Hanigov Castle – New Castle

Discover this almost unknown castle that is worth a visit.

The exact date of the castle’s construction is unclear. The forgeries of medieval documents certainly did not help with dating (these moved the origin of the Hanigov Castle to 1209). The period document of 1411 refers to the castle as a castrum Wywar (New Castle). This name testifies to the fact that there must have been an older fortification standing there before the construction of the New Castle. The castle was originally built of wood by a nobleman Mikčo. In 1342, Mikčo asked King Louis I for permission to rebuild the castle into a stone one. He justified his request by saying that the New Castle was located on the Austria-Hungary’s border with Poland and Russia, and the reinforced castle would strengthen the border zone of the kingdom. The king gave Mikčo his permission and the castle was rebuilt. Thanks to the king’s permission, the castle got its name – the “New” Castle. However, other sources state that the name “New Castle” originated in reference to the older castle in Šariš which was perceived at that time to be the main county castle. The stone castle had a floor plan of a rectangle measuring approximately 55 x 20 meters. The whole area was surrounded by fortifications. The palace had a rectangular floor plan measuring 14.7 x 6 meters and was two-storey. The fortifications of the courtyard were built with the access road in mind – it entered the courtyard from the south side. The entrance was protected by a 2.5 meters wide gate secured by a watchtower. The fortification also featured cannon holes and embrasures on its more accessible side. The castle complex was protected by a massive entrance gate. There were also outbuildings and other structures in the courtyard, probably wooden, because there were no traces left of them after the fire.
These objects are still identifiable in the interior of the castle. The interior of the palace is covered with rubble up to the window sills of the ground floor windows. The fortifications have been preserved, in some places these are 2 to 3 meters high, cannon pedestals are also visible. Even though the castle fell into disrepair, it has preserved its medieval form.


How to get there

How to get to the castle: the castle is located above the municipality of Hanigovce near Sabinov, laying low between the hills of the ridge of the Čergov Mountains, on the easternmost outcrop of the ridge zone. It is accessible from Hanigovce and Ľutina. The route starts a few meters away from the bus stop, leads between the houses, turns right and continues with a slight ascent through the meadows towards the forest. From the meadows, you can enjoy a view of the Šariš Castle. The trail is well marked. You will also come across a well with an inscription: “Napoj sa, nenič ma” (Refresh yourself and don’t damage me). You can sit there and enjoy the views. 

Lengthfollowing the green tourist mark you will reach the saddle below the castle. The journey takes around an hour. From the saddle, follow the yellow tourist mark – this takes another 15 minutes.

Difficultyprepare for a slight climb close to the castle. The hike is suitable for all ages.



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