Blink, and you are in danger of missing Bojnice Castle – but you really shouldn’t. Here, just two hours’ drive from Bratislava (Slovakia’s capital), lies a unique place that has to be seen to be believed. Quite simply, there is no other European town that will fulfil all your Disney fantasies. What’s more, this pocket-sized wonder laced with a rich history, beauty and stunning natural surroundings is one of the most beautiful corners of Slovakia. Bojnice is also a travel photographer’s dream that will transport you back in time.
What makes Bojnice Castle special?
Unlike the Disney version, the best thing about the Bojnice Castle is that the castle is 100 per cent real. What’s more, this romantic fairy-tale castle with pink sky-high towers, twisting stairways, and medieval walls is the most visited castle in Slovakia. Besides, Bojnice Castle is declared a National cultural monument in Slovakia.
Bojnice Castle, with a bridge arching over a glittering moat, attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. It’s undoubtedly one of the most popular attractions in Slovakia. Bojnice Castle is also a popular location for filming fairy-tale movies.
About Bojnice Castle
This spectacular castle has a much older history than it lets on, especially at first sight. Bojnice Castle’s history started over 900 years ago on a travertine hill, overlooking the town. The foundations of the fortification were initially made of wood. However, later were reconstructed and substituted by stone. In fact, this beautiful Romanesque castle with some original Gothic and Renaissance elements changed hands many times. For this reason, many aristocratic families influenced the castle’s appearance.
You will find many beautiful rooms in Bojnice castle, and the Golden room is one of them.
If you think this iconic castle seems familiar to your eyes that is because the last owners took inspiration during reconstruction from the French Castles in the Loire Valley. Sadly Count Palffy died during its reconstruction. Count Palffy never got to see Bojnice castle completed.
Bojnice Castle Legend
Every chateau has a legend, and the Bojnice Castle is no exemption. The legend has it that Count Palffy fell in love with a French Countess, and for this reason, he decided to carry the reconstruction of the castle. Palffy took inspiration from the French Castles because he wanted the young Countess to feel like at home. However, rebuilding lasted 22 years, and she got married to somebody else. Lovelorn Count Palffy never got married. Suffering from unfortunate love reminds a crown of thorns which is at the top of the highest tower.
One of the best things to see in Bojnice Castle is undoubtedly its chapel. A Castle chapel with beautiful paintings and the Bojnice Altar from the 14th century is a significant piece of art. It`s also one of the most picturesque early baroque buildings in Slovakia.
Bojnice Castle Cave
No visit to Bojnice castle is complete without a visit to its cave. A natural travertine cave, located below the level of the fourth courtyard of Bojnice Castle, has some secrets, though. This unique cave not only served as a source of water, but it was probably also a hiding space. Besides, the cave is home to some finds from the Stone Age. Bojnice Castle cave with two ponds is possible to visit only as a part of the tour.
Festival in Bojnice Castle
Beautiful Bojnice Castle hosts numerous public events during the year. Don’t miss the Festival of Castle Stories, which follows up the famous International Festival of Ghosts and Spectres.
Can you walk around Bojnice Castle for free?
The walk around the Bojnice Castle in the nearby park is for free. However, if you would like to visit the inside of the castle, you need to pay the admission price.
How much do Bojnice Castle tickets cost in 2021?
The entrance ticket to Bojnice Castle for adult currently costs €11. Reduced tickets are available for children, student, the disabled and also over 65 years old. Approximately 75-minute guided tour can be in Slovak, English or German language (booked in advance). Due to COVID-19, night tours are not available at the moment.
Other things to do in Bojnice near Bojnice Castle
Take a leisurely walk in the park, which you can find in front of Bojnice Castle. A beautifully landscaped area offers magnificent views of the chateau; however, no image can completely capture how stunning this area is. Don’t miss the ancient King Matthias Linden Tree growing in front of Bojnice Castle’s entrance. Legend has it that King Mathias Csak planted this 700-years old tree when the last king of the Arpad family died. Later, the Hungarian king Matthias Corvinus held many meetings under its spreading crown. During its long life, the tree survived the Turkish invasion and rebellions.
One of the Bojnice Castle’s last aristocratic owners decided to preserve the King Matthias Linden Tree. Count Palffy put iron hooks into the tree’s crown to protect the largest branches from gale winds. Today this beautiful Linden tree is the property of the Slovak National Museum.
Observatory Deck “Seagull in the Clouds” (Cajka v oblakoch)
All those who have their taste for adventure can’t miss a visit to Seagull in the Clouds. This unique observation tower located in the mountains above the town offers an unforgettable view. Take approximately a 30-minute walk from Bojnice Castle, and you’ll find yourself in front of the lookout tower. Once you’ve passed the entrance gate, take a relaxing stroll through the woods. A short walk from the car park will bring you in front of this picturesque tower.
A 30 metres high (98, 4 ft.) snake-like observatory tower, surrounded by forest, is a sight to behold. A beautiful steel structure with a wooden footbridge has a rising up spiral shape which leads up to an observation deck. This spiralling tower, which lets you walk above trees, is one of the most famous attractions in Bojnice. The lookout tower Seagull in the Clouds offers excellent views of Bojnice Castle and its surrounding area and, therefore, it’s one of the best things to see in Bojnice. Besides, the observatory deck has also a long dry slide which you can use to shorten your way back down. What`s more, this unusual attraction is accessible to all – no matter physical condition.
Thermal pool Cajka
Head to the nearby thermal pool Cajka when you feel ready for a break from exploring Bojnice Castle and other attractions. Plan your trip during the summer months, and you’ll be able to swim in one of three thermal pools. Thermal pool Cajka is the perfect place to spend a relaxing day soaking up the sun and marvelling at the castle.
If you are not short on time, make sure you stay in Bojnice a little longer. You probably don’t know, but this small town is home to a spa which dates back to almost 1000 years ago. Spend a relaxing day in thermal pools with healing waters that have a positive influence on the nervous system. Bojnice Spa with nine natural thermal springs is an excellent place for everyone who is looking for a peaceful experience. The spa offers different type of packages with wellness experiences.
While you’re in Bojnice, don’t forget to visit Bojnice Zoo. Learn more about 360 different species, including lion, elephants and more. The oldest zoo in Slovakia is one of the popular attractions in Bojnice, especially if you visit with children. You can find it in the forest park, overlooking Bojnice Castle.
Museum of Prehistory (Prepostska jaskyna)
© Museum of Prehistory
If you visit this lovely town with kids and you have a bit more time, then a visit to the Museum of Prehistory should be on your list. Discover the prehistoric world and trace the footsteps of the Neanderthal man who once lived here. Not only is this the richest Paleolithic site in Slovakia, but it is an authentic place inhabited by Neanderthal people. Walk barefoot (if you dare) and learn how Neanderthal people lived, which stone tools they used, and more. Museum of Prehistory in the travertine Prepostska cave is very authentic and one of its kind.
GOOD TO KNOW:
You can visit the Museum of Prehistory on a special tour during the night. Step into the ancient times under the torchlight. Night tours are available from April until October when there is no rain.
Have you been to Bojnice in Slovakia? What was your favourite thing to do there? Let us know in the comments below 🙂
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