Sivý Kameň (Graystone)

Remains of the castle ruins on the Andesite loaf above the village of Podhradie, near Lehota pod Vtáčnikom near Prievidza, in the peripheral zone of the Vtáčnik mountain range, in contact with the Ciglian foothills of the Upper Nitra basin

castle ruin / 609 m


Podhradie, Trenčín county

N48° 41' 09.49",  E18° 38' 21.08"

Kaseleukeu, Keslymkw, Keselenkw, Kesseloko, Keselökö

How to get there - Sivý Kameň (Graystone)

Remains of Sivý Kameň castle are located directly in the village Podhradie, near Prievidza and Lehota pod Vtáčnikom. We come to the end of the village, where there is a small parking lot directly under the castle. From there, in a few minutes, we can easily reach the top of the andesite hill through serpentines, where the remains of the castle are located.

time < 5 min
difficulty Parking parking

Nearest castles (direct line):
Zemianske Kostoľany - 8.3 km, Bojnický zámok - 11.4 km, Chalmová - 11.8 km, Čereňany - 12.3 km, Diviacka Nová Ves - 12.9 km, Dlžín - 16.5 km, Veľké Uherce - 17.1 km, Hliník nad Hronom - 19.1 km, Šimonovany - 19.2 km, Revište - 19.3 km, Uhrovec - 19.7 km, Žiar nad Hronom - 19.9 km

Interior and exterior

At present, almost nothing remains of the castle. We can only see very modest remnants of the castle, indicating at least its size. The oldest and probably the only residential part consisted of a four-sided tower and a palace, which were modified in the 16th century.

The perimeter walls of the prismatic tower of the inner castle were also devastated and only the remains of the masonry were preserved from the third main gate. It is worth thinking about the fact that the already collapsed castle was dismantled by the local population for building materials, as evidenced by the small buildings in the village.

Sivý Kameň (Graystone) - ground plan

Ground plan - Sivý Kameň (Graystone)

Legend to the ground plan:
1 - upper castle, 2 - middle castle, 3 - horseshoe-shaped bastion, 4 - lower castle, 5 - tower-shaped entrance gate, 6 - pre-gate



  • Sivý Kameň (Graystone)-Pohľad na zvyšky hradu
  • Sivý Kameň (Graystone)-Pohľad na zvyšky hradu
  • Sivý Kameň (Graystone)-Pohľad na zvyšky hradu
  • Sivý Kameň (Graystone)-Pohľad na zvyšky hradu
  • Sivý Kameň (Graystone)-Pohľad na zvyšky hradu
  • Sivý Kameň (Graystone)-Pohľad na zvyšky hradu

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Historical photographs

  • Sivý Kameň (Graystone)-1844
  • Sivý Kameň (Graystone)-história
  • Sivý Kameň (Graystone)-história
  • Sivý Kameň (Graystone)-kresba hradu

If the source is not mentioned, the photos come from deltiologists and users who sent or lent them to us, as well as from freely available sources, social networks and archives.

Photos of visitors

  • Sivý Kameň (Graystone)-s pozdravom od priateľov 2014 - Poslal: Luba Bugošová
  • Sivý Kameň (Graystone)-foto 2014 - Poslal: Luba Bugošová
  • Sivý Kameň (Graystone)-foto 2017 - Mária Víziková
  • Sivý Kameň (Graystone)-foto 2017 - Mária Víziková

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History and personalities

Sivý Kameň Castle was built shortly before 1350 as a royal castle. The construction of the castle was required by the conditions that occurred after the death of Matúš Čák (1321). After the disintegration of the Oslian and Prievidza dominions, this was caused by the consequences of the partial disintegration of royal property in Upper Nitra. Since there was no other castle than Bojnice, there was a need to establish a new administrative center oriented in the southern part. That was the reason to build the Sivý Kameň Castle. It was named after the gray color of the stone from which it was built (Hungarian kese - gray, keselo - a special shade of gray). In some documentary materials from the 18th century, the name Orlí Kameň is also mentioned, which was probably created by incorrect translation or replacement of the Hungarian keselyu - the vulture - eagle.

From a document from 1352 we learn that the administration of the castle was entrusted to Ban Gilet and his sons, who used the title "castellany de Bajmocz et Kesseloko" and administered both castle estates. After the Gilet family, King Louis I entrusted the care of both castles to the Hungarian palatine Ladislav Opolský. The record from 1388 says that on the order of King Sigismund, Ladislav Kakaš and Ján Domonkoš became the owners of the Sivý Kameň castle. But already in 1395 he donated it together with Bojnice to the palatine Leustach of Jelšava. After his death, Bojnice and Sivý Kameň inherited his sons Juraj and Peter. However, when Juraj died without descendants in 1430, the castles fell back to the crown. In 1431, the king donated the Sivý Kameň Castle to Gregor Majthényi and his heirs. Since then, the castle and the manor have remained in the permanent possession of the Majthényi family. It also included the serf villages of Podhradie, Sebedražie, Nováky, Horná Ves, Veľká Lehota, Malá Lehota, Bystričany and Čereňany.

In an effort to accelerate the country's economic development, King Sigismund granted various privileges to cities and nobles in order to take better care of their own and their royal property. He also stimulated greater interest in resettling villages. From documents from the years 1458 and 1474 issued by Gregor and Žigmund Majthényi, we learn that they confirm the old Šoltý privileges granted by King Sigismund. The Majthényi were interested in making the villages of their estates prosper. In part, therefore, they exempted settlers from taxes and certain services. From the beginning of the 16th century, Upper Nitra had to face frequent Turkish looting.

A fire in 1524 severely damaged the castle, which caused considerable problems for the financially weak Majthényi. It was also one of the reasons that members of the landowning family began to settle in Nováky and build a new aristocratic residence. At the beginning of the 1640s, the Sivokamen estate was raided by the robber knights Ján and Rafael Podmanický on the pretext that they were defending Ján Zápoľský's claims to the Hungarian throne. However, they did not manage to conquer the castle, so they looted and burned the serf villages in the area. As the strategic and defensive significance of the castle decreased during this period, Nováky gradually became the administrative center of the manor. The end of the 16th and the beginning of the 17th century were marked by the misery and difficulties caused by the Turkish-Tatar invasions and the rise of various bandits. The Majthényi standing faithfully to the emperor took it full. In 1626, Gabriel Bethlen's rebels attacked the castle and other Majthényi estates and looted them thoroughly. The four Majthényi were taken to their camp. The castle no longer withstood this onslaught. The first decade of the 18th century brought further hardships to the castle in the form of Rákoczi's military actions, during which the remains of the castle were plundered. Thus, the formerly proud center of the manor gradually became a ruin, which served only as a prison for the offenders, or as a warehouse for materials. The castle, which was only a burden for the Majthényi family, was gradually abandoned. The majority of the ruins were dismantled in a relatively short time by the inhabitants of Podhradie and nearby villages for construction purposes.

Myths and Legends

The rumor says

During the invasion of Bethlen's rebels into the Sivokamen estate in 1626, four members of the Majthényi family were taken prisoner. Meanwhile, the castle was invaded by the Prievidžans, who, if robbed, were said to cause more damage than the army itself.

A legend about beautiful Julia and her beloved Blažej

Young Blažej fought against the Turks and saved the life of King Sigismund, which brought him great glory and the king's favor. The king brought his young rescuer to the castle and introduced him to his wife Barbora. When she saw the tall young man, she burned with sinful love for him. However, Blažej only longed for his July. The queen imprisoned him in the castle. She was a cruel woman who always achieved what she set out to do. Poor Julia was waiting for her beloved in vain. He was replaced by a letter full of bitterness and sorrow. The troubled Julia entered the monastery and Blažej lived in the castle as a hermit. In the next battle against the Turks, Blažej was in the front row and defeated many enemies. However, he also found his grave on the battlefield.

A legend about Janček

Janček was the commander of retirees and deserters who looted the region. As an experienced soldier, he and his group dared to play Sivý Kameň. The staff defended the castle and captured a few attackers. The castle lord ordered them executed, but his daughter - the beautiful Uliša - was caught by one of the convicts just before the sentence was carried out. She asked for mercy for Janček. She met in him a boy who saved her life as a child from Turkish soldiers. The lord of the castle finally granted him pardon. The young lovers survived a passionate night, but in the morning Janček was gone. Ulička jumped on the quick daddy and galloped after her sweetheart. She saw him on a high rock. When the fugitive noticed her, fearing that she would fall off a rock, he decided to go to meet her. He forgot that he was above the abyss and collapsed. The alley remained faithful to him until his death. She never married and called the rock Janček.

Useful information

The ruins are freely accessible

Used sources and literature: PLAČEK M., BÓNA M., Encyklopédia slovenských hradov. Bratislava : SLOVART 2007, KRIŽANOVÁ E.,PUŠKÁROVÁ B. Hrady,zámky a kaštiele na Slovensku. Bratislava : Šport 1990, WEB:,,,,, Archív