What to see in Trenčín, Slovakia

Hello everybody!

The town of Trenčín is dominant and also a district town of the Trenčín region. You will fall in love with it on the first sight – it’s a town of relax and fun culture with a pleasant atmosphere. Its historical centre is full of valuable cultural sights above which is for centuries towering the largest city castle complex – the majestic Trenčín castle.

Trenčín is lying in the valley of the river Váh. Surrounded by mountains – Biele Karpaty (White Carpathians) from the west, Považský Inovec from the south and Strážovské mountains from the east.

The geographical advantages are related to the development of this town in the past. Stone age settling of the Trenčín locality is confirmed from archaeological findings. Original proof regarding the presence of Roman legions on Slovak land is the roman inscription carved into the Trenčín castle rock (you can find it inside the luxury Tatra hotel). It’s a memorial to the victory of Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius over Quadi tribes in year 179. History of castle and the town was for following centuries very closely connected. The largest boom was in 1275, when the castle became property of Matúš Čák, ruler of most of the current area of Slovakia. During the middle ages Trenčín gained privileges and advantages, the trades and skills were being developed, there were annual markets and from the year 1380, there was also a brewery. Thanks to King Žigmund, Trenčín became the king town in 1412 with the freedom of kings. It also experienced plenty of catastrophes, mainly caused by wars. The development of the town didn’t stop and Trenčín is an important busines and industrial centre of Považie since the second half of the 19th century. Today it has almost 60 000 inhabitants and is the seat of Trenčín district. Thanks to its location it lures investors and belongs to one of the dynamically developing towns in Slovakia. Quality schools are secured by two high schools and two universities – Trenčín university of Alexander Dubček and a branch of the American City University Bellevue.

Thousands of visitors come to the town to see the majestic castle in its full beauty and to hear the most famous myth about the well of love. Stories from the past are told by museums, galleries and will please your ears.

The city breathes colourful and cultural social life especially during the summer. Come and have fun at the largest open-air festival of Slovakia – Pohoda, electronic music festival EDMANIA, visit the film festival ArtFilm, in August Trenčianske historické a hradné slávnosti (Trenčín historical and castle celebrations) or autumn festival of traditional folk entertainment Pri Trenčianskej (at Trenčian’s gate), or take advantage of the other options on how to spend time pleasantly in our town. The number of cultural events, interesting things and tourist attractions are not only offered by the town of Trenčín, but by the whole region.

The highest located railway station in the region and at the same time starting point towards the highest peak around – Inovec, can be found in Mníchova Lehota.  The oldest pilgrimage place in Slovakia, Skalka nad Váhom also attracts many tourists and pilgrimages. Very close is also town of Trenčianske Teplice with rich streams of mineral water and well-known spas, where a wide range of possibilities of active rest and relax are offered.

 

Trenčín’s dominant is certainly the famous Trenčín castle. The castle, which is along with those of Spiš and Devín one of the biggest in Europe, is the national cultural monument. It was the royal castle from the 11th century. Bulky fortifying system is the result of progressive perfection of an important boundary fort, later seat of the county.

It had an important role above all in time of Turkish attacks. It was property of several aristocratic families while Matúš Čák of Trenčín was the best known owner of the castle. He also owned other Slovak castles, which won him the nickname of the Lord of the Váh and the Tatras.  As the owners changed, the functions of the castle either changed or multiplied. The existing castle area is administered by the Museum of Trenčín. It consists of a set of palaces and its characteristic Matúšova veža tower. Apart from them, visitors also like to see the Delová bašta bastion and dungeon. Varied exhibitions, medieval games and attractive night sightseeings are organised throughout the year.

The castle fell in decay after fire in 1790, as its owners, the Illésházy family preferred to move to the more comfortable manor house in Dubnica. The following extensive reconstruction opened an access to the most valuable parts of it.

Perhaps every child in Slovakia knows the 80m deep castle well and the tale about Omar and Fatima. The legend says that the lord of the castle, Štefan Zápoľský seized the beautiful Turkish princess Fatima. One Turkish prince Omar who loved Fatima arrived with a load of gold to buy Fatima off. However, the lord demanded Omar should dig a well in the courtyard of the castle. It took four years to Omar to extract water from the hard castle rock but the couple was given the landlord’s blessing afterwards.

Nowadays, the castle is nicely renovated and it is the real decoration standing proudly above the city. It’s open for visitors daily, from 9 am to 7 pm. You can buy tickets depending on what you want to see. Either you walk the castle by yourself and pay less or have a nice guided tour.

OKRUH A (without the guide, not allowed to see everything):

  • adults – 5€
  • seniors – 4€
  • children (3 to 6y) – 1€
  • older children, students (until 18y) – 3€

OKRUH B (with the guide, you see everything, way longer):

  • adults – 6€
  • senior – 4,50€
  • children (3 to 6y) – 1,50€
  • older children, students (until 18y) – 3,50€

 

 

But what other can you see?

Historic walls surrounding the castle are very nice place to walk and see the old Trenčín even closer. There are few cosy cafeterias, where you can enjoy tasty espresso with breathtaking view of the castle or Old Town under your feet. Just get ready for a hundreds of steps to step on.

On the way down from the castle towards to the city rectory, you can not miss old parish stairs built in 1568 and renovated in 1708, 1886 and 1979 in Renaissance style. It was the main access road to the town armery.

The city rectory is just a few steps walking down the castle. From there, you can take amazing pictures of the town. If you do not mind wind blowing into your eyes, then definitely stop by and see the whole Old Town of Trenčín. This rectory was built back in 1324 at the hill called ,,Marienberg’’. The rectory completely burned out in 1790 (also with the castle) and the extreme heat has melted two of three giant bells. General reconstruction has been done in years 1911 and 1912 and the main altar is from 1925. There is an painting on it showing the birth of Virgin Mary.

If you are tired of walking up and down hills and stairs, walk down to the Old Town and enjoy long promenade of Trenčín. There are many restaurants, cafeterias, a visitors centre… One of the most interesting things at this promenade is plague column. Trenčín has been through a long and rich history and one part of it is plague, unfortunately. The column has been built in Baroque style in 1712 as a memorial of plague victims from 1710.

To the forest park Brezina you can literally walk from the city centre. It is covering the area of 212,68 hectares and it is suitable for walking, mountain biking, walking with kids or dog or running. The park has the character of the forest, so you should consider wearing some leisure or sportswear.

If you have too much energy on your own, visit the rope park, that is the part of the forest park Brezina, as well. This area is located right next to the Hotel Brezina and you can enjoy there two trails with 22 platforms from 5 to 10 meters above the ground. The entrance is for free, but if you want to use most of the equipment, you will need a guide.

From the rope park you can walk through the forest park Brezina towards to the amazing viewing platform, from where you will see the whole Trenčín and surrounding towns. Follow the nature trail ,,Sever’’ (North), which is 1407 meters long with seven stops. The whole walk takes around 35 minutes and the trail will lead you through the history of the earth and forest park Brezina. You will learn about different local plants and trees and see Trenčín from bird perspective.

Are you looking for some beaches and cocktails in your hand? Trenčín can offer you even this! Váh river has made a big island in the middle of it, where you can freely go and enjoy Sunday afternoon. There is big playground for your kids, where they can play with other kids, while you are enjoying warm sunlight. You can for example also play tennis, mini golf, do water sports like kanoeing or swimming there. And if all these activities will get you hungry, you can enjoy tasty menu and refreshments in the local restaurants.

And last but not least, when you’re not really into sightseeing, by 24/25 bus you can get to the huge shopping centre Laugaritio.

 

Trenčín is really beautiful town, it doesn’t matter, when you decide to visit it. But in summer…well, in summer it’s even more beautiful in my opinion. I visited Trenčín last week because of the EDMANIA 2017 festival. And while waiting for the program to start…why not to visit this amazing city? We’ve got to see practically everything, even the dinner was cool! We tried the Fatima restaurant, located right under the castle and it was great…I thoroughly recommend this one, if you have bit more time and you’re quite a gourmet like me. But if you don’t feel like spending much for the food…well, then there are many McDonald’s and Subway fastfood all around the town, so don’t miss them out!

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