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The castle was built probably in 1253 - 1270 on the site of the old fortified settlement Ivankov's son Ondrej, a participant in the battle of Slaná. The oldest core of the castle was delimited by a fortification of the late Romanesque fortifications, which enclosed a triangular courtyard. On the south side, on the ridge was a prismatic tower with a residential and defensive function. At the end of the 13th century, they added another tower. They then built palaces in the common fortifications between the towers. Matúš Čák got to know Trenčiansky in this form and stood in this way until the 15th century.

Gýmeš Castle

The castle was built probably in 1253 - 1270 on the site of the old fortified settlement Ivankov's son Ondrej, a participant in the battle of Slaná. The oldest core of the castle was delimited by a fortification of the late Romanesque fortifications, which enclosed a triangular courtyard. On the south side, on the ridge was a prismatic tower with a residential and defensive function. At the end of the 13th century, they added another tower. They then built palaces in the common fortifications between the towers. Matúš Čák got to know Trenčiansky in this form and stood in this way until the 15th century.

Originally, in the middle of the 13th century, Gýmeš Castle was not built to such an extent. The big castle was built at a later time by merging or. fortification of several smaller buildings or castles, which were built in close proximity. In the period between the 9th and 13th centuries, there were ten smaller settlements in a place called Pustý Gýmeš, of which one remained, the village of Jelenec. The first written mention of the village comes from 1113, when the village of Gýmeš is listed in the inventory of estates of the Zobor Benedictine monastery.
The property of the Benedictine monastery is addressed in the Zobor Charter. In 1226 the village of Gýmeš was donated by King Andrew II. Ivanek of the Hont-Poznaň family. In 1295, the village consisted of two settlements, Horný and Dolný Gýmeš, which were separated by a forest. The vineyards are already mentioned at this time. Gýmeš Castle was conquered by Matúš Čák Trenčiansky in 1302, he appropriated it and left his commissioner named Detre here. Here, too, historical data varies depending on the source. Allegedly, Ondrej's grandson Štefan Forgáč joined the side of Matúš Čák, for whom the king confiscated his property. Another source states that the king acquired Gýmeš Castle after the death of Matúš Čák. Andrew II with brother Ivan II. they fought against Matúš Čák and in 1312 both fell. In 1312 Matúš Čák was expelled by the royal troops and the castle remained a royal property until 1386. In 1350 King Ludovít Veľký granted the inhabitants of Veľký Gýmeš the right to a weekly market ¬ for their services to the king.


In 1356, King Gýmeš Castle was donated to Queen Mary. At the request of Queen Mary Blazej (resp. Baláž), Forgáč killed in 1386 Mary's son of King Charles the Little of the Anjou family, who ruled for only 39 days. The gift for Blažej, who was the first to use the surname Forgáč, was also a castle with the relevant property from Queen Mary. A figure of a woman - Queen Mary - was added to Hont-Poznań's coat of arms, based on the armales. This is the founder of the branch and the coat of arms of the Forgáč family. This deed of gift mentions only four villages: Veľký and Malý, Horný and Dolný Gýmeš. Another historical source states that Gýmeš was previously owned by Blažej's relatives and Blažej's reward was forty villages. For a long time, Blaž was not happy about the gifts for the murder of his queen Queen Mary. In half a year, his severed head was in Italy with his widow Margita. The dispute over the castle occurred after the aforementioned death of Blažej Forgáč. In 1400, King Sigismund decided that the castle would be owned by his sons Peter and Mikuláš Forgáč. The greed of the castle lords of Gýmeš created a dispute with the church. The property disagreements between the Gýmeš estate and the abbot in St. Benadik were resolved in 1403 by the Gýmeš landowner Mikuláš Forgáč by looting the Požitavské villages.

About the origin of the name of the castle resp. Several theories have been developed in the village of Gýmeš. It is most often stated that the name is formed from the word "gím", which in the older "Hungarian (?)" Meant Jeleň. The Slovak "deer" has the Hungarian equivalent of "szarvas". According to the deer - Jelenec did not speak the name of the village until 1.X.1948. In the folk tradition, the name after the hill with the original name "Smoke" has been preserved, from which the village of Dymeš was later named, later Gýmeš and some centuries later also Gýmeš Castle.
The well-visible Dúň hill has an elevated ridge, where the first wooden castle was, from which smoke signaled imminent danger to the center of the old Slovaks of ancient Nitra. The hill "Smoke" and from it you "smoke" and from the verb by the use of Gyna instead of Dy- that is, by grinding on Gýmeš. These are only rumors based on conjecture, but these may or may not be true. It is interesting, however, that in 1920 Kostolany pod Tríbčom was called Dýmeš Kostolany. Hradisko was also not far from Lysca, from the Hallstatt period of the Hallstatt period, so it will be difficult to identify historical data without archaeological research.

At the beginning of the modern age, the Turks tried several times to conquer Gýmeš Castle. It was not until 1576 that Gýmeš Castle was destroyed by the Turks. The year 1610 was a peasant uprising, because the Forgáč family collected high fees (taxes and increased robots). The uprising was brutally suppressed by the owners of Gýmeš.
The castle was already considerably destroyed. In 1613, Sigismund Forgáč had Gýmeš Castle repaired at great expense. In 1618, when Sigismund was elected palatine, he fought against Prince Gabriel Betlen of Transylvania. He came to avenge him with a large army, plundered his property and set fire to Gýmeš Castle. In 1619, the palatine Forgáč asked the Tekovská county for help in repairing Gýmeš Castle. He repaired, furnished and decorated the castle. In 1663, Gýmeš Castle was conquered by the Turks.


Work on the defensive facilities continued in the 16th century, when they built a large trapezoidal tower and a cylindrical tower at the entrance to the castle. Increased robots, fees and taxes resulted in 1610 in a peasant uprising of subjects, which the dominion was cruelly suppressed. During the restoration of the castle, destroyed by the Turks after the fall of Nové Zámky in the autumn of 1663, they built a new fortification with cannon bastions on the southern, most endangered side. Gýmeš was one of the few castles where construction work took place in the 18th century. The transformation of the Gothic palace into the ancestral crypt of the Forgách family with a chapel dates back to this period. It was not until the middle of the 19th century that the manor left the castle definitively and began to disintegrate.

At the beginning of the 18th century, during the Rákoczi uprising, the owner of Gýmeš Castle, Sigismund II. Forgáč became the commander of Rákoczi's army, for which he got into exile and Gýmeš Castle became the property of the king. Emperor Joseph I sold Gýmeš Castle to the Czech chancellor gr. Ján Vratislav. The castle was bought from him by the Bishop of Rošoň, Pavol Forgáč, who repaired it. He had 4 chapels built on the castle, one of which has been preserved - St. Ignatius. He was the patron saint of the castle and there were festive feasts with a great parade on the anniversary. Priestly robes embroidered with women's hair were used. Below this chapel was the family tomb of the Forgáč family with a large cross made of alabaster. Bishop Pavol had a church and a baroque castle built in the village of Gýmeš in 1720-22. The transfer of the heirs to the manor house was the beginning of the end of Gýmeš Castle.


The Forgáč family moved to the newly built manor house, which was decorated with up to 1756 hunting trophies, which gradually disappeared from the manor house. Only the recently preserved Gýmeš Castle, in 1833, was destroyed by Karol Forgáč by dismantling the roof of the castle and using the truss construction to build a sugar factory in Jelenec. Thus, the castle Gýmeš became a ruin, which is becoming more and more dilapidated.

It is difficult to judge the health of the local, last, passionate old bachelor, Count Karol Forgáč (1825-1911), after whose death 46 mothers applied to the court for a share in the inheritance for their left-handers. Reportedly, there were many more and the novel by Lac Zrubec - Gýmešský hárem presents up to "80 young counties". The heirs did not take care of the castle until they destroyed it themselves. In 1840 the castle began to fall into disrepair and there was no one to repair it. In 1868, the Forgáč family established a mouflon breeding, but in 1883 the mouflon released the herd into the wild.

In 1950, the ruin became state property. Coincidentally, exactly 700 years have passed since the foundation of the castle, when the original owners lost it again. The state entrusted the castle under the administration of the State Forests, which, of course, due to their focus and limited possibilities, could not ensure the rescue of the castle ruins, the constant destruction of which has not been suspended to this day. When comparing historical photographs, it is possible to find out that the palace wings of the inner castle were affected by the largest losses of masonry, not to mention the number of other minor destructions on the remaining parts of the castle complex. Thus, at the turn of 1997/1998, for example, the upper part of the original transit tower in the eastern forecourt collapsed, and other crowns of the masonry of buildings were constantly disrupted, valuable plaster and architectural details disappeared. The walls are gradually absorbed by the greenery, the tall trees obscure the division of the castle and their roots disrupt the buried structures.

One of the few efforts to clean the castle grounds from greenery was the activity of the EkoGýmeš club. In the years 1985-1987, its members cleaned and made accessible some parts of the ruins, concentrated freely distributed machined articles in one place and also cleaned the well under the castle. However, the effectiveness of these works was only temporary due to the absence of further maintenance. For the same reason, the removal of the trunks of the largest trees by the employees of the State Forests in 1999, which took place at the initiative of the Monuments Institute in Nitra, did not bring a more permanent result. As if it was not enough that this ruined documentary, which has not yet been documented and examined in detail, is disappearing faster and faster before our eyes, modern "treasure robbers" are helping to liquidate it. In an effort to satisfy personal goals, they disrupt the terrain and masonry, threatening the stability of the castle and thus depriving it of a unique informative value. And so the future of this high-value monument depends on swift action to ensure the stability of the masonry in a state of disrepair and to awaken the active public interest in saving our declining cultural heritage.

Today, the civic association Castrum Ghymes, which has been operating at Gýmeš Castle since November 2011, is undergoing renovation. The association's activities focus on working with volunteers or students of archeology, history, or architecture, of course under the guidance of experts and the KPÚ in Nitra. They implement them during personal time off, on weekends or during holidays.

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, Cyclists, Young, Adults
Season: Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter
Updated on: 11.6.2019
Source: Hrad Gýmeš

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Gýmeš Castle
Hrad Gýmeš
951 73  Jelenec
Region: Nitriansky
District: Nitra
Area: Ponitrie
 48.411632, 18.22245

Hrad Gýmeš
951 73  Jelenec

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