About Fil’akovo Castle
Built on volcanic rock, Fil’akovo Castle and the town beneath it are located in south-central Slovakia, near the border between Slovakia and Hungary. The first mention of the castle is from 1242. It burned down in 1682, and has since lain in ruin.
History of Fil’akovo Castle
When Fil’akovo Castle was built, which is said to have been sometime by the 12th century, the area belonged to Hungary, as did most of present-day Slovakia. It would later be expanded both in the 15th and 16th centuries, with the latter improvements being a futile attempt to defend it against the Ottomans.
The most interesting period of Fil’akovo’s history is from the 16th century, particularly from 1554, when it was taken by the Ottoman Empire. The town belonged to the Turks for nearly 40 years, and was made the seat of a sanjak or administrative district of the Empire, hence the palm tree on Fil’akovo’s coat of arms.
In the late 17th century, Fil’akovo Castle was burned and abandoned.
Fil’akovo Castle Today
The main tower, known as Bebek’s Tower, now houses a permanent exhibit on the castle’s history. It includes objects from the Ottoman and Hungarian periods. The top floor has temporary exhibits – for instance, in October 2010, an exhibit displayed African dolls and masks.
Other remains include the palace, a watchtower, and a massive half-circle cannon bastion (the ‘clock’ bastion). As a bonus, the castle provides a stunning and scenic view of the whole town and its surrounding landscape.
Tours of Bebek’s Tower are given in Slovak or Hungarian. After the tour, visitors are free to wander about the ruins via an instructive path which runs around the castle. Access to the castle is via driving to the parking lot by the Municipal Office, then walking around 5 minutes.
Getting to Fil’akovo Castle
From the centre of Fil’akovo, the castle is a simple three minute walk or two minute drive via the Podhradská road.
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