Tip for trip: Jelšava Castle offers history, views and hiking

Mayor says that the trail to the castle and the way to Skalka lookout point are among the two main routes of local tourism.

(Source: TASR)

Old Jelšava Castle will offer tourists an easy hike, the learning of some history and a quiet view of Jelšava town.

A helping hand in the heart of Europe offers for you Slovakia travel guide. A helping hand in the heart of Europe offers for you Slovakia travel guide. (Source: )

The castle was first mentioned in the 15th century, but it is assumed that it was built in the second half of the 14th century, said director of Town Museum Jelšava, Tatiana Strelková.

“It was built in two phases and its most significant owner was one of the most powerful men of the Hungarian Kingdom in those times: Leustach from Jelšava, of the Ratold House,” the director said, as quoted by the TASR newswire.

She added that the importance of the house was linked to mining of iron ore and Leustach became the palatine after 1392, so the second most important man after the king.

The social status of Ratold House was declining and nearby Muráň Castle took over the function of the centre of the region. Jelšava Castle also started to disappear from historic documents.

“We have no information about its definite desolation, but it happened in 1566 at the latest, when Jelšava was attacked by the Ottomans,” said authors Miroslav Plaček and Martin Bóna in the Encyclopaedia of Slovak Castles.

Popular trip for hikers

Jelšava mayor Milan Kolesár said that the trail to the castle and together the route to Skalka lookout point are among the two main routes of local tourism.

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“The new management of our town forests also cleaned the meadow below the castle, so it can serve as a place for various events, as there is not much space in the castle itself,” the mayor said, as quoted by TASR.

The touristic route to Old Jelšava Castle is blue-marked and it starts in front of the museum. It is about 2.5-kilometre-long, running near the Muráň River, the rest leading through the easy ascent.

The castle itself is situated at the narrow ridge at an altitude of 477 metres. It is possible to see the ground plan of measures between 57 metres and 15 to 20 metres. Only the ruins of the walls, tower and palace remain. How the castle originally looked can be seen in the museum.

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