Bojnice Castle is one of the oldest and most important monuments in Slovakia - and one of the most visited castles. It stands on a hill above the city on the right side of the Nitra River - next to an artificial moat. It is one of the main estate centres of the noble Pálffy family.

It was part of the medieval Hungarian border castle chain, and later the defence line of 30 castles to Trenčín. This line was controlled by Bratislava during the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy.

Bojnice Castle Details
Country Slovakia
Address Zámok a okolie 1, 972 01 Bojnice, Slovakia
Distance from Bratislava 2 hours / 180 km
Opening hours 10:00 - 16:00 (Closed on Mondays - except in summer)
Admissions 6 - 15 Euros
Time you need to visit 2 hours
Attractions nearby Trencin Castle, Beckov Castle
Website Website

Photos

Where is Bojnice Castle?

Map, address, approach, entrance, parking

You can find the castle of Bojnice in the town of Bojnice of the same name. The drive from Bratislava is about 2 hours, approx. 180 km. The castle is not far from the popular Trenčín Castle. The closest big city is Banská Bystrica. The area is next to the Fatra region.

  • Address: Zámok a okolie 1, 972 01 Bojnice, Slovakia
  • Distance from Bratislava: 180 km / 2 hours
  • Distance from Banská Bystrica: 85 km / 1 hour
  • Distance from Trenčín Castle: 74 km / 1 hour
  • Distance from Beckov Castle: 73 km / 1 hour
Beckov Castle map

History of Bojnice Castle

The first written record of the existence of the castle dates from 1113 in the document of the abbey of Zobor. It was originally a wooden castle built of older ramparts, which was later gradually rebuilt into a stone building.

In 1489, King Matthias gave the estate to his illegitimate son, John Corvin. After Matthias' death, the castle was occupied by the Zapolsky troops, who inhabited it until 1526. In 1527, King Ferdinand I gave the castle to Alexei Thurzo. The castle was converted into a comfortable Renaissance residence by the family.

After the Thurzos became extinct (in 1636), the castle returned to the crown. One year later, in 1637, Emperor Ferdinand III. pledged Bojnice's estate to the Pálffy family for 200,000 gold. After the death of the last owner - without an heir - the castle passed to relatives.

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Since 1950, Bojnice Castle has been part of the Slovak National Museum.

Description of Bojnice Castle

The castle was an original Gothic castle and later a Renaissance character.

The Pálffy family built the Bojnice castle continuously in the 17th century. Later in the 18th century, the castle did not change significantly.

In the 19th century, the castle received a romantic image. Examples include the French Gothic castles from the Loire Valley and the Papal Palace in Avignon. Early Renaissance Italian architecture dominated.

It is inhabited by bats under the castle and the two-stalactite cave connected to the building. There is also medicinal water in the park.

The more than 700-year-old lime tree in front of the castle, 28 meters high and 12 meters in diameter, was traditionally planted by Máté Csák in 1301. It is believed that King Matthias also held a parliament under it and, as a king, made decrees in the cool shade of the tree.

Opening hours

The castle is open every day during the summer season. It is closed on Mondays outside the high season.

  • High season (July - September): 09:00 - 17:00
  • Opening hours in June: 10:00 - 16:00 (closed on Mondays)
  • Opening hours in May: 10:00 - 15:00 (closed on Mondays)

From October to the end of April, the castle is open during the winter season.

  • Winter season: 10:00 - 15:00 (closed on Mondays)

Admission and prices

There are two types of guided tours to the castle:

  • Castle tour (leads inside the castle)
  • Gallery tour (presents interesting exhibitions)

Tickets cannot be purchased online. You can pay on the spot with a card or cash. The cheaper ticket is for the Castle tour, the more expensive ticket is combined with the Gallery.

  • Adult ticket: 11 euros - 15 euros
  • Retirement ticket: 8 euros - 10 euros
  • Child ticket: 4.50 euros - 5.50 euros
  • Under 3 years old: free

Bojnice Castle - The legend of the spirit

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The castle is referred to by many as just a ghost castle.

The legend of Bojnice Castle is a cruel and sad story. Legend has it that several people saw a female ghost in a black dress in the castle. The woman was accused of infidelity by her husband and put to trial. Her task was to take herself off the castle tower, If she survived the test, she would prove innocent.

After the tragedy, several people thought they could see the woman holding her crying child in her arms - with whom she threw herself down.