Trencin is one of the larger cities in western Slovakia and is located on the Vah River along the highway between Bratislava and Zilina. Are you taking a tour through the country? Then this picturesque city is definitely worth a stop. The castle is one of the most beautiful in Slovakia. Especially at night, when the castle is beautifully illuminated, Trencin has an enchanting and almost magical atmosphere. It is nice to stroll around the central square. In the area you will find Trencianske Teplice, a somewhat remote spa town with relaxing heat baths and treatments. What should you see and which beautiful places and sights should you definitely not miss during your visit to the city?
- Sights in Trencin: what to see and do?
- 1. The castle of Trencin
- 2. Mierove Namestie Square and surroundings
- 3. Walking in the city at night
- 4. Cherry tree park and swimming pools
- 5. Trencianske Teplice
Sights in Trencin: what to see and do?
The history of Trencin dates back to Roman times. In the second century AD, this site was home to Laugaricio, a military outpost and the northernmost Roman camp in Eastern Europe. Historians found in the rock of the castle hill a note from the year 179 about the second Roman legion led by Emperor Marcus Aurelius and its victory over the Germanic Kvad tribes.
What to see in Trencin?
The town has around 57,000 inhabitants and is an important center of the Slovak textile industry and a pleasant place to stroll around, with the impressive castle towering above the city center. You will easily need a whole afternoon to explore the castle and the surroundings of the central square.
The castle of Trencin / Source: Dukeofelliun, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA-4.0)
1. The castle of Trencin
‘Hrad’ is Slovak for ‘castle’ and the majestic Trenciansky hrad castle dominates the cityscape. The structure was first mentioned in 1069 in a Viennese chronicle. Originally it was probably an anti-Turkish fortress. In the thirteenth century, the lord of Trencin, Matus Cak, ruled large parts of Slovakia. Later still, in the fifteenth century, Trencin finally became a free city with its own rights.
What you see today dates from that period. A fire destroyed large parts of the castle and the city in 1790, but fortunately almost everything was thoroughly restored afterwards.
Visit the castle
A visit is worthwhile, not only for the imposing castle itself, but also for the spectacular views over the city and its surroundings. Especially from the high central tower you can enjoy beautiful panoramic views of the region. Also remarkable is the well of love, a special construction of seventy to eighty meters deep.
The castle is open daily. Opening hours vary from month to month:
- From May to September (high season): 9:00 AM – 5:30 PM
- In April and October (mid season): 9:00 am-4:30 pm
- From November to March (low season): 9:00 AM – 3:30 PM
You can choose to visit without a guide, but you will only have access to the lower parts of the castle. A guided tour will show you a lot more of the castle. If you are short on time, there is the thirty-minute ‘mini tour’, but you can only really see the castle on the ‘grand tour’. This takes approximately 1 hour 15 minutes.
2. Mierove Namestie Square and surroundings
The central square of Trencin is Mierove Namestie (‘peace square’), a beautiful place surrounded by Renaissance town houses. The stone pole (‘morovy stlp’) from 1712 in the middle of the square is a column against the plague.
The old city gate and surroundings
At the end of Mierove Namestie you will find the only remaining city gate and watchtower of old Trencin: the Mestska brana from 1534. You will also see the Piarist Church (piaristicky Kostol), built in Baroque style in 1657. Art lovers should definitely take a look. in the gallery Oblastna galeria Bazovskeho next to the Piarist Church. The ground floor offers beautiful work by local artists, while on the first floor you can admire paintings by the Trencin-born artist Milos Bazovsky (1899-1968).
North of the city gate are the remains of the old synagogue. South of the gate, a covered wooden staircase from the sixteenth century leads to the yellow Parish church (‘farsky kostentol’) from the fourteenth century. It shows traces of Gothic, but also Renaissance and Baroque influences. The small chapel in the cemetery next to the church is purely Gothic. If you follow the wooden stairs even further up, you will eventually arrive at the castle.
The Trencin Museum on the east side of the square focuses on the history of the city. It is open daily except Mondays, from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM.
The castle of Trencin at night / Source: Vikino, Pixabay
3. Walking in the city at night
Trencin is already beautiful during the day, but to experience the enchanting atmosphere of the city you should actually walk through the city at night. The castle is then beautifully illuminated and bathed in green and purple colors. In the summer there are also regular shows and performances in the castle. These Medieval Days are accompanied by sword fighting demonstrations, ghost stories and many other types of spectacle.
The city also has many nice bars and cafes. Highly recommended is the bar at Restaurant Launius on Mierove Namestie, where you can enjoy a drink in the evening.
4. Cherry tree park and swimming pools
Cherry Tree Park
South of the castle is Ceresnovy sad, which means cherry tree park. You can reach it via a pedestrian path from Hviezdoslavova Street. It is a beautiful area to catch your breath, exhale or enjoy a relaxing walk.
Those who prefer to take a dip can go to the swimming pools north of the city center on Mladeznicka Street. You can relax here in both summer and winter. Highly recommended for the water lovers among us.
5. Trencianske Teplice
About fourteen kilometers northeast of Trencin you will find the remote town of Trencianske Teplice. Do you want to spend a day relaxing in a real spa with all the trimmings? Then this is the place to be. Here you will find various heat baths with different temperatures, relaxing treatments and massages. The largest swimming pool is the open-air pool ‘Pool Grand’ with a temperature of 36 degrees. The village is also a beautiful place for walks in the surrounding hills. Also note the characterful Turkish-style bathhouse on Kupelna, opposite the Pax sanatorium. The hammam dates from 1888.
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