Plavecké Podhradie – Castle Detrech


   The border castle was erected by the knight Deprecht (Detrich) in the second half of the 13th century. He probably erected it on the order of the ruler, as the stronghold returned to the royal domain quite quickly. The castle was mentioned for the first time in 1273 when it was besieged by the Czech army of Ottokar II. At the beginning of the fourteenth century, the castle was suddenly attacked and captured by the army of Matthew Csák, but returned to the hands of the king after the death of the magnate in 1321. In 1398, Detrech became part of the property of Stibor of Stiboricz and from that moment remained permanently in the hands of the nobility. During the times of Stibor it was rebuilt and reached considerable dimensions. After his death and the death of his son Stibor II, the owners were Svätýjurs, and after the extinction of this family in the mid-sixteenth century, Detrech and the surrounding lands became the property of the Fuggers, who began the Renaissance rebuilding of the castle. After several changes of owners in the second half of the 16th century and at the beginning of the 17th century, in 1634 it passed into the hands of the Palffy family, and served only as a military facility, as the new owners lived in the palace in Plavecké Podhradie. During the uprising of Francis Rakoczi, the castle was occupied by the Hungarian army, and in 1706 severely damaged as a result of the Austrian siege. Because of the destruction it was abandoned and was no longer repaired.


   The oldest part of the castle consisted of a perimeter of defensive walls of an elongated and irregular shape. It were adapted to the rocky top of the hill, which provided safety especially from the high eastern slopes. In the southern part of the courtyard a free-standing, four-sided tower was placed, which had 10-meter-long sides and a wall thickness of up to 2.5 meters. The remains of the fireplace found in it and the quite large internal space of 5×5 meters indicate that it served a residential function. In addition, it secured the entrance gate to the courtyard, squeezed into the narrow space between the tower and the eastern slope. It was not the only building in the castle, because at its highest point, on the rock on the north side, there was another four-sided tower or a tower-like building.

   At the beginning of the 15th century, at the time of Stibor of Stiboricz, a new, representative palace was erected on the north side of the courtyard and two outer wards were added: west and south. The defensive walls were equipped with embrasures and the gate was placed in a four-sided tower on the south-west side. An interesting solution was a tunnel cut in the rock with an exit in the cave, below the castle.
   In the mid-16th century, a large semi-circular cannon tower was erected on the eastern side of the castle. As it enclosed the original entrance gate to the upper castle, a new gate was opened in the western wall, to which a small four-sided gatehouse was attached. A wooden bridge and a ramp led to it, supported by two stone pillars. On the opposite side, by the outer wall of the outer ward, a spacious, elongated building was built, intended for economic purposes. By the end of the sixteenth century, the castle was expanded by a foregate in front of the first gate on the outer ward and a new longitudinal wing added to the west wall of the upper castle. The last defensive object was erected already in the 17th century, a large cannon bastion protruding in front of the perimeter of the outer ward walls on the southern side.

Current state

   The entrance to the courtyards of the lower ward leads through the late Gothic gatehouse, preserved along with part of the foregate walls. In the lower (outer) ward the most characteristic are preserved two cannon towers: lower, outer and inner, called Fugger Tower. Within the lower ward, the majority of defensive walls have also been preserved. In the upper ward the highest elements are the relics of two main towers. Fragments of defensive walls and smaller elements of other buildings have survived. Entrance to the ruin is free.

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