Tematin – castle


   Tematin castle was built in the middle of the 13th century, shortly after the Mongol invasion. The first mention of it comes from 1270, when, as a reward for defending the castle during the fights for the throne, the yearly fiefdom was given to zupan Michael. Castle was part of the border defense and signaling system and guarded the nearby ford on Váh river. Until 1369, it was a royal property, excluding the twenty-something period when it was ruled by West Slovak magnate Matthew Csák. Later it went into private hands, and the owners changed frequently. Among them, it is worth mentioning the Thurzon family, who bought the castle in 1524 from king Louis II of Hungary and in the 16th century made a significant expansion.
In the second half of the seventeenth century, the castle passed into the hands of the Bercsenyi family. Nicholas Bercsenyi, commander-in-chief of the Hungarian army during the uprising of Francis II Rakoczi, was born there. In 1710, the castle was besieged by the imperial army. Firing, assaults and plunder after conquering the castle, led to significant damages and since then the object has been in a state of deepening ruin.


   The castle originally consisted of a huge, square tower with dimensions of 9 x 9 meters (interior 3.3 x 3.3 meters) and a large courtyard surrounded by a defensive wall. In the 14th century, a gatehouse and a small four-sided tower on the south side of the walls were erected. A residential building and economic buildings were erected on the courtyard. Its exact location is not certain, but it was probably located on the south side. The tower itself could hardly be a living room, due to the too-tight interior.
   During the reconstruction in the fifteenth century, a new gothic palace was added next to the northern curtain. Also a foregate with a new gate tower was erected, which filled the original curve of the defensive wall on the northeastern side. In the 16th century, a northern ward was built, surrounded by a defensive wall and reinforced with two towers. The lower and upper wards were separated from each other by moat carved in the rock, which was crossed over by the drawbridge. In the seventeenth century, the most characteristic element of the castle, that is the southern massive bastion, was erected.

Current state

   The vast majority of castle walls have survived to this day, although their condition is various. The upper castle is best visible: a square tower, the walls of a oryginal residential building and smaller fragments of other buildings inside the oldest courtyard. The area of the lower castle is covered with trees and shrubs, which makes the preserved walls less visible. Entrance to the castle is free.

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