Žakýl – castle

History

Žakýl was one of the most powerful castles in its time, but historical sources are silent about it. Together with several other castles in the Štiavnica Mountains (Zvolen, Empty Castle, Sitno), it created a network with visual connectivity. Žakýl probably protected the old route, known as Via Magna, which from Roman times ran from the south, through today’s Kremnica, Turec and Orava to Poland. In the late Middle Ages, it lost its meaning, but silver was still transported from Kremnica. We do not know the date of the castle’s creation or the reasons for its fall, and the only mention of it comes from 1560, when it was probably abandoned. It is assumed that it functioned in the period from the 13th to the 15th century.

Architecture

The size of the upper castle was approximately 80 x 20 meters, placing it among the larger strongholds in the area of modern Slovakia during the late Middle Ages. The outer bailey was even larger (120 x 60 meters), surrounded by a wall with a thickness of 1,8 meters, an earth shaft and probably a palisade. The entrance to its area was located in the north, then after the turn the road led west to the upper castle. In the highest part of the hill there was a large square tower and a residential house about 12 x 14 meters. Placed in the eastern part, the tower flanked the gate next to it, while the house was located in the safest place on the hill. Also, the traces of buildings of unknown use are visible on the outer bailey. From the west, the castle was protected by a moat, the other one in the east separated outer ward from the main part. Both were up to 10 meters deep. Two hallways of unidentified destiny were carved into the rocks below the castle. The first one is about 20 meters long and the second about 5 meters long.

Current state

The elongated shape of the castle is clearly visible in the field in the form of earth ramparts, which sometimes hide stone foundations. In the middle of the former castle there are covered with leaves, the remains of a water reservoir.

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