Topoľčany castle

The ruins of the castle, which rises directly above the village Podhradie on a partially wooded hill. Dolomite castle brough is part of the eastern part of the Považský Inovec geomorphological complex (sub-unit Nízky Inovec)

castle ruin / 485 m



Podhradie okr. Topoľčany, Nitra county

N48° 39' 29.83",  E18° 02' 56.93"

Nagytapolcsány vára

How to get there - Topoľčany castle

Topoľčiansky castle is located in the village Podhradie near the recreation center Duchonka, near Topoľčiany. By car we get through the surrounding villages and alleys directly to Podhradie. After a relatively difficult climb through the streets of the village, we ascend to the church, which is located below the castle. There is a small parking lot, from where we can walk on a narrow asphalt road next to the church. Soon the asphalt road will turn into a dirt road. The climb is relatively tough, but it is short.

time 10 min profile +47m/-6m
difficulty Parking parking

Surrounding castles (direct line):

Tematín - 9.1 km, Lúka - 12.4 km, Nitrianska Blatnica - 12.8 km, Hajná Nová Ves - 13.8 km, Moravany nad Váhom - 15 km, Bošany - 17 km, Horné Obdokovce - 18.1 km, Beckov - 18.4 km, Žabokreky nad Nitrou - 19.1 km

Interior and exterior

The characteristic and main parts of the castle have been preserved to this day - a prismatic stepped tower, the walls of the upper castle (there are also foundations of the palace and other buildings), which created an elliptical courtyard, and the walls of the first fortress. The castle is still entered from the east and west, in places where the original gates of the first pre-castle from the 16th century were. The other east-facing bailey, for the most part, no longer stands, but is well identifiable in the field.

Since 1999, the castle has been partially conserved and has been cleaned of the woody plants. In the interior of the best preserved prismatic tower was created a small exhibition on the history of the castle.

Topoľčany castle - pôdorys

Ground plan - Topoľčany castle

Legend to the ground plan:
1 - residential refuge tower, 2 - early Gothic wall, 3 - palace, 4 - chapel, 5 - residential buildings, 6 - load-bearing pillar, 7 - park wall, 8 - first fort, 9 - polygonal bastion, 10 - cannon bastions, 11 - mill, 12 - farm buildings, 13 - fortification with guards, 14 - second fortification



  • Topoľčany castle-Pohľad na objekt
  • Topoľčany castle-Pohľad na objekt
  • Topoľčany castle-Pohľad na objekt
  • Topoľčany castle-Pohľad na objekt
  • Topoľčany castle-Pohľad na objekt
  • Topoľčany castle-Pohľad na objekt
  • Topoľčany castle-Pohľad na objekt
  • Topoľčany castle-Pohľad na objekt
  • Topoľčany castle-Pohľad na objekt
  • Topoľčany castle-Pohľad na objekt
  • Topoľčany castle-Pohľad na objekt
  • Topoľčany castle-Pohľad na objekt
  • Topoľčany castle-Pohľad na objekt
  • Topoľčany castle-Pohľad na objekt
  • Topoľčany castle-Pohľad na objekt

Unless stated differently, the photographs are subject to the copyright of

Historical photographs

  • Topoľčany castle-1972
  • Topoľčany castle-1972
  • Topoľčany castle-1907
  • Topoľčany castle-kresba

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

  • Topoľčany castle-1998 - Poslal: Rene
  • Topoľčany castle-1998 - Poslal: Rene
  • Topoľčany castle-1998 - Poslal: Rene

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History and personalities

The oldest written mention dates from 1235, where it is listed as a royal property. The origin of the castle, which is today known as Topoľčiansky Castle, is associated with the aristocratic Čákovci family, which became the owner of the Topoľčany estate around 1260. The donation of property was also associated with obligations, which included the construction of castles to protect the kingdom. Historians assume that the castle was built by Matúš Čák Trenčiansky, sometime in the early 14th century. Since the Topoľčany estate was situated in the valley of the Nitra river, a suitable place for the construction of the castle as the center of the estate and at the same time as a fortified point was found on its edge. The place was a dolomite dome above the settlement of Hrnovce, from which the later developed village of Podhradie. An important factor in choosing the place was the fact that there was a good view of the valley of the river Nitra and a visual connection with the castle Uhrovec, the castle on Michal's hill above the Kolačno village, with Topoľčany itself and also with the castle Gýmeš in the Tríbeč mountains.

The oldest part of Topoľčiansky Castle was the Gothic upper castle, which consisted of a residential prismatic tower and a perimeter wall. Around the perimeter wall, there was a massive moat dug into the rock from the outside. This oldest construction phase dates back to the first half of the 14th century and was most probably initiated by Matúš Čák. In 1321, after the death of Matúš Čák, the castle became the property of the king.

In the period from 1389 to 1430, the castle belonged to the Széchényi family. Around 1432, the division of the Topoľčiansky castle estate into two halves is assumed. The town of Topoľčany and its surroundings were subject to the Hussites, and the castle itself with nearby villages was managed by the castellan of the original owner, Ladislav of Sečany. After the Hussites left Topoľčany, in 1443, the royal treasurer Michal Országh became the owner of "their" half of the Topoľčany castle estate. Since Ladislav of Sečany had no male descendants, he bequeathed his half of the estate of the manor to his daughter Hedvige and her husband Albert of Lučenec (Lossonczy). The estate of Topoľčany remained divided between the Országh and Lossonczy family until the end of the 16th century. In the turbulent and rich 16th-century battle with the Turks, the owners expanded the castle by the first fort with a pair of opposite entrance gates. The center of the southern wall was secured by a pentagonal artillery bastion. In addition, the walls were equipped with a brick walkway and crevice shooting ranges. During the second half of the 16th century, the upper castle was also modernized, its walls were raised and equipped with shooting ranges for hooks and light cannons. Another extensive reconstruction at the end of the 16th century was organized by the new owner of the castle estate, the royal tavern and later Hungarian palatine Žigmund Forgách, who was the third husband of Anna Lossonczy. The castle with the manor received a special donation from Emperor Rudolf II. in 1595, which also brought together the divided manor of Topoľčany. The Forgách family owned it until the beginning of the 18th century. Sigismund expanded the living quarters of the castle, built new farm buildings in the forecourt and buildings for guards were erected above its gates.

After the defeat of the Francis II. uprising Rákóczi's royal chamber confiscated the damaged castle and the entire Topoľčianske estate to Šimon Forgách. Since then, the castle has been abandoned, but it has been maintained, as the castle Chapel of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary stood in its area. It served the faithful from Podhradie until the end of the 18th century, because no church had been built in the village until then. In 1714, the Topoľčany castle estate was acquired by Peter Berényi. The last owners of the castle were the Stummer family, who moved to a representative spacious manor house in Tovarníky in the middle of the 18th century. At the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, Baron Augustín Stummer had the crumbling castle partially preserved and romanticized it. The repairs most affected the appearance of the tower, which they slightly increased and completed with two stepped gables of the gable roof, thus acquiring its unique characteristic silhouette. There is a record in the municipal chronicle of Podhradie that the Stummer family last repaired the castle in 1925. In November 1994, the film Elf was directed in the castle courtyard under the direction of director Ľudovít Kocka. In June 1999, a strong storm with the wind caused the collapse of the eastern facade of the palace on the upper castle, which had been destroyed. In the same year, conservation work was started.

Myths and Legends

Bold man Turda

When the Hussites besieged Topoľčiansky Castle, they wanted its defenders to starve. However, under the guidance of the young man Turda, they dug an escape corridor during the day and night. This saved many people´s lives and provided food into the castle. When the enemies saw what had happened , they left enraged. The news of the bold and wise Turd, who invented the survival plan , got into the ears of the king himself, and praised the hero with a castle, which he defended so bravely.

A knight and a dragon

The castle was once ruled by a heartless and cruel knight with a dragon in his coat of arms. When the Turks invaded the country, the knight allied with them and plundered the surrounding villages. One day the knight left the castle again, looting with the Turks. The sky darkened and a fiery ribbon shot out of the cloud. It looked like a dragon knight from the coat of arms and hit a rider dressed in iron. He fell helplessly to the ground after being struck by a dragon lightning and was dead on the spot. It was the retribution of heaven for the atrocities that the villain inflicted on innocent people who, unlike him, protected the country from the Turks.

Useful information

The ruin is freely accessible, but in limited time.
More info

Used sources and literature: KOLLÁR D., NEŠPOR J., HRADY najkrajšie zrúcaniny. Bratislava : DAJAMA 2007, PLAČEK M., BÓNA M., Encyklopédia slovenských hradov. Bratislava : SLOVART 2007, WEB:,, Archív