Wednesday 12 July
We made a lunch time stop at Bojnice to see the ”fairy-tale” Bojnický zámok Castle.
The only option was to do the guided tour, but unlike the Red Castle in Casta, we were treated to an English language tour. Amazingly, most visitors in our tour group spoke English as a second language.
All the travel information provide romantic descriptions of what is considered as one of the prettiest castles in Europe. But it hasn’t always looked that way, the current French Gothic style was created during a renovation between 1889 and 1910 by Count Jan Frantisek Palfi. Sadly, he died in 1908 in Vienna, a bachelor, and before the renovations were completed. This left a family feud to determine ownership, which was finally settled in 1923.
When doing our research we discovered that the Bata (shoe manufacturer) family bought the castle in 1939, but their ownership didn’t last long as WWII broke out and in 1945 the Bata’s property was confiscated by the Czechoslovak government. There was no mention made of this ownership during the tour.
Bata shoe manufacturing is an interesting story, whilst the company succeeded world wide, the soviet version of it folded very quickly, due to poor quality of the products that were locally made.
The tour itself was amazing – the rooms are beautifully decorated and well renovated after a fire in 1950.
We are now off the beaten track of international travellers. Most visitors to Čičmany and Bojnice are local Slovaks. Having said that, we have not encountered many people who don’t speak English.