Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

The hard life of Modrý Kameň

For about a century and a half, the territory of modern Slovakia was a direct neighbour of the expanding Ottoman Empire. The southern regions of Slovakia especially suffered from Turkish behaviour.

The Modrý Kameň castle(Source: Courtesy of B. Chovan)

However, if there was a region to be selected as the most impacted by the ravaging of the aggressive neighbour, it would probably be Novohrad. Here, the Ottomans settled for many years and terrorised the wider surroundings from there. Not even the system of defence castles – the most important being Modrý Kameň / Blue Stone – helped Novohrad against them.

Ottomans even conquered it in 1575 and kept their presence there until 1593 when they were defeated in a massive attack of the army of Miklós Pálffy and Kristóf Tiefenbach. Before they fled the castle, they still managed to set it on fire and create an explosion. Its owner, Zsigmund Balassa, ordered it repaired and put into its original state but during the next Ottoman war it was agin left a ruin.

In 1730, half a century after the final defeat of the Ottomans, Gabriel Balassa let a mansion in the baroque style be construed in the lower part of the castle. Fortunately, this has been preserved until today. Currently, the Museum of Puppetry Culture and Toys resides there, the only one of its kind in Slovakia. This nice postcard from the 1920s captures the ruin of Modrý Kameň with a part of the town.

Topic: History talks


Top stories

Šumiac breaks sweat record: first sauna to be revived

The sauna built in Šumiac by miller Michal Demo after returning from Russian captivity was the first one not just in Slovakia but in the entire former Czechoslovakia. Now it can be saved and re-used.

The construction of first Slovak sauna in Šumiac

Foreigners: Top 10 events in Bratislava Video

Tips for the top 10 events in the capital between August 18 and August 27, as well as regular services in different languages, training for foreigners in English and highlights of the year.

Pivobrana - Beer Festival

Have you ever climbed a via ferrata? Photo

In central Slovakia, there is one also suitable for beginners. Here are some of the views it offers.

Agrokomplex opens its gates Photo

This year’s exhibition has more discussions with experts and a family programme.