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The medieval castle is currently also the richest picture gallery in Slovakia. Its premises offer visitors a large collection of ancient art from the 14th to the 19th century. The halls of the ground floor and the first floor are an exhibition space with many art types, themes and styles.

Zvolen Castle

The medieval castle is currently also the richest picture gallery in Slovakia. Its premises offer visitors a large collection of ancient art from the 14th to the 19th century. The halls of the ground floor and the first floor are an exhibition space with many art types, themes and styles.

Zvolen Castle was built by the Hungarian King Louis of Anjou in the last third of the 14th century on the site of an older manor. Originally it served as an occasional seat of the court and from 1424 it belonged to the Hungarian queens. It was therefore one of the few Gothic castles designed primarily for comfortable living with minimal strategic or defensive significance - at the time of its creation, it was located in the safe hinterland of Hungary.
The building belongs to the so-called castle castles; the regular rectangular floor plan has four two-story wings grouped around a central courtyard. The palace was divided by a pair of towers on the west side and a chapel, which on the east side exceeded the residential wing. The whole complex was closed by a perimeter wall. The entrance to the castle - facing the city - led through a passage to the courtyard. The ground floor of the castle was used mainly for economic and storage purposes. Living and representational spaces were concentrated on the first floor around the castle chapel.

At the turn of the 15th and 16th centuries, the castle was rebuilt for the first time. At that time, they built a new external fortification with a tower entrance gate and corner bastions, and a painting decoration of the royal hall was also created. In the first half of the 16th century, due to the threat from the Ottoman Empire, the Renaissance reconstruction of the chateau took place. From 1575, a permanent military garrison headed by Zvolen robes was based here. During the reconstruction, the building was added by another two floors with corner turrets and shooting ranges along the entire perimeter of the outer walls and a large shooting range for cannons on the north facade. However, the Turks never conquered Zvolen Castle or the city.
In the first half of the 17th century, a baroque reconstruction took place, during which the representational halls of the 1st floor were rebuilt into several smaller rooms. Other major changes were not made until the second half of the 18th century. Related to them were the reconstruction of a two-storey Gothic chapel, which covered almost all traces of its original medieval appearance.


With the decline of precious metal mining in mining towns and the relocation of county offices to Banská Bystrica (1789), the castle gradually lost its original significance. In 1805, the then owners of the Esterházy sold it to the state and its empty rooms housed a court, a prison and a tobacco warehouse.
Since the Baroque reconstruction, temporary repairs of the chateau were carried out by the Hungarian Monuments Commission in 1894 and 1906. In the years 1957 - 1969, its extensive reconstruction took place and in 1961 it was included in the list of national cultural monuments. Since 1965, the castle has been part of the Slovak National Gallery. The methods of its reconstruction preferred the preservation of the most historically and artistically valuable phases of construction with a focus on the Gothic and Renaissance periods. Thanks to the restoration of the original Gothic gallery, the courtyard acquired its original monumentality. Archaeological finds were also used in its paving by marking the older foundations of the Romanesque church. The castle chapel was not renovated until the 1990s. The exterior and interior were restored to the late Baroque from the second half of the 18th century with the preservation of fragments of Gothic elements in the form of the so-called analytical presentation.


At present, the main palace part houses the SNG expositions and depositories, their focus is on the Picture Gallery - a collection of European paintings of the 16th - 19th centuries. Worship ceremonies of various denominations are regularly held in the chateau chapel. However, the premises also have various temporary functions: the Royal Hall with a coffered ceiling and portraits of monarchs is also a concert hall, the Knight's Hall on the ground floor of the north wing is used for city civic ceremonies.

Additional information

Transport: By foot, By bike, By car, By train, By bus
Parking: Free parking nearby

Accepted payments: Cash
Languages: Slovak

Suitable for: Childrens, Families with childrens, Elderly, Young, Adults
Season: Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter
Updated on: 11.6.2019

Opening hours

Weather

wednesday - sunday:
10:00 - 17:30
Sun
Mon
Tue


Contact

Zvolen Castle
Zvolenský zámok
Námestie SNP 1
960 01  Zvolen
Region: Banskobystrický
District: Zvolen
Area: Pohronie, Podpoľanie
 48.572904, 19.127362

Zvolenský zámok
Námestie SNP 1
960 01  Zvolen

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