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 castleThe 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.

SkryťRemove ad
Article continues after video advertisement
SkryťRemove ad
Article continues after video advertisement

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.

Top stories

News digest: LGBT+ people better off in Malta

From Bratislava to Komárno with a new rail operator. Take a look at timeless Czechoslovak glasses.


6 h

Village burnt down but thanks to contest it is one of Slovak symbols now

Ease your hiking muscles in a spa after a two-hour hike with incredible views and a walk through time.


27. jul
Altogether 131 refugees from Ukraine are accommodated at the premises of the Prešov prison; the capacity of the facility is 151 people. The original inmates were moved to Sabinov. The picture features an angel in the Ukrainian national colours created by one refugee and her son as a thank you gift for visitors.

It's August and I really want to go home to Ukraine

A Ukrainian refugee, mother of two, tells the story of her escape to Slovakia and the six months she has lived here so far.


15. aug
Slovak Foreign Minister Ivan Korčok.

Slovakia plans no ban on all Russians from entering the country

The country would most likely support an EU-wide ban.


16. aug
SkryťClose ad