0. History of the Kežmarok Castle

Kežmarok Castle ranks among the so-called urban castles. The first report about the castle dates back to 1463. Formerly, a church and a cloister had been situated in the place of the future castle. The foundations of the late Romanesque St.Elisabeth Church from the half of the 13th century, which belonged to the settlement of Saxon colonists, can be seen at the castle´s courtyard until now.

The Gothic castle had been managed by the castle´s captains serving in the king´s service. By means of the castle Kežmarok had become a royal fortress. Various castle owners affected the architectural and historical development of the castle. A former defense fortification had undergone numerous transformations as late as it became a luxurious aristocratic residence. Within the former Upper Hungary it was considered one of the most beautiful Renaissance works.

Old chronicles witness this fact. According to these documents the castle had a moat, two enclosure walls and five bastions. There was a fountain in the center of the courtyard.

Rohbock - Rytina s vyobrazením Kežmarského hradu. Vodná priekopa za Kežmarským hradom.

Particular castle´s wings had been interconnected by an arcade hall; rooms with vaults had been decorated by stuccoes and frescoes inspired by Hungarian and ancient history. Though the castle was originally supposed to protect the town against enemies the castle owners were fighting against the free royal town of Kežmarok for almost 250 years, supposedly making it the longest war in the history of Europe.

The conflicts came to an end in 1702 when Kežmarok citizens bought the castle into their possession from Leopold I. the Emperor. Subsequently, the castle´s building was used for various purposes, e.g. granary, manufactories, various workshops, storehouses, school, kindergarten, hospital, poorhouse. The castle was damaged due to numerous fires. In 1962 - 1985 the general reconstruction of the castle took place there. The castle´s museum was firstly made accessible in May, 1931.

Vojenské kasárne na Kežmarskom hrade v 30-tych rokoch 20. storočia. Múzeum so sídlom na Kežmarskom hrade od roku 1931.
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