Dating back to the 12th Century Bojnice is a beautiful medieval castle built on travertine rock with a natural cave. It was originally a wooden fort then it was built from stone to match the surrounding rocky terrain. It is the most visited castle in Slovakia, a country that has more castles per capita than any country in the world! The castle was last reconstructed at the turn of the 19th century to imitate the French castles of the Loire. From the middle of the 17th century the castle was owned by the Pálffy family until after the second world war when the building came under state ownership. Today the castle forms part of the Slovak National Museum.
As well as the stunning building there are extensive grounds extending into a forest park in the Strážov mountains. The grounds contain the famous King Matthias Linden Tree at 700 years one of the oldest trees in Slovakia, named after Matthias Corvinus who would sit under his beloved tree dictating his royal decrees. The zoo here, opened in 1955, is one of only four in Slovakia and houses over 1800 animals. The town of Bojnice is also one of the oldest Spas in Slovakia, mentioned as early as the 16th century.