The history of the Castle
Bojnice Castle belongs to the oldest and the most important monuments in Slovakia. It stands on a travertine hill over the town. The first written record of the existence of the castle comes from 1113 in the document of Zobor Abbey.
It was originally a wooden castle developed from an older rampart. It was gradually built up from stone as the property of the Poznan family in the 13th century.
At the end of the 13th century the Ugrian lord Matus Cak Trenciansky seized Bojnice and the castle belonged to him until 1321. After Matus Cak Trenciansky the castle was in the 14th and 15th century owned by these aristocratic families: the Gileths, Leustachs and Noffrys.
In 1489 King Matej Korvin gave Bojnice estate to his illegitimate son Jan Korvin. After the death of King Matej the castle was seized by the Zapolsky troops which inhabited it up to 1526. In 1527 the King Ferdinand I. gave castle to Alexej Thurzo. The castle was rebuilt by the Thurzos into a convenient Renaissance residence. The original Gothic Castle was given the character of a Renaissance castle.
After the Thurzo family died out (in 1636) the castle reverted to the crown. A year later, in 1637, the Emperor Ferdinand III. gave Bojnice estate to Pavol Palfi in pledge for 200 000 of gold. In 1643 the Palfies got Bojnice castle as a patrimony. Building rush dominated in Bojnice and the castle got Baroque image. The building activity died down at the end of the 17th century. During the 18th or 19th century the castle was not significantly changed.
After the long period of stagnation and recession in 1852 the last aristocratic owner Count Jan Frantisek Palfi got the Bojnice estate with the castle. Count Palfi decided to rebuild the castle into a romantic castle. As a model he used the French Gothic castles from the valley of the river Loire, the papal palace in Avignone, the Gothic Tyrolean castles and the early Renaissance Italian architecture. The architect of the Neo-gothic rebuilding was Jozef Hubert. But the architect became only an instrument in the hands of his customer with a highly cultivated artistic taste.
Palfi himself drew, projected and controlled the whole work. This last Neo-Gothic rebuilding took 22 years (from 1889 till 1910). Count Palfi did not see the castle after the reconstruction He died in Vienna on 2 June, 1908 as a bachelor. As he did not have any heirs of his body, soon after his death the conflicts broke out between the relatives for the heritage. In 1923 there was an amicable agreement made between the heirs of Count Palfi and the Czechoslovakia, which specified the collections not for auctions. The auctions of the art collections of Count Palfi took place since 1924 to 1926. In 1939 the castle and its estate were bought by the Bata company. After the Second World War Bojnice estate fell to the state based on Benes decrees. Since 1950 Bojnice castle is a part of Slovak National Museum.