The southern part of Hlohovec with the whole castle area is located on the west edge 's upland. The castle park, with the castle and the buildings surrounding it, is spread out below the highest point of Hlohovec, location Damašky, with an elevation of 974,4 feet (297 m) above sea level, and the lower located Šianec (commonly known as Šanec). On a day with clear sight, visitors are rewarded with the best view over the Váh river valley. The difference in elevation between the Váh floodplain and the highest point is about 492,12 feet (150 m). The original park spans an area of 16 ha 29 ac and 89 m2. The presence of 104 plant species has been documented in the area, 19 of them no longer exist. The park is characterized by majestic sycamore trees (Platanus occidentalis and Platanus acerifolia). The park sits on the foundations of an old Slavonic fortified settlement from the second half of the 9th century.
His most extensive reconstruction took place between 1790 and 1800. Minister of State at the court of Emperor Francis II., count Joseph Erdödy, had the original castle rebuilt into a comfortable noble residence immersed in a large park. In the spirit of classicism and empire was created a series of smaller architectures. Many trails were embedded in a wooded hillside and had rather the character of forest park. The castle was surrounded by farm buildings, stables, wine cellars and the building of estate manager. In 1802 the Empire theater and the riding hall were added on the east side. The Erdödy dynasty would aggrandize and rebuild the park in the next few decades. A major reconstruction took place at the turn of the 20th century. At the same time terraces were erected in the park between the arbour and greenhouses. In 1955, 1957, 1968 and 1982, the castle park was once again renovated. After 1989, 's investment funds helped to move forward with the partial park revitalization. In an urban environment of Hlohovec the castle park has the most extensive area of greenery and the most important habitat for animals. It has varied vegetation: from grassland of sycamore grove through non-native plant species, to a light deciduous forest of the former game preserve. The presence of wetlands in the lake creates conditions for the life of several animal species. Most of the animals in the park colonized this territory independentl's free will. The best researched group of local fauna are the birds. Thanks to ornithological research 61 bird species have been recorded in the park. Species of interest in the park include rook (Corvus frugilegus), which is dominant in the area and creates numerous nesting colonies in the crowns of sycamore trees. A nesting spot of common starling (Sturnus vulgaris), western jackdaw (Corvus monedula) and common wood pigeon (Columba palumbus) was also found there.
The rural areas of Hlohovec offer a wide variety of flora and fauna within its remarkable natural areas. The vast lowlands of the river Váh floodplain borders the town from the west. In the past it was covered by the river system flowing up to the walls of Leopoldov fortress. Due to the floods in the past, the river often shifted in its flow, particularly in the spring from the ice melt run off, and in the summer with heavy rain. It is the reason for the name, which originates from the Latin word Vagus, meaning roving or wandering. The area of Hlohovec as far as the village of Šulekovo was covered with significant biotope, extensive moorland woods. Forests along the riversides gradually diminished after 1945 and the construction of the Váh cascades. The biggest tributory of the Váh called „Mŕtvy Váh"(Dead Váh) lay near the village of Šulekovo and was given the name „Paradise" by our predecessors due to its romantic nooks. It seems the initial letter of the name Hlohovec was noted down not only in history of the town, but was also carved out by the river. In the old maps, the Váh is pictured as a blue seamless ribbon divided in two flows above and near the village of Svätý Peter. Below the town, in the low part of Sihoť, the rivers again merged to create an island between Hlohovec and Šulekovo.
However, the flow found its way across this area, cutting this „paradise" nook through by another arm, creating a bizarre shape of letter H directly in the landscape, as if nature also wanted to express and emphasize a complete connection to the settlement by beginning to spell its name across the land. A few water systems in the area of the Váh arms have been preserved until present day. An important acquatic biotope, Terezovské rameno (TerezovArm) lies offthesoutwest, near the former homestead of Terezov. It is covered with lush underwater plant life, and a small wetland floret known as the Yellow Water Lily (Nuphar Lutea). Crayfish, which used to be commonly spread along the whole flow of the river, also find their shelter in this spot. Near the railway track between Hlohovec and Leopoldov there is a river arm below Kozí vrch hill connected with the main flow by a railway bridge. This area is the habitat of protected amphibians and reptiles, and an important spawning ground and winter haven for fish.
From the lowlands northeast off Hlohovec the landscape rises towards the southern spurs of the Považský Inovec hills. A nature preserve by the name of Sedliská is in the part of Stará hora - Soroš and features a hilly and lightly forested area. The hill is cleaved by a deep ravine with the glen creating the distinct shape of a sadle; this together with neighbouring hills which rise above. In 17th century, the Lordship of Hlohovec Castle built a quarry to get limestone. During mining, smaller karstic caves with stalactic figures and features were discovered.
Until 1937, there was an entrance to a tunnel and legend had it that there was a saurian dwelling in the cave of Sedliská. Instead of that beast, visitors may meet its distant relative in the form of a lizard. A treeless slope of Sedliská is the place where you will find Adonis
Vernalis and Pulsatilla Grandis blossoming in the spring. This is why the preserve with its area of 6,0193 ha (60, 193m2) deserves the name Pulsatilla Meadow. This area is considered to be a significant habitat of xeric and thermophilic species. Hlohovec is lined by forests in the north and northeast. The edge of these woods are covered by mixed oak and beech trees. In most parts, deciduous trees such as a variety of oaks (Quercus Petraea Matusch and Quercus Cerris), hornbeams (Carpinus Betulus), and maple trees (Acer) florish.
The historic name, Veľká hora - Fáneš, defines itself as the largest wooded area and an important hunting area in the town Cadastre. It is important for tourists as well as mushroom hunters, and also serves the inhabitants as a place to relax, refresh, and reegenergize themselves. Kamenné hory. Stará hora and Hanšutka between Nitrianska Pahorkatina hills and Považský Inovec hills in the northeast, and Mladý háj, Teplá izba and Šumperky in the southeast of the town, are the next important natural areas.
Text: Mgr. Jozef Urminský
The town of Hlohovec lies in western part of Slovakia – in the central part of Dolne Považie region. It spreads on the meeting spot of three different country reliefs – flat Dolnovážska niva changes to slightly hilly Nitrianska pahorkatina with the top spot – Šianec and from the north there is a part of Považský Inovec in the form of lower hill Soros. In the north-south direction the river Vah gets through the region. The highest peak of the county is Holy Hill (432 m above sea level) in Považský Inovec, the lowest point is the meeting point of rivers Dudváh and Vah by Siladice at 131 m above sea level.
Part of the very human seats there are oasis of half natural surroundings – parks. As a part of the heritage there are few historic parks. In the southwest part of Hlohovec in the area of Erdödy castle there lays Castle Park. The interesting parts in it are French terraces as well as artificial lake with an isle. The grand jewel of the park is the biggest sycamore wood in middle Europe with few dozens of 200 years old trees. There are also the only two protected trees of the Hlohovec County in this park. By the amphitheatre there is the grand example of Scots Pine with the age of approx. 130 years and the height of 28 m and in the northern edge of the park there grows the biggest tree of the county – approx. 210 years old Sycamore Maple with the height of 40 metres and the circle distance of 550 centimetres.
The baroque-classical Castle from the second half of 18th century situates very important historic park in the northwest part of Horne Otrokovce –. It is built in mixed style, regular plantation of cut boxwood slowly moves to tree-style park. Currently the park is as a part of the castle privately owned and the entrance is only allowed with the approval of the owners. Approximately 100 years younger there is a park by the late classicistic castle in Dolné Trhovište – part Jelenová. It is situated by the road from Hlohovec to Topoľčany towns and freely accessible as well as the park in Dolné Zelenice, which surrounds the empiric mansion house from the first half of 19th century and can be found in the centre of the village on the road from Hlohovec to Sereď town.
The most valuable parts of nature around Hlohovec town were declared small-scaled protected areas. The most important one is NR (natural reservation) Sedliská also known as Poniklecová lúčka. It lies northeast of the town – by the road from Hlohovec town to Topoľčany at the most south part of Považský Inovec. The reservation is unique because of the existence of warm climate plants and animals, especially wide spread existence of Pasque Flower and Pheasant’s Eye. The dolomites and calcaneus rocks comes to surface in here, which were made from sea sediments. There is 4th degree of protection in there. The area is accessible only by natural trail.
In the Hlohovec County there are two protected areas. PA (protected area) Male Vážky is indeed what is left of the dead part of Vah River. This wetland is important sanctuary for water plants and animals. There is the critically endangered fish – mud minnow. There is 4th degree of protection valid in there. This locality is situated northeast from Červeník village by the road Leopoldov – Piešťany. PA Dedová jama is the part of former floodplain forest. The main part of the protection is plants – Summer Snowflake and Iris Gamine. Among the protected plants you can find here Staphylea Pinnata and common dogwood as well. 4th degree of protection is valid. The area is located north from Červeník village by the highway D1. It is accessible only by side roads.
In the area around Hlohovec town because of the agricultural value of the country there were only few bits left of the woods. Most of the wood vegetation covers the back of Povazsky Inovec where there is red tourist trail. Northeast of Hlohovec town there lies the biggest homogenous wood in the region of the town – Veľká hora Fanes. It is oak and oakhornbeam woods which serves for short-term recreation and important hunting area. It is accessible from the road from Hlohovec to Topoľčany. Along the road from Hlohovec to Nitra there is relatively big Mladý haj woods. The pheasants were introduced here and it became important hunting area as well as animal breeding area. The running company grants the entrance only upon the approval.
At the foot of the ridge Soros, by the road Hlohovec - Topoľčany, there is an old quarry where limestone was mined. In this karst rock during mining there were cavities and karst formations discovered. In the former brickworks between vineyards northeast of Hlohovec there were found Tertiary fossils of marine animals and animal bones from Quaternary.
Behind the allotment Obora, south of Hlohovec castle, there is the beginning of one of the biggest landslide in Slovakia. The length of 18 km stretches to Šintava. The access road leads from Šomodská Street through gardens. The nearby prospect at Šianca (297 m), by the road Hlohovec - Bojničky, it offers unobstructed views of the surrounding areas up to Malé Karpaty.
The interesting parts of non-living nature
A significant geological feature is located on the territory Horne Otrokovce. About 1 km from the village, to the left of the road to Tepličky, at the bottom of the deep ravine with spring and covered with overgrown trees occur Quaternary travertine. Imposed in the middle of the field about 500 m south of Tepličky, in part Kicer, in the former sand pit there is a major geological feature of younger Tertiary. There were unearthed numerous bones of elephants mastodon.
Access is possible outside the growing season. Interesting thing of a different kind boasts Koplotovce. In the village emanate two thermal springs. Sulphur-gypsum water cures skin diseases, digestive and musculoskeletal system. There is a children’s pool with water feature made available as well.
The name Vah comes from Latin Vagus, which means wandering. In the past this river unbound with dams was prone to change the riverbed and created therefore the system of extensions that were flooded with wildlife. Only few remained. The train bridge in Hlohovec town will take you the wetland under Kozí vrch. The most undisturbed is “Tereza arm” – left from the road from Šulekovo to Horne Zelenice by Terezov. It is an important biotope of water birds and there was once discovered the river crab. By Dolné Zelenice there is the southwest wetland of Vah River situated in the county of Hlohovec. It’s accessible by the side road from the village heading southeast.
Important wetlands are e.g. gravel pits along the river Vah – gravel mining created many of them during the motorway building. The closest to the town is so called Peterské gravel pit, it`s accessible by the sideway from route Hlohovec – Koplotovce. You can reach another one called Štrkovka from Leopoldov town heading northeast from the fortress. Few smaller gravel pits are in the near proximity of Koplotovce and slightly bigger complex of water area can be reached by left side road from route Šulekovo - Horné Zelenice after Terezov. Gravel pits are the sanctuary for water plants and animals and resting place for migrating birds.
Unmanaged fruit gardens, vineyards and small fields on warm southwest to south slopes of Nitrianska pahorkatina - highlands are covered by non-forest vegetation and became sanctuary for many rare warm loving plants and animals, especially insects. Part of Hlohovec called Nova stvrt borders with the locality called Stará hora – Hanšutka. There is a trial in the middle of the slope between Kamenohorská Street and bricks factory. Similar is the locality of Šumperky, which borders with Hlohovec in the southeast. There is a natural trail there starting at the local farm.
Valuable biotopes of thermophile flora and fauna are former grazing fields on the warm slopes of Povazsky Inovec. The most important is the already mentioned Sedliská Nature Reserve. About 1 km northwest of Horne Trhoviste there is Kavas site. There is a walkway leading to it from the beginning of the village chapel. On the opposite side of the mountain about 500 m northeast of Jalšové there is the site Stará Hora, accessible by dirt road. South of the village, behind the holiday cottages along the yellow marked trails stretch so called Jalšovské meadows.