The site

Tematín Castle is situated on a side ridge of the Považský Inovec mountain range at an altitude of 605 metres above the sea level. It was part of a chain of border castles; therefore, it was built far from any settlements and is now considered one of the least accessible castles in Slovakia.

As to its early history, archaeological research indicates that the first brick buildings of the castle were built around the year 1250, under the spell of the Tatar invasion and served as both guard and refuge in case of threat. In 1311 a large defensive tower was built. The first documentary evidence of the castle was found in the written instruments of the year 1347 when King Louis I donated it to Vavrinec Tót of Raholec, the administrator of the countries of Nitra, Wallachia, and Sopron. It witnessed several battles due to which it was partly damaged, but never conquered. It began losing its renown of unconquerable fortress towards the end of the 18th century, since the nobility were at that time building more luxurious and more comfortable mansions in the lowlands.

The individual parts of the castle changed owners over time, such as by the House of Berčéni mainly known for Mikuláš. After the suppression of their uprising and prosecution, the castle was damaged by the imperial troops in the year 1710. The last written document dates back to 1721 and it says that the castle was devoid of any property and that it was no longer manned or guarded.

As of the year 2007, the castle has remained in the care of the Tematín Castle Association. With the help of volunteers and staff, its members explore and preserve the castle. During these years, they have managed to stabilise several parts of the castle before they were completely lost. The main objective of the association is to maintain the atmosphere of the castle as part of the beautiful countryside without allowing any massive interferences or new constructions and to disseminate knowledge about traditional masonry. Thus, in performing the necessary conservation works, the organisation exclusively applies historic recipes and procedures of mortar composition and uses traditional masonry techniques.


The project

The project in 2024 represents the latest chapter in an ongoing collaboration between European Heritage Volunteers and the Tematín Castle Association, which was first established in 2019 and has continued through the years 2020 and 2022.

Rooted in a shared commitment to the conservation of cultural heritage, these collaborative efforts have focused on the exploration and revitalisation of traditional technologies of stone and brick masonry. As the castle and the project serve as testaments to the region's rich history and architectural legacy, each endeavour has aimed the preservation of traditional methods of construction. In this regard, the works undertaken during the upcoming project serve as more than just restoration efforts; they represent immersive educational experiences, offering the participants a hands-on opportunity to engage with centuries-old techniques and craftsmanship while breathing new life into this historic landmark.

The conservation works will be carried out directly at the historic walls and vaults of the medieval buildings which have been rebuilt and changed in Renaissance style, where the stone – and at vaults the brick – are the dominant building materials.

Under the supervision of skilled craftsmen and heritage conservation experts the participants will be involved in the whole process, from lime preparation and lime burning, mortar mixing and stone selection up to stone laying technology in stonework and historic masonry.

The educational part of the project will include information concerning the historical evolution phases that Tematín Castle has undergone through the centuries. In addition, participants will be informed about the particular steps to prepare, plan and carry out heritage conservation interventions as well as about the norms and other details concerning the governance of cultural heritage sites in Slovakia.

During the weekend, the group will partake in an excursion to neighbouring fortresses and castles, where the participants will get familiarised with different conservation approaches and see various conservation and reconstruction techniques.


The project will take place from August, 04th to August 17th, 2024, and is organised by Tematín Castle Association in cooperation with European Heritage Volunteers.

European Heritage Volunteers