Ostrý Kameň – castle

History

The castle (Hungarian Élskö, German Scharfenstein) was built in the second half of the 13th century on the order of king Andrew II to protect the so-called Czech Road, that is a trade route from Buda to the Czech. It remained in the hands of the king until 1366, when it was given by Louis I to the castellan Nicholas of Suč. Over the next two centuries the castle had many owners, they were, among others, Stibor of Stiboricz, Kagelewicz, Revay, Thurzon and Forgacs families. From the 16th century, it belonged to the Cobors, a noble family from Svätý Jur. With the improvement of relations between Hungary and the Czech, the castle lost its defensive importance, serving for some time as a toll collection point from merchants. It was seriously damaged during the uprising of Francis Rakoczi. After his fall it passed into the hands of the Palffy family, who, however, did not rebuild it.

Architecture

The original castle consisted of a square gate tower measuring 8.5 x 9 meters and an L-shaped residential house (28.5 x 11 meters). It had three rooms in the ground floor. The entrance to the tower was placed quite high and a timber ramp was led to it, so there was no need to dig a moat. In the second half of the 14th century, an outer ward was built on which a chapel, economic buildings, servants’ houses and stables were erected. From this period or the beginning of the 15th century comes a large, cylindrical tower that stood east of the castle, initially as a free-standing building. It was separated from the outer ward by a deep ditch through which a timber bridge was probably led. In the first half of the sixteenth century, the stronghold was enlarged by a lower ward, the area of ​​which was later doubled. Located on the northern side of the ridge, it eventually had two rings of defensive walls and three towers adapted to fire defense.

Current state

The lower castle has been preserved in the form of fragments of defensive walls and towers. Only relics of foundations and stumps of the walls remained from the buildings. The condition of the upper castle is even worse. Only the four-sided tower and the western wall of the house, as well as the remains of the cylindrical tower are recognizable. 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.