Tour: Zvolen town and medieval Pusty castle

Zvolen Castle

Old royal Zvolen town offers its visitors a pleasant sightseeing including two main dominants - the Zvolen castle and the Pusty castle.

- meeting with a guide in Banska Bystrica city centre at 9 AM
- car transfer to Zvolen town, sightseeing
- ascend to Pusty castle
- lunch
- afternoon return

Zvolen castle: This Gothic castle with the Renaissance fortification is situated on the mild hilltop at the southern part of the square. It was built by King Louis the Great of Anjou in the last third of the 14th century as a hunting residence according to Italian town castells. The castle had several owners. King Matthias Corvinus with his wife Beatrix liked to come here, it was also a residence of Jan Jiskra of Brandys, and it was kept in Jan Thurzo´s possession as well. On the ground floor there are the most precious rooms with the stone rib vaulted ceiling lit up by narrow apertured windows. In its eastern wing there is situated originally Gothic two-storeyed chapel with beautiful portals. The first bigger reconstruction in 1491 – 1510 added the outside stony fortification to the castle. Since 1548 the Renaissance reconstruction of the castle has started. The castle was made one floor higher, corner oriel keeps were built to it, the third storey was equipped with shooting openings and completed by the attica. In the second half of the 18th century the castle experienced the second distinct reconstruction. During this Baroque reconstruction was created the coffered ceiling in the Royal Hall with the portraits of 78 Roman emperors. It had been the king’s possession till the middle of the 17th century. Nowadays Zvolen Castle is a national cultural heritage and it’s the seat of the Slovak National Gallery.

Pusty Castle: A historical centre of the Central Slovakian region is the castle Old Zvolen, since the 19th century called the Pusty (Deserted) Castle. The oldest part of the castle complex is the Romanesque residential tower on the highest elevation of 571 metres above sea level. At the end of 12th century the Deserted Castle was an important administrative centre of the royal “komitat”, the territory almost identical with the whole present-day Central Slovakia. In 13th century a big fortification - refugium was built. Since then the Castle with an area of 7.6 hectares was no longer expanded, all the buildings were implemented within this fortification. The Deserted Castle lost its importance in the middle of the 15th century. Its towers, palaces and bastions served only as a dwelling for the large troops of Jan Jiskra of Brandys. At the time of conquering the castle by Jan Hunady the castle buildings were destroyed by fire and since then the Deserted Castle has been in ruins. The first systematic excavation work in the Deserted Castle was realized in the year 1886. Since 1992 systematic archaeological research has been realized.

Meeting point: Banska Bystrica town, pick up from other places on request (surroundings of Banska Bystrica) for extra charge.

Duration: 6 hours

Level: Easy-moderate

Price: on request

Included: Trip transport by private car, services of a private English speaking guide for the entire trip who is your interpreter and driver.

Excluded: Meals, drinks, admission fees

Availability: All year

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