Kežmarok, Prešov county
N49° 08' 23.34", E20° 25' 59.51"
Caseorum, Kasmark, Kaymarc, Kayssmark, Käszmark, Kesemark, Kesmarck, Kesmarco, Kesmarg, Kezmarc, Kezmark, Keysmarch, Keyssmarkh, Késmark, Kismark, Kissmark, Kiszmark, Kümark
The area of Kežmarok castle belongs to the historical center of Kežmarok and is part of the urban conservation area. From the Hlavné námestie leads there Hradná Street, which is a pedestrian zone and ends in the Hradné námestie. By car, we reach the Hradné námestie via Fraňa Kráľa Street. Parking is available directly in front of the castle.
< 5 min
In the courtyard of the castle there is a late Gothic palace with original stone windows. In the area of the courtyard is marked the ground plan of the church of St.Elizabeth and the fortifications disposition of former palaces, of which only the remains of wall paintings in the window openings. A characteristic feature is the prismatic entrance gate, the towers and the bastion of the fortification with sgraffito decoration, finished with a Renaissance label attic. In a small park behind the castle, a part of the barbican of the city fortifications has been preserved, which followed the fortification of the castle.
The first expositions of the Kežmarok Museum were opened in a part of the chateau complex in 1931. Currently visitors can view the exhibited collections such as prehistoric and medieval settlement of Kežmarok, Development of Kežmarok, Kežmarok shooting association etc.
Ground plan - Kežmarok castle
Legend to the ground plan:
1 - foundations of church buildings, 2 - city fortifications, 3 - entrance tower, 4 - round tower, 5 - former bastion, 6 - round tower, 7 - semicircular bastion, 8 - park wall, 9 - hint of the gate, 10-14 - residential and operating tracts, 15 - well, 16 - renaissance building, 17 - stables and iceberg, 18 - early baroque chapel, 15 - entrance gate
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In 1462, the castle was founded in a slight break in the city walls by Štefan Zápoľský and his brother Imrich, whom Matej Korvín directly commissioned. A year later, the castle and the whole town belonged to the Zápoľsk family. The power of this family culminated mainly in the person of Štefan's son Ján, who fought for the Hungarian throne in 1526 to 1540. Since he did not live directly in Kežmarok, he made it available to František Batyáni in 1527, but after his betrayal, the castle belonged to Hieronym Laski. Later, Hieronymus also betrayed Zápoľský, but his wasteful son Albert Laski had to give the manor to Ján Rueber in 1571.
In 1575 the castle burned down and Ján Rueber, then its owner, had the castle restored in the Renaissance style, but only to the extent necessary. In 1583 the castle belonged to Sebastián Thököly. Štefan I. Thököly is especially credited with the luxurious Renaissance adaptation. The last construction actions were carried out by Stephen II. Thököly in 1657-1658. In 1657, Italian artists decorated the interiors with stucco decoration, which already had an early Baroque character. At the city walls to the east of the castle, they built luxurious stables decorated with stucco and mirrors. There were marble gutters in them. They completed the alterations of the castle in 1658 by building an early Baroque chateau chapel in a polygonal bastion, to which they connected some rooms of the northern wing of the castle. This basically ended its construction development.
After the suppression of the uprising led by Imrich Thököly against King Leopold I in 1720, the castle was acquired by the town of Kežmarok. They used it for various economic purposes and gradually declined. In 1741 and then again in 1787, the castle burned down and the three wings were not restored after the fires. Around 1860, the city demolished part of the walls on the west side of the castle and built a military barracks in their place. The branch was converted into a city hospital. Some parts of the castle around 890 served as a textile manufactory for the production of artificial embroidery. After another fire in 1901, which destroyed the castle roofs, the Hungarian Monuments Office took care of repairing the castle. However, according to the opinion of the monument workers at the time, it was restored so that it was given a substantially inappropriate romantic appearance.
In 1931, they established the Municipal Museum in the tower. During the Second World War, the Gestapo was housed in the castle, which executed several partisans here, as evidenced by a memorial plaque in the castle courtyard. The castle was modified to its current museum form during the monumental restoration in the years 1962 to 1985 and is also known as Kežmarok Castle or Kežmarok Town Castle.
The rumor says
A white lady appears at the castle on moonlit nights. Whoever meets her brings happiness. A headless rider stood in his way to a certain young man. But Shuyai could not be detained, and the white lady, smiling at him, pointed to the spot where he then dug the treasure.
The castle lords of the Thököly family and the emperor were never in love. Imrich Thököly - the last male descendant of his family - even stood at the head of the uprising against the emperor. Although he was successful at first, he eventually lost and had to escape to his protector - the Turkish sultan. But before that he wanted to stop at his native Kežmarok castle and take the valuables that were hidden there. The servants of the castle long ago fled - they heard about the failure of their master and rightly believed that the castle and the city would be occupied by the victorious imperial soldiers. There was only one elderly woman left in the castle: a looper. She wore a long black dress according to the custom of the time. She made sure that all the castle buildings were closed so that no strangers would have access to them. She did not do it out of allegiance to her master, but she hoped to find the treasure she herself knew her master had walled up somewhere. Where? The castle had several towers - the entrance where the lord lived, the famine, where only the bones of poor convicts remained, the eastern tower where the castle lady stayed ... But there are still two towers that stand side by side: the watchtower and the jeweller's. And where could it be a treasure elsewhere than there, in a jewelry store? Just where? Under the floor? Hardly. In the wall?
After a long search and tapping the walls, she found a hollow space behind one of the magnificent paintings that adorned the tower - the jewelry store. And there she found what she was looking for. She will be provided for life! He will leave Far away from Kežmarok and will be rich, very rich ... But suddenly the woman stopped: she would be able to raise the gold and silver only in parts. Where to hide it for now? He can't stay here. She also had the key to the castle chapel. Imrich Thököly's young mother was resting in the crypt underground. And from this crypt led an escape corridor, which led to the dark forests of Kežmarok. Yes, the treasure can be hidden there! As soon as she realized her intention, there was a terrible banging on the castle door. To the amazement of the zigzag, a young castle lord appeared. He untied the woman and rushed to the jewelry tower. But to his amazement, he found only an empty hole. He ran all the towers, all the residential tracts, even his mother's tomb. However, the hallway was protected by a tightly closed lattice door ...
He understood who had taken the treasure. He had no time to search, the imperial soldiers were on his heels. Therefore, he could only curse the treacherous handle so that she would not rest even after death. Even today, on quiet evenings, you can hear footsteps on the wooden walkways of the castle...
Lasky without love
Berco Lasky is returning home from a long journey. His native Kežmarok Castle is in sight. Hear cheerful music, screams and singing from it. The castle lord Hieronym Lasky celebrates the name day and the family is known for his debauchery and wasting money. If he has nothing, the town of Kežmarok will borrow. They do not like to borrow, because the townspeople of the free royal city do not want to serve the castle. The castle is their misfortune - but the king decided that a fortress should be built under the Tatras - the border with Poland is nearby and the Polish king would gladly expand the country to the territory of Spiš. The castle was built in Kežmarok and his estate began to claim the city. The king said nothing and the castle estate used it. The town of Kežmarok was also seized. Hieronym happily welcomes his son, orders him to give the best food and wine. Berco talks about what he experienced in those four years before he was home. There is more than enough. And then he wants to hear the news himself. What about Anna, the daughter of the castle lord of Richnava Castle? She always liked her, she was just young to him. But even so, Berco followed her before leaving for the road, even swearing eternal love all the way to the grave.
She would like her as a bride, too, but ... Love cannot be commanded. Hieronym knows that he will grieve his son and so it will happen. Since then, Berco only wants one thing: to see Anna again. Although far from it. And tell her how she betrayed their love. He goes out with his servants to Richnava, and they eat something else along the way, and drink; Berco only wakes up to a woman's voice and looks in disbelief: his promised is in front of him! At first she is pleased, but then she pushes her apart. She betrayed him! The girl swears that her parents force her to spend. But Berco doesn't believe it. Unhappy Anna plunges into the river, which seems shallow, but her waves are sharp and quickly carry Anna's body. Berco and his servants jump in vain, I will no longer find Anna.
Used sources and literature: KOLLÁR D., NEŠPOR J. Kultúrne krásy Slovenska. Hrady a zámky. Bratislava : DAJAMA 2008, BÁRTA V., BARTA V., NEŠPOR J. Hrady a zámky na Slovensku. Banská Bystrica : AB ART press, WEB: sk.wikipedia.org, wikipedia.org, kezmarok.com, archív hrady-zamky.sk