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THE SLOVAK NATIONAL MUSEUM'S REGULAR SPECTATOR COLUMN

Night tours at Modrý Kameň castle

THE CASTLE that lords over the town of Modrý Kameň in south central Slovakia is a museum with a special purpose. Besides showcasing the town's rich and close historical ties to the castle and its inhabitants, the Balassas, it also features a collection of marionettes and toys.

Visitors to the castle will be taken back in time.
photo: Courtesy of SNM

THE CASTLE that lords over the town of Modrý Kameň in south central Slovakia is a museum with a special purpose. Besides showcasing the town's rich and close historical ties to the castle and its inhabitants, the Balassas, it also features a collection of marionettes and toys.

These two features make the castle a popular and traditional holiday destination. On August 13 and 14, special evening shows will offer a pleasant break from the hot summer days spent visiting the castle grounds.

For these two days the museum exhibition, the castle's courtyard, and the ancient Gothic ruins at the manor house will become the setting for living castle stories.

Puppet shows with fairy tale characters and various toys revived through talented fingers will recount the region's legends and mysteries.

Folk music, dance, and singing will fill the courtyard. Visitors can taste wine from the Veľký Krtíš region and visit a viniculture display in the castle museum.

The programme of the Night Tours at the Modrý Kameň castle starts at 20:00. A folk band from Dolná Strehová will open the event and will accompany the entire evening's performances, welcoming visitors to a wine tasting of traditional grape variants of Modrý Kameň, which have long been cultivated by the region's ancestors.

An hour later, live demonstrations of crafts and traditional customs will be given, as will interactive displays of toys and marionettes. Puppeteers will perform a theatre show in the museum's playroom.

In the lower part of the bastion, braver visitors may encounter the ghost of the castle's lady. The upper part of the Gothic ruins will hold a theatrical play about Imrich Balassa, the castle resident who killed his wife, Kristína.

Around the castle, secret corridors, larders and pantries, and a torture chamber, will entice the curious visitors to peer inside.

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