In the year 1241 the first enemies attacked the castle. They were the Tatars, who did not however capture the castle. This was probably because unlike the majority of castles in Hungary, which the Tatars razed to the ground, this castle was built of stone. After many years spent plundering, the Tatars suddenly left Hungary. ‚… Besides which, we bequeath to the Provost Matthew a suitable place at Spish Castle for the construction of a tower and palace, which he has permission to build, fortify and maintain for the sake of the defence of the castle and the benefit of the church. We state in addition that regarding the place and buildings constructed here, he himself and his descendents to this provostship will hold tenure…‘ You have been listening to an excerpt from the rolls of Béla IV, from the year 1249. This is the first direct written reference to the existence of Spish Castle. At that time Spish Castle was built just on the highest piece of flat land at the summit of the castle hill. It was the property of the King. He kept here his royal steward, who administered the territory in the name of the Hungarian king. According to the rolls mentioned earlier, it was right here on the open space, beneath the highest castle acropolis, that he ordered the construction of a square three-storey residential tower. Only the foundations of this tower and the narrow Romanesque entrance still exist today. You are now standing right beside them. Very soon this area was enclosed within new curtain walls, so that today you no longer stand in front of the castle, but inside the small Romanesque outer castle. It was entered using the gate through which you have just come. The provost continued to live inside this residential tower until a much more representative dwelling had been completed beside the ruins of the monastery, today’s Spishská kapitula. They subsequently started to use this tower as a gunpowder store – which is why it no longer stands today. Bound up with that one night in the 16th century, when the tower shot high into the air, is the legend of the Knight Sarsko.

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