The ruins of the castle of Temetvény (Hrad Tematín) are located about 4 km southeast of the village of Temetvény (Hrádok) on a 564 m high peak of the Kisinóc Mountains in Slovakia. The castle was built in the Kingdom of Hungary, but its builder and date of construction are unknown.
Recent dendrochronological research suggests that the oldest part of the castle was built between 1241 and 1246. According to Engel Pál, the castle was a royal castle before 1265, and Fügedi Erik named Mihály and Demeter of the Rosd clan as the builders, and since the castle could not overlook important routes due to the surrounding mountains, he defined it as a defensive castle. Recent research also suggests that Kázmér and his sons from the Bényi branch of the Hont-Pázmány clan may have been the builders (they were the builders of the nearby Csejte Castle).
Temetvény Castle first appeared in a charter of 1270. In that year, King István V donated the castle of Füzér to the sons of Endre Comes, Demeter, and Mihály Comes. The reason given was that they had defended the castle of Füzér and Temetvény (‘…castrum Fyzer et castrum Temethyn…’) during the internal war of István V with his father, Béla IV (between mid-December 1264 and spring 1265) (* According to Zsoldos Attila, Temetvény is not the same as Temetvény in Nyitra County). In 1272, the king confirmed the ownership of Temetvény Castle and named its owner Mihály Comes.
The northern part of this early castle had an entrance protected by a tower that opened inwards. In the southeast corner was an irregular rectangular tower. Researchers have also found traces of a building on the site of the present southern palace.
There is no documentary evidence, but probably before 1299, the castle of Temetvény was forcibly acquired by Csák Máté. The castle may have been damaged at that time, because according to dendrochronological studies, the lord of the province rebuilt it sometime between 1298 and 1316, mainly affecting the northern and western parts of the castle. An old tower was built on the highest point of the castle. The 14th-century layout of Temetvény is similar to that of the nearby Tapolcsány Castle built by the Csák family, and the two old towers are almost identical in size (9×9 m). After the death of Csák Máté, the castle became a royal residence. The papal tithe register of 1332 mentions the parish priest named Hradek, who belonged to the castle estate.
On 1 August 1348, King Lajos I granted the castle of Temetvény in the county of Nyitra, together with the villages belonging to it, to the ancestor of the Újlaki family, the royal treasurer Tót Lőrinc of Raholca and his sons, for their merits in the Naples campaign.(“…quoddam castrum nostrum regium Themetyn vocatum in comitatu Nytriensi existens cum villis scilicet Harastnuk Pesseen Zeredahel Rety Madro et alia Madro Marwan Banya Duchreuy Harka Mosoch Lehata et Ratun vocatis ad ipsum castrum…”).
In 1426 Ocskay Mihály was the castellan of the Újlaki family in Temetvény. On 14.09.1453, King László V mentioned the castle of Temetvény in his deed of donation, which belonged to Újlaki Miklós, the Transylvanian Voivode and Ban (Duke) of Macsó. Temetvény remained in the family until the death of Prince Újlaki Lőrinc in 1524, but it never played a major role, serving only as the center of the estate. The northern palace was extended in the Gothic style during the Újlaki family’s period of ownership.
In 1524, King Louis II pledged the castle and manor of Temetvény (the oppidums of Bayna and Pesthyen, the villages of Zerdahel, Lehota, Banyka, Rethee, Raduok, Horka, Kysmodroh, Nagmodroh, Olehota, Wylehota, Hwbyna and Morawany and the praedium of Ducibrod) to Thurzó Elek for 25,000 forints.
Thurzó Elek died in 1543 without a son. While the male members of the clan received the estates of Szepesvár and Bajmóc, his daughters received the royal grants of Sempte, Galgóc, Temetvény, and Richnó. A dispute between the relatives over the estates began immediately. In 1549 Temetvény was the joint property of Thurzó’s widow, Székely Magdolna, and Báthori András (husband of Thurzó Elek’s eldest daughter Anna). In 1569 the estate of Thurzó Erzsébet and her husband Count Julius of Salm and Neuburg. Anna Salm died in 1596 when Temetvény passed to the descendants of Thurzó Elek’s deceased brother György (Thurzó Miklós, Kristóf, Elek, and Szaniszló).
From 1597, the Thurzos were to pay Salm Waichard 30,000 forints a year in return for the 120,000 forints owed. In 1598 (despite the Thurzos’ protests and the repayment of 12,000 forints), King Rudolf II issued a writ of execution, according to which Temetvény and its environs, as well as the oppidum of Pöstyén and Banka, were to remain in the possession of Count Salm until the Thurzos had paid their debts.
Meanwhile, in 1599, the region was devastated by the Turkish-Tatar wars that raged in the Vág valley. The Count of Salm and the Thurzos started a legal battle and the estate was taken over by the Hungarian Chamber from 10 September 1601 to 20 June 1602, when it became the property of the Count of Salm. Only a small part of the estate and the castle remained with the Thurzos family.
In 1605-1606 Bocskai’s troops and imperial mercenaries raided the area. In both cases, there is no record of the castle being besieged. The three Thurzos were succeeded by Apponyi Pál, who was redeemed by the noble Thurzó Szaniszló after the death of his brothers. In his will, he left the cemetery to his only daughter, Éva, with the proviso that if she died unmarried or without a successor, it would go to her eldest son, Ádám.
Thurzó Éva died in 1627, and by 1636 the Thurzó family was extinct on the male side. The huge estate returned to the king. The descendants of the daughters of Thurzó Szaniszló took over the inheritance. According to the records, in 1632 there were 19 hook-guns and five taracks in the castle. In 1637 six soldiers were paid in the castle.
In the 17th century, two small round towers were built to the west of the northern gate of the outer castle. In 1638 King Ferdinand III gave the castle of Szepes together with a part of Temetvény to Csáky István and his wife Forgách Éva. The other parts of Temetvény were given to Johann and Andreas Rottal and their daughters. In 1641, Csáky István pledged his part of Temetvény for 5555.5 forints to Sándor Ferenc, who immediately pledged the village of Hubina to Plathi Ferenc. In 1653 Rottal Zsuzsanna pledged her share to Berényi György.
On 4 November 1662, Emperor Leo I confirmed the charter of King Ferdinand III of 1638, in which the villages of Hubina, Moraván, Kismodró, Hradok, Huorka, Réte or Lúka, Nagymodró, Olehota, Újlehota and Ducó were named as part of Temetvény. One day later, Csáky (VIII) István made a will in the castle of Szepes, in which he bequeathed the Temetvény part of his estate to his son István.
Érsekújvár fell in 1663 and Galgóc was also occupied by the Turks. Temetvény’s meager garrison could not protect the surrounding villages, which became taxpayers of the Vilajet of Érsekújvár. It was probably at this time that the castle suffered the war damage described in the inventory of 1668. According to a document, half a dozen soldiers from the Temetvény Castle ambushed the marauding Turks.
In 1664 the owners of Temetvény were the widow of Fitter János, Csáky Ferenc, Sándor Gáspár, and Sándor János. The inventory of 18 July 1668 describes the armament and the damaged walls of the castle.
Csáky Ferenc, whose only son István died prematurely, died in 1670. Suspected of involvement in the Wesselényi conspiracy, he was not only denied a proper burial but his movable property was confiscated and his share of the Temetvény estate went to his royal brother, Csáky (X.) István. On 26 June 1676, he pledged it to Bercsényi Miklós and his successors. Bercsényi ceded part of it to Csáky Ferenc’s widow. Contrary to earlier reports, Bercsényi Miklós was NOT born at Temetvény Castle on 6 December 1665, but in Vienna in September 1665, and was baptized in St Stephen’s Cathedral on 24 September.
According to the inventory of 1684, the part of the castle belonging to István Csáky consisted of 8 rooms, a kitchen, a cellar, and a storehouse, while the basement had 3 rooms, a smaller room, and a larger niche. The manor house near the castle, built shortly before, is described as neglected. In the lower castle, there were two carriages, one of which was used by the warden. The part belonging to the Sándor family consisted of 5 rooms and a storehouse.
Csáky (X.) István was deprived of his property, including Temetvény, for his role in the Thököly uprising. Later he was pardoned and in 1693 he was confirmed in his estates by Emperor Leopold I, who also donated to him the parts of the extinct Rottal and Fitter families and left them in the hands of the pledgers.
On 28 July 1702, the widow Csáky István and her children divided the lands among themselves. Csáky (XII.) István got the property of Temetvény, but the castle belonged to Bercsényi Miklós, whose wife was Csáky Krisztina.
There are no exact dates, but the Kuruc troops might have occupied Temetvény around 1704. In the summer of 1707, General Esterházy Antal wrote in his Army Diary that Temetvény was occupied by the Austrians because Viszlai, a constable from Brno, prevented 50 of Turóczi’s Hajdú soldiers from entering the castle. In the autumn of 1707, Starhemberg fortified the castles, including Temetvény, against the Kuruc troops.
In October Ocskay László surrounded Illava’s Labanc (anti-Kuruc) garrison, and on 7 October Viard’s cavalry, massed under Temetvény Castle, and attacked the area around Nagy-Tapolcsány, forcing Ocskay to retreat.
In May 1708 Viard brought food from Vágújhely to the imperial guards of Temetvény and Illava. In June 1708, Ocskay left the Hajdú regiments of Winkler Vilmos and Orbán Czelder under Czelder’s command to seal off the beleaguered Temetvény. On 31 July, Rákóczi’s army marching towards Trencsén drove the imperial guard out of the castle.
According to some researchers, Heister conquered Temetvény in 1710 with a 3-day siege and then damaged the castle. This destruction either didn’t happen or was not significant, because in 1742 Bél Mátyás described the castle as inhabited with tastefully furnished rooms. At that time it belonged to the Csáky and Sándor families.
Mednyánszky Alajos visited the ruins of Temetvény Castle in 1825 and reported its total destruction. Könyöki József visited the castle in 1881. According to his description, Baron Mednyánszky Dénes was the owner of the castle ruins at that time, but he did not know the history of the castle. According to his pictures, the castle was in a much better condition than it is today.
When the remains of Bercsényi Miklós were returned to Hungary in 1906, a memorial plaque was placed at the former entrance to Temetvény Castle. Under the Hungarian inscription, Bercsényi’s famous saying was engraved: “Omnia si perdas famam servare memento” (“Remember to keep a record of everything in case you lose it.”).
Since 2008, the castle has been saved from final destruction by local civilians. They are doing a great job, visit their page:
Source: Várlexikon https://varlexikon.hu/temetveny
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Here are more pictures of Temetvény castle: