The picturesque, open valley of the river Poprad near Stará Ľubovňa offers wonderful views of the wide surroundings from the elevated hills. Here lie the majestic ruins of Plaveč Castle.
The stone castle on a slight hill from the village of the same name is about 10 minutes on foot. Smaller children can handle the route and the tour of the castle without any problems.
The castle was built around 1294 by the nobles of Arnold as a border fortress. You can explain to children who managed to climb to the ruins with you, how important it was in protecting the merchants who were heading from Hungary to Poland.
At the same time, elucidate the turbulent period of the 15th century, when the castle was seized by fraternal troops.
The name of the castle is also interesting. It is not derived from “swimmers”, but from the Polovci tribe, meaning “light-haired”.
The men of this tribe were the main guardians of the border area. Many of them had blond hair.
Since the 18th century, the castle has lost its military significance and gradually declined.
Currently, the castle has been undergoing reconstruction since 2014. The interior and the underground are being restored, new foundations are being found.
The castle is associated with the legend of the heartless nobleman Mikulas, who hated his own brother so much that he publicly flogged his corpse. The priest, who wanted to prevent the dishonor of the corpse, was killed by Nicholas. The emperor punished the nobleman by banning him from being able to lead horses.
In the winter, the screams of Nicholas, driving an ox-cart, could be heard as a pack of wolves approached. The wolves outran the lord of the castle in front of the church, where his horses trampled on the priest. There Nicholas found his death, which was the punishment for his ungodly behavior.