The castle's fate was sealed thanks to its best-known owner, František (Ferenc) Wesselényi, a major anti-Habsburg conspirator. The emperor's soldiers seized and seriously damaged Strečno in 1674.
But just like every other Slovak castle, Strečno kept its secret - Žofia Bošniaková (Bosnyák Zsófia), Wesselényi's departed wife. Forty-five years after her death, her body was found perfectly preserved, as if she had died only the day before.
The miracle was the talk of the whole region, and her body placed in the nearby mansion in Teplička nad Váhom. It was put on display for people to admire for the next 300 years.
You can still come and see the mysterious Žofia in the church of Teplička nad Váhom, despite time having taken its toll.
Strečno castle is well worth a visit too, and since reconstruction, looks much better than in this picture from the early 20th century.
By Branislav Chovan,
Special to the Spectator
31. Jan 2005 at 0:00