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Lietava

SLOVAKIA is a country with a large number of castles, but unlike in the neighbouring Czech Republic, most of them are in ruins. Moreover, while most of the castles in Slovakia's western neighbour are easily accessible, it is often the opposite here.

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SLOVAKIA is a country with a large number of castles, but unlike in the neighbouring Czech Republic, most of them are in ruins. Moreover, while most of the castles in Slovakia's western neighbour are easily accessible, it is often the opposite here. Tourists sometimes have to give an outstanding sport performance to reach the country's rocky fortifications on hilly terrain.

Therefore, it comes as no surprise that Slovakia is proud it has the castle built at the highest altitude in Central Europe - Muráň, which is 935 metres above sea level.

The castle in this reproduction of a painting by Janko Alexy from the 1920s was erected at a considerable altitude. Its position is probably the reason for its name - Lietava, which might be derived form the verb lietať, to fly. It lies in central Slovakia, close to Žilina. It was built during the 14th century and gradually developed into one of the biggest castles in Slovakia.

Lietava was in the possession of the Zápoľský and Thurzo families, who were powerful magnates. But it stopped serving its purposes quite early, some time in the 17th century.


By Branislav Chovan

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