Despite living in this town for six years, it still never gets old – my town has a castle. I find all the castles in Europe terribly romantic, though living in them in the winter might not have been quite as pleasant. The Smolenice Castle is particularly romantic – the first time I walked up to the grounds I thought, “Where is the princess sitting under the tree with a unicorn laying on her lap, while the dragon flies overhead and the knight trots up the road?” It sits atop a hill overlooking the town, with extensive meadows below, a little pond, and the Little Carpathian Mountains rising behind.
The castle was built in the 1400’s, but lack of funds and wars took their toll. In 1887, reconstruction work began, but was interrupted by World War I before it could be completed. When Communism took over in then Czechoslovakia after WWII, the castle became property of the State. In 1953 it was handed over to the Slovak Academy of Science, who still owns it today.
Today, the Academy uses the castle as a conference centre and hotel. It is closed most of the year to tourists but tours operate in July and August.
Although rather long, this video shows the castle and grounds much better: