The story of the castle

The story of the castle

Castle

The Pearl in the Small Carpathian Mountains.

Červený Kameň Castle is one of the best preserved castles in Slovakia. Fortunately, its builders managed to build it in an excellent location, and so it did not interfere with any of the conquerors, no matter who they were. The forests have an abundance of game and water, furthermore, Vienna is just a stone’s throw away. And there’s no fighting going on and there’s eternal peace, don’t you think that sounds great?

 

Castle

The Pearl in the Small Carpathian Mountains.

Červený Kameň Castle is one of the best preserved castles in Slovakia. Fortunately, its builders managed to build it in an excellent location, and so it did not interfere with any of the conquerors, no matter who they were. The forests have an abundance of game and water, furthermore, Vienna is just a stone’s throw away. And there’s no fighting going on and there’s eternal peace, don’t you think that sounds great?

 

However, the castle still boasts a sophisticated defence system and massive bastions, which also offer a magnificent view of the surrounding area. In the same way, people could admire the view from the original medieval tower, which no longer exists. At the time when the castle was built, that is, in the second quarter of the 13th century, the castle looked completely different. It didn’t start to resemble the present-day version until about 300 years later.

 The owner was a certain Anton Fugger, a wealthy merchant who did not deny his business spirit even during the reconstruction. “Tear down the old and build the new!” he commanded. By building the four bastions, huge cellars and one residential wing, he created a large and secure warehouse for any kind of goods. And to top it all off, it’s very close to Vienna!

However, every trader also enters into risk by investing. At that time, frequent Ottoman invasions of the local territory and, in fact, the whole of Central Europe transformed a perfect business plan into a nostalgic memory. The Fugger’s business plans in this area gradually weakened until they decided to sell Červený Kameň Castle. As with any property in good condition, several interested parties offered to buy the castle, among them was Nicholas II (Mikuláš II). Pálffy, a young baron who was at that time courting Anton Fugger’s granddaughter, Maria Magdalena Fugger. One thing led to another, and young Nicholas managed to succeed and bought the castle. The new owner chose Červený Kamen Castle as his ancestral seat, and after the bitter life of a commercial warehouse, the castle once again returned to a warm and lively life. The descendants of Mary and Nicholas II enriched the castle, and in the 17th century the castle interiors were substantially renovated, and another wing of the castle was also added. The castle was modernised again in the 18th century to the form in which we know the castle today.

The descendants of the Pálffy family lived in the castle until 1945, when in March of that year they involuntarily fled the castle from the advancing Red Army to Austria. Their descendants still live there to this day and occasionally they visit the ancestral seat of their ancestors again. After the Second World War, the National Cultural Commission took over the care of the historical monuments and it was at that moment that the castle was transformed into a museum.

The Museum Červený Kameň

In fact, it’s actually a castle museum!

The history of the museum at Červený Kamen Castle begins to be written shortly after the last owner departed abroad. Karol Pálffy left the castle involuntarily in March 1945, before the advancing Red Army’s arrival, he left for Austria with his mother, who lived in the castle with him. In the first years after World War II, the museum had only a presentational function, its task was only to make accessible the collections and historical and artistic objects that were stored in the castle premises. It was more or less a warehouse for collection items.

You can read the museum’s full story, how it developed and what followed after the last noblemen was evicted HERE.

The Museum Červený Kameň

In fact, it’s actually a castle museum!

The history of the museum at Červený Kamen Castle begins to be written shortly after the last owner departed abroad. Karol Pálffy left the castle involuntarily in March 1945, before the advancing Red Army’s arrival, he left for Austria with his mother, who lived in the castle with him. In the first years after World War II, the museum had only a presentational function, its task was only to make accessible the collections and historical and artistic objects that were stored in the castle premises. It was more or less a warehouse for collection items.

You can read the museum’s full story, how it developed and what followed after the last noblemen was evicted HERE.

Interesting facts

Did you know that…?

Interesting facts

Did you know that…?

The largest cellars

The cellars of Červený Kameň Castle are the largest in Central Europe! Spectacular rooms are at their best when rays of sunlight stream in through the windows. Even so, they have their own charm, which is confirmed by the number of filmmakers who have chosen to shoot here.



The largest cellars

The cellars of Červený Kameň Castle are the largest in Central Europe! Spectacular rooms are at their best when rays of sunlight stream in through the windows. Even so, they have their own charm, which is confirmed by the number of filmmakers who have chosen to shoot here.



Never conquered

Červený Kameň Castle has never been conquered! It sounds noble, but the reason is much simpler than you may think – there has never been a fight here. Large due to its location. It wasn’t on the “main route” of the conquerors, who were mostly Ottomans and for whom it was shorter and easier to go through, what is Southern Slovakia today – Nové Zámky or Komárno.



Never conquered

Červený Kameň Castle has never been conquered! It sounds noble, but the reason is much simpler than you may think – there has never been a fight here. Large due to its location. It wasn’t on the “main route” of the conquerors, who were mostly Ottomans and for whom it was shorter and easier to go through, what is Southern Slovakia today – Nové Zámky or Komárno.



Besieged

Just because it has never been conquered doesn’t mean that no one has ever besieged it. And, just because it was besieged doesn’t mean it was besieged by enemies, quite the opposite. In the latter half of the 16th century, a certain prefect ( prefect – basically the caretaker, head of an estate, a castle) noticed that the proximity of the Austrian border had its advantages and he could move large numbers of cattle abroad unnoticed without having to pay customs duties. This allowed the Fugger’s to make large profits at the expense of the Hungarian royal finances, and so they “tolerated” these illegal profits. However, this fraud was eventually exposed and the royal authorities had the castle militarily occupied and the prefect arrested. However, there was no battle, at least there is no mention of it, and the castle garrison probably surrendered without a fight. However, a year later the Fugger’s reclaimed the confiscated estate. Well, influence at the Habsburg court had its advantages.

Besieged

Just because it has never been conquered doesn’t mean that no one has ever besieged it. And, just because it was besieged doesn’t mean it was besieged by enemies, quite the opposite. In the latter half of the 16th century, a certain prefect ( prefect – basically the caretaker, head of an estate, a castle) noticed that the proximity of the Austrian border had its advantages and he could move large numbers of cattle abroad unnoticed without having to pay customs duties. This allowed the Fugger’s to make large profits at the expense of the Hungarian royal finances, and so they “tolerated” these illegal profits. However, this fraud was eventually exposed and the royal authorities had the castle militarily occupied and the prefect arrested. However, there was no battle, at least there is no mention of it, and the castle garrison probably surrendered without a fight. However, a year later the Fugger’s reclaimed the confiscated estate. Well, influence at the Habsburg court had its advantages.

The Clock Tower

The courtyard’s clock tower is still functional and shows the exact time. That is, if the clockmaker, who regularly sets and repairs the clocks, is not late. If you’re around the castle and listen carefully, you’ll surely hear the bells, which were and are used to announce the time or to call for larger events. The bell rings every 15 minutes and the repetitions determine the increasing number of minutes. The biggest spectacle is heard on the hour. Then the smaller bell is rung four times, immediately followed by a change of pitch (for musicians – it’s a descending fifth interval from D# to G#). The next number of beats determines the number of hours. Oh, yes, we admit, the way it’s written makes it look overly complicated. Well, the old saying applies here again – heard once is better than a hundred times read.

The Clock Tower

The courtyard’s clock tower is still functional and shows the exact time. That is, if the clockmaker, who regularly sets and repairs the clocks, is not late. If you’re around the castle and listen carefully, you’ll surely hear the bells, which were and are used to announce the time or to call for larger events. The bell rings every 15 minutes and the repetitions determine the increasing number of minutes. The biggest spectacle is heard on the hour. Then the smaller bell is rung four times, immediately followed by a change of pitch (for musicians – it’s a descending fifth interval from D# to G#). The next number of beats determines the number of hours. Oh, yes, we admit, the way it’s written makes it look overly complicated. Well, the old saying applies here again – heard once is better than a hundred times read.

The Well

Over 100 m deep well is located in the underground of the castle. For some people, seeing its depth can make them dizzy. If you’re already scared and hesitant to look into it, know that the well is secured with protective bars. And if you decide to throw a coin into the well for good luck, you don’t have to worry about someone “stealing” your good luck sometime in the future. The bottom of the well is extremely difficult for anyone to get to.





The Well

Over 100 m deep well is located in the underground of the castle. For some people, seeing its depth can make them dizzy. If you’re already scared and hesitant to look into it, know that the well is secured with protective bars. And if you decide to throw a coin into the well for good luck, you don’t have to worry about someone “stealing” your good luck sometime in the future. The bottom of the well is extremely difficult for anyone to get to.

 



The Meadows

Have we already mentioned our beautiful meadows and surrounding area? We haven’t? Well, that would be a great shame! Červený Kameň Castle is surrounded by many beautiful open spaces and the edge of the forest just opposite the castle is perfect for a picnic or any other outdoor gathering. Visitors practise yoga here in the summer months, read books in the shade of the old trees, and horse riders passing through the forest paths only add to the idyllic atmosphere of the place. Watch out for ticks, though. Many times these tiny parasites are not scared away and not even repellent stops them. Prevention in the form of vigilance, clothing, or in the worst case – a pair of tweezers to pluck the ticks out is ideal. We would hate for you to take away an unwanted parasite along with a nice memory. Therefore, please take a close look after your stay in the meadows.


More about the possibilities of spending time in the immediate surroundings of Červený Kameň Castle can be found HERE.



The Meadows

Have we already mentioned our beautiful meadows and surrounding area? We haven’t? Well, that would be a great shame! Červený Kameň Castle is surrounded by many beautiful open spaces and the edge of the forest just opposite the castle is perfect for a picnic or any other outdoor gathering. Visitors practise yoga here in the summer months, read books in the shade of the old trees, and horse riders passing through the forest paths only add to the idyllic atmosphere of the place. Watch out for ticks, though. Many times these tiny parasites are not scared away and not even repellent stops them. Prevention in the form of vigilance, clothing, or in the worst case – a pair of tweezers to pluck the ticks out is ideal. We would hate for you to take away an unwanted parasite along with a nice memory. Therefore, please take a close look after your stay in the meadows.


More about the possibilities of spending time in the immediate surroundings of Červený Kameň Castle can be found HERE.



Filmmaker's location

The castle is a popular location for filmmakers. Interiors and offer many diverse and accessible environments. Some of the films made here are Kull: The Conqueror (1997), Last Legion (2007), Cinka Panna (2008), Contract with the Devil (2000), Pacho, the Hybian bandit (1975), Murder on Morgue street (1986), Fantaghiro (1992) , Adrenalin: Outrun death (1995), Salt more than Gold (1982), Christmas Wish (2018), The madly sad princess (1968) or The Dragon’s Heart (1996), Van Helsing (2016 – series), Witcher (2019-2024) and many more.



Filmmaker's location

The castle is a popular location for filmmakers. Interiors and offer many diverse and accessible environments. Some of the films made here are Kull: The Conqueror (1997), Last Legion (2007), Cinka Panna (2008), Contract with the Devil (2000), Pacho, the Hybian bandit (1975), Murder on Morgue street (1986), Fantaghiro (1992) , Adrenalin: Outrun death (1995), Salt more than Gold (1982), Christmas Wish (2018), The madly sad princess (1968) or The Dragon’s Heart (1996), Van Helsing (2016 – series), Witcher (2019-2024) and many more.



Fruit trees

Fruit trees formed an essential part of the castle’s economic system. All the castle meadows in the fortified area were filled with trees. Their remains can still be found today scattered among horse chestnut, linden and other trees. About 70 steps from the castle bridge there is still a fruiting pear tree, just before the entrance to the hectare long meadow directly below the castle there is a towering walnut tree and the remains of the old alleys are still present in the meadow behind the falconer’s castle or the meadow adjacent to it. It must have had quite an atmosphere in its glory days, don’t you think?



Fruit trees

Fruit trees formed an essential part of the castle’s economic system. All the castle meadows in the fortified area were filled with trees. Their remains can still be found today scattered among horse chestnut, linden and other trees. About 70 steps from the castle bridge there is still a fruiting pear tree, just before the entrance to the hectare long meadow directly below the castle there is a towering walnut tree and the remains of the old alleys are still present in the meadow behind the falconer’s castle or the meadow adjacent to it. It must have had quite an atmosphere in its glory days, don’t you think?



Viticulture

The Small Carpathians region is a wine-growing region. No need to write about that. However, you may not have known that wine was also produced in our castle, in the castle’s pressing room. A large log press has also been preserved from the old times. If you accidentally missed it, pop into the castle pressing room. On the site where the restaurant is today, right next to the gatehouse and entrance, there used to be a manor tavern where the finest wine from the estate was sold. It had to be great!





Viticulture

The Small Carpathians region is a wine-growing region. No need to write about that. However, you may not have known that wine was also produced in our castle, in the castle’s pressing room. A large log press has also been preserved from the old times. If you accidentally missed it, pop into the castle pressing room. On the site where the restaurant is today, right next to the gatehouse and entrance, there used to be a manor tavern where the finest wine from the estate was sold. It had to be great!





Burial chapel and calvary

If you follow the way of the cross, you’ll come across a burial chapel. The latter was sometimes intended as a place of pilgrimage, and it was only later that the Pálffys were to make the chapel a burial chapel. After a short walk up the hill behind it, you’ll reach the Calvary, a beautiful and quiet place. Such a clearing is priceless on hot summer days.

Burial chapel and calvary

If you follow the way of the cross, you’ll come across a burial chapel. The latter was sometimes intended as a place of pilgrimage, and it was only later that the Pálffys were to make the chapel a burial chapel. After a short walk up the hill behind it, you’ll reach the Calvary, a beautiful and quiet place. Such a clearing is priceless on hot summer days.

Forests and hunting

The local forests are perfect for walking, sports, hiking and hunting as well. In the times of our ancestors, hunting was a royal pastime and it was so popular that people didn’t hesitate to travel to far-away lands to hunt. Deer, wild boar, fallow deer and other game did not satisfy our lords and so they went hunting in Africa, for example. From there we also have the remains of their journeys in the castle exposition. Among other things, African hunting weapons, spears and javelins or an antelope trophy, a kind of African roe deer. Who knows, maybe during your wanderings you’ll also meet such animals in our forests. It’s getting warmer and warmer every year.





Forests and hunting

The local forests are perfect for walking, sports, hiking and hunting as well. In the times of our ancestors, hunting was a royal pastime and it was so popular that people didn’t hesitate to travel to far-away lands to hunt. Deer, wild boar, fallow deer and other game did not satisfy our lords and so they went hunting in Africa, for example. From there we also have the remains of their journeys in the castle exposition. Among other things, African hunting weapons, spears and javelins or an antelope trophy, a kind of African roe deer. Who knows, maybe during your wanderings you’ll also meet such animals in our forests. It’s getting warmer and warmer every year.





Ponds

Just behind the bus stop you’ll notice the unusually rugged terrain in the adjacent forest. These are the remains of the great building work of the lords of the time, who beautified the area and its surroundings with small lakes and ponds. Nowadays only narrow and comforting paths lead through there. You can shorten your wait for the bus with a short walk. Although, if you’re not just interested in “holes in the ground”, some of the ponds from back then are still full. You can easily spot a number of larger bodies of water on maps in the area. Then all you have to do is plan your trip and get going.

Ponds

Just behind the bus stop you’ll notice the unusually rugged terrain in the adjacent forest. These are the remains of the great building work of the lords of the time, who beautified the area and its surroundings with small lakes and ponds. Nowadays only narrow and comforting paths lead through there. You can shorten your wait for the bus with a short walk. Although, if you’re not just interested in “holes in the ground”, some of the ponds from back then are still full. You can easily spot a number of larger bodies of water on maps in the area. Then all you have to do is plan your trip and get going.

Protected bird territory

Did you know that Červený Kameň Castle falls within a protected bird territory? If you listen or look carefully, you’ll notice the bird diversity in the area, and the deeper you go into the forest, the more you’ll hear. Please show consideration to the birds. Especially in spring, when birds are at their most vulnerable during the nesting season. One way or another, their singing can only be enjoyed in as much silence as possible.





Protected bird territory

Did you know that Červený Kameň Castle falls within a protected bird territory? If you listen or look carefully, you’ll notice the bird diversity in the area, and the deeper you go into the forest, the more you’ll hear. Please show consideration to the birds. Especially in spring, when birds are at their most vulnerable during the nesting season. One way or another, their singing can only be enjoyed in as much silence as possible.





The Old Jewish Cemetery

The remains of what was once a Jewish cemetery still stand just behind the large car park. The entire corner “behind the ramp” is more than suitable for a short walk. Right behind it you’ll discover beautiful rock formations and nice views of the surroundings. If you fancy a short snack in the woods, there is a large stone table just between the lookout and the old cemetery. Go ahead and enjoy!

The Old Jewish Cemetery

The remains of what was once a Jewish cemetery still stand just behind the large car park. The entire corner “behind the ramp” is more than suitable for a short walk. Right behind it you’ll discover beautiful rock formations and nice views of the surroundings. If you fancy a short snack in the woods, there is a large stone table just between the lookout and the old cemetery. Go ahead and enjoy!

The oldest chestnut tree in Slovakia

Although we’re still talking about the immediate surroundings, a tree that is more than 500-year-old is located a little further away from the castle. However, if you don’t take the bus directly from the forecourt and decide to walk down to the village of Častá to catch the next bus, you may be able to add 30-45 minutes to your short walk. The majestic chestnut tree boasts the title of the oldest tree of its kind in Slovakia and is definitely worth the extra few minutes. Perhaps it is no coincidence that the name of the village bears a striking resemblance to the Latin name of this tree – Castanea sativa.

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The oldest chestnut tree in Slovakia

Although we’re still talking about the immediate surroundings, a tree that is more than 500-year-old is located a little further away from the castle. However, if you don’t take the bus directly from the forecourt and decide to walk down to the village of Častá to catch the next bus, you may be able to add 30-45 minutes to your short walk. The majestic chestnut tree boasts the title of the oldest tree of its kind in Slovakia and is definitely worth the extra few minutes. Perhaps it is no coincidence that the name of the village bears a striking resemblance to the Latin name of this tree – Castanea sativa.

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actual opening hours:

monday – sunday| 9.00 – 17.00

actual tour guides:

long guided tour | each whole hour from 9.00 to 17.00

short guided tour | each whole hours from 9.00 to 17.00

+

individual guided tours

CONTACT US

+421 33 245 51 03

objednavkymck@snm.sk

Contacts

Slovenské národné múzeum - Múzeum Červený Kameň

Hrad Červený Kameň,

Častá

900 89 

medial partners:

created by: Andrej Majerčík & Jakub Kňažko, Illustrations: Jozef Tihányi st. a Lenka Ligocká
photography: Peter Ševčík
Jakub Kňažko, content: Andrej Majerčík,  © 2024 SNM – MČK

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