Photo: Szöllősi Gábor

Borsi (Borša) is famous for its Rákóczi castle where the Hungarian Prince Rákóczi Ferenc II was born on 27 March 1676. Borsi is in the district of Kassa (Kosice, Kaschau) and it is located in the Upper lands/Horná Zem/Felvidék, it is in Slovakia, just 3 km from Sátoraljaújhely. The word “bors” is thought to be an ancient Turkish word and it means “strong”. Borsi was first mentioned in 1221 as Borsy. The settlement used to belong to the castle of Sárospatak.

Borsi before the renovation
Photo: Szöllősi Gábor

King Róbert Károly gave it to György, son of Mykch in 1322. The place was owned by the Perényi family in 1387 and it went to the Pálóczy family in 1429. The castle was built by the man of Lord Perényi Gábor who was called Hennyei Miklós, captain of Ónod and later Füzér castle. Perényi gave him the place in 1559. Hennyei later was made the Knight of the Gold Spur Order by King Maximilian. He also took part in the successful defense of Szigetvár castle in 1556 but he was killed during the siege of Gyula castle in 1566.

Photo: Szöllősi Gábor

Later, the castle went by marriage to Zelemér Miklós who reinforced it between 1568-1579. (Please, note that I use the Oriental name order for Hungarians where family names come first.) When Prince Rákóczi György I wed Lórántffy Zsuzsanna in 1602, the castle went to the Rákóczi family. Soon, the Lórántffy family got it in 1615.

Photo: Szöllősi Gábor

The castle was enlarged in 1638 and a Renaissance garden and a mill were built next to the Bodrog River. The troops of Palatine Eszterházy took the palace and they caused some destruction in the building in 1644. Lady Zrínyi Ilona was traveling from Munkács castle to Regéc castle and it was just an accident that she gave birth to Rákóczi Ferenc at Borsi in 1676.

Before the renovation…
Photo: Szöllősi Gábor

The castle got into the hand of Ignátz Kollovits in 1684 who was infamous for his hatred against the Hungarians. The rebels of Prince Thököly Imre attacked the castle in 1688 and defeated its German garrison. The palace was restored in 1694. After 1711, the castle was given to the Trautschon family.

The modern renovation of the castle began in 2000, the locals have been making heroic attempts to finish it. The environment is not entirely friendly for the work, though. The statue of Rákóczi was stolen in 2013 and was later found in pieces but since that time it has been mended and it is standing again.

Here is a short video about the castle:

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Borsi was the birthplace of Prince Rákóczi Ferenc II

Here are more pictures of Borsi: