Kežmarok Castle

Eastern Slovakia

Kežmarok’s crowning attraction is its castle, a prettily crenellated compound that dates to the 15th century. Squatting at the northern end of pedestrianised Hlavné nám, the castle grounds are freely open for photo ops but the interior is accessible only by 80-minute guided tour (usually in Slovak, beginning on the hour).

First appearing in written history in 1463, the castle's most famous residents were four generations of the noble Thököly clan, whose lavish lifestyle is illustrated by the Hungarian-style furnishings and weapons on display. The western European Renaissance flourishes are down to the Italian stonemasons who were brought to Kežmarok to build it.

On the tour you'll learn about guilds and tragic noblewomen imprisoned in the castle's tower (and enjoy views of the High Tatras from the very same tower). Leaflets in various languages are available.

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