Selected Passages from Hungarian-Ottoman Wars

Éleskő

Éleskó Photo: Mayer Jácint

Éleskő Castle (Ostrý Kameň, Scharfenstein) is a castle ruin in the Nagyszombat (Trnava) region of Slovakia. There were four castles named Éleskő in the territory of the Kingdom of Hungary, in this article we will talk about the castle of Éleskő in Pozsony County.

Éleskó Photo: Szöllösi Gábor www.varlexikon.hu

The date of its construction and its builder are unknown, but it was probably built after 1321 by King Károly Róbert to guard the Holics-Nagyszombat trade route, the “Czech” road. It was first mentioned in 1336 under the name of Castrum Hedreh. This early Gothic castle consisted of a square gate tower measuring 8.5 x 9 m and an L-shaped palace measuring 28.5 x 11 m. There were three rooms on the ground floor. The entrance to the tower and a wooden ramp led to the entrance. This core was extended in the second half of the 14th century.

Éleskó Photo: Szöllösi Gábor www.varlexikon.hu

In 1385, in his struggle for the Hungarian throne, King Zsigmond of Luxembourg ceded the county of Pozsony and the territories up to the Vág River to his cousins, the Moravian margraves Jodok and Prokop, in return for their military assistance. On June 1, the Council of Pozsony informed Queen Elizabeth the Widow that Niederspeuger János had captured the royal castle of Éleskő near Detrekő and was gathering troops around him and now had 400 spears. In 1390 Zsigmond had to take back several castles from them, including Éleskő.

Éleskő (HradLife – Hrad Ostrý Kameň (4K) – Youtube)

On May 22, 1394, Zsigmond gave the castle of Éleskő, in German Scharfenstein (“Eleskw in wlgari theutonico Scharfessteyn”) to Stiborici Stribor. On Jan. 21. 1398, the king solemnly confirmed Stibor’s possession of the castles of Bolondóc, Ugróc, Csejte, Jókő, Berencs, Újvár [Holics], Korlátkő, Éleskő, Detrekő, the above-mentioned market towns and villages of the counties of Nyitra and Pozsony, and, having taken them from unfaithful persons, he forbade anyone to sue Stibor by annulling the deeds to them. However, Éleskő was pledged to an Austrian owner until 1411.

Éleskő (HradLife – Hrad Ostrý Kameň (4K) – Youtube)

On 19 October 1411, King Zsigmond authorized the Transylvanian Voivode Stibor to release the castles of Dévény and Éleskő from the pledge of Hering Lessel. After the death of Stibor the Younger, Éleskő was returned to the king against his will.

Éleskő (HradLife – Hrad Ostrý Kameň (4K) – Youtube)

In the days before his death, Zsigmond, through the intercession of the magistrate Marcali Imre, gave special permission to Rozgonyi István and György to redeem the properties of the castles of Újvár, Éleskő, Korlátkő and Detrekő, which he had bound to various persons. This donation was only partially fulfilled and during the reign of King Albert, the castle of Éleskő was held by Korompai Pál.

Éleskő  in a chapter of 1453 Source: Szöllösi Gábor www.varlexikon.hu

It was acquired by Szentmiklósi Pongrác during the internal war after Albert’s death. In 1444 he owned Szakolca, Berencs, Éleskő and Sztrázsa. In 1448 he sold them to his family members, Strázsai Scola Mátyás and Tamás.

Éleskő, 17th century
Source: Szöllösi Gábor www.varlexikon.hu

On April 9, 1453, the chapter of Pozsony reported to King László V that Rozgonyi Sebestyén and his descendants had been admitted to the estate of Éleskő as a new royal donation. However, Rozgonyi could not take possession of it because it was pledged. According to a document dated 27.10.1453, Paul of Maytche [Majtényi, in another document Motossiczky], who now lived in the castle of Elesskew, agreed with Rozgonyi György and Sebestyén to give them the castle of Éleskő if they paid him 700 gold pieces and 10 horses. If they did not, he would keep Éleskő and its possessions. Scola Mátyás gave it to his brother’s widow in 1453: Veronika, the wife of Nankenreyter Nabukodonozor.

Éleskó Photo: Szöllösi Gábor www.varlexikon.hu

According to a charter of July 1456, the men of Vöröskői János and Zsigmond (Szentgyörgyi and Bazini) of Nagyszombat, together with the men of Vngeraiter [*may be Ankelreyter Nabogodonosor, see the charter of Hunyadi László from 1457], a German named Vngeraiter, who was the owner of the castle of Eleskew, raided the estate of Rozgonyi Sebestyén in Szentábrahám. So Éleskő was not in the hands of Rozgonyi even then.

Éleskó Photo: Szöllösi Gábor www.varlexikon.hu

On February 23, 1457, Hunyadi László, Count of Beszterce (“Nos Ladislaus de Hwnyad Comes Bistricensis…”) undertakes to release the castle of Éleskő from the hands of Nabogodonosor Ankelreyter (his name appears in several forms in the documents) for Rozgonyi Sebestyén within 3 years or to compensate him.

Éleskó (LIDAR photo)
Source: Szöllösi Gábor www.varlexikon.hu

In a document dated September 3, 1457, King László V. proved in Vienna that he had received the privileged charters of the chapters of Nyitra and Pozsony, as well as the charter of the deceased Cillei Ulrik Comes, from the Nankenreyter Nabuchodonosor of Strasa, himself and Bertalan Berthoch of Saythos, son of Skola “dictus” Máté, widow of the son of Bertalan Berthoch, now living in the castle of Eleskw.

Éleskó Photo: Mayer Jácint

According to this, in 1448 Szentmiklósi (de Sancto Nicolao), also known as Pongrác of Brench, pledged the castle of Elesw in the county of Pozsony, which he had regained from foreign enemies at great cost and with much loss of his blood, with all the villages, estates, customs, etc. belonging to it, to the said Skola Máté and his stepbrother Tamás for 6,000 forints of gold, which he had borrowed from Skola.

Éleskó Photo: Mayer Jácint

They were the ones who, in 1449, together with the Chapter of Pozsony, took possession of the castle of Eleskw, the estates of Bygzad and Bymowecz and the toll there, as well as the estates of Szentgyörgy (Zenthgywrgh), Kwklio, Zenthjanus, Zenthmiklos and Zenthpeter and their appurtenances.

Éleskó Photo: Mayer Jácint

After the death of Skola Máthé, when his widow Veronica was married to Nankenreyter Nabuchodonosor, a certain Motossiczky Pál, who was the manager of the castle in the name of Veronika, expelled Veronika from the castle and deprived her and her lord Nankenreyter Nabuchodonosor of the possession of the castle, after having taken away Veronika’s clothes, silverware and other valuables.

Éleskó Photo: Lure

When Nankenreyter tried to seize the castle for himself and his wife by force of arms, Governor Hunyadi János intervened and took possession of the castle, leaving the matter to be decided by eight judges. King László V finally decided in favor of Nankenreyter Nabuchodonosor and his wife Veronika. This judgment was confirmed by King Matthias on 27.03.1466.

Éleskó Photo: Doronenko

Nehéz Péter and György of Sárosfalva bought the castle of Éleskő from Skola Veronika and her husband Nankenreyter Nabuchodonozor in 1468 with the permission of King Matthias I. In August 1473 the royal captain Kropác Miklós stayed in the castle of Éleskő (he was probably preparing the siege of Korlátkő). In 1475 the castle belonged to Csernyánszki András and Tamás of Czech origin, who bought it.

Éleskó Photo: Doronenko

In 1496, Czobor Imre and Czobor Márton, referring to the seedless death of Csernyánszki András, obtained a letter of donation from King Ulászló II for the royal right to the castle, but their possession was prevented by the opposition of the deceased lord’s uncle, Csernyánszki Tamás.

Éleskó Photo: Vegetator

In 1504 Éleskő was bought by the Czobors from Csernyánszki Tamás for 2500 forints and they also paid 2000 forints to Mekcsei György Provost. It is interesting to note that Csernyánszki had signed an inheritance contract with the Korlátkövi family earlier (1503). A two-decade-long dispute began between the Czobors and the Korlátkövis over the ownership of the castle.

Éleskó Photo: Palickap

During the division between the Czobor brothers, the castle of Éleskő was given to Márton, from whom his daughter Felicitas inherited it. She died in 1522 and left two orphans. The time had come for the Körlátkövis to acquire the castle. In 1523 King Louis II gave Éleskő to Korlátkövi Péter, although the castle was in full possession of the Czobor family. The king and his courts always ruled in favor of Korlátkövi, but he was unable to take possession of the castle: in 1524 the warden of Éleskő drew his sword and chased away the king’s men and the chaplain who were conducting the proceedings. Korlátkövi was killed in the battle of Mohács in 1526, and the castle remained in the hands of the Czobor orphans.

Éleskó Photo: Palickap

During the dual kingship, Czobor Gáspár, from the other branch, immediately sided with King Ferdinand, his relatives who owned Éleskő – it is not impossible that they had consulted him – were oriented towards King Szapolyai János, and their castle warden was rumoured to be on the side of ” Voivode János”. At the end of 1528, the royal council therefore called on the castle’s captain to hand over the castle to Czobor Gáspár, the orphans’ uncle, who had distinguished himself at the siege of Trencsén that year. Although the castellan of Éleskő refused to do so at first, at the beginning of 1530, after Gáspár and his brother had accepted eight conditions, he finally handed over Éleskő to them.

Éleskó Photo: Jan Sokoly

In 1534 Czobor Gáspár and Czobor János pledged the castle to Bakic Pál and Péter for 1700 forints. It was mentioned in the contract that the castle had fallen into disrepair and needed to be renovated and its defenses strengthened. The renovation took place in the summer of 1536. The interior of the castle was shingled again, three latrines were built, and stairs, stoves, and stained glass windows were added. Fifteen buildings were renovated and replastered, and the castle walls, which were in bad condition, were repaired and in some places rebuilt from scratch. However, according to one report, the walls were thin. The value of the work done was 372 forints and 75 denarii.

Éleskó Photo: Mayer Jácint

In 1542, Bakić Péter and Czobor (Pilsberger) János completed the Czobor family’s possession of the area with a new tribute from King Ferdinand. In 1558, Czobor János and Bakić Péter’s children born to Czobor Anna shared the Éleskő castle estate with the descendants of Czobor Gáspár, dividing the castle buildings among themselves.

Éleskó Photo: Mayer Jácint

In 1579, the members of the Pilsberger-Czobor family – János, Mihály, Péter – jointly owned the Éleskő castle. Around 1616, the income of the Éleskő manor was 1474 forints in ordinary taxes and 492 forints 50 denarii in taxes from the manor’s tavern. In 1638 a receipt was issued for the jewels and cash received as part of the Czobor family’s share. It included ruby bonnets, gold and pearl dresses, gold chains, and diamond necklaces, together with 6667 silver talers.

Éleskó in the 17th century Photo: Szöllösi Gábor www.varlexikon.hu

At the end of the 17th century, the castle and its estate had many owners. In 1689 the castle, which belonged to Thököly Imre, was confiscated by Emperor Leopold, who donated it to the crown guard, Count Erdődy Kristóf. In May 1704, in the battle of Szomolány, which brought a Kuruc victory, the troops of Lieutenant-Colonel Wachtendonck, cut off from the main army, were pushed from Korlátkő towards Éleskő and Detrekő by the Kuruc troops of Ebeczky and Ottlyk. The lieutenant colonel finally reached Austria with only 250 soldiers.

Éleskó Photo: Szöllösi Gábor www.varlexikon.hu

According to the report of the Imperial Commissioner Count Lamberg, the Kuruc troops besieged the castle of Éleskő in August. One by one the castles of the Lesser Carpathians surrendered to the Kuruc, including Éleskő. However, Heister recaptured the castle during his winter counterattack.

Éleskó Photo: Szöllösi Gábor www.varlexikon.hu

Ocskay forced the castles of Detrekő and Éleskő to surrender in September 1705. Ocskay informed Rákóczi about it in a letter: “Yesterday God gave us the castle of Detrekő; I hope that soon we will also have the castle of Éleskő.” Indeed, Éleskő surrendered on September 26th. Ocskay wrote his next letter from here:

Éleskó Photo: Szöllösi Gábor www.varlexikon.hu

“Yesterday, thanks be to God, the castle of Éleskő also came into our hands, and as it contains nothing but fine cannons, I sent to Your Highness the specifications of all the ammunition in it – which the engineer beside me had connoted. As it would be a pity for such beautiful cannons to lie in such a miserable castle, I intend to send them to Újvár as soon as possible”. The Kuruc forces then besieged the castle of Vöröskő, which belonged to the Croatian Bán (Duke) Pálffy, a royalist. However, the siege was lifted by the order of Prince Rákóczi.

Éleskó Photo: Szöllösi Gábor www.varlexikon.hu

In 1707 Guido Starhemberg attacked Ocskay, and on July 10th he entered Szakolca and marched from there against the castles of the Little Carpathians. According to a Kuruc report of June 7, a total of 189 Hajdú soldiers were garrisoned in the castles of Detrekő, Éleskő, Sasvár and Jókő. Starhemberg captured both Éleskő and Detrekő after a short firefight. He left a strong guard at Detrekő and then broke the Kuruc siege around Trencsén. Then he bombarded Jókő and took it on July 28. From there he marched under Szomolány and retook it from the Kuruc. The general garrisoned the towns of Szent-György, Bazin, Modor, the castles of Vöröskő, Szomolány, Jókő, Jabloncza, Korlátkő, Detrekő and Éleskő.

Éleskó Photo: Szöllösi Gábor www.varlexikon.hu

After the Rákóczi War of Independence in the middle of the 18th century, Éleskő became the property of the Pálffys, who no longer used the dilapidated and ruined castle. The seat of the estate was moved, and the abandoned castle has been in ruins ever since. The forest is completely overgrown and photos can be taken only in clear weather.

Éleskó in the 20th century Source: Benő Gyula

Source: Várlexikon https://varlexikon.hu/elesko

Dear Readers, I can only make this content available through small donations or by selling my books or T-shirts. 

If you like my writings, please  feel free to support me with a coffee here:

You can check out my books on Amazon or Draft2Digital, they are available in hardcover, paperback, or ebook:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/198020490X or at https://books2read.com/b/boYd81

My books "33 Castles, Battles, Legends" and "The Ring of Kékkő Castle"
My books “33 Castles, Battles, Legends” and “The Ring of Kékkő Castle”

My work can also be followed and supported on Patreon: Become a Patron!http://Become a Patron!

Become a Patron!

 

                                                                                                                             


My T-shirts are available: https://hungarianottomanwars.myspreadshop.com/all

Here are more pictures of Éleskő Castle: