold. Additionally, in 1645, a fire caught it. At the beginning of the 18th century, the castle was occupied by Hungarian insurgents, which contributed to further destruction during the Austrian siege. From then on castle has remained in a state of ruin.

Architecture

The castle originally consisted of an oval tower surrounded by a defensive wall on the highest part of the rock of about 23 x 20 meters. Within the walls were also two residential buildings. The tower was directed by the narrower part towards the entry road to the castle. In the fifteenth century, the castle was surrounded by another perimeter wall creating a large outer bailey. Additional protection was provided by the moat carved into the rock. The gate to which the bridge led over the ditch, was placed on the north side. In the next century, a large tower was added on the west side and an early renaissance building at the northern fragment of the outer defensive wall.

Current state

Currently, the upper castle is a complex of poorly legible ruins of which the most recognizable are the remains of a round keep. Within the lower castle, a significant part of the defensive walls have been preserved. The best preserved are the ruins of the renaissance palace of the Apponyi, from which the northern wall remained mostly. Another interesting element is the ruin of the sixteenth-century bastion called Teres. 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.