Obišovce Castle

Obišovce Castle is one of the most charming castles in the Šariš region.

Drienov became a seat of the Drienov branch of the Abov family. The lords also had a manor or a ground-floor castle built of wood or possibly clay right in the village, probably on a hill in the middle of the village. One thing is certain, however. The building could not provide the required level of security, especially not at the time of the two Tartar raids. The first Tartar raid took place in 1241 and the second in 1285, in which Ivanka – the son of Lord Juraj of Drienov – died. Apparently, the first Tatar invasion forced the family to build a safer residence that would protect the family from the enemy. They chose a hilly massif above the valley of the Svinka river. The inconspicuous hill, today called Zámčisko (360 m. above sea level) has steep slopes and is accessible only from the eastern side.
The castle lacked the forecourt, so it did not have any farm buildings (it was probably intended as a temporary place of stay). The courtyard is small (25 x 30 m). It is a typical example of a refuge castle, hidden deep in the valley. Although the castle provided a good view of Obišovice and the valley of the river Svinka, the Hornád basin and the Torysa basin were not visible. This means a reduced ability of the family to control the territory around the castle. You can still see Kapušany Castle from the castle courtyard, however. The old documents of the Abov family from 1300 outline the costs of building a certain Sumus castle (Drienov) – almost 70 marks (hryvnia) of silver. The documents do not specify which castle is being referred to (the castle on the hill Zámčisko or to the castle above Kysak), but historians are more inclined to believe the documents refer to the Kysak Castle.
Obišovce Castle disappeared relatively early. This is evidenced by an archaeological material dating to the middle of the 15th century. At that time, a more comfortable and larger castle with a fort was already standing above Kysak. Its location, unlike that of Obišovce Castle, was strategic. The new castle made it possible to control the Hornád valley, part of the Torysa valley and the confluence of the Svinka and Hornád rivers, as well as the crossing between the rivers Torysa and Hornád. The castle behind Obišovce could not fulfil this role and therefore was never restored to its former glory.
The lords lived in a one-storey three-room palace, which was connected to the perimeter masonry. The palace had an irregular floor plan, and, given the circumstances, was built in haste. It was protected by a 2.5 m. deep ditch. The uphill road led to the rampart with a simple wooden drawbridge over the ditch. The drawbridge opened to the courtyard of the castle.

The castle complex consists of a medieval access road, a castle wall with an entrance gate, an outer rampart with an inner ditch, a guard room, a palace tower and a courtyard with a cistern. The castle has a fireplace with benches and a wooden shelter where you can relax after the hike. The nearby view of the rocks that rise above the winding river Svinka is simply breathtaking. The castle is the first fully examined archaeological site thanks to the historian and archaeologist Belo Polla who carried out archaeological excavations there as early as 1960s.


The castle is accessible by several paths from the municipality of Obišovce, but the shortest way leads from the railway station in Ličartovce.

How to get to the castle: it is accessible by several paths from the municipality of Obišovce, but the shortest way leads from the railway station in Ličartovce

Route length: depends on the starting point, in any case up to 2 km

Estimated time:  35 minutes without breaks

Difficulty: suitable for all ages



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