Trencin Castle - History and Facts | History Hit

Trencin Castle

Trencin, Region of Trencin, Slovakia

Trencin Castle was the main seat of aristocrat Matus Cak, Lord of the Vah and the Tatras.

Peta Stamper

16 Jul 2021
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About Trencin Castle

Trencin Castle (Trenciansky hrad) is a dramatic cliff-top castle above the Vah River, not far from the Slovakian capital Bratislava, which held royal status from the 11th century. It was also at this time that the main current castle was built which is today a protected National Cultural Monument of Slovakia.

Trencin Castle history

The first stone buildings on the site date from the Romanesque period in the 13th century and included a rotunda. However, the castle’s history goes back to the Roman Empire, testified to by an inscription telling the victory of the second legion at Laugaricio (Trencin in Latin) in 179 AD.

The most famous master of the castle was Matus Cak (also given as Csak, the Hungarian spelling), a nobleman with considerable holdings in western Slovakia in the late 13th and early 14th centuries, known as Lord of the Vah and the Tatras. Matus gave his name to the Gothic tower which dominated the surrounding landscape.

Trencin Castle and the town were heavily damaged by fire in the late 18th century, and in 1905 the castle was donated to the city.

Trencin Castle today

The long tour takes visitors through three of the palaces of Trencin Castle and includes galleries of art collected by the castle’s owners and portraits of the family members, arms and armour, and ruins of the oldest tower on the site and skeletons found there. Visitors must join a tour to see the castle, and English-speaking guides are available.

During the summer months there are activities on the castle grounds, such as archery and commemorative coin striking. Trencin Castle also hosts evening visits for special occasions. On the cliff face below the castle is a Roman inscription dating from 179 AD. The Hotel Tatra was built in front of the cliff, with a window allowing visitors to see the inscription.

Getting to Trencin Castle

You cannot fail to miss Trencin Castle towering over the old town square and Vag river valley. By car, the E75 highway from Bratislava takes you just outside the town and several buses link with nearby smaller towns. Trencin train station is also a main stop along the main line from Bratislava to Zilina.

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