Kisnána or Nána was a small fort in Upper-Hungary in the Mátra mountain, first mentioned in the 11th century. The small castle was surrounded by two walls and a moat. The oldest part of the castle is the semi-circle-shaped chapel that was built in the 11th-12th century. Later, a church was built above it in the Gothic style. They built a stately home next to the church in the 13th century which later was replaced by a three-story palace. At this time, it was surrounded by only a wooden palisade and its gate was protected by a stone tower. The palace was constructed at the end of the 14th century.
A large vaulted cellar was added to it, too. They built a shrine to the old circular church. We can find the tombstone of Lors Kompolthy László in its crypt with his coats of arms, a nobleman who died in 1248.
The new defenses of the castle were built in the middle of the 15th century. Due to the double stone walls, the small castle was quite well-protected. In addition to this, it boasted a 40-meter-wide moat that was 5 meters deep.
This area used to belong to the Aba clan and it is thought that the Csobánka family of the Aba clan was the one who built the castle. The village appeared first in writing as “Nana” in 1261 but we don’t know if it was a fort at this time. Yet, ten years later it was mentioned as “Csobánka” castle. Lord Csobánka Pál happened to support the oligarch called Csák Máté who was the enemy of King Károly Róbert. When the young king broke Csák Máté’s power, he gave the castle to Lord Kompolthy Péter. I guess the place could have belonged to the Kompolthy family earlier, according to the date of the tombstone.
However, the Kompolthy family soon took the name “Nánai” (meaning: “from Nána”). When Lord Péter died in 1325, his son, Gergely inherited. It was Gergely who later established the Domoszlay family.
King Sigismund (Zsigmond) reinforced László, son of Domoszlay Mihály (aka Kompolthy László) in his ownership in 1415. Nána castle belonged to Kompolthy Miklós in 1468.
In the 16th century (1522), it was gained by inheritance by the Guthy Országh, the Tari, and the Losonczy family. Lord Losonczy István gifted it to his relative, Móré László, in 1543. Lord Móré was loyal to King Ferdinand during the Dual Kingship and having sold his castle of Vöröskő to the (also infamous) Thurzó Elek, he moved to Nána castle. My remark: the Thurzó family intermarried with the banker Fuggers and contributed to the financial disaster of Royal Hungary.
Móré proved to be a villain and was robbing everybody passing through, we know that he robbed merchants who were traveling to Belgrade / Nándorfehérvár. With this, he made the mistake of angering the Turks. The Pasha of Buda besieged Nána castle. Seeing that he could not defend the castle, Móré had lots of silver and gold coins thrown among the besieging Turks. However, he could not outsmart the Pasha who has taken his castle finally. Móré was captured and sent to Constantinapolis. He died in the dungeons there. There is a legend that Móré had hidden his treasure in the castle but nobody has found it yet.
Nána castle was inherited by Lord Országh Kristóf in 1545. When he died in 1567, his brother-in-law got Nána castle, who was Török Ferenc of Enying. When Eger castle fell to the Ottomans, Nána was also taken. The Turks had it pulled down in 1596 but they didn’t destroy its tower.
It was not repaired after this. It was Nyári Pál who inherited it in 1606. Then, it was owned by Vámossy István, vice-Comes of Heves county in 1648. Towards the end of the Ottoman occupation of Hungary, the ruined castle belonged to Lord Vay Ádám in 1696. Now, there is a Hungarian reenactor team at Nána, the “Nánai Sólymos Vitézek”, here is their webpage:
Also, check out this short video about the historical stages of the castle:
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