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Bojnice Castle

Bojnice Castle is the most famous castle of Slovakia. It is situated in Bojnice, a town 167 km northeast of Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia.

The Bojnice castle was first mentioned in the 12th century and since then it was owned by Matthias Corvinus, the Thurzo family or the Pallfy family amongst others.

Currently the castle hosts a museum and is a major tourist attraction of Slovakia. The castle is also the scene of the annual International Festival of Ghosts and Spirits.

Interior of Bojnice Castle

There is a room of arms in one tower, complete with all sorts of medieval tools of destruction - swords, halberds, maces, shining suits of armour.

In one room, the ornately carved ceiling glitters with pressed gold. A lustrous oil portrait of Jan Pallfy occupies the centre panel of that ceiling. Another room is covered in hand-painted Turkish tiles, with huge Chinese vases sitting on either side of the porcelain mantlepiece.

The legend of the black lady

The Black Lady and her husband, the lord of the castle, were a happy, successful couple. The lord was a military leader with a record of many battlefield victories. She was known for her virtue. Then, some relatives came to stay. They soon became envious of the Black Lady and her husband. Beautiful, young, rich - they had it all.

So they told the lord that while he was out waging war, his wife was having fun with other knights. He was enraged. He devised a simple test of her virtue. She had to jump from the castle's highest tower into the moat with their newborn child. If she lived, she was innocent. The people of the village gathered to see if the lord of the castle would change his mind.

The Black Lady jumped with her child without hesitation, because she knew she was innocent. Before they hit the water, they suddenly floated upand away,  proving her innocence. Then the crowd heard a noise: It was the relatives, going up in a puff of smoke. And from that time on, she has wandered the halls and stairs of the castle, wearing black, or sometimes appearing only as a strange shadow.

The story of Petr Poky

Poky was the boss of all the castle's servants. Near Bojnice Hrad (one of many Slovak words for castle) are some natural mineral springs. To this day, people go to the spas at Bojnice for their health.

In Poky's day, the spas were open and free to the public, peasants and royalty alike. But Poky was a profiteer. He built a rampart around the spa and began charging - and pocketing - an entrance fee.

One day an old man came to the spa. He was a poor sage. When Poky's guards told the old man he had to pay, he grew angry. The guards called Poky, who set dogs on him. As the man was driven away, he screamed that he would curse Poky - that all his gold pieces would turn to black stones and that he would be executed for his evil.

As it happened, the old man's curse came to pass. The lord of the castle learned of Poky's operation and had him executed. There is a historical record of a man named Petr Poky being drawn and quartered in 1496.

Bojnice Castle Visitor Information

Opening Times

  • From the 1st of May to the 30th of September the Bojnice Castle is open between 9:00 to 17:00
  • From the 1st of October to the 30th of April the castle open between 10:00 to 15:00

Ticket Info and Tours

  • A ticket for an adult costs 5.70 euro, for children aged 6 – 15 it is 2.90 euro and for children between 3 and 6 years the entrance fee is 0.70 euro.
  • A night tour is also available for groups above 15 persons, and the entrance fee in that case is 6.70 euro.

Bojnice Castle Map&Location

Address: Zámok a okolie 1, 972 01 Bojnice, Slovakia. Get help with directions using the map provided bellow:

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Bojnice Castle Photos

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Bojnice Castle - Photo Source: flickr
Bojnice Castle © Miroslav Petrasko
Bojnice Castle © R Sears
Bojnice Castle © Tomas
Bojnice Castle © R Sears
Bojnice Castle © Viktor Vrab
Passaje to Bojnice Castle © Alejandro