I didn't have time to see this, but it seems like it would be very interesting. A great deal of prehistoric items have been found from the Paleolithic age. Apparently archeologists consider the area around Bojnice significant in terms of Paleolithic/Neanderthal settlements. I really was not aware of this until much later, but it seems it would be interesting.
Open from April 23- October 16
There is the option for an unguided visit,
This room will strike you first for the understated elegance of the furnishings and the spectacular ceiling. According to the notes I took this was created by a Venetian sculptor and was a copy of a famous ceiling in Venice (don't know which one).
The Bojnice altar is a series of 10 panel paintings produced around 1350. The story was that the altar went through a series of owners. it was originally done by Nardo Di Cione in Florence. The date is significant because it is right around the time of the peak of the bubonic plague in Europe (1348-50) Apparently the Altar was in several churches/monasteries in Italy. Then, in 1870, the good Count Palffy, an avid collector of art, found the altar in an antique store and bought it.
The altar did not come to Bojnice until 4 years after Palffy's death (1908). In 1933 part of the altar was stolen, which took a year to recover. Later, it was moved to Prague and after much wrangling and negotiation it was returned to Slovakia in 1995.
Today, to assure it is not stolen it was placed in a large room and you are sort of whisked by, you can't really get close to it at all. Though the presentation is pretty, it would have been nice to have had more time to admire it on the tour.
Bojnice is one of Slovakia's most famous castle. It's had many renovations over the course of history, so it doesn't look very old. Nevertheless, it is still an amazing castle with lots of history and interesting things to see inside. The castle is located in a very green, forested area. One of the first rooms you see is the colorfully painted and decorated chapel, which dates from the 1600s. Near the chapel is the Golden Hall, a large living room with a ceiling made from gold-covered pine. Other highlights include the music room and the Bojnice altarpiece, a painting that dates from the 1300s. One of Bojnice's courtyards also contains a very beautiful, decorative well. In one of the castle's "lower" areas, you can view the tomb of Count Palffy, Bojnice's last owner. From this area, you can go further down into a cave that stretches beneath the castle. Overall, the best part of this castle tour was exploring the rooms. Most of them contain furniture and other items, which are at least several centuries old. It was also nice to walk through the courtyards and on the huge spiral staircase. It was a nice way to spend a couple hours, so you should make a visit if you are in the area.
If you are traveling with kids and they are exhausted and cranky from going through the castle without seeing any ghosts then just take them to Bojnice Zoo, which is the oldest zoo in Slovakia, dating from 1955. It is large (42 hectares, 100 acres) and was supposed to have over 300 species as of 2006.
Admission is 3 euro for adults, 1.50 euro for kids
Most castles and noble residences seem to have a fairly similar decor throughout in terms of color, intricacy of decor, furnishings. Count Palffy, the last owner of Bojnice Castle was a known art collector and clearly his taste was as varied as it was exquisite. The main rooms of the castle are decorated a bit differently, you have the normal formality of the dining room and portrait halls. But you have the Blue Room which also houses portraits, the Golden Hall so named for the fabulous ceiling carvings. You had a wonderful collection of oriental art in the Oriental Room. The variety in itself was interesting, but the way that it flowed from one theme to the other was very well done and tasteful
There are 183 angels carved into the ceiling of the golden hall. You have to look closely, we were told they are all different. Since the tour was moving pretty fast I really didn't have time to check that very much.:)
Admission to Bojnice Castle is 6.50 euro for adults (half that for children under 15)
Admisssion is daily, except Mondays
Foreign language tours have to be ordered 2 days in advance and must have a minimum of 10 persons. (My guide translated from Slovak for me, I'm sure i missed some things but I got the most important stuff)
Tours last 75 minutes. I felt the tour was fairly rushed but still quite good. You cannot see the castle without being on a tour, so your options are limited.
Important- if you want to take pictures you will have to buy a photo pass (2 euro for cameras, 5 for video machines) Make sure you have extra batteries for your flash (which is allowed) because you will need flash!
I can't believe that this beautiful town is all the way down at #17 of places to visit in Slovakia. I enjoyed a wonderful two days here in May and it was very memorable. The castle here is one of the most interesting to tour. Interestingly, as the tour was winding down (unfortunately not in English) and I thought we were all done, the tour leader led us down these long stairs to a really cool cave under the castle. The castle itself was fantastic but then to see a cave to boot was really a treat.
The old town walls are nearby and the baths within walking distance of town center were very enjoyable, as well.
On my long trip through Central Europe I had an interesting experience in Bojnice. Inquiring at the local Tourist Information office for rooms, we were told that the TI itself had rooms upstairs. We booked a large room with a kitchenette. It was the best room I got in my entire 34-day trip and it was also the least expensive. Funny how it works that way sometimes.
Town also offers the oldest ZOO in the state and one of the most romantic castles - Bojnice castle with attractive events like International Festival of Ghost and Spirits, Castle Fairytale, Knights Days, Christmas at the Castle or concerts of Summer Music Festival.
Bojnice gives you lot of possibilities how to spend your free time during the whole year. In winter you can visit ski centers Fačkovské sedlo, Poruba, Remata or Čičmany. In the summer you can swim not only in the spa, but also in swimming pools in Bojnice, Prievidza, Chalmova or Nováky. There is also Nitrianske Rudno Lake suitable for water sports and fishing.
* You should see performance of hawkers Aquila and swordsmen Bojník.
* Local airport offers sightseeing flights and tandem jumps.
* You can visit village Čičmany famous for folk architecture with typical white ornament paintings.
* Very interesting is also wooden Bethlehem with moving figures in Rajecká Lesná.
* Golf players can spend time on golf driving range.
Bojnice castle is a national cultural monument. It is the most beautiful historical and cultural monument in Slovakia. At the end of the 13th century Bojnice was seized by the magnate Matus Cak Trenciansky then the ownership of the fortress changed hands between the noble families of Gileth, Leustach and Noffry. In 1489 King Matej Korvin presented the fortress together with its domain to his illegitimate son Jan Korvin. In 1527 King Ferdinand I. presented the fortress to Alexej Thurzo. After the Thurzo family died out, the fortress once more fell to the crown and King Ferdinand III. presented it to Pavol Palffy in 1644 for his assistance in the battle against the Turks and rebellious Hungarian nobles. Bojnice together with its domain was obtained by its last owner Count Jan Frantisek Palffy in 1852. He was a renowned private collector. ‘The motive and aim of my foreign travel and stays abroad in my long life, was not only to satisfy my own personal appetite for art, but also to gain from the treasure of foreign countries, so rich in artistic artifacts, as much as possible under the given circumstances and which my financial means would permit. In so doing I brought to my country such artistic works of art which would contribute to the overall enriching of our artistic taste at home, while at the same time encourage interest in art’.In his last testament Count Palffy expressed the wish that his palaces in Vienna and Budapest, mansion in Kralova and his castle in Bojnice, be accessible for the public and that the works of art remain in their original place and that tours be made possible for those interested.
I just had to include this photo as an example of the ornate design in some of the Castle's rooms. Different rooms are done in different motif's. Some of the bedrooms appear to be wallpapered but it turns out they were all hand-painted. The spiral staircase rises several floors and is cool for the kids, are the chapel and the crypt down in the basement of solid rock.
A nice daytrip from Bratislava, or could also be done on the way to Banska Bystrica or other points West. Tours given hourly.