Standing on a 200 m high dolomite rock at the elevation of 634 m in the Spiš region of Slovakia Spiš castle (Spišský hrad) is one of the biggest European castles whose land area covers 41,426 m².
First built in the 12th century in Romanesque style at the site of an earlier hrad (hrad is Slovakian word for castle), Spiš Castle was the political, administrative, economic and cultural centre of Szepes County of the Kingdom of Hungary until 1464. In the 13th century a two-story Romanesque palace and a three-nave Romanesque-Gothic basilica were added, and in the 14th century a second extramural settlement was built which doubled the castle area. In the 15th century while still in the possession of the Kings of Hungary the castle was entirely rebuilt and a late Gothic chapel was constructed. Three family clans took possession of the castle afterwards; the first being the Zápolya family (until 1528), which is really Zapolja family from Požega County of Croatia (imagine my surprise when I found that it had been once owned by a Croatian family), then by the Thurzó family (1531–1635), and the Csáky family (1638–1945). In 1945 the castle came into possession of the state of Czechoslovakia and as of 1993 after the split between the Czech Republic and Slovakia the castle’s owner is the state of Slovakia.
In 1780 the castle burned down. There are several theories about its unfortunate destiny that led to its abandonment. One of them says that the Csáky family purposely burned it down to reduce taxes, another theory says that it was struck by lightning, and some guesses are that some soldiers there were making moonshine and managed to burn the castle.
Whatever the case, after the fire, the castle was abandoned and gradually fell into dilapidation.
This is the second in the series of posts themed “Traces of the past”. In this series I am posting photos of structures belonging to different periods and countries. You are invited to join me and to interpret the theme as freely as you want. This challenge will appear again in August, and every other month after that. Waiting for your entries I wish you a glorious Thursday…
As usual I am treating you to a preview of participants’ contributions: Don’t forget to visit the links above little images:
Loveland Feed & Grain
My daughter’s yard in photos
An Old Barn
The Kaiwharawhara Magazine building
Skrik by Edvard Munch
Les Beaux en Provence
The Leaning Tower of Bridgnorth
Capella d’en Marcús
A Mermaid in a Church?
A view of Colosseum
St. Raphael’s Ruins
Exploring the convict past
Victorian Industrial Past
The Irresistible Lure of Venice
The Twin Fishes of Ayodhya