Bursting with history, Slovakia offers many spectacular castles, mansions, manor houses, and other historical sites.
Although many are rundown due to a lack of finances, a couple are still in excellent condition to reflect our past. Take a look into the magical manor houses you can visit during the spring wandering. These are the most beautiful of them!
Manor House in Budmerice
A large English park from the 19th century on the outskirts of Budmerice, in the district of Pezinok, conceals a fairy-tale manor house. It had belonged to the influential Pálfi family for many years. The manor house in Budmerice was initially built as a hunting site because the owner, Count Ján Pálfy, was a passionate hunter. The manor house looks like a fairy-tale castle due to the number of small turrets and gabled dormers. It combines several styles based on Renaissance designs of chateaux on the Loire in France. The entrance to the manor house adorns a massive staircase, overlooked by the coats of arms of the original owners of the manor house. The interior is decorated with furniture from the end of the 18th century and the first half of the 19th century.
Eastern Slovakia is popular due to its beautiful nature and historical monuments. Strážky, the part of the Spišská Belá village, hides a gem that is a reflection of Renaissance architecture in Slovakia. Built on the foundation of a Gothic castle, the Chateau Strážky is one of the oldest in Slovakia, later rebuilt into a Renaissance manor house. After the fire in 1708, a fourth wing was added to the originally three-wing building. Thus, the manor house got its present form – a square floor plan with an inner courtyard. Baron Eduard of Mednyan with his son Ladislav, who later became a renowned painter, had been influential inhabitants of the manor house since 1862. Currently, visitors can enjoy the chateau’s chambers, gallery, and library from the 16th -20th century.
The village of Betliar, north of Rožňava, houses a cultural monument you should not miss. Betliar Castle is one of the most famous Slovak historical buildings and, in the past, served as the representative seat of the prominent European Andrássy family. There is still so much to see today. You can take a tour around the castle’s interior with its original furnishings, as well as art or cultural collections available. The library, which contains more than 15 thousand volumes, is the highlight of the exhibition. The collectible passion of the owners is also reflected in the exhibits they brought from abroad. The mummy of the priest of the god Amon, or the mummy of a child from an unknown period, is something for a curious eye. A large English park with an artificial cave, lake, or waterfall forms an inseparable part of the castle.
Castle Svätý Anton
Banská Štiavnica is a historical treasure of Slovakia, as well as a baroque-classical castle in the nearby village of Svätý Anton. It once belonged to a prominent Coburg family. The castle has 4 stairs, 7 arcades, 12 chimneys, and 365 windows, where the numbers symbolize a calendar. Today, the castle’s premises serve as s museum where you can see the historical and hunting exhibition. In the Golden Salon, you will find furniture donated by Maria Theresa to her daughter Maria Antoinette.
Text: Michaela Miňová, photo: unsplash.com, pixabay.com, museum archive