Thursday’s Special: Traces of the Past 02

Standing on a 200 m high dolomite rock at the elevation of 634 m in the Spiš region of Slovakia Spiš castle (Spišský hrad) is one of the biggest European castles whose land area covers 41,426 m².

First built in the 12th century in Romanesque style at the site of an earlier hrad (hrad is Slovakian word for castle), Spiš Castle was the political, administrative, economic and cultural centre of Szepes County of the Kingdom of Hungary until 1464. In the 13th century a two-story Romanesque palace and a three-nave Romanesque-Gothic basilica were added, and in the 14th century a second extramural settlement was built which doubled the castle area. In the 15th century while still in the possession of the Kings of Hungary the castle was entirely rebuilt and a late Gothic chapel was constructed. Three family clans took possession of the castle afterwards; the first being the Zápolya family (until 1528), which is really Zapolja family from Požega County of Croatia (imagine my surprise when I found that it had been once owned by a Croatian family), then by the Thurzó family (1531–1635), and the Csáky family (1638–1945). In 1945 the castle came into possession of the state of Czechoslovakia and as of 1993 after the split between the Czech Republic and Slovakia the castle’s owner is the state of Slovakia.

In 1780 the castle burned down. There are several theories about its unfortunate destiny that led to its abandonment. One of them says that the Csáky family purposely burned it down to reduce taxes, another theory says that it was struck by lightning, and some guesses are that some soldiers there were making moonshine and managed to burn the castle.

Whatever the case, after the fire, the castle was abandoned and gradually fell into dilapidation.




This is the second in the series of posts themed “Traces of the past”. In this series I am posting photos of structures belonging to different periods and countries. You are invited to join me and to interpret the theme as freely as you want. This challenge will appear again in August, and every other month after that. Waiting for your entries I wish you a glorious Thursday…





Don’t forget to click on the titles bellow to see participating posts:

Værnes Church

Loveland Feed & Grain

My daughter’s yard in photos

An Old Barn


The Kaiwharawhara Magazine building

Skrik by Edvard Munch 

Les Beaux en Provence

The Leaning Tower of Bridgnorth

Capella d’en Marcús

A Mermaid in a Church?

A view of Colosseum

St. Raphael’s Ruins

Exploring the convict past

Victorian Industrial Past

The Irresistible Lure of Venice

Gallorus Oratory

Next Stop

The Twin Fishes of Ayodhya

Finchale Priory


117 Comments on “Thursday’s Special: Traces of the Past 02

  1. Hola Paula. Excellent theme: Traces of the past.
    (I see arson was already a “technique”!)
    Tout va bien chez toi?


      • Paris? Pas encore… On part le 3 Juillet. Une semaine á Londres, puis Paris, un week-end á Lyon á voir la famille, et retour á Paris. Jusqu’au 15 Août! Yes!
        Et toi? plans de voyage pour cet été?


  2. Pingback: thursday’s special: traces of the past 02 | A Meditative Journey with Saldage

    • Thanks, Alex. That was shot during my summer holiday last year. It was challenging to find an hour or two without rain to visit the interesting spots, and I am always afraid that my camera will get too much rain.


    • That kind of place certainly incites one’s imagination. A lovely collection of vegetation photographs, Meg. Here I chose to display the one I found the most relevant to this theme. Warmest regards, Paula


    • The view from the castle/ruin is breathtaking, but it is not what you think it is. It is a ruin: no rooms or furniture, but I loved it!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Thursday’s Special: Traces of the Past. Norway – Værnes Church c 1085 | Something to Ponder About

    • I am very glad to hear it is a perfect challenge for you. The church and information you presented is fascinating. I’m very grateful for your entry, Amanda.

      Liked by 1 person

    • This is one of my favourite subjects to photograph, John and it is perfect for this challenge. I was torn between the two photos you posted. I wonder which of your two shots do you prefer. 🙂 Thank you again for this contribution.


      • I love old barns but this house is small compared to the farm houses in the area. I think it may have been a tenant house or a farm-hand house. SO maybe I am torn between the two as well 🙂


          • I want to do more of them and have in the past. Winter is the best time, or very early Spring , to take photos of barns. There is no foliage or farm equipment cluttering up the view.
            Today a friend as for some barns in B&W so I am going to do a few from color to B&W and see how they look.


  4. Pingback: Thursday’s Special: Traces of the past 2 | Middleton Road

  5. Those walls are endless! Love the wistful music too, Paula. 🙂 Thank you for the history lesson. I just noticed the slideshow in your sidebar too. A fabulous reminder of all your work. 🙂 Have a good day!


  6. Pingback: Skrik by Edvard Munch | artishorseshit

  7. Pingback: Thursday’s Special: Traces of the Past 02: Les Baux en Provence | Reflections and Nightmares- Irene A Waters (writer and memoirist)

  8. WOW unusual and mysterious place
    It looks like a fortress in Klodzko


  9. Pingback: Capella d’en Marcús | Travel with Intent

  10. So imposing, and seeing the modern town below, makes me wonder what it was like to live in times when the owners of this great castle ruled the roost. Thanks for this great glimpse of the past, Paula.


    • I wondered the same thing, and I ask myself what it was like to live in the area for the peasants that had a view of this castle and privileged families that occupied it. It looks really imposing seen from the bottom of the hill. Thank you very much, Tish.


    • You are right, Debbie in liking a good ruin. I wish there would be more people like you and I :D. I hate badly restored ruins. Your Marcus chapel is a gem. You have really had a thorough visit of Barcelona. Beautiful sunny star photo. Thank you very much.


  11. Pingback: The Leaning Tower of…er…Bridgnorth? | Tish Farrell

  12. Pingback: A Mermaid in a Church? | TRAVEL WORDS

  13. While I’ve always loved castles, the stories about them and the people who occupied them are just as fascinating. Great photo and information. Thank you.


  14. Pingback: Beyond the Brush

  15. Pingback: Exploring the convict past | Memories are made of this

    • That’s a fascinating article Pomme. I had very little knowledge of convicts in Australia. A great read with awesome photos!


      • Thanks Paula, yes without the input from the convicts I’m not sure that Australia would be the place it is today.


  16. A very interesting piece of history. Has the town at the bottom of the castle been there for as long a period of time? Even in decay, it remains an imposing structure.


  17. Pingback: Thursday’s Special: Traces of the Past 02 | WordsVisual

  18. Pingback: The Irresistible Lure of Venice | Jaspa's Journal

  19. When you look at you photo of the castle, the land and the town below, it looks so beautifully arranged that it is difficult to understand that this all grew up bit by bit over the generations.


  20. Pingback: Gallorus Oratory | Art and Life

  21. That is a very imposing looking building Paula. It really dominates the landscape. Here’s my response to your challenge – I promise you this won’t get deleted.


    • “of how the past creates the future until we go back and heal the pain of past sorrows” 🙂 This is quite a contribution, Suzanne. The mystery of Ireland keeps calling me to visit. What time of the year did you go there? Wonderful post in words and images!


  22. Pingback: Next stop | Le Drake Noir

  23. Pingback: TheTwin Fishes Of Ayodhya | The Urge To Wander

    • Thank you, Sri Madhu 🙂 What an amazing story/legend especially for Hindu and Korean. Thank you for the great collection of photos. I singled out one that you placed in the slideshow. When I noticed the link last night it was already very late. I hope you are sleeping now.


  24. Pingback: Jo’s Monday walk : Finchale Priory | restlessjo

  25. Many thanks for the inclusion, Paula! 🙂 You have some great contributions here.
    Hope you sleep soundly tonight 🙂


  26. Pingback: Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch | Jaspa's Journal

  27. The castle has that classic medieval sprawling in a high hill look with the village just below. That is a beautiful shot.


  28. Pingback: Thursday’s Special: Traces of the Past Y2-01 | Lost in Translation

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