Čachtice Castle: Where the Legend of the Murderous Bloody Countess Lives

Elizabeth Báthory’s tenure at Čachtice Castle was only a short episode in its history, but her name attracts thousands of tourists every year.

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This article was prepared for an edition of the Spectacular travel guide to Slovakia and was published in the travel guide Slovakia.

Čachtice Castle (Čachtický hrad)

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Čachtice Castle is inseparably linked to the infamous Elizabeth Báthory, known as the Blood Countess.

The first mention of the castle dates back to the first half of the 13th century when it served as a border fortress. The castle had several important owners including the Hungarian oligarch Máté Csák, Stibor of Stiborice and the Nádasdy family.

After a terrible fight against the Ottomans, Ferenc Nádasdy died in 1604 and his wife Elizabeth took over the administration of his property. According to legend, she was investigated for the murder of several hundred young girls and bathed in their blood. She was imprisoned in Čachtice Castle in 1611, where she died confined to the castle which later turned into ruins. Archaeologists failed to find his grave during the two-year reconstruction completed in spring 2014.

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While Elizabeth Báthory’s tenure at the castle was only a short episode in its history and there is no definitive proof that she was truly steeped in blood, her name attracts thousands of tourists each year.

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