A brief history of the Tematín castle
Tematín castle is located in the Považský Inovec mountain in western Slovakia. Its location allows a great view of the valley of the river Váh, which is the longest river in Slovakia. The Tematín castle was one of the castles guarding the border of the Kingdom of Hungary and also served as a sanctuary for its inhabitants during times of threat. The castle was built around the year 1250, after the Mongol invasion of our teritory, because only stone buildings could withstand the cavalry attacks.
The castle belonged to many famous and rich families over the years, who little by little expanded and fortified it. The current state originates from around 1700, when the Bercsényi family owned the castle. Mikuláš Bercsényi was allegedly a fencing teacher at the court of the king Louis XIV of France and taught french musketeers. Later he became the commander-in-chief of the rebel army of Francis II. Rákóczi. After their defeat, he was forced to leave the Tematín castle and the imperial troops burned it down in 1710. Since then the Tematin castle became neglected and was eventually taken over by nature.
The civic associaton Občianske Združenie Hrad Tematín
The civic association OZ Hrad Tematín was founded in 2007 by a group of students, together with their friends and acquaintances, who helped with the saving of the Tematín castle. In spring of 2008, the intensive works began with mowing and sawing of the greenery around the castle. Until 2014, the work on the castle has usually taken place during weekends and was done by volunteers. Since then, the civic assosiation has been taking part in the „Restoration of castles with the help of the unemployed“ project, which is organized yearly by the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family. Seasional workers work on the castle for 6-7 months a year and during weekends, the volunteers take their place. The work on the castle is financed from the grants of the Ministry of Culture, various foundations, those who donate a part of their paid tax and the willing donors, who help pay the expenses needed for the realization of our projects.
The research of the Tematín castle has been going on since 2010 and focuses on the most necessary places disturbed by static faults, places of necessary coservation and the places of the castle that are in an acute need of restoration works. These works are done under the supervision of licensed archeolgists, the regional monuments board and an architectural historian. All digging work is done exclusively by hand without the use of heavy machinery. Results of the research help to reconstruct the lives of our ancestors in this place and also help us to better understand the gradual development of the castle. This information also help us to figure out the scope and methods of the conservation action. All archeological findings are catalogued and go into the administration of the competent office. After the exhibition space is finished, part of these findings will be exposed here, at the castle.
The goal of saving the castle
The goal is the preservation and protection of the authentic original parts by a form of conservation and the restoration of necessary elements. No new buildings are being constructed on top of the bases of the old ones, as we do not know their original form. There are no preserved visual representations nor any writings that could clearly state the looks of the technical details. The footing of the castle in the community and in the natural environment predetermines, that it will be a humble educational and presentational grounds in beautiful Slovak nature. Thanks to the multi-day courses, people are learning historical crafts and are thus helping to preserve the period techniques, which are nowadays being irretrievably lost.