Bojnice Castle, Slovakia – medieval castle with a Romantic skin

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.

Bojnice Castle, Slovakia

Photo credit: Benjamin White

Bojnice Castle in modern times

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.

Bojnice Castle, Slovakia

Photo credit: Benjamin White

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.

Practical Information

Bojnice Castle is an easy three to four kilometre walk from the bus and train station in the neighbouring town of Prievidza.

Read more about Bojnice Castle here.

More on Slovakia:

Spiš Castle – where they filmed Dragonheart

Trenčín – defender of the White Carpathians

Bratislava – the central-ist of Central European capitals

My favourite castles:

The Castles of Gondar, Ethiopia

Babak Castle, Iran – windswept mountaintop stronghold of Azeri rebel leader

Kumamoto Castle, Japan

Kronborg Castle, Denmark – the house of Hamlet

Bahla Fort, Oman – labyrinthine 13th Century mud-brick castle

Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany – it’s Sleeping Beauty’s Castle in the flesh

Posts on Central Europe:


Český Krumlov, Czechia – too beautiful to be true?


Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany – it’s Sleeping Beauty’s Castle in the flesh


Vaduz, Liechtenstein – the micro-state capital


A winter hike to Morskie Oko, Poland

Zakopane, Poland – what to do if snowed in for three days

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