Budatín castle has a rich history. The first written mention dates from 1321 (Castrum Budetyn). According to recent archaeological findings, it was probably built in the late 13th century at the confluence of the Váh and Kysuce rivers as a watch–castle. From this period, a part of the original ground-floor of the tower has been preserved. It is interesting how the tower was built. In the middle of the marsh was located a small hill, to which were added layers of imported clay, thereby creating an artificial hill.
Owners of the castle
It is believed that Budatín castle was built by the Balaš family who owned the land here. The castle has had many owners, one of them being Matthew Csák of Trenčín. In the 15th century, the castle was already the king’s property and Sigismund of Luxemburg donated it to his wife Barbora. Unfortunately this was the period of the Hussite incursions in Slovakia and probably that is why in 1429 it was described as unworthy. Juraj of Hatné, who received the castle for his faithful services to the king, started its reconstruction. He died in 1450 and his widow remarried a certain Gašpar Suňog. The castle was certainly donated to the Suňog family in 1487 for faithful services to the King Matthias Korvin. The family owned the building until 1727, when the Budatín Suňog family ceased to exist and the castle passed into the hands of the Silesian part of the family. However, this family did not own it for a longtime either. In 1798, the last male descendant Ján died. His daughter Jozefína married Anton Csáki. Budatín stayed in the property of the family Csáky until 1945.
Legend about beautiful Katarína
The Suňog family is connected with probably the most romantic legend relating to Budatín. It features the beautiful daughter of Gašpar Suňog - Katarína. The rumours of her beauty spread quickly and it was therefore not surprising that many noblemen were attracted to her, notably one, Frank Forgáč. Although Katarína‘s mother watched with concern, the young couple had an instant attraction and they fell in love. Their intense love even convinced Katarína‘s mother that they were destined for each other. Knight Forgáč therefore came to Budatín to get engaged. Gašpar Suňog was not at home during this time and when he returned, he was very surprised and angry because he had promised Katarína to the elderly Ján Jakušic, Lord of Vršatec. Neither the weeping nor the pleading of his daughter could move him. The father remained adamant. He invited Lord Jakušic to Budatín and prepared a formal engagement. When knight Forgáč learned of it, he was saddened and wanted to see his beloved one for the last time. He came secretly to Budatín, bribed a servant and met his love. Unfortunately, as he was running away, his shadow exposed his whereabouts. Her father learned of everything and decided to punish Katarína severely. He gave orders to wall her inside the Budatín tower. This was supposedly the place where, today, we can see the Suňog family crest. However, Frank would not give up his love so easily, and therefore with the aid of his soldiers, rescued her. This made Jakušic angry and he challenged Knight Forgáč. In a fierce fight Jakušic killed the less experienced Frank and carried off the weeping Katarína to his Vršatec castle, where he married her against her will. The legend brought fame to Budatín castle and even in today's modern times girls come to the coat of arms in the tower wanting to touch it, hoping it will bring them good luck in life and help them find true love.
The family Csáki succeeded in giving Budatín the configuration of a castle. They demolished the walls and erected a ground-building consisting of a chapel and a classical double-storey mansion. They transformed and converted the area of the castle grounds to a comfortable modern seat of nobility. In the revolutionary years 1848 – 1849, the building suffered a cruel blow. On January 10th, 1849 departing soldiers carelessly left a fire burning which engulfed the entire building and the newly built mansion was burnt to the ground. The castle grounds began to fall into disrepair and decay. Ladislav Csáki, thanks to profit from his iron factory in Prakovce, began with the reconstruction in 1870, which unfortunately, did not respect the original design. The final changes were made by Gejza in 1920 - 1922, when the property acquired its present form. The last owner did not leave the building even after nationalization, such was his affection for Budatín. In his old age, however, he accepted the offer from his daughter Natália, who lived in France and emigrated with the consent of the authorities. Since 1996, the area has consistently been undergoing major reconstruction. You can walk in Budatín´s park, which is situated in the area of Budatin´s castle. Since 2014 the tower of the Budatín Castle has been open to the public.
Source: PhDr. Marián Mrva
It can be visited
■ the castle is under reconstruction, it is not open to the public.
■ the tower of the Budatín Castle is open to the public:
|May - September||October - April|
|Tuesday||9.00 a.m. – 5.00 p.m.||9.00 a.m.– 4.00 p.m.|
|Wednesday||9.00 a.m. – 5.00 p.m.||9.00 a.m.– 4.00 p.m.|
|Thursday||9.00 a.m. – 5.00 p.m.||9.00 a.m.– 4.00 p.m.|
|Friday||9.00 a.m. – 5.00 p.m.||9.00 a.m.– 4.00 p.m.|
|Saturday||9.00 a.m. – 5.00 p.m.||9.00 a.m.– 4.00 p.m.|
|Sunday||9.00 a.m. – 5.00 p.m.||9.00 a.m.– 4.00 p.m.|
|Last entry at 4.30 p.m.||Last entry at 3.30 p.m.|
The tower is closed during these bank (public) holidays:
18th April 2014, 24th December - 26th December 2014, 1st January 2015, 6t January 2015
The entrance tickets to the tower can be bought in a cash desk in the administrative building of the Považské museum (a creamy yellow building on the left side of the castle gatehouse). The tour takes approximately 45 minutes. The maximum number of visitors for one entrance is 20.
Position of the monument on the map: B1
Number of the monument on the map: 13