2011. október 28., péntek

Pipo de Ozora Castle

This regular 15th-century Gothic castle with an enclosed courtyard had a two-story residential block made from brick and surrounded by a defensive wall with circular towers at each corner. It was remodelled in the 18th century.
With its external facades richly articulated with tracery the castle shows late-Gothic elements. However, it gained its current shape in 1772 when the tympanum of the southern wing together with the massive arcades to the courtyard were built. At that time the other wings were already serving as granaries, with wine and tithe cellars beneath them. The basement also provided space for a prison.
The castle was commissioned by Filippo Scolari - Pipo de Ozora as he was known in Hungary - who was the son of a Florentine merchant family living in Hungary.
The castle today is a museum.
source: Hungary starts here

2011. október 27., csütörtök

Ónod Castle

In the South-Eastern direction from the town of Miskolc on the Sajó river-bank stands the castle of Ónod, the walls of which witnessed many bloody historical events in the past centuries.
We gradually learn more about the history of the castle thanks to the archeological excavation of the present days. In the 14th century the church of the peasant village of Ónod was situated in this place. Péter Czudar turned this church into a fortified private castle. Two hundered years later Péter Perényi, the guardian of the crown ordered to demolish this old block of buildings and instead he ordered to construct a castle with four corner bastions in accordance with the most contemporary Italian-style military theories of that time.
One of the tasks of the army, stationed in the castle was to through back the Turkish attacks. In 1639 the castle's defenders succesfully fought back the attack of the Ottoman army from Eger, but by the end of the century their post had been destroyed.
Because of that the "kuruc" national assembly took part on the otherside of the river in the fields of Köröm in 1707. Related to this event there is a legend about the famous "kuruc" spy Panna Czinka, who was a very good violin-player. She was charged with treachery and executed under the order of his majesty in the outskirt of Ónod, in a place, called Nyakvágó (decapitating).
source: Apartman Eged Vendégház

2011. október 20., csütörtök

Nagyvázsony - Kinizsi Castle

Kinizsi castle originating from the 14th century was extended in the 15th century in a Gothic style and refurbished in the 16th-17th century. Today the castle is a stage for Renaissance games and festivals.
Go through the gate of the outer round bastion into the castle, then cross the bridge across the 'wolf pit' pit full of water and pass through the inner gate tower into the courtyard.
This courtyard is surrounded by the buildings of the palace. Here stands the 29-metre high keep or 'old-tower' which is today a museum.
From the courtyard steps lead to the chapel in which the most important sight is the red marble lid and its remnants of Pál Kinizsi's sarcophagus. The gravestone originally safeguarded the earthly remnants of the forceful commander in the church of the Pauline monastery he had founded. However, after the crumbling walls had collapsed onto the gravestone the sarcophagus was dug out and then broken open by treasure hunters in 1708. Pieces of the broken gravestone were placed in the castle.
Weddings are still held in the castle chapel. Castle games are held every day at 11 am and 3 pm in July. At the Kinizsi Festival held annually on the first weekend of August, the lord of the castle himself appears in the company of his wife to observe the knights' tournament, the performance of the Italian flag throwers and the battle of the Hungarian and Turkish troops.
source: Hungary starts here

2011. október 9., vasárnap

Magyaregregy - Márévár Castle

Máré Castle, in the southern Transdanubia village of Magyaregregy, was built in Gothic style in the 13th century on the remains of a Roman watchtower, and later rebuilt in Renaissance style. According to legend, Máré was a soldier who lived in the castle with his wife, and another soldier, Miklós, lived nearby. When the king called the soldiers to the army, Máré left, but Miklós stayed. Miklós and Máré's wife fell in love and eventually had a daughter. When Máré came home from the war, he went into a rage, destroyed the castle and killed his wife. The daughter born out of wedlock survived by hiding in the cellar, but before Máré's wife died, she cursed her daughter, making her the protector of the castle's treasures. The curse imprisoned her daughter in the cellar and she will not be free until someone dares to kiss her in the form of a bull, a snake or a frog.
source: caboodle.hu

2011. október 5., szerda

Kőszeg - Jurisics Castle

The walled town and the castle within were part of the national defence system. The Gothic inner castle built in the 13th-14th-century was later refurbished in a Renaissance and Baroque style.
The castle evolved continuously from the 13th-century onwards. Not only of a strategic and defensive nature, it also had a status role as the centre of the Kőszeg estate. To this day the castle's twin character has been preserved and it is easy to imagine both the outer and the inner castle surrounded by a moat. Although today a stone bridge leads towards the gate of the outer castle, the stone sockets above the gate bear witness to the former drawbridge.
In the outer castle courtyard is a statue of castle defender Nikola Jurisic (Jurisics Miklós) as well as part of the castle's former outbuildings. The stone bridge leading to the inner castle was laid following dismantlement of the drawbridge.
The trapezoid inner castle courtyard is framed by an arcade erected on the second storey following a 1777 fire. From the courtyard only the eastern wing has retained its original shape. Passing the so-called 'stairway house' visitors may enter the exhibition halls of the Jurisics Castle Museum (Vármúzeum) from where the splendid facade of the Kőszegi Palace (1279-90) can be enjoyed. Another stairway leads up to the knights' hall built between 1392 and 1441. In the north wing Gothic ornamental wall paintings have been preserved. Several decades later, from 1483 to 1490 the late Gothic-early Renaissance row of windows was created along with Renaissance wall paintings and sgraffito. The castle's east and south wings were constructed from the second half of the 15th to the first half of the 16th century. From 1616 to 1695 the inner courtyard was once again refurbished.
The castle owes its name to its captain and defender during the Turkish period, Nikola Jurisics. Some also call it Esterházy Castle given that the Esterházy family owned it for the longest period of 236 years.
Today the castle is home to the Jurisics Community Centre and to the exhibitions of the Castle Museum.
source: Hungary starts here

2011. október 4., kedd

Kisnána Castle

At the southern part of the Mátra, where the high mountain ranges are turning into downs - there you will find Kisnána, a village situated in a picturesque site equally suitable for hiking, hunting and relaxation.
The knight's castle of the Kompoltis is the best known sight of the village. Only the donjon, gatehouse, castle walls, and the church tower reminds us of the old times.
The castle was built by the Kompoltis, a family originated from the Aba clan. The Kompoltis were expanding to the extent possible, and laid down the foundations of a safe home a short time after the Mongol invasion of Hungary in 1241-42. Then the fortress was being slowly formed into a genuine baronial residence.
Although the castle of Kisnána was never reinforced with outer round bastions and battlements, its high and strong walls offered a safe shelter against unexpected attacks in the age of longbows and catapults.
The Kompoltis were followed by the Losonczys. László Móré, a robber baron feared throughout the country was their relative. He and his cruel men were plundering the Hungarians, Turks and Germans, equally. He scraped together an enormous fortune, but finally he drew upon himself the hatred of the pasha of Buda.
The robber baron had to run away to the fortress of Kisnána with the pasha's armies at his heels. László Móré resorted to a trick: thinking of the besiegers' greed he threw down many gold pieces to them. But he could not stop the Turkish soldiers by that, so Móré's eyrie was occupied and the baron was taken to the Seven Towers, a prison in Constantinople.
Even today, some villagers are telling old tales about Móré's treasure that was hidden in the ground somewhere in the fortress. Of course, no one has found the treasure so far, but the legend lives on...
source: ektf.hu