Slanec – castle

History

   The Slanec Castle was built by the Aba family between 1270 and 1281. In the document signed by the first of these dates the castle was not mentioned yet, while in 1281 it already existed and was then captured by the army of King Ladislaus IV on the rebel palatine Finta from the Aba family. After the fall of the family, king Charles I of Hungary handed it over to the Drugeth family, who from around 1330 ruled castle for the whole century. In the second half of the fifteenth century, it was taken over by Ladislaus Lossoncz and around 1490 rebuilt after the damages caused by the post-hussite rebels. At the same time the castle was enlarged. At the end of the 16th century, the Lossoncz family died out, and in 1601, the owners of Slanec became Forgacs.
  
The next century was the time of Hungarian uprisings to which a small castle was not prepared. Almost defenseless, located far in the east of Slovakia, many times passed from hand to hand. In 1679, during the Thókóly’s uprising, the imperial army blew it up and since then it remained abandoned. In the second half of the nineteenth century, thanks to Jozef Forgacs, the round tower was rebuilt and an ancestral archive was placed there. The plans to rebuild the rest of the ruins and create an ancestral museum in them were implemented very slowly, and eventually they were stopped by the Second World War.

Architecture

   The castle was built on a longitudinal rocky ridge of a standing alone hill. In its south-eastern part there was a three-storey residential and defensive building of a tower-like character, on a rectangular plan with dimensions of 10.3 x 13 meters. It was crowned with a gallery with observation and shooting positions, supported by stone corbels, preserved until today on the outside of the wall. On the first floor was divided into two rooms, of which a chapel was located in the south at the beginning of the 15th century. A cylindrical four-storey tower with an external diameter of 8 meters and an internal space of almost 4.5 meters was erected next to the building. It was crowned with machicolation and battlement in the top part, placed at the same height as the gallery of the rectangular building. At the turn of the 14th and 15th centuries, another floor was added to the cylindrical tower, crowned also with machicolation and battlement, and the thickness of its walls was significantly increased. The tower probably initially had a direct connection to the building on the upper floor, via a wooden porch or footbridge. After the extension from the end of the 14th century, it connected almost directly with the residential tower, which was then extended northwards.
   In the second half of the fifteenth century, the castle was enlarged by an area in the northern part of the rocky hill, where economic buildings were located and a 10-meter water tank was carved into the rock. From this side led the only road to the castle, so there was an additional tower based on a steep rock ledge and a moat carved in the rock in front of the wall, led by the drawbridge. The northern tower was in the shape of a trapezoid and was probably connected to the defensive porch located in the crown of the perimeter walls. The gatehouse was placed in the north, bend wall. At the western curtain there was a small four-sided turret.

Current state

   The castle is in the form of a ruin, and its main element is a cylindrical tower and one of the walls of a rectangular keep. Today’s look of the tower is, however, the result of the renovation carried out by Jozef Forgacs in the nineteenth century. Concrete elements come from this period, including gallery brackets and part of the ceilings.

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bibliography:
Bóna M., Plaček M., Encyklopedie slovenských hradů, Praha 2007.
Sypek A., Sypek.R., Zamki i obiekty warowne Słowacji Wschodniej, Warszawa 2005.

Wasielewski A., Zamki i zamczyska Słowacji, Białystok 2008.