The castle of Gímes (Hrad Gýmeš) used to be the famous stronghold of the Hungarian Forgách family.
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Gímes castle is located in the Upper lands/Horná Zem/Felvidék, now it is in Slovakia, not too far from Nyitra / Nitra castle.
It was first mentioned in 1113 but its construction must have been carried out by András, son of Ivánka, in 1265. This time it was also called Divénykő.
It withstood several Czech attacks in the 13th century. Lord Csák Máté took the castle by force but it went to the Forgách family after his death.
When Queen Erzsébet was attacked by Zách Felicián in 1330, it was Forgács Balázs, her wine-servant who cut the assassin down that is why the castle of Gímes was given to him. Felicián Zách was a Hungarian nobleman and soldier in the first half of the 14th century, who unsuccessfully attempted to assassinate Charles I of Hungary and the entire royal family in Visegrád. The Hungarian Illuminated Chronicle tells us the story like this:
“Although in these times the people of Hungary enjoyed the loved tranquility of peace and the kingdom was on all sides secure against its enemies, yet the hater of peace and the sower of envy, the devil, put into the heart of a certain soldier named Felicianus, of the line of Zaah, who was already advanced in years and his hair silvered, that he would in one day kill with his sword his lord King Charles and Queen Elizabeth, and the King’s two sons Lays and Andreas. […] In the year of our Lord 1330, on April 17, the Wednesday [sic] after the octave of Easter, the King was at dinner with the Queen and his sons in his residence before the castle of Vyssegrad, when Felicianus secretly entered and stood before the King’s table. He drew his sharp sword from its scabbard and like a mad dog threw himself upon the King, the Queen and the sons in pitiless desire to kill them. But the pity of a pitiful God prevented him from executing his intent. Yet he slightly wounded the King in the right hand. But, alas, from the right hand of the most saintly Queen he severed four fingers which in her almsgiving she was wont to extend in pity to the poor, the wretched and the downcast. […] Then he [Felicianus] tried to kill the royal princes who were present, but their tutors, Gyula de Kenesich’s son and Nicolaus, son of the Count Palatine Johannes, placed themselves in his way and received mortal wounds in the head, but the boys were unhurt. Then Johannes, son of Alexander from the county of Potok, a youth of good disposition who was the Queen’s second cup-bearer, threw himself upon Felicianus as upon a wild beast and struck at him with a dagger [bicellus] between the neck and the shoulder with such force that he felled him to the ground. Then from this side and that the King’s soldiers rushed in and dispatched him as if he were some monster, severing the wretch’s limbs with their terrible swords. […]”
The Elefánty family laid a siege on Gímes castle in 1461 but in vain.
The Ottoman raiders were attacking the nearby villages in 1589 but they couldn’t take Gímes castle.
The fort was so big that about 200-300 guests could be accommodated easily in its spacious palace. Palatine Forgách Zsigmond had the castle renewed in 1613 for lots of money but Prince Bethlen Gábor’s troops destroyed it in 1618.
It was rebuilt but the Ottomans set it on fire in 1663 but were not able to take it. The Habsburgs didn’t have the castle exploded in 1701 because of the loyalty of the Forgách family. This is why it has remained so “intact”…
Moreover, the castle was renovated and rebuilt in 1712 as well as in 1755. The castle was abandoned only after 1848.