Podolínec – castle and city defensive walls


In the fourteenth century, Podolínec was granted the status of a free royal town with market law and the right of storage, which favored the development of the city and the rapid enrichment of its inhabitants. In 1382, the construction of town walls with two gates was completed. In 1409, the chancellor of Sigismund of Luxembourg, Imre from Perin, received a royal permit to build a castle in Podolínec . A small, stone castle stood very quickly, and a few dozen years later, the town and the castle successfully repulsed the attack of the Hussites. In 1412, Podolínec together with a dozen or so other towns of northern Spiš was included in the pledge of the Spiš and for 360 years belonged to Poland. In the 90s of the 16th century, the castle was renovated under the command of the Spiš starost, Sebastian Lubomirski. It was not expanded and lost its military significance over time. After 1765, part of its defensive walls were dismantled. The main castle building was rebuilt at the end of the 16th or 17th century and it looked like a small palace. In the 19th century, most of the town walls were demolished.


The defensive walls of the castle were shaped in plan like a trapezium. Inside stood a large residential building, and a few other, smaller buildings were later added to the inner faces of the walls. The walls of the castle were 10 meters high, their length was 263 meters. The entrance to the interior led through the gatehouse with a height of 36 meters. The castle was coupled with the town fortifications, adjacent to the south-western part of the circuit. The town defensive walls were reinforced with several small, half-round, open towers, surrounded by a moat powered from Poprad river. Two gates led to the town: Upper and Lower.

Current state

Currently, the castle which has lost all the medieval features, houses the town office. Out of its external defensive walls, only two sections have survived on both sides of the main building with a semicircular tower. The longest fragment of defensive walls has survived in the southern part of the town. On the north-east side you can see the preserved tower.

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