The Castle of Slovenská Ľupča

The unique landmark of the region of Upper Pohronie and the guard of the Pohronie route, the Ľupča Castle, or its predecessor, a three-storey residential tower with fortifications, already stood on the highest peak of the rocky hill over the valley in the first half of the 13th century. Although the castle in the 13th and 14th century often changed occupants, among them Mathew III. Csák, as well as Zvolen district chief Donč, it remained in the ownership of the Royal Family. Sigismund of Luxemburg in 1424 gave the castle together with other properties to his wife Barbara. Her daughter, Queen Elisabeth, pledged the castle to a Croatian nobleman Gregor de Korbavia, called Horváth. Soon after that, in June 1443, the region of central Slovakia was struck by a massive earthquake. The greatly damaged castle was then repaired, rebuild and enlarged by the Horváth family and after them the Dóczy family. During this reconstruction in the Gothic style they built a large cylindrical tower on the eastern side of the upper castle connected to the palace wing from the west which is closely fitted to the old residential tower. The upper castle was closed by the southern fortification. After Queen Mary took the castle from the ownership of the Dóczy family, she gave it to the administration of the Banská Bystrica Chamber. In 1572 the castle was used by Pavol Rubigall whose reconstruction in the Renaissance style gave the castle a three-storey prism-like entrance tower while an additional storey to the palace unified the matter of the upper castle to its present state and created unique Renaissance artistic details, e.g. the entrance portal to the great hall from 1573. The building of an escape tunnel from the castle well to the house beyond the castle is probably also related to this reconstruction. Reconstruction in the restless 17th century focused on fortifications and added a connecting staircase tower and richly decorated stucco vaults, as well as a memorial plaque. This was placed there by the owner and King´s counsel Gaspar Tribell to commemorate noblemen who died in the defence of the castle against rebels. Although at the end of the Estate´s Uprisings the castle belonged to František Wesselányi and later it was plundered by the Rákoczy army, in the end in 1707 it returned to the ownership of the King. Arcade halls and a chapel built in the Baroque style were already built on the upper courtyard at that time. The original function of the castle lost its importance and after the fire in the second half of the 19th century it was rebuilt for the needs of the state orphanage. A significant three-storey building on the lower courtyard, Gisela´s house, was built mainly for these social purposes. At present after extensive repairs, the reconstruction and restoration the castle, has been restored to its original prestige, is accessible to the public and its premises are used for culture-social purposes.

Photos and video (www.culturalheritage.sk)

Heritage > National cultural monuments