Brezovica Castle – a ruin

Brezovica Castle – a ruin

The first written record of the village of Brezovica dates back to 1317. At that time, Michal Berzeviczi gave a command for a castle to be built there. The castle became the ancestral home of the Berzeviczi family for more than two centuries. The castle used to stand at the place the local cemetery is standing now – on the hill in the village (470 m. above sea level). The castle hill was quite steep, especially on the southern side. Other sides of the hill were modified during the construction. The flat peak of the hill was an ideal place for building residential buildings. The hill on which the castle stands was chosen probably because it was easy to control the family property from there and alarm other castles in case of need. 
The castle complex measuring 50×35 meters consisted of the upper, middle and lower castle, while the whole area was surrounded by a moat. The original floor plan of the castle complex formed an almost regular triangle. At the highest point, on a plateau 2 m higher than the surrounding area, stood the castle. Other buildings and perhaps a smaller tower stood on the adjacent platform called the middle castle, which was separated from the upper castle by a deep moat. The lower castle was situated on the northern edge of the castle grounds, on the lowest plateau, where there were only wooden farm buildings. The castle could be entered from the northeast by crossing a bridge over the moat. The whole complex was surrounded by the moat up to 15 m wide and 17 m deep.
After Michal’s death, his son Nicolas acquired the property. In 1438, the castle was taken over by the city of Prešov, on behalf of the Queen Elizabeth. From 1449 onwards it was owned by the Hussites, but in 1458, however, it was taken by force by the troops of Matthias Corvinus. The castle was then abandoned and fell into disrepair at the end of the 15th century. Its owners moved to more comfortable residences in the village – a beautiful mansion which still stands there today. Following several renovations and modifications, the building now has features of a Classicist manor.

The only things left of the castle today are ramparts and ditches. No archaeological research has ever been carried out on the grounds of the castle. The cemetery, the chapel and the surrounding roads built in the vicinity of the castle grounds caused the traces of the above-ground buildings are no longer legible. The only thing that has been preserved is the original configuration of the terrain. Three solitary platforms, divided by an inner moat, testify to the above assumptions. The circular ridge (12 x9 m) represents the originally fortified entrance. The preserved ditches are particularly striking. From the south side, the ditch passes smoothly into an asphalt road, which bypasses the acropolis from the west and the east. Despite interventions into the fortifications, the castle ground is still visible. The most significant is the ditch below the western slope, which still reaches admirable dimensions: depth 15 m and width 21 m. There is a lot of quarry stone on the eastern and south-eastern slope of the fortification, which points to the fact that the castle was made with stone (at least in the foundations) and not entirely with wood, as had been assumed until recently.  

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The castle stood on a hill known among the locals as Zámčisko – today’s cemetery.

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