!!!The castle is currently closed for visitors from March 10, 2020 (until further notifications) due to the COVID-19 pandemic!!!
One of the most majestic castles of Slovakia Cerveny Kamen is surrounded by the picturesque hills of Little Carpathians.
The history of the castle
According to the written sources, the castle was built in the XII century. According to some sources, the castle was built by the Chech queen Constance of Hungary before 1240 and was known as Cerveny Kamen. However, the latest researches show that the castle was built after 1241 after the Mongolian invasion, when Bela IV started to create a defensive line. The history of this castle is connected with two important noble families – Fuggers and Palffy.
Fuggers were among the richest families in Europe, they traded with various countries. The head of the family was attracted by the strategic location of the castle as it was not far from Vienna and Bratislava. The new owner decides to destroy the old construction and build a castle with numerous spacious cellars to store goods. Those cellars had six levels and they are among the largest in Central Europe. The longest one reaches 72 meters.
The reconstruction of the castle, aimed at changing the medieval style of the fortress into the Renaissance began in 1537. Old constructions were completely destroyed as according to the plan the castle should contain 4 bastions connected by massive walls. This new castle was built in accordance with this new architectural style. The storerooms were effectively protected and the castle was able to hold all types of enemies. However, Fuggers’ business was not doing well. Moreover, there was a thread of the Turkish invasion. Fuggers decided to sell the castle.
In 1588 Cerveny Kamen changes the owners again. Miklos Palffy changes the style of the fortress again adding Barocco traits to its appearance. The descendants of the Palffy family owned the castle until the mid-XX century. In 1945 the latest family member has left the castle and the government has taken it under the protection. Cerveny Kamen has received a status of National cultural heritage.
Cerveny Kamen museum
In the first half of the XX century, this castle was opened for the visitors on Sundays and during the holidays. Visitors were able to see living rooms, but some of them were closed.
After the II World War, this castle became the property of the Slovakian government (National Cultural Commission). Various artworks appeared in the halls of the Cerveny Kamen Castle. All items were confiscated from other noble manors. Along with the collection of items, the National Cultural Commission conducted the reconstruction of the castle.
On October 22, 1949, the museum opened its doors for the visitors and was declared as a national cultural heritage. The collection included various artwork items of different periods collected from 31 castles and 2 monasteries at that time. Reconstruction works continued until 1960 even when the museum worked already.
During the following ten years, the museum changed its status and in 1970 changed its name to the Cerveny Kamen museum. Its main niche was to show the visitors interiors and life of nobles.
New reconstruction works started in 1978 as the museum needed maintenance. They were done in 1998. Items needed restoration as well.
From 1979 and until today the museum is a part of the Slovakian National Museum.
Cerveny Kamen museum tours
There are different types of tours you can take part in. Skilled guides will tell you the history of the castle including some interesting facts. You will be able to see a collection of pictures, decorations, ancient furniture, ceramic and porcelain items.
It lasts 75 minutes and includes 24 splendid spaces, salons, bedrooms and the knight’s hall. This tour includes the visit of the under terrain part of the castle.
It lasts 60 minutes and includes salons, bedrooms, halls, and the knight’s hall. You can see Renaissance noble’s furniture.
Renaissance castle tour
It lasts 75 minutes and includes the cellars of the castle and a special wine pressing room. The guide will tell you the history of the castle and the purpose of each bastion.
“How the nobles lived in castles?” tour
This tour includes the rooms in the southwest part of the castle. The visitors are able to learn more about the life of nobles at that time.
Northern bastion tour
The program includes four bastions, constructed in 1539.
The secrets of the castle
This is a game where children have to follow the instructions and guess 7 secrets of the medieval castle.
There are both day and night tours, concerts of classic music are organized in the knight’s hall.
Services and territory
Standard tours are conducted in Slovakian. There is an English speaking guide that you can hire for additional payment. You can also take brochures in English.
A special collection fund works on the territory of the castle. You can learn more about its activities and work if you wish. Those who want to buy some souvenirs can do it in boutiques. Those souvenirs include items with the symbols of the castle, postcards and other interesting products.
Libresso café is located inside the castle. Here you can rest after the tour, take a coffee, eat tasteful desserts, snacks, and other meals as well as beverages. There are also traditional meals, cooked according to old recipes.
The wine shop is open not far from here, you can buy local wine and even taste it. A special recreation area includes benches. The trees protect visitors from sun rays. There are also some activities for children including pony riding.
A spacious hall is a popular place for a wedding. The castle hosts different holidays as well including:
- Artisans Fair on May
- Fencing Festival on July
- Knight’s Tournament on August
If you visit one of those events you will enjoy your stay here and learn more about local traditions.