One of the most beautiful and grand castles to be found in Slovakia is the Spiš Castle, the largest castle compound in Central Europe. Spiš Castle was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1993.
The castle was started at the beginning of the 12th century and It was the political, administrative, economic and cultural centre of the Kingdom of Hungary. The castle started as a Romanesque stone castle with fortifications. Later on, it had a Romanesque palace and a three-nave Romanesque-Gothic basilica added to its compound. Additions continued to be made to the structure over centuries until the 18th century when its owners, the Csaky family, abandoned the castle saying it was not comfortable enough. Unfortunately, a fire destroyed the castle in 1780, and it fell into ruins. Nowadays, the castle has been refurbished and it is open to visitors. There are guided tours informing visitors about the history of the castle and some medieval arms and objects are exhibited here.
Around the castle, visitors can go for walks, visit the village of Spišské Podhradie, or stop by the Kapitula monastery – a religious place and an education centre for priests. If visitors prefer to go for a walk inside the castle, there is plenty of space to be explored. Visitors can have a picnic with the famous rodents that live in the fields of the castle, called “sysle” in Slovak, or marmot in English.