If you’re interested in seeing some of Europe’s finest castles this winter, Slovakia should be on your bucket list. It’s no secret that Castles and former stately homes dot the landscape of Slovakia but there are also other some other seasonal must-see’s. Here’s where you need to go:
Built in the 12th century, this medieval Castle is one of Slovakia’s finest. It used to be the political and cultural centre of the region, but much of the complex was destroyed by a fire in 1780. It covers a huge 42 thousand square metres. Film lovers will recognise it from movies such as Dragonheart and The Last Legion. The Castle was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The area nearby is known to many as the Tuscany of the East. Péchy Castle and its Hunting Lodge are set in a beautiful English style park. A holiday house with a history, every part of this hotel seeps history. It’s the perfect place to stay as you discover the region and want to get a glimpse into the landowner lifestyle.
Eat cake like a local in Banska Bystrica
At the Hotel Národný Dom Banska Bystrica you must try this traditional cake, made of nuts and plums. The recipe is more than 80 years old and will remind you of the snow capped mountains nearby. The hotel is in Banská Bystrica, right next to the State Opera and is a national monument. Built in 1929 by a local architect – Emil Belluš – in Art Deco style, the hotel has been recently refurbished, keeping it’s artistic spirit alive.
The Tatra Ice Dome
Stay at the nearby Hotel Mikulasska chata Jasná, a fabulous mountain chalet hotel with classic Tatra architecture in Jasna (which is also the biggest ski resort in Slovakia). It has a wonderful family atmosphere, extremely cosy rooms and a recently upgraded spa to luxuriate in. It’s tucked under the peak of Chopok which is a great base for exploring the High Tatras this winter.
The earliest mention of Bojnice Castle dates back to the 11th century. Since then it has been home to kings and aristocrats. It was reconstructed in the 17th century and is now one of Slovakia’s most visited castles. It’s typical silhouette of the romantic image of the medieval castle is enhanced by its steep roofs and towers and overlooking the entrance is a 600 year old lime tree with a 12.5 metre trunk. Inside you will find many important historical and artistic artefacts, the highlight of which is a late Gothic altar made by Nardo di Cione Ortagna, a Florentine artist in the mid-14th century.
Stay nearby the castle at Mojmírovce Manor, an 18th century Baroque-Neoclassical mansion that houses hundreds of paintings and rooms dedicated to Count Anton Grassalkowich of Mojmírovce and the manor’s original owners, the Hunydady Family. The lounge is spectacularly decorated with scenes from Slovak folktales and all the rooms are sumptuous. This really is a beautiful destination for art and history lovers.