Strečno Castle

Unique castle which seems like it outgrew from the rock. The locating as well as the whole construction of the castle is breath-taking. Steep high hills all around, massive river Váh saw into them cutting Low Fatra into two halves. The castle was built as a fortress serving as the entrance to the Žilina basin from the east. It was erected at the end of the 13 th and beginning of the 14 th centuries during the reign of Matúš Čák on the older ground. The findings from the Iron and Roman Ages (Púchov culture) were documented whereas Slavichillfort being the ancestor.

The first reference is from 1316 and the first written evidence comes from 1384 (Comitatus Castri Strechyn). The castle was therefore the seat of Strečno County. Its foundation is assigned to Balassy family. In the 15 th century it was owned by Queen Barbara and afterwards Elizabeth. In 1444 – 1469 years the castle belonged to Pongrácz family from Liptovský Mikuláš altogether with nearby Old Castle. Other owners were e.g. Pavel Kiniži,Ján Zápoľský, Mikuláš and Peter Kostka, Dersfy Family and finally in the 17 th century Count Vessélenyi. His wife Žofia Bosniaková lived in Strečno castle until she died here 35 years old. 45 years after her death her body was found undecayed and many started to consider her to be saint. Her body was then exhibited in Teplička nad Váhom parish church. Emperror Leopold I (*1640 †1705) ordered to destroy the castle as it served as the residence of Thököly Insurrection rebels. From those times until almost recently the castle has not been reconstructed and it remained as ruins for 300 years. Not until 1978 – 1993 when it succeeded to be partially reconstructed and in 1995 it was open to public. An exposition of Považské Museum is installed inside the castle. The castle offers magnificent views on river Váh Valley. The castle was erected directly over the main road from Žilina to Martin which is naturally the reason to visit it for many domestic as well as foreign tourists.

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