Dobrá Voda - Slovakia
Nerby the river: Blava
Ruins of Dobrá Voda Castle are situated not far from picturesque community of Dobrá Voda, in mountain basin of Small Carpathian Mountains in southwest Slovakia. The castle is surrounded with Dobrovodsky Karst countryside.
Your walk to the castle could be started in the centre of Dobrá Voda village, where you can park your car. Just nearby the church, you find an important crossroad of tourist trails. You follow red marked tourist path, known as Štefanik Way, leading from Roman-Catholic parsonage to cemetery, in northwest direction. You continue ahead, entering pine-forest. You find shortly in Dobrovodsky Karst (extention 60 square kilometres approx.), where there are to be discovered springs, caves, draughts as well as lakes. Now, you can choose a path, turning away from main route, and you reach quite quickly former watch-castle of 13th century.
As a typical sign of Dobrá Voda Castle, these are two prismatic towers including rectangular palace. Small courtyard with cisterne was added to eastern tower. Your interest could be attracted to preserved sink from the castle. This formation formed an essential part of upper castle, where the courtyard was built later. It is finished with a building, generally taken as Gothic chapel. According to latest opinion, this object could be a part of palace, which formed, together with a palace,and courtyard, an independent fortificated seat unit. This was enlarged in a barbican, the defence of which was reinforced by gun-bastion, and by barbican, before the entrance in front of the gate. Moreover, there was built extended lower castle (including administrative buildings), secured with gun-bastions, as a defence against Ottomans´ attacks. The entrance way to upper castle let through four gates.
As a starting point for your walks to the castle, it could serve the village of Dobrá Voda. This place is known, first of all, as a field of activity of Jan Holly, most important poet of Bernolákovo. (he lived here within 1843-1849). He is also buried in local cemetery. As a remind of his life and work, you can visit Memorable Hall of J.Holly, situated in parsonage, jsut nearby the church. Neo-classical church of Virgin Mary Birth was built on place of former Gothic church, and comes of 1820. On a square, in front of church, there is to be found stone pillory of 1718. In south direction, you follow blue marked tourist trail, leading to romantic ruin of St.Catherine church and monastery. The church was built in 1618, consacrated to St.Catherine (she appeared here, according to a legend, to Jan Apponyi, count and hermit). Franciscan friars left definitively the monastery, when the complex was cancelled and closed by Emperor Joseph II. in 1786. The monastery became deserted since that time. As a reminder of its former fame, there are part of wall from church navy, monastery and tower. Nevertheless, its partial reconstruction is looked after by volunteers. They made the renovation also of small section of forest narrow-gauge railroad. In the neighbourhood of a monastery, there is to be found interesting hunting castle Planinka. This building was constructed within 1774-1775. Since that time, it became, together with surrounding forest, popular place of games, mostly pigs. Rich people met here, and even Emperor Frank II. with his wife visited this place in 1808. Former hunting castle Planinka (now reconstructed in very good way) could be reached by asphalted road.
Text: Denisa Arvajová
Photo: Google, Google Earth
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