Selected Passages from Hungarian-Ottoman Wars between 1372-1699

Csejte

Csejte

Csejte (Čachtice) castle is located in the Upper lands/Horná Zem/Felvidék, now Slovakia.

It used to be the castle of Báthory Erzsébet who is also known (quite wrongly) as “blood countess”.

She was accused of torturing and killing her maidservants by the hundred. However, recent research indicates that it was his greedy relatives who fabricated the charges against her so as to stop her to take the side of the Transylvanian Prince called Báthory Gábor.

Besides, the trial was initiated by her enemy, Palatine Thurzó György, who wanted to get her immense wealth, the huge wealth of the Báthory-Nádasdy family. The Habsburgs also needed the money and both politically and from the religious aspect, she had to be blamed. It all happened in 1610, six years after Nádasdy’s death.

There never was a proper trial and the “witnesses” were tortured so as to accuse Báthory Erzsébet and were all beheaded a week later. Elizabeth (Erzsébet) was never interrogated nor questioned. Palatine Thurzó had her walled into her own castle where she died in a few years. She was not any crueler than her contemporary noblewomen had been.

Palatine Thurzó was infamous for taking away the properties of other widows who were defenseless women; he was led by the same reason to get the money of Elizabeth Báthory. (Remember: it was the Thurzó family who had intermarried with the ill-reputed Fuggers.)

As it has turned out, it was indeed Thurzó who inherited all the properties of Lady Báthory, not her six children. There is a romantic explanation as well: allegedly, Thurzó was in love with Lady Báthory but he was refused; it was why he took revenge.

All in all, the sources and the new conclusions seem to break the Hollywood-like false image of this noblewoman, the wife of the famous Nádasdy Ferenc, the “strong black Bey”, the hero of the Valiant Order. He would deserve rather bigger attention.

Csejte castle was built in 1263 by Kázmér from the Hont-Pázmány family as a sentry on the road to Moravia. Later, it belonged to Lord Csák Máté, the Stibor family, and then to Lady Báthory.

Csejte, its surrounding lands, and villages were a wedding gift from the Nádasdy family upon Elizabeth’s marriage to Nádasdy Ferenc in 1575. Nádasdy was one of the most famous warriors of his age. Nádasdy’s career surpassed Thurzó György’s plans who became his greatest enemy.

Thurzó was the one who accused his widow, Elizabeth, later.

However, Elizabeth had another reputation, rather positive one. She began to support the widows of the fallen Hungarian warriors in the 1580s, regardless of their nationality. She established a school for girls in his castle in 1585.

Originally, Csejte was a Romanesque castle with an interesting horseshoe-shaped residence tower. It was turned into a Gothic castle later and its size was increased in the 15th and 16th centuries. A Renaissance renovation followed in the 17th century.

The castle remained in the Nádasdy family’s hand until 1671 when Emperor Leopold had Nádasdy Ferenc beheaded for treason and took the castle away. It landed in the Drugeth and Endrődy families’ hands.

Finally, in 1708 the castle was captured and plundered by the rebels of Prince Rákoci Ferenc II.

It has been in decay since. Near the castle, you can find the Draskovitch Mason, built in 1668, late renaissance style.

There is a small but nice museum in it. 

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