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Rákóczi Museum - Sárospatak
The  Rákóczi castle
Address: 3950, Sárospatak Szent Erzsébet utca 19.
Phone number: (47) 311-083
Opening hours: Tue-Sun 10-18

Open on bank holidays!
Patak, built at the crossing point of the river Bodrog, had been a royal property since the 11th centuary. As his letters say, Péter Perényi built a new residence for his family between 1534 and 1541.

The southern part of the centre of the medieval town was sorrunded by walls and trenches. At the South-East edge of this area there stood a 5 floor tower. Connection made to the town wall and the loop-holes prove that the wall and the tower were built at the same time and in the same style.

The building of the town was designed and directed according to the sketches of the Italian Alessandro Vedani, and accomplished by skilled Hubgarian craftsmen. The Eastern wing, called the Perényi-wing, was built between 1540 and 1567. After 1573 the building works of the castle was continued by the Dobó family and then (after 1608) Mihály Lorántffy owned and continued the building.

The year 1616 was a turning point in the fate of the castle. The owner Zsuzsanna Loránffy got married to György Rákóczi prospective Transsylvanian Prince. That is how Patak became the centre of the Rákóczi property and the connecting link between the Royal Hungary and Transsylvania.

Since 1640 the owners had been extending the castle according to their rank. They built up the outhern wing, the loggia and the cannon terrace. After 1666 Ferenc Rákóczi I and his mother, later Ferenc Rákóczi II and Juliet became the owners of the castle, but in 1670 the imperial army occupied it.

Regardless of this Patak became the centre of the insurrectionist movements, because Ilona Zrínyi and her husband visited and stayed at the castle several times, and because in 1697 the town became one of the fortresses of the uprising in the area. In 1708, during the Rákóczi revolution, the Parliament for the emancipation of serfs was held here.

In 1711 Prince Trautsohn became the new owner, He renovated the castle according to the baroque style. In 1807 the castle was transmitted to the Bretzenheim family that renovated it. Although they kept the 16-17th centary character of the castle, they made romantic and eclectic decorations in the front walls.

In 1875 Princes Windischgrätz, and after the second worls war the Hungarian government became the owners of the castle. The museum has been protecting the Rákóczi inheritance since 1950.
Permanent exhibitions
Late renaissance stone carvings
The exhibition entitled "Speaking rocks - the building history of the Sárospatak castle" can be seen in the 19th century yard corridor. The placement of the rocks make it possible for the visitors to see the recarving and secondary use of the rokcs. continue
The vine cultivation in Hegyalja region was particularly improving in the 16th century. A good number of lords and highland towns endevoured to buy a land here. In the 17th century the Rákóczis contributed much to the developing of the grape-growing. continue
The old palace of the Red-tower
According to the ordinance of Lipót I. the outer castle of Patak was exploded by the imperials. However, the inner castle played an important role in the battles fought for the independence between 1703 and 1711. The captain monarch of the war for independence, Ferenc Rákóczi II. called the last insurrectionist parliament session to Patak, which met in the large hall of the Red-tower, in the old palace. continue
The enteriour-like exhibition also gives home for renaissance suppers
In the 16-17th century the kitchen was situated beside the Southwest corner pillar of the castle. Its fireplace was a closed stove standing between the Southern castle wall and the two pillars. This was used in the time of the Windishgraetz family and - up to 1959 - as a kitchen for the Work Institute. Its rebuilding took place between 1994 and 1996. At the renovation of the kitchen it was important to reinforce the different parts of the stove. continue