Šintava – castle

History

Šintava Castle was built at the intersection of important trade routes that connected south-eastern and northern Europe, near the ford on the river Váh. The first written mention of it comes from 1177, when the castle county was created. In 1251, it was mentioned about collecting fees at the castle’s customs. In 1261, during the reign of king Bela IV, it passed into private hands, becoming royal property again in 1326, during the reign of king Charles I of Hungary. In the 13th and 14th centuries, the stronghold under the care of castellans was gradually expanded and enlarged by further medieval elements of fortifications. The renaissance transformations of the castle began with the Thurzon family, who wanted to adapt it to the role of an anti-Turkish stronghold. In the years 1600-1618 around the old castle began to build early modern bastion fortifications, adapted to the use of artillery. The Esterházy family continued to expand and transform the castle in the second half of the 17th century, which led to a complete change of its original appearance. When in the eighteenth century the Turkish threat disappeared, the fortifications were gradually undressed, and the neglected fortress was abandoned.

Architecture

The main and oldest part of the castle was a four-sided tower with dimensions in the plan 12 x 12 meters, erected on the island of the river Váh. The thickness of its walls reached 2.6 meters. In the next stage, it was surrounded with earth ramparts, a palisade and a moat. Later, probably in the thirteenth century, at a distance of 8-14 meters from the tower, a stone wall circumference on a square plan of 36 x 36 meters was created. After the fire from the end of the 14th century, a new defensive circuit was built around the older walls, on a square plan with sides 65 x 65 meters. Also a gatehouse tower was erected, from which a timber bridge was led over the irrigated moat. The living space was provided by a 13th-century building, measuring 36 x 7 meters at the eastern curtain of the inner defense circuit. In the castle there was also a chapel of St. Stephen and well.

Current state

The castle has survived to modern times, however, due to numerous and thorough transformations, it completely lost the original, medieval style features. In 2009, long-term renovation work was started to make the monument available to tourists. First phase ended in 2013.

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bibliography:
Bóna M., Plaček M., Encyklopedie slovenských hradů, Praha 2007.