by captain oddsocks
August 4, 2005
The entrance is up the staircase to the left of the building. After buying your 30Sk ticket, (15Sk for students)you’ll be shown into a room that houses two large models of Trenčín castle at different times in its history, as well as numerous framed paintings and sketches of the town. You’re left to peruse the exhibits at your leisure until the guide decides it's time for you to see the second room.
The upper floor was formerly the executioner’s residence and the guide gives a short talk on the subject while also directing your attention to such things as 400-year old clocks, coats of arms, coins and ceremonial battleaxes belonging to the Strazníci, who were the police and guardians of the town. The two rooms are reasonably small and seeing everything thoroughly takes only ten minutes or so. The guide is always with you to explain and answer questions, and you’ll be quite aware when she feels she’s spent enough time with you.
When you’re ushered to the downstairs room, which was formerly the prison, you’ll find another guide who will show you implements of torture including racks, stocks, leather whips and various hard pointy objects, the gruesome details of which my memory seems to have blocked out. The one that vividly springs to mind is a wooden ball covered in metal studs, attached to a handle by a short length of chain. This was used to help people remember what it is that they should be confessing to while strapped around the chest, neck, elbows and ankles to a low bench mounted on wheels. There are also police uniforms of different eras, swords and more battleaxes. Another ten minutes or so, and you’re done.
There’s a nice wooden balcony around three sides of the top floor, which must have provided superb views for the ticket lady during the cigarette break that I apparently interrupted when I wanted to buy a ticket. Unfortunately the 30Sk ticket price doesn’t seem to be enough of a reason for her to share it with visitors to the city.
Photography is prohibited within the entire museum, and twenty minutes is enough time to allow for a visit. The museum is closed Sundays and Mondays and open from 9am to 12 noon and from 12:30 until 5pm, Tuesday through Saturday.
From journal Trencin: Castle Over the River Vah