The Devin Castle 26.10.2007

Devín Castle is a castle in Devín, Slovakia, near Bratislava.

The strategic position, the altitude of 212 meters cliff at the confluence of the Danube and Morava rivers was an ideal place for a fort. Its owner could control the important trade route along the Danube. Both the Celts and after them the Romans built strong fortresses there.

A Slavic castle, founded in the 8th century, played a crucial role during frequent wars between Great Moravia, a Slavic state that existed in Central Europe from the 9th century to the early 10th century, and the Franks. The ancient name of the castle, Dowina was mentioned for the first time in 864.

Great Moravia fell in 10th century and Devin area was integrated into the Kingdom of Hungary. In the 13th century, a stone castle was built to protect the western frontier of the Hungarian Kingdom, reference to a Devin´s Castle appeared in 1326. In 1385, the castle was occupied by Moravia, which was former part of Great Moravia like Devin area. Moravia held it until 1390 when Hungary redeemed it.

Fortification was reinforced during wars against the Ottoman Empire. After the Hungarian Kingdom joined the Habsburg Monarchy and the Ottomans were finally defeated, castle was not anymore an important border fortress and was no longer used by the military. In 1809 the castle was destroyed by the retreating forces of Napoleon I of France.

After World War I and the breaking apart of Austria-Hungary, Devin became a part of Czechoslovakia on October 28, 1918.

Since the 19th century, Devín has become an important national symbol for the Slovaks.