Podhradie – Topoľčiansky Castle


   Topoľčiansky Castle was built at the end of the 13th century on the initiative of the Csaks, Matthew or its father Peter. In 1321 it passed into royal hands, and from 1389 it was owned by the Sechenyi family. During the Hussite wars the settlement of Topoľčiany was conquered by the supporters of Hus, but the castle itself resisted successfully of sieges. During the fighting for the Hungarian crown in the fifteenth century, it was taken by the army of John Jiskra. In 1459, Sechenyi decided to rebuy their seat from their hands. For this purpose, they had to pledge the castle and 26 surrounding villages. Later, these goods were divided between the Orsaghas and the Lassonczys, but in 1595 they were again connected and found themselves in the hands of the Forgacs. In the 17th century, it was true that the cataclysms missed Topoľčiansky Castle, but gradually it lost its importance. In 1711, all property was confiscated for the participation of Szymon Forgacs in the uprising of Francis Rakoczi. Since then, castle has changed owners several times. In the 18th century, the stronghold was still being renovated, but soon it was completely deserted.


   The original castle consisted of a square residential and defense tower (keep) and a semicircular courtyard with a radius of about 25 meters, surrounded by a defensive wall with a thickness of 2-2.5 meters. The tower was erected over a rocky cliff at the highest point of the hill. It has dimensions of 9×9 meters. Inside, it originally had four timber, flat ceilings and an entrance on the level of the second floor. The defensive walls were crowned with a battlement, and the outer defense was provided by a dry moat above which a wooden bridge leading to the eastern gate.
   In the fifteenth century the castle was enlarged by a large, fortified courtyard of the southern ward with two gates opposite each other and a tower in the middle of the longest section of the wall. In the upper castle, a residential house and a chapel were added to the north – east walls, and in the north – west part an additional, corner tower was erected. Right next to it, another cylindrical tower was erected, from which a second, low wall was emerging, enclosing the upper castle on the three sides at a distance of 2-3.5 meters. At the beginning of the 16th century, the second, eastern ward was added, and the middle castle received two corner bastions.

Current state

   Until today, in the worst condition, the eastern outer bailey survived. You can only find small fragments of walls here. In a better condition there is a southern bailey from the 15th century. It survived south-east gate and defensive walls on almost the entire length. Alongside them, the remains of utility and residential rooms are visible. The most interesting part is the upper castle, whose keep is the best preserved part of the castle. Its stepped finial was added in the 19th century. Currently, the castle is gradually revitalized.

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