Veľký Šariš, Prešov county
N49° 03' 09.36", E21° 10' 32.46"
Sarus, Zaros, Saarus, Sáros, Nagysáros
Access to Šariš castle is not difficult. From the town of Veľký Šariš, near Prešov, we have to get to the spacious parking lot on Hlavná Street, which leads out of the town towards Medzany. Soon we will see a sign where we turn right. From the car park there is a gentle ascent via the asphalt road (yellow trail) to the castle.
40-50 min +230m/-26m
From the original castle is preserved the core, which is a massive prismatic tower (13.2m x 13.2m), which served for housing. At first, donjon was tightly wrapped around a relatively thin wall. Inside there was room for the extension of the accommodation of the castle family. An irregular round tower has been preserved from the bailey.
The castle fortifications are preserved, including bastions. The central tower - donjon - provides a very good view of the surroundings. The castle is one of the largest medieval castles with the highest number of bastions.
Ground plan - Šariš castle
Legend to the ground plan:
1 - rampart fortification, 2 - inner castle with donjon, 3 - watchtower, 4 - circular wall of the lower castle with bastions, 5 - original entrance, 6 - entrance barbican, 7 - cannon bastion
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The original hill, where the castle is located, was formed by volcanic activity. Hradný vrch has been a cult and sacred mountain since time immemorial, where the oldest religious ceremonies and celebrations in the wild took place. The first building modifications on the castle consisted of a rampart fortification, which was later supplemented by wooden wheels - palisades. The first mention of a castle named Sarus comes from 1245, when probably the original building was already in the stage of reconstruction into a castle. This primary fortress was replaced after the Tartar invasion by the new construction of a stone castle, which is mentioned in a document of King Bel IV. in 1262. The castle was built to protect the north-south trade route through the Torysa River valley. It has been a royal castle since the beginning of its existence. The impending Tatar danger as early as 1241 was the reason why part of the administration from the flat Abov was transferred to the administration of the castle. This laid the foundations for the establishment of the Saris Committee, as the first administrative organization of our territory, and the castle became the seat of the Saris counties (comes).
At the beginning of the 14th century, the castle was seized by the family of Omodejov, enemies of King Karol Róbert. The new owners expanded the castle with residential and commercial buildings and strengthened its fortifications. Castle Captain Demeter terrorized the surrounding towns and the king's loyal peasants from it. After the Battle of Rozhanovce in 1312, it became a royal property again. King Sigismund donated the castle to Peter Perényi in 1405. The castle was also in reserve in 1435 by the lords of Solivar - Sóosovci and in 1439 by Ján Perényi. For a short time, in the years 1441-1460, at the initiative of Queen Elizabeth, the castle was occupied by Ján Jiskra of Brandýs and his captains. In 1461 the castle was besieged by Štefan Zápoľský and by starvation he forced the brothers to surrender. King Matej Korvín returned the castle to the Perényi family, who again expanded the castle and fortified it with a new castle wall. Peter Perényi supported King Ján Zápoľský. In 1537, however, the castle was conquered by the army of the second king Ferdinand I of Habsburg, who appointed Juraj Wernher as the castle captain.
In the 16th century from In 1538, the castle was the seat of the chamber of Upper Hungary for 20 years. The castle became an administratively administered area from the Tatras to the Tisza. Fears of a Turkish raid after the Battle of Mohács strengthened his defense system. At this time, the castle had 200 infantry, 14 bastions, which were connected to the castle walls and thus became an impregnable medieval fortress.
In 1642, the castle came into the possession of the magnate Rákóczi family, who inhabited the magnificent manor house in the castle grounds. However, this massive fortress did not interfere in the subsequent events of the last anti-Habsburg uprisings. In 1660, a gunpowder depot exploded and severely damaged the entire castle. In the following years, therefore, it was used only to house troops. The castle was intentionally destroyed in 1687. It burned down and was not rebuilt. The last of the Rákóczi family, Prince Francis II of Transylvania. Rákóczi, a well-known Hungarian freedom fighter, died in exile in Turkey and the castle passed into the ownership of the Aspermont family along the female line. It was later owned by the Szirmay family. The last owner of the castle was the royal valet Gejza Puľský. In the 70's and 80's of the 20th century, the restoration of the castle began with more extensive archaeological research. In the next phase, the masonry was preserved and some buildings were completed.
The young ruler of Šariš Castle once got lost on a hunt in dense forests. In the darkness behind the light, he got to the neighboring castle, where the unknown asked for a night. In the morning he went to take away from his host and then he met his beautiful daughter Sabina, whom his father anxiously guarded from the world. They caught each other's eye on the spot and have been meeting secretly ever since. At the end, the servants of Saris, Bodo, and Gregor Sabina were abducted to the place where the young lord of the castle was waiting for them. Where the castle lord took the lovely one on horseback, he ordered the construction of a town called Sabinov and donated settlements to the abductor - today's Gregorovce and Bodovce.
Used sources and literature: BÁRTA V., BARTA V., NEŠPOR J. Hrady a zámky na Slovensku. Banská Bystrica : AB ART press, KOLLÁR D., NEŠPOR J. Hrady najkrajšie zrúcaniny. Bratislava : DAJAMA 2007, NEŠPOR J., Za tajomstvami zrúcanín. Zrúcaniny Východného Slovenska. Bratislava : Gu100 2003, PLAČEK M., BÓNA M., Encyklopédia slovenských hradov. Bratislava : SLOVART 2007, KOLLÁR D., LACIKA J. Od hradu k hradu 2.diel. Bratislava : DAJAMA 2018 WEB: www.velkysaris.sk, www.spoznaj.eu, sk.wikipedia.org, Archív hrady-zamky.sk