Castle of Szepes (GCSZEP)
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Szepes is the greatest castle ruin in Slovakia and in my opinion the largest castle I have ever visited. I doubt that 1 or 2 hours would be sufficient to pass round it.
There are two parking lots beside, both being good starting points for a walk to the stately ruins. Starting from the first requires a longer walk, while the other is pretty close to the cache. The cache is to be found right at the foot of the castle wall, outside the castle.
As a footpath encircles the castle and it leads close to the walls you have to be cautious so that no tourists spot you hiding the cache. If you are not too much lost in searching the box, you will notice people approaching.
And now, let’s hear something about the castle itself:
Building of the fortress began in 1113; its first commander was Boris, brother of Stephan II. Invading Mongols partly ruined the fortress, but it was soon rebuilt and indeed enlarged. Later it got under the domain of the provost of Szepes, then Máté Csák, later the Drugeth family and Jiskra had the castle in their power. László Hunyadi recaptured it, then his brother, Mathias gave the fortress to the Szapolyais. John Szapolyai, Hungarian king was born here.
Later in history the Báthorys then the Thurzó family got hold of Szepes castle, its last lords being the Csákys. After taking it by ruse in 1703, the Kuruc (Hungarian soldiers in the insurrectionist armies of Imre Thököly and Ferenc Rákóczi fighting against Habsburg oppression at the turn of the 17th century) got hold of the castle until the end of the war of independence in 1711.
After firmly withstanding so many attacks, the proud castle came to an absurd end. In 1780 when pálinka (local brandy) was being distilled in one of the pubs of the castle, the alcohol burst into flame and the whole castle was burnt. As a Hungarian proverb says: alcohol kills, turns man into brute and reduces you to ruin…
These days the castle of Szepes is a nicely maintained historic monument with many visitors. Especially many German and Hungarian tourists visit it. In the upper castle several snack bars and cafeteria offer their services, so there is no need to carry up the thermos with coffee unless you are in a period of economizing. J
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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum