Change is good: Topoľčany Castle

Explore the Slovak San Gimignano in miniature.

Topoľčany Castle ruinsTopoľčany Castle ruins (Source: VaGa)

The Etruscans. They cultivated and changed Italy.

Mysterious and almost lost to the depths of time. They built their houses from stone and bricks. They developed arcs, which were later used for the construction of aqueducts. Genius painters, they were artists who established an extremely refined and spiritual civilization.

Their home was Etruria, a territory of today's Tuscany.

A journey under the Tuscan sun is bordered by vineyards, olive trees, cypress alleys, also by chestnut and beech trees where you can get lost easily.

One place where you might lose yourself and talk with the wine Gods is on the famous Via Chiantigiana, from noble Florence, through grandiose Siena, sleepy Greve in Chianti until San Gimignano. Here among 15 large stone towers you will believe you are within the Mediaeval Manhattan of Tuscany.

An ancient theatre

And where in Slovakia can you find a similar place?

Welcome to Topoľčany Castle, Slovak San Gimignano in miniature!

The majestic prismal Mediaeval tower is the first fragment of the ruins you will admire on the way from Podhradie. A little taste of Tuscany.

The castle was built in the 13th century and is connected with the oligarch Matthé Csák of Trentchén. Its construction started in 1305 on the brusk dolomite rocky ridge, part of the Považský Inovec mountain range. The position of the ridge offered a very good view of the Ponitrie region, and the visual contact with Topoľčany and its neighboring castles, Uhrovec and Gýmeš, also owned by Csák. It was an excellent place for sending warning signals in case of emergency.

Access to the castle was through a narrow cleft in the rocky ridge. The castle was protected by a moat, wooden bridge, and 11 m high stone walls.

The most luxurious and dominant part of the castle was a 21 m high tower, constructed for residential but also protective purposes. It was the last asylum in the case attack and the site of the treasury.

Today you can ramble the old forgotten stones which form the ancient theatre. And your thoughts will fly above the deep and romantic forest of the Považský Inovec mountains.

Famous wooden chairs

Once an old forest railway was located here. It started in the former furniture manufactory in Topoľčany. And here the legendary Thonet manufactory was located.

In 1856, Michael Thonet established the first furniture manufactory in Slovakia. In Veľké Uherce, between Topoľčany and Partizánske, he opened a bandsaw and wood working site.

A visionary, the Elon Musk of the 19th century, he cultivated and changed this region. And he created the iconic Thonet chair No. 14.

Composer Johannes Brahms, revolutionary Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, painter Pablo Picasso, and actress Marilyn Monroe. They didn't sit in one room, but they all sat on this famous bent-wood chair from Slovakia, perhaps the most popular chair in the world.

The Czech road movie "The Ride" is about two guys who buy a car and travel through the country until they meet a lonely girl on the road. On their journey they stop for a while in a village to drive an old women home.

It was then that they realize they had created a time machine. Because this innocent stop changed their journey and experience.

One little change alter the direction of their lives.

It is said, change yourself and you will change the world.

The genial Thonet chair No 14 was even depicted in the "In Moulin Rouge" painting by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.

It became a part of the Vienna Art Nouveau cafés.

On these chairs sat everyone important who bent the world and its history.

So Michael Thonet with his bent-wood furniture changed the world.

Because the only constant in life is change, said Heraclitus.

VaGa Agency is an incoming company concentrating on active, adventure, cycling, and sport tours in Slovakia, in the unique, authentic and safe country, far away from mass tourism; offers undiscovered and amazing places, tailored-made solutions and very professional individual guiding. For more information please visit: vaga.agency and www.vaga-camp.com.

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