Zvolen Castle

You won’t believe it, I was a hunting mansion at first.


My origins were the result of the gradual decline of the famous Pustý hrad Castle, as it ceased to meet the demands of the royal court. But I satisfied them. Of course, I did! I was new, modern, built by Louis of Anjou at the end of the 14th century. John Jiskra from Brandýs also inhabited me, later King Matthias Corvinus and his wife Beatrix used to visit me. It is she to whom I am grateful for financing of the building modifications that turned me into a comfortable residence.

At the time of the Turkish threat, I was also an anti-Turkish fortress. When the danger passed, I became a chateau again. Today, I have the honour to house the Slovak National Gallery. In 1619-1621, Zvolen Castle hid royal regalia, including the St. Stephen’s Hungarian crown. They were guarded carefully. Prince Gábor Bethlen of Transylvania, who led the uprising against the Habsburgs, occupied Pressburg Castle in October 1619 and subsequently decided on the permanent placement of the crown and coronation jewels at Zvolen Castle. They were transported there on 29th November 1620, and on 29th January 1621, they were locked in a separate room with an iron door. Contrary to the original plans, they were transferred to Košice on 28th April 1621.


Zvolen Castle experienced royal engagements. In February 1380, Louis the Great met Leopold III, Duke of Austria, to conclude an agreement on the marriage of Louis’s daughter Jadwiga and Leopold’s son William. The place of engagement was most likely the chapel of the castle. The marriage policy was probably discussed also in December 1380, when a marriage between Louis´s daughter Maria and Sigismund of Luxembourg was agreed. In July 1382, another important meeting took place there. Louis the Great called the captains of the Kingdom of Poland into his hunting mansion to swear allegiance to his future son-in-law, Sigismund. The founder of the residence, Louis of Anjou, welcomed important guests at the chateau. Among them, the Czech King Wenceslas IV as well as the future Emperor Sigismund of Luxembourg.

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Zvolen Castle