Füzér is in Hungary and it belonged to the famous noble called Bánk Bán between 1205-1209. The castle is situated south of Kassa (Kosice) and north of Tokaj, in Upper Hungary. It sits 552 meters above sea level among the hills of the Zemplén Mountains. The castle has been renovated in the 2010s: the outer bailey was rebuilt, the chapel, the keep, and its lower bastion were reconstructed. Visitors can get to know the history of the town at a visitor center nearby.
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The castle was built atop a volcanic mountain above Füzér and it is one of the first of its kind built in the Árpád-era. It was built before 1264 by one of the members of the Aba Clan. It is assumed that the castle had been already standing before the death of King András II in 1235.
King Béla IV gave it to his daughter, Anna. Béla’s son, István took it away from her and the king had to besiege the castle but could not take it because the castellan, Mihály, son of Endre repelled the assaults. When Prince István was crowned as King István V, he awarded his castellan Mihály (who became the ancestor of the Füzéry family) with the ownership of Füzér castle in 1270. Then, it went to the Aba Amádé family in 1285, After the Battle of Rozgony in 1312, King Károly Róbert defeated the oligarchs in Hungary and he made Drugeth Fülöp the castellan of Füzér.
King Sigismund first pledged, then awarded it to the Perényi family in 1389 who had made major changes in it. However, Füzér was temporarily owned by the Chief Butler of the king, Pálóczy lászló in the mid-1440s. The Perényi family regained the castle but King Matthias Corvinus took it away from Lord Perényi István in 1480 but then he has changed his mind and returned it to Imre’s son, Palatine Perényi Imre.
Lord Perényi Péter was in charge of guarding the Holy Crown of Hungary and after 1526 the Sacred Crown was hidden here for a year. The wings of the castle’s palace were built in the Renaissance style in the 1560s by Perényi Péter’s infamous son, Gábor. Here is more about the Perényi family:
The Báthory family got the castle in 1567. (Please note, that I use the Eastern name order for Hungarian names where family names come first.) Among its owners was the widow of Nádasdy Ferenc, the famous warrior of the Borderland who was Báthory Erzsébet. She got Füzér in 1603. She was rumored to have bathed in the blood of virgins to uphold her beauty, although recent research disproved the false legend. Here you can read more about her:
Prince Bethlen Gábor took Füzér castle in 1626 for a short time. The castle was pledged to Mosdóssy Imre in 1654. We can find the castle in the hand of Bónis Ferenc in 1668, though. Poor Lord Bónis got involved himself in the Wesselényi-Conspiracy against the Habsburg Emperor so all his lands were taken away in 1670, including Füzér. The Habsburg Emperor stationed German mercenaries among the walls. During the first stage of the anti-Habsburg “kuruc” fights, Füzér was burned down by its guards who abandoned it in 1676. Its strategic role became insignificant and the fort got forgotten. The locals began to carry away the castle’s stones so as to build their homes.
The Károlyi family became the owner of Füzér in 1686 and they launched the first renovation in 1934-36. Currently, the castle has been very nicely renovated. Among the pictures, you can see photos of the castle before and after the reconstruction. In fact, the castle has been undergoing renovation since the 1990s. By 2016 the outer-bailey, the chapel, the keep, and the lower bastion were rebuilt. You can find the Castle Handicraft House in the center of Füzér as well as the Folk Museum of the 1940s-50s. The Visitor Center has an exhibition on the castle as well as the natural and cultural heritage of the village.
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