HISTORY TALKS...

Slanec

THE RUINS of Slanec Castle are in the Abov District in southeastern Slovakia. The castle dates back to the period just after the Ottoman invasion in the 13th century. At that time, a large number of stone castles were erected across what is now Slovakia as protection from Asian marauders.

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THE RUINS of Slanec Castle are in the Abov District in southeastern Slovakia. The castle dates back to the period just after the Ottoman invasion in the 13th century. At that time, a large number of stone castles were erected across what is now Slovakia as protection from Asian marauders. Tatar armies had easily destroyed any fortresses made of clay or wood.

But Slanec still fell victim to the ruthless power struggles that characterised medieval times. In 1281, Palatine Finta imprisoned young King Ladislav IV in the castle to deprive him of the throne. Ladislav managed to escape and returned with a huge army that won it back.

The castle has been in ruins since 1697, when Hungarian aristocrat György Rákóczi ordered it set on fire. Only dilapidated walls and the main tower now remain. Forgách, the castle's last owner, used the tower as storage for his collection of antiques until Hungarian Bolsheviks destroyed it during their invasion of Slovakia.

This postcard from the 1920s shows the tower while it was still in good condition.


By Branislav Chovan

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