Turňa nad Bodvou – Castle Turňa


The progenitor of the Tornay family, by the Slovaks called Turňa, received the surrounding lands from king Bela IV after the Mongol invasion. Turňa Castle probably stood in the middle of the 13th century, although the first mention of it comes only from 1357. It is associated with the royal permission to expand the castle, which was already the capital of the county and the administrative heart of the region. The last of the Tornay family died in 1406, later Stefan Śafar and Bebek were the owners of the Turňa. In the years 1440-1458 the castle was occupied by the army of John Jiskra, and in 1476 it was bought by Imre Zapolya. In the hands of Zapolyas, it remained until 1531, and later returned to the Bebeks. The biggest extension of the castle connected with the name of Francis Bebek, which was part of the system of anti-Turkish strongholds. It was made in the years 1540-1550. The Turks took over the castle only a century later, in 1652. At the end of Thókóly’s uprising, in 1685, the imperial army destroyed the defensive objects of the castle. It has been in ruins since then.


The castle initially consisted of a four-sided tower placed at the highest point of the hill, connected with a residential building. The tower had dimensions of 8.3 x 7.7 meters and wall thickness of about 2.5 meters. Expansion from the fourteenth century enlarged the castle with a new circumference of defensive walls and a residential building on the south-east side with dimensions of 16×11 meters. In the fifteenth century, it was enlarged with a new wing on the north-east side, which probably filled part of the zwinger area between the main walls of the castle and the outer wall. In the years 1540-1550 in the south and east was formed the second ring of defensive walls with a south semicircular tower and two eastern towers. The gate on the north side was reinforced with a large bastion adapted for firearms.

Current state

The outer defensive walls and the great southern tower look best from the village below. The path to the castle, coinciding with the former access road, leads to ruins from the opposite side. There survived the north-west bastion. In addition, you can see the great southern tower and two smaller in the east. These fortifications are the best preserved part of the castle. To the east of the bastion you can see large fragments of two economic buildings. The upper, inner part of the castle is dominated by the remains of the main four-sided tower and the eastern wall of the palace, about 7 meters high. The courtyard stretching between these two buildings is largely overgrown with bushes. Small pieces of walls and foundations have been preserved on the nearby buildings. The same applies to the inner ring of the walls.

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