Nitra Castle

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Aerial photo of Nitra Castle
Nitra from above

Nitra Castle (Slovak: Nitriansky hrad, Hungarian: nyitrai vár) is a castle located in the Old Town of Nitra, Slovakia. It is a dominant of the city and a national cultural monument. It is the seat of the Diocese of Nitra. Coordinates: 48°19′6″N 18°5′11″E / 48.31833°N 18.08639°E / 48.31833; 18.08639


The first fortified center on Castle Hill is dated to the Bronze Age (1,600 BCE).[1] In the 1st century BCE, the hill was settled by the Celts. After its destruction, the location was abandoned until early Slavic period (7th-8th centuries) and at least from the turnover of the 8th/9th centuries, it was permanently occupied by the Slavs.[1] In the first half of the 9th century, the top of the hill was protected by the wooden palisade. In the second half of the same century, the Slavs built massive rampart made of two outer drystone walls (thickness 2 x 3m) with an internal timber structure filled with earth (3m). The original rampart was destroyed before early 11th century.[2]

The castle was built in the 11th century on the place of an earlier fort. The core of the castle is St. Emmeram's Cathedral with the Bishop's residence, with several different parts. The oldest surviving part is the Romanesque Church of St. Emmeram from the 11th century. The other two parts of the cathedral are the originally Gothic Upper Church from the 14th century, and the Lower Church from the 17th century. The originally Gothic Bishop's Palace got its present Late Baroque appearance in the 18th century. There are also surviving parts of the castle fortifications, the majority of which were created in the 16th and 17th centuries and smaller part from the Middle Ages. The church is currently being remodeled.


  1. ^ a b Turčan 2012, p. 68.
  2. ^ Turčan 2012, p. 69.


  • Turčan, Vladimír (2013). Veľkomoravské hradiská (in Slovak). Bratislava: DAJAMA. ISBN 978-80-8136-013-8. 

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