Château Appony

in Pinmapple7 months ago

We didn't plan any summer vacation this year because of our garden, but when our neighbor suggested that he would water our plants while we're gone we couldn't refuse his offer. We didn't have much time to plan, so we decided to go to Slovakia and spend some time with our family.

His offer came at a great time and we were able to leave in the weekend of our 12th wedding anniversary, so we could do something special to celebrate. We booked a room in the Château Appony and enjoyed a unique experience. I have never stayed in a former mansion before!

Château Appony is located in Oponice which is a bit more than an hour drive from Bratislava. Oponice is a tiny village with less than 1000 inhabitants, so we were surprised to learn about this hotel. Frankly, there is nothing to do in the village, but Oponice is situated in a picturesque region which is worth a visit. Also, the mansion and its surroundings are greatly popular for weddings and other celebrations.

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We left home at 4AM to arrive in Oponice 11 hours later. The traffic was terrible, it was way too hot and we were exhausted when we arrived. We didn't sleep that night and we were so ready for bed, but we were also excited to walk around and explore the mansion that our sleep had to wait for a few more hours.

The mansion was built during the 16th and 17th century and was reconstructed 15 years ago after its long and turbulent history. It was built by the Apponyi family which was one of the most important and wealthy families in the Hungarian empire. Thanks to their presence in Oponice, the village became a popular place for royals, diplomats, poets, singers or actors who came here to spend time with the family and relax in their estate.

The last Appony owner of the mansion was Henrich Apponyi who died with no descendants and the mansion was sold to another family until it was nationalized after the World War II and left in decay. History

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Today, the mansion serves as a luxury hotel with thematic rooms, large gardens and wellness centrum. In the courtyard we can see some items reminding us of the past such as this old cannon, carriages in the back or a well.

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The mansion is reconstructed with attention to detail considering its historical value, but also looking at all needs of the modern customer at the same time. The only thing that is missing is a lift, but since there are only two floors it was no problem for us.

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Behind the well we can see the door to the library. When we checked in to our room we went there as we thought it was a normal library where we could borrow some books. We were so wrong! We arrived there to learn that we can visit the library only with a guide and we got so intrigued that we postponed our sleep even more. We were lucky as we only had to wait for about 15 minutes for another tour, so we purchased our tickets at the reception and planned to wander around the courtyard a little longer. The entrance ticket to the library is 6 EUR per person and it is worth it! The tour takes about 30 minutes and you can ask any questions in the end. The tour guide spoke English, so it was easy also for my husband to follow.

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It was way too hot for those 15 minutes outside, so we quickly entered the library hall and waited for our guide there. Our tour started shortly and we were surprised to see what is hidden behind that simple door. Let's have a look!

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Welcome to the library! The Apponyi family collected books for centuries and their collection had originally around 30000 books. The library was in Vienna, then in Bratislava before it was moved to Oponice after this wing was added to the mansion in the 19th century. Today, we can see there about 17000 books as part of the collection was lost during the war and nationalization. I asked our guide which book was the most important but he couldn't say as it's impossible to calculate the value of the collection. What he said was that the oldest book is locked in a safe.

As I mentioned, the mansion was visited by many important personalities and this library is the place to learn about them. There are many items related to those guests that you will see during your visit.

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The most important visitors were Theodore Roosevelt, John Alec Baker, Patial Maharaja or the millionaire Thomas Drake Martinez Cardeza. Cardeza came to Oponice after he and his family survived Titanic tragedy. They were in one of the most luxurious suites on the boat with their servants, jewelery worth a fortune and tons of suitcases and trunks. They boarded the lifeboat and all of them survived, but the jewelery and all their possessions that they travelled with were lost forever. Mr. Cardeza came to Oponice one year after the tragedy and took part in local hunting. He also brought some valuable trophies with him that we can now see in the library.

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There are two floors in the library, but we were only able to see the ground floor. Behind the wall on the second floor are representative rooms that are used for wedding ceremonies.

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During the occupation, the library was used as a granary with grain being stored here along with the books. The books were saved by a political prisoner Vševlad J. Gajdoš who worked 2 months to clean and sort all the books, one by one. Thanks to him we can now admire the collection.

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You might think that the billiard table was placed there only recently as you would not expect it in the library. And this is wrong. The table was used during soirees when the best singers were standing on it singing for the guests.

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Žofia Apponyi was wife of Anton Apponyi who built the library in Oponice. She was considered to be the reason why Oponice became a little Paris with all its visitors.

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I can only imagine the music played by this piano with a singer on the billiard table singing beautiful songs...

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The savior of the library Vševlad J. Gajdoš also has his personal items showcasted. Here we can see his working table...

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There are books in many languages stored in the library. I don't remember the exact number, but there were more than 10 languages. Here we can see a book in French.

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Geraldine Apponyi was one of the most popular personalities of the family. She married the king of Albany and moved with him there. She was the queen of Albany for a year as then it became part of Mussolini's Italy, so they had to flee to save their lives. They left in a Mercedes that they got as a gift from Mussolini - what a paradox.

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It took two years to restore this Bible. Look at how thick it is!

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Each page in this book is decorated with a precious handmade flower painting...

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More original books to admire, but not to touch 🙂

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What do you see here? I must admit that at first I didn't see anything, but it is an original map of Paris dating back to the 18th century. If you look carefully, you might see some blurry detail...

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The coat of arms of the Apponyi family...

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And yes, the chandeliers were beautiful too!

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At the end of our tour we saw this old bicycle. I saw many of them in old movies, but it was the first time that I saw a real one and let me tell you it is big. I have no idea how they could hop on it and manage to steer it as well.

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It's been a long day, so after the tour we enjoyed an early dinner. It was still hot, but we chose to sit on a terrace as it was peaceful and there were no other guests yet.

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They had no vegan dishes on the menu, but they were able to prepare a delicious meal of grilled smoked tofu and vegetables. It was a light meal and perfect for this weather.

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And I can't miss these delicious sorbets. It was apricots and a mixture of some berries that they called 'forest mix'. It was yum!

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We had such an amazing room that it would be a shame not to show it to you, so come with me...

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The halls were decorated with some old furniture...

We need to walk up to our room...

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And here we go!

You can book a standard room or you can book a thematic room. If I'm not mistaken there are 6 thematic rooms with personalities linked to the history of the chateau. We booked a room dedicated to the ruler of the Habsburg empire Maria Theresa. I remember learning about her in school and finding her pretty cool.

She was one of the most famous Habsburgs and the ruler who started the reforms in the empire. She was a kind and generous ruler who respected the rights of others, but also expected others to respect her rights too. I must say that I appreciate this concept and try to live like this too, so when I saw that 'her' room was available I booked it right away.

The decoration of the room exceeded our expectations and we will come back to the hotel to stay in other thematic rooms too. The receptionist also told us that there are some guests who come regularly and always book another room too.

Let's start in the bedroom. This bed was large and so tall! It was above my waist and I had to jump up to get on it 🙂

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We had a stove in the sitting room too...

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And plenty of space for a living room...

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The bathroom was luxurious, but we made a mess quickly, so I will only show you the view 🙂

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I know I said that we didn't sleep the night before, but there was so much to do that we didn't manage to go to bed earlier anyway. We had to walk around at dark too as we loved the lights, but we knew already that a tough morning was ahead of us.

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The evening walk was beautiful and the next morning as difficult as expected. We didn't wake up on time for breakfast, but we got enough sleep and gained energy for the rest of our trip as we still had more than 400 km ahead of us. And yes, that is an eternity on the Slovak roads 🙂

Thank you for reading!

Cheers,
Martina

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What a beautiful and perfect place for the anniversary celebration. You have a very nice neighbour, thanks to him you were able to travel to this dream place.

The library is fantastic, so much history and art!

I loved this tour, thank you so much @delishtreats ❤️

Thank you for your kind words 🙂 It was indeed a lovely place for our celebration 😉

I am sure of it. Thanks to you!❤️

What a cool place! That library wow. Happy anniversary. So happy you could celebrate together in this wonderful mansion. That room is great too.

Thank a lot Sara! In all what's happening now in our family I forgot to answer you. I would gladly accept your offer in Arizona, but we can't come as my mother in law will have an unexpected surgery on the 19th of Sep and we need to be here to support her after. She will likely get a stoma, so it's going to be tough for her in the beginning. Hope to see you next year! 😊

How are you dear friend @delishtreats good afternoon
You have an excellent neighbor, few are the people who offer to take care of the plants for us
If great that it coincided with the wedding anniversary, my congratulations.
What a charming place, I like the period building, and how much history there is there. The dishes look exquisite, I must admit that it whetted my appetite. I appreciate you sharing these beautiful photos.
I take this opportunity to wish you a wonderful weekend.

We have a great community around us and we like helping each other 🙂

Thank you for stopping by!

It is really important to have a good neighbor.

Congratulations on your wedding anniversary and I wish you many happy and healthy years together. It is very interesting that places with a very small population have surprisingly great places to visit, we had the same situation after our marriage last month. From what I can see from the photos, this place looks stunning, I also like the quality of your photos, the sunlight seems to have done you a favor. I can't say enough about the library, this is the first time I have seen such a magnificent and inspiring library. The notebook with the flower paintings looks very interesting, I would like to look at the other pages. You had a wonderful day, I enjoyed while reading it so much.🌸

Thank you for stopping by and for your kind words 🙂 Did you get married last month? Congratulations! 🙂

With all the history you guys got to learned about in the library, I must confess, the fee was worth it.

You are making me hungry to pay a visit to this place not for any other reason but to have the chance to see those curated books and breath in the air around those shelf. I must thank Žofia Apponyi for preserving this heritage 😍😍😍

It's an impressive place and the feeling of standing among so many books containing so much knowledge is amazing 😊

Thank you for stopping by!

Wow. This wasn't the usual palace or castle, but a very historical mansion. You were even able to sleep inside one of the rooms, and at a thematic room at that. The white walls of the buildings were nice, but the view at night was wonderful. The numerous artifacts everywhere is wonderful.

The interior is so beautiful. From the library, to the room. The stay looks to be very worth it.

We stayed in so many hotels before, but none of them was this impressive. I must admit I was not sure if I should post it at first as it's indeed different to my other posts, but a bit of variety is good too 😊

Thank you for your kind words and have a nice day!

Oh wow, I'm happy you decided to post it then. I think you can widen your range to include historical places as well. So you won't be limited to just castles and palaces haha

Fabulous is my best way to describe this and one can feel the cloud of witnesses when strolling around at that place.
A lovely post steeped in history.

Thanks a lot! I'm glad you liked it 😊

My pleasure and thank you also for all the support :)

!PIZZA

Beautiful library, but how would one get to the books above the arch in the first library photo?

That is a good question. I guess with a ladder 😊

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Wao!!!! Un post muy interesante

Wow, your journey through those photos was like taking a mini-vacation! The chandeliers are indeed stunning, and that old bicycle is a fascinating piece of history. It must have been quite an experience to see it up close. And dining on a peaceful terrace, with a customized vegan meal no less, sounds like the perfect ending to a wonderful day of exploration. It must have been a amazing experience to share.

Thank you for your thoughtful comment 😊 it was definitely an amazing experience 😊

Hiya, @pinmapple here, just swinging by to let you know that this post made it into our Top 3 in Travel Digest #1992.

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What a beautiful place! the library tour was definitely worth the 6 Euro 🙂 the sorbet looked yummy What a lovely place to visit

Thank you! We are already planning our next trip there 🙂

The Mansion and its surrounding is indeed picturesque. The library is so enormous, I can imagine myself already in it. I'm sure you had a wonderful time with your partner on this trip.
Happy Anniversary.

Thank you! 🙂

You're welcome

You always bring these amazing places for your hive family @delishtreats. I am amazed by the witness of this place. the garden looks big and beautiful, yes, you can walk here on a daily basis to relieve your stress. Everything in this building reflects class <3 I love the bathroom the most. Delicasy all around.

Thanks a lot! 🙂 I try to show places that I enjoyed 😉

you have done a great job ;)

I must say this is a luxurious building. I love every bit of it. You took really nice pictures. I hope you enjoyed yourself.
All thanks to your neighbor who decided to help.

Thank you! 🙂 My neighbor is cool 😉

Your spontaneous getaway to Slovakia and the Château Appony sounds like a delightful and memorable experience! 🏰 It's wonderful that your neighbor's offer to care for your garden allowed you to celebrate your 12th wedding anniversary in such a special way.
The château's rich history, dating back to the 16th and 17th centuries, adds a layer of intrigue to your visit. It's fascinating to learn about the Apponyi family's significance and the mansion's role as a gathering place for royals, diplomats, poets, and more. The library, with its impressive collection and connections to historical figures, must have been a highlight of your stay. The dedication of Vševlad J. Gajdoš in preserving the books is truly admirable.
The thematic rooms at the château, like the one dedicated to Maria Theresa, seem like a unique and charming touch. Your photos beautifully showcase the room's opulent decor.
It's evident that you made the most of your visit, exploring both day and night. The evening lights and serene surroundings certainly add to the romantic ambiance.