Bojnice Castle in Slovakia


To those who live, enjoy life here (H.Yu. Caesar)

Bojnice castle in Slovakia – facts and legends

1. In Slovakia, the great number of well and not so well-preserved castles and palaces is striking. But even against this positive backdrop, Bojnice Castle is special. It bypassed the war, devastation, maraders and merciless reconstruction. To be more precise – almost bypassed. After all, in its 900-year history, too, various things happened – fires, restructuring and thefts. All the more surprising to visit this place, where legends are intertwined with tall tale in a tangled ball of history. We have spared neither time nor money (entrance fee is not cheap by the standards of Slovakia – 9 Euros) and as a result we plunged into the extraordinary atmosphere of fairy tales, mysteries and riddles. 2.3. The pages of the Internet on Bojnice are filled with all sorts of reprints and speculation, which, as in a game of cold phone, a lot is confused and twisted. For example, near the entrance to the castle grows a huge linden tree, itself a historical monument of Slovakia. Legends say that it was planted by the Hungarian King Matej either 900 or 800 years ago. It is also written that the linden tree is about 30 meters in circumference. The photo below clearly shows that the truth is clearly exaggerated. The age of the legendary linden is 700 years and the girth of 12.5 meters. 4. With Bojnice castle itself everything is much more complicated. It is already impossible to differentiate where truth ends and fiction begins. And whether it is necessary to do it? The history of Bojnice is an open-air site for all kinds of legends and fairy tales. Local museum workers peddle all sorts of tall tales about the castle ghosts, invite psychics and specialists in spiritualism, hold witches’ Sabbaths and the annual Horror Ball. This marketing policy works and the Bojnice has no rest for the visitors. 5. The main inspirer and reformer of the castle was Count Jan Palffy. It was he who ended the 300-year ownership of the castle by the noble Palffy family. And it is Jan Palffy who can be thanked for the modern museum history of the castle. This amazing man was a passionate traveler and collector. He owned six castles in Slovakia and palaces in Vienna, Budapest and Paris, and he tried to style and decorate each of them in his own way. Bojnice castle was a favorite child of the count. It is thanks to him, the castle has acquired a modern look in the romantic halo of French chateaux on the Loire. The construction of the château is a “tilted table” combining Gothic and Renaissance elements. It is clearly visible in one of the wooden models inside the exhibition. 6. But the real treasures are hidden inside the castle. During the tour we can realize how precious a place for Slovaks we found ourselves in. Each group of visitors is watched tirelessly by a number of castle keepers. No one is allowed to touch anything, no one is allowed to stop anywhere. It is allowed to take photos only after paying a considerable amount of money and only without flash. Everything is very strict! At the beginning it seems a bit ridiculous, but gradually everyone begins to penetrate the special authenticity of the castle. In the decoration of each corridor, room or hall, everything is thought out to the smallest detail. Each room and each floor is stylized in its own way. There is a lot of carved wood, marble, crystal and gilding. The eastern hall, for instance, has an old Turkish lining, in which the finely carved ornaments are upholstered in silk, decorated with gilt and medallion monograms. This veneer is part of the heritage of the kings of Serbia. A most elaborate work! 7. The Gold Hall is striking for its rich interior, which is framed by an amazing ceiling made of carved pine and covered with gold leaf.

  • In this expensive ornament are 138 figures of angels, all with different facial expressions. 8. At the very center of this ceiling work of art is an angel holding the family crest of the Palffy family with the Latin inscription on a ribbon, “Omnia cum tempore”. This favorite motto of Earl Ian Palffy can be literally translated as “Mine in time. A saying that sounds like self-irony, learning that the count himself never saw this angelic ceiling because of his death. 9. The ceilings, walls and floors in the castle in general are unique to each of the halls. And there are a huge number of rooms. In the music room, the walls and ceiling are upholstered with tapestry with drawings depicting idyllic agricultural scenes. And in the Winter Garden a constant temperature was maintained by a heating system unique for its time in the holes in the floor. Here you can also examine the Dutch earthenware stove with gaming tables for roulette, cards and chess. 10.In general, the count had many fetishes. The museum includes a rich collection of paintings of the XVI century, carved furniture, fireplaces, tapestries and dinner sets. And yet these are just a fraction of the complete Palffy collections that were mercilessly squandered during the wars and turmoil of the last century. For example, a huge collection of weapons has disappeared from the castle without a trace. But we must pay tribute to Jan Palffy – the last of his kind, the count bequeathed his estate as a museum for the whole of Slovakia. 11. The most important item in the Pálffy collection, the altarpiece consisting of ten religious paintings by a 16th-century Italian master, did not return until 1995. The only surviving complete canvas by this artist is particularly carefully guarded. Up close, visitors can see only an exact copy of the altar. The original can be viewed only from a distance on the second-floor balcony of the palace chapel, which is decorated with numerous frescoes and silks. 12. In all this richness and diversity, the absence of tastelessness is striking. All details fit one another. In every detail, be it a lantern, window grille or door handle, one can feel the fine taste and mood. The interiors inside and exteriors outside form a coherent whole. Contemporaries, of course, had to work hard at restorations and searches for missing collections. But the result was worth it. The marble stairs carved out right into the rock face of the castle take us up to the Knight’s Hall and the inside of the citadel. 15. The place is unaccustomedly empty and militarily clean. The main decorations of these rooms are the picturesque landscapes of the Bojnice countryside from the narrow window openings. However, for a change, the museum organizers inside the citadel have arranged an exhibition of furniture, porcelain, ceramics and sculptures from the 19th century. But either because of the thickness of the windows or the special atmosphere of the top floor of the castle, it is much more interesting to view the surroundings rather than the exhibits behind the glass. 16.17. When, it would seem, visitors tired of the constant glitter and luxury will not be surprised by anything, the guide leads the whole group to the family vault of the Pálffy family. In this very special room, a huge red marble sarcophagus stands in the center. Inside in a zinc coffin lies the master of Bojnice Castle’s untold treasures – Count Jan Palffy himself. 18. The mystery is fueled by the story of a mysterious dark red liquid that began oozing from the sarcophagus in 1950, just as a full-scale restoration of the castle was underway. A chemical and bacteriological examination confirmed that it was completely harmless.
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Even more astonishing was the fact that the fluid suddenly stopped oozing in 1995, just as suddenly, when the earl’s favorite exhibit, the precious altar described above, returned to the castle. Although skeptics would probably say that a leaky coffin and the embalming fluid that had been poured over Ian Palffy’s body after his death were to blame for the miracle. 19.20. To finally finish off the frightened visitors, the tour descends into the very bowels of the castle’s foundations, the volcanic rocks. Somewhere inside, at a depth of 26 meters, there is a large natural cave framed by two small lakes. Out of it comes out a deep well. After clearing it restorers of the castle rediscovered this amazing cave, which, according to findings, people lived in the Stone Age. When the group of visitors was stunned by what they saw, the guide tells another legend of the Bojnice Castle. They say that Count Jan Palffy, not for nothing started the general reconstruction of the castle. The reason for it, as usual, was an unhappy love of a certain Frenchwoman, who demanded from the count to turn Bojnice into a semblance of the French castles of the Loire. The Count complied, but his beloved married another. So Jan Palffy died all alone, leaving the castle as a legacy to all mankind. A tired skeptic would not argue with a romantic legend. After all, we all would like to believe in fairy tales at least sometimes. 22. more about Slovakia
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Bojnický zámok patrí k najstarším a najvýznamnejším pamiatkam na Slovensku. Stojí na travertínovej kope nad mesto. Prvá písomná zmienka o existencii hradu je z roku 1113 v listine zoborského opátstva. Pôvodne bol hradom dreveným a vyvinul sa zo staršieho hradiska. Postupne v priebehu 13. storočia bol budovaný z kameňa ako majetok rodu Poznanovcov. Súčasťou Bojnického zámku je aj prírodná travertínová jaskyňa with priemer 22 m and výškou 6 m. Okolo Bojnického zámku je sadený prírodno-krajinársky park.

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Myšlienkou zriadiť v zámku v Bojniciach múzeum sa zaoberal jeho posledný šľachtický majiteľ, gróf Ján Pálfi. Vo svom testamente zo 14. novembra 1907 vyslovil želanie, aby bol zámok sprístupnený pre verejnosť a aby umelecké diela ostali na pôvodných miestach a prehliadka bola umožnená všetkým záujemcom. Múzeum Bojnice je v súčasnosti špecializovaným umelecko-historickým múzeom seloslovenskou pôsobnosť. Bojnický zámok patrí k najstarším a najvýznamnejším pamiatkam na Slovensku.

Fairytale castle Bojnice full of endless possibilities

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SNM-Museum Bojnice currently has two sightseeing tours available for visitors. By completing both tour circuits you will get to know all the beauty of the castle and the museum housed in it.

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News / announcements / noticesVisitors are reminded that the Golden Hall is usually excluded from the sightseeing route at the time of weddings.Visitors are kindly requested to follow the following instructions during their stay at the SNM-Museum Bojnice the museum’s visitor regulations.

a the visiting rules of the cave.

For information on the protection and processing of personal data during the monitoring of the area by the camera system, please visit

can be found here

Bojnice Museum
SNM – Museum BOJNICE Castle and surroundings 1 972 01 Bojnice Slovakia


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