Zvolen Castle Panorama, Slovakia

Zvolen Castle (Slovak: Zvolenský zámok or incorrectly Zvolenský hrad, Hungarian: zólyomi vár) is a medieval castle located on a hill near the center of Zvolen, in central Slovakia.

The original seat of the region was above the confluence of Slatina and Hron rivers on a steep cliff in a castle from the 12th century, known today as Pustý hrad (meaning "Deserted castle"). Its difficult access had consequence in relocation of the seat to the new-built Zvolen castle, which was ordered by Louis I the Great as a hunting residence of Hungarian kings. The future queen regnant Mary of Hungary and emperor Sigismund celebrated their wedding there in 1385.

Gothic architecture of the castle built between 1360 and 1382 was inspired by Italian castles of the fourteenth century. Italian masons also contributed to a Renaissance reconstruction in 1548. The last major reconstruction occurred in 1784, when the chapel was rebuilt into the Baroque style.

Zvolen Castle hosts a regional branch of the Slovak National Gallery with an exposition of old European masters, including works by P. P. Rubens, Paolo Veronese, and William Hogarth. There is also a popular tea room located in the castle.

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