About Spis Castle
Occupying a hill site inhabited since before 5000BC, Spis Castle (Spišský hrad) is said to be Slovakia’s most famous castle ruin and is now among the largest castle complexes on the continent, covering over 4 hectares.
Whilst a first incarnation Spis Castle was begun in the 12th century, this collapsed due to tectonic shifts. It was thus in the early 13th century that the Spis Castle we see today has its roots, built in anticipation of Tatar incursions.
Over the next few hundred years, Hungarian noble families controlled the castle, converting it from a fortress into a palatial home. All of these changes have meant that Spis Castle is endowed with a wealth of architectural influences, including Romanesque and Gothic as well as structures from a variety of time periods. For example, many of the existing buildings were constructed during the 15th century.
Eventually abandoned and much of it destroyed by a fire in 1780, the remains of Spis Castle were declared a National Cultural Monument in 1961 and a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1993.