Selected Passages from Hungarian-Ottoman Wars


Photo: Patrik Kunec

Betlenfalva (Betlanovce or Betlensdorf) is famous for the late Renaissance palace of the Hungarian Thurzó family. The village is located in the Upper lands/Horná Zem/Felvidék, it is located in Slovakia, not too far from Kassa (Kosice, Kaschau).

Betlenfalva on an old postcard

The place was first mentioned in 1260 as “Betlema” and the Göbel family owned it in 1311. The settlement’s lord became the mighty Thurzó György in 1430. The Thurzó family derived from Lower Austria and they were related to the Fuggers. They can be partly made responsible for the financial disaster before the Battle of Mohács in 1526.

Here is my article about why the Hungarian Renaissance is not so well-known in the world:

Next to the village can be found the barely visible remains of the Marcel-castle which was built in the 13th century. The Bohemian Hussites used it in the 15th century when they were raiding the area led by Peter Axamit. However, their castle was pulled down later by the command of Lőcse city.

Photo: Jerzy Opiola

The northern Renaissance was spreading through Royal Hungary quite fast as this area was close to the German lands and to Poland. We can easily distinguish this northern style because of the unique facade ornaments that you can see on the top of this small palace as well. These facade ornaments were very nicely preserved in the northern part of Royal Hungary, in fact, you can see most of them there. This style can be observed on the palaces of Nagyőr, Késmárk, Frics, and Eperjes but we can see it on bell-towers and palaces in several towns.

This mason is also in Betlenfalva (Photo: Kminfo)

The palace of Betlenfalva was built between 1564-68 by Péter Faigel whose wife came from the Thurzó family. The small palace used to be a place for the assemblies of the county’s nobility. The building was renovated last time in 1960. In the pictures, you can see its church, too. Allegedly, the building is for sale now: if I had the money, I would not think twice to buy it.

The church in Betlenfalva (Photo: Kminfo)

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Photo: Kminfo