These articles were published in the Spectacular Slovakia travel guide, published annually by The Slovak Spectator since 1996. The latest editions can be obtained from our online shop.



Beckov

Cliff ruins

    
 
 photo: Ján Svrček

Passengers travelling east on the main Bratislava-Košice train line are treated to an amazing view about 90 minutes into their journey: the Beckov castle ruins perched high atop a 100-metre cliff.

The first fortification in Beckov was built in the 12th century, and it grew into a mighty castle guarding the border between the Bohemian and Hungarian kingdoms. Unshakeable for centuries, it withstood an invasion by the Turks in 1599. But then in 1729 it was burnt down and has remained in ruins since.

Hovering high above visitors, the ruins remain impressive. Smooth stone walls remarkably intact shoot up from the surrounding natural stone of nearly identical colour.

Enter the ruin through a wrought iron gate that leads to a sweeping courtyard. Once inside, you’re left with the option all castle ruins offer: exploration. At Beckov, there are dungeons, derelict drawbridges, rocky stairways, ancient windows, and myriad other sites.

Duck in to the museum below the castle to see a model of what Beckov looked like before flames got the better of it. In the town below, there is a baroque church and a monastery built in the 17th century. The Jewish cemetery is also worth a look, with tombstones dated as early as 1739.

- Chris Togneri


These articles and related information were published in Spectacular Slovakia 2002.

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