Bojnice Castle (pronounced boyniseh), or Bojnický zámok, as it is known in the Slovak tongue, is a castle in central Slovakia which dates back to the 12th Century CE. It began life as a wooden fort, was rebuilt in stone in the 13th Century, and was enlarged in the 16th Century.
Then, in 1888, whilst in possession of Count János Ferenc Pálffy, one of the richest people in the Kingdom of Hungary – the lands of Slovakia were part of Upper Hungary at the time – Bojnice Castle was remodelled in Romantic fashion, with influences from castles the Count had observed whilst vacationing through the Loire Valley, France.
In 1939 Bojnice Castle was purchased by Jan Baťa, brother of Tomáš Baťa, the Czech cobbler who founded the shoe manufacturing giant, Bata.
The castle was confiscated from the Baťa family in 1945 by the Czechoslovakian government. Today it is part of the Slovak National Museum.
Locals insist Bojnice Castle was the inspiration for Sleeping Beauty’s Castle in Disneyland (Disney insist that Neuschwanstein Castle, in Southwest Bavaria, Germany, was the original source of inspiration). Either way, the Slovakians got themselves one Romantic looking castle, and they have Count János Ferenc Pálffy to thank for it.
Boynice Castle is an easy three to four kilometre walk from the bus and train station in the neighbouring town of Prievidza.