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The castle of wine

MOST castles in Slovakia were built on hills, or at least on elevated land, which of course made such fortifications easier to defend. The first Pezinok Castle was similarly situated on a steep mountain foothill in the Small Carpathians. Its ruins are visible even today on the way to the mountain saddleback Baba.

MOST castles in Slovakia were built on hills, or at least on elevated land, which of course made such fortifications easier to defend. The first Pezinok Castle was similarly situated on a steep mountain foothill in the Small Carpathians. Its ruins are visible even today on the way to the mountain saddleback Baba.

The second castle was built by the counts from Svätý Jur and Pezinok around the turn of the 13th and 14th centuries at the foot of the hills. Who knows what compelled them to build their bastion on flat land: maybe they felt strong enough to defend themselves against any enemy attacks. One of the reasons might have been that they wanted to strengthen their control over local mining, the wine trade and the route along the base of the Carpathian Mountains. From this perspective, they made the right decision.

Of course, the castle’s owners did a good job of securing its fortifications. Two walls and two water-filled moats were built to protect the construction, with a circular ground plan. In spite of all efforts to protect it, Pezinok Castle in 1271 fell into the hands of Czech king Přemysl Otakar II.

In 1609, Pezinok Castle was rebuilt into a mansion and remains in this form to this day. In this photo from the 1960s one can see cars parked near the entrance of the castle’s wine cellar. Since the Middle Ages, this building has housed vast wine cellars, part of which now contain the Slovak National Collection of Wine.

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