Tematín – castle


   Tematín 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 came into private hands, namely from 1348 it was possessed by magister Laurentius, the progenitor of the powerful Uljaki family. After him, the castle was owned by his son, palatine Mikuláš Kont, and by the turn of the 15th and 16th centuries by his descendants. In 1524, the castle was bought from king Louis II of Hungary by the Thurzon family, who made a significant extension of it. After the expiration of the local branch of the Thurzon family in 1636 and the temporal possession of the castle by the Hungarian Crown, in the second half of the 17th 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 was situated at the southern end of the elevation. It 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. The main tower was directed by one of the corners towards the entrance to the castle and possibly the greatest threat. In the 14th century, an open from the side of the courtyard 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. The exact location of the oldest palace is not certain, but it was probably located on the south side, next to the main tower. 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. It stood on the site of an earlier outer ward with wooden buildings. The lower and upper wards were separated from each other by moat carved in the rock, which was crossed over by the drawbridge. Another short ditch was created on the western side of the lower castle, where the first gate was located. The creation of a moat around the whole perimeter was not possible because of the steep slopes of the hill. In the 16th century, the most characteristic element of the castle, that is the southern massive bastion, was also 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.