Selected Passages from Hungarian-Ottoman Wars between 1372-1699


Bajmóc Castle

Bajmóc (Bojnice, Bojnický zámok) is located in the Upper lands/Horná Zem/Felvidék, presently Slovakia.

Bajmóc was first mentioned in 1113 AD. The Hungarian King Louis the Great made Bajmóc a town in 1366. Later, in the 15th century, it was owned by King Matthias Corvinus, who gave it to his illegitimate son John Corvinus in 1489. Matthias liked to visit Bajmóc and it was here that he worked on his royal decrees. He used to dictate them under his beloved linden tree, which is now known as the “Linden tree of King Matthias”. After his death, the castle became the property of the Zápolya family (see John Zápolya). The Thurzós, the richest family in the northern Kingdom of Hungary, acquired the castle in 1528 and undertook its major reconstruction. The former fortress was turned into a Renaissance castle. 

The city was burned and sacked by the Turks in 1530 and in 1599 but they could not take the castle. In the middle ages, it was owned by the Csák family then it had Italian owners who improved the castle a lot. Later the Szapolyai family gained it, and after 1527 it went to the Thurzó family. The castle opened its gate to Prince Bocskay in 1604. The Pálffy family took hold of it after 1637 who had owned it until the 20th century until 1918. The city was sacked again in 1623 by the Hajdu soldiers of Prince Gábor Bethlen and by Prince Imre Thököly in 1683. The burghers of the town were trading with iron ore and salt, and saffron in the 16-17th centuries. It had 607 inhabitants in 1673. It is also known for its spa. The therapeutic springs were mentioned in 1549 for the first time.

Finally, the last famous castle owner from the Pálffy family, Count János Ferenc Pálffy (1829-1908), made a complex romantic reconstruction from 1888 to 1910 and created today’s beautiful imitation of French castles of the Loire valley. He not only had the castle built but also was the architect and graphic designer. He utilized his fine artistic taste and love for collecting pieces of art. He was one of the greatest collectors of antiques, tapestries, drawings, paintings, and sculptures of his time. 

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