The ruins of Uhrovec castle are located on Nitricke Vrchy Hills which are part of Strazovske vrchy. Hidden inside the dense forest, the castle is really isolated and not accessible by car. But you wouldn’t want to go by car anyway because the trail that leads to the castle from Uhrovec Podhradie is ethreal.
It’s not a long or technically difficult one and it will take you less than an hour to go and a little more to come back from an other route that ends up in the same place where you started.
At the beginning the trail is a little steep going uphill but you can take your time because the views of the forest are rewarding especially during the autumn when I walked it and the colors where truly vivid. The orange and red tones give you a fantasy movie kind of feeling and you find yourself wandering off trail sometimes. It has a kind of magic, really !
Eventually a clearing is in sight and the ruins of Uhrovec castle stand there on a hill waiting to be discovered. Now let me point out again that the castle is in ruins so don’t expect to see something like Bojnice castle. There is a restoration in progress and the reconstruction is done by using traditional medieval building techniques and technology which means it’s going very slow and will take years, possibly decades until it is finished.
But it is very interesting from the architectural point of view and you can really understand how the castle is built and what’s within these walls.
The first thing that strikes you is the magnificent wooden bridge on the main gate. After you walk across it you will walk into the front yard and from there you will climb the stairs that access the main yard of the palace, but before you do that turn around at the top of the stairs and have a look at the majestic view of the nearby hills through the broken walls.
From there you enter the central yard and can access the Romanesque chapel and several other rooms in the palace, some of which have balconies with astonishing views of the forest and hills around the castle.
There is no admission for entrance but there is a small souvenir shop from which you can buy small things and help the castle restoration. The day I was there, a christian ceremony was also taking place and many people were gathering just to attend it.
The trek back to our car was also very enjoyable and less steep. It took us a little longer to go back, but the trail was astonishing.
Uhrovec castle is beautiful and if you are around the area it won’t take more than three ours of your time. Definitely worth visiting.
If you like castles, Slovakia has many and some which are really impressive. Check Spis and Bojnice castles. They are truly magnificent, each in their own way.
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