Alsómicsinye (Dolná Mičiná) is located in the Upper lands/Horná Zem/Felföld, in Slovakia. In the former County of Zólyom (Zvolen), 7 km southeast of Besztercebánya (Banská Bystrica), on the eastern edge of the village of Alsómicsinye (Dolná Mičiná), rises the Beniczky’s family late Renaissance castle on the hilltop. It boasts with four towers.
This ancient nest of the Beniczky family was built in 1667 by Beniczky Tamás and his wife, Meerwaldt Anna, according to an inscription that has since been destroyed, however, it was first mentioned in 1402. According to other sources, the castle had been there in the 16th century already. (Please, note that I use the Oriental name order for Hungarians where family names come first.)
It was owned by the Micsinyei and the Beniczky families. The castle was enlarged in 1667. The building, which was built and maintained with great care, received a new roof at the end of the 18th century, and its windows were also remodeled.
Könyöki József visited Micsinye in January 1889, he wrote: “At the end of the village, Benitzky Tamás built his castle in 1667 on a higher hill. This castle was surrounded by walls, which, however, were removed in recent times and farm buildings were erected from the material. The layout of the rooms on both floors is the same, which is why I only give the floor plan of the first floor. There are cellars under the whole building, only the staircase is not dug under…”
Könyöki goes on like this: “There is an open corridor from the right and left, from which stairs lead to the ground floor rooms. Above the cellar door is a door with a drawbar, which is engraved with the year 1667. Only the marks of the drawbridge are still visible. Loopholes are used on both sides of the lower corridor to repel the attacking enemy with shots. There are two dark chambers on each side of the staircase, these are just one story-high…”
Könyöki: “I can’t determine the building material because the whole castle is carefully plastered. Otherwise, there are enough stones to find in the countryside. The well is located between the farm buildings to the north. At the bottom of these buildings, or six meters below there is the castle garden.”
Colonel Beniczky Lajos, a famous officer of the Hungarian War of Independence of 1848, was born here. The castle remained the property of the Beniczky family until the early 1900s.
At the beginning of the 20th century, Divald Kornél described the castle as follows: “The castle was built on top of a high hill, with a rectangular floor plan, cylindrical bastion towers at the corners, and a square stair tower protruding strongly in the middle of its rear façade. On the façade facing the serpentine path coming from the bottom of the hill, between the two corner bastions, a friendly, two-armed open arcade staircase leads to the door, next to which, however, loopholes yawn in the back wall of the arcades.”
Divald Kornél goes on: “Above the stairs, upstairs, there is a merry-looking loggia resting on Tuscan-style pillars. In the left corner of the open corridor upstairs, there is an ornate fireplace, the ledge of which rests on twisted, vine-leaf columns, the ornament of which is built by the castle builder and his wife: Beniczky Tamás, and the embossed coat of arms of Mervald Katalin from the Patrician family of Besztercebánya (Banská Bystrica).”
The castellum, which was badly damaged during World War II, was repaired in the mid-1970s by the Central Slovak Monument Authority. Fortunately, the outdoor Renaissance fireplace and the ceiling stucco of one of the halls of the castle, created with high artistry, were saved.
Unfortunately, after a decade and a half, the castle has become uninhabited again. Its interior is crumbling and desolate. Its famous fireplace was dismantled and transported by strangers, most likely it is stolen. Although the roof of the building is relatively intact, it may soon be on the brink of destruction in the absence of preservation. However, presently there are very promising castle projects are being done in Slovakia so I hope they will soon restore this castle as well.
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Here are more pictures of Alsómicsinye castle: