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The castle entered written history in the work Gesta Hungarorum (Acts of the Hungarians), completed in the early 13th century. The spring speaks of a large fortress, allegedly called Boršov Zvolen. He connects the foundation of the castle with the legendary Duke Borš, which, however, cannot be confirmed from other sources. The castle could have been built in the 12th century at the same time as the territorial administrative unit of the Zvolen Committee. The seat appears in other sources under the fixed name Zvolen, or Zvolenský hrad.

abandoned castle

The castle entered written history in the work Gesta Hungarorum (Acts of the Hungarians), completed in the early 13th century. The spring speaks of a large fortress, allegedly called Boršov Zvolen. He connects the foundation of the castle with the legendary Duke Borš, which, however, cannot be confirmed from other sources. The castle could have been built in the 12th century at the same time as the territorial administrative unit of the Zvolen Committee. The seat appears in other sources under the fixed name Zvolen, or Zvolenský hrad.

After the construction of the younger Zvolen chateau, the springs gradually began to use the name Old Castle. The current name Pustý hrad can be found from the end of the 18th century.
It cannot be ruled out that during the invasion of Hungary in the years 1241 - 1242, the Tatars (Mongols) reached as far as Zvolen. We have no news about the fate of the town and the castle at that time. However, we know that in 1243 King Belo IV. restored Zvolen the privileges that the city lost during the Tartar invasion. The castle was a popular place for the monarch's residence. The wedding of Bel's daughter Constance and Prince Lev of Galicia was even held in Zvolen.
Disarmament and feudal anarchy in the last quarter of the 13th century. they did not bypass Zvolen Castle either. Its administrator was Demeter, a long-time mayor of Zvolen. He actively participated in the conflicts between rival aristocratic families, but we also associate his name with the minting of counterfeit coins at Zvolen Castle. As a result of Demeter's actions, the castle was occupied by the royal army, but it was also controlled by oligarch Matúš Čák.

After the conditions calmed down, the castle remained the seat of the Zvolen county. It was administered by Demeter's nephew Donč, who was involved in implementing economic and territorial reforms. The area covered by the castle was reduced in the 1930s by the division of the committee and the formation of the Zvolen capital. The new seat of the rulers during their stays in Zvolen became a castle (Gothic castle) built in the vicinity of the city. The old castle continued to serve officials, soldiers and craftsmen.

The importance of the castle increased again in the middle of the 15th century. Elected with the adjacent region at that time was controlled by the Czech commander Ján Jiskra, representing in Hungary the rights of the widowed Queen Elizabeth. During the fighting between the opposing parties, Jiskrov was attacked by the biggest rival Ján Hunyadi (Huňady) and Zvolen. He attacked the seat of Ján Jiskra in 1447 and 1451. However, we do not know whether he conquered a castle or a chateau. The more easily accessible city was burned down.


War events and demanding maintenance probably contributed to the launch of the old Zvolen Castle at the end of the Middle Ages. The partial restoration of one of the functions of the castle took place at a time of Ottoman threat. The old castle was used to observe the surroundings and send warning signals in front of enemy troops. The presence of the patrol at the castle was supported by the vartovka, a newly built watchtower. Its construction was decided in 1564.

After the end of the Ottoman invasions in the 17th century, the castle lost its strategic importance. In the social consciousness, he was replaced by rumors. The most famous is the legend of the cursed Barat. According to a story recorded in the 19th century, the treasures at Desert Castle were allegedly guarded by a cursed monk with a horse's hooves instead of a foot. The people who wandered into the castle were mortally frightened. He appeared to them as a hermit, or even as an animal.


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: 13.6.2019
Source: Pustý hrad

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abandoned castle
Pustý hrad
960 01  Zvolen
Region: Banskobystrický
District: Zvolen
Area: Pohronie, Podpoľanie
 48.555133, 19.108122

Pustý hrad
960 01  Zvolen

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