Kinizsi Castle

Kinizsi Castle



Location: 8291 Nagyvázsony, Vár u. 9, Nagyvázsony, Veszprém county


Description of Kinizsi Castle

Kinizsi Castle is a medieval castle located in Nagyvázsony, Veszprém county of Hungary. It was constructed in the 15th century by Vezseny family. Eventually the family died out. King Matthias donated this Kinizsi Fortress to one of his military generals Pál Kinizsi in 1472. Kinizsi Castle was briefly taken by the Austrian Hapsburg, but retaken the next year. Pal Kinizsi married English Lady Benigma, but shortly thereafter. Newly made rich widow didn't wait for too long and remarried again. Her second husband, Mark Horvath, did not last too long either. He broke his neck while riding a horse or so the official documents say. The Third lucky husband and a new owner of Kinitzsi Castle became Gregory Kereky. The third time was not a charm and a new husband start picking new mistresses. Lady Benigma did not wait for too long and in 1519 she murdered both her husband and her mistress right in their bed. Then she ordered their bodies tossed in the moat around the castle. Woman was charged, but she escaped any serious punishment and was instead exiled from her lands. Last time the fort was used for military purposes was during Rakoczi War of Independence. From that point on Kinizsi Castle was used as a prison. Eventually Kinizsi Castle was completely abandoned and fell in disrepair.


The castle itself was built on a hill close to the source of the Vázsonyi-Séd stream from Nagyvázsony, already called Eger stream, which can be approached down Vár street, which opens from today's Kinizsi street. The builders of the castle took good advantage of the fact that the water of Séd, swollen with mill dams from the north, and the castle walls prevented access to the tower, which is why they formed the north side of the residential tower into a main façade with large windows. In terms of location, although disadvantageous from a military point of view, it rises in a location suitable for controlling two important routes, being primarily a middle-class residence rather than a building with strong defenses.

Origin of the name
The name and real reputation of the fortress is one of the best known and most famous in Hungarian history 15-16. He won it from the hero of the 16th century, Pál Kinizsi, but the name Vázsony itself comes from the Hungarian genus Vázsony.

History of the castle
Between the smaller and larger slopes of the Balaton Uplands is the village of Nagyvázsony, on one of the hillsides of which the residential tower of the medieval castle rises towards the sky. Its builder was the noble family Vezsenyi, who ruled the area, including László Vezsenyi, who built the castle in the first half of the 15th century after losing it to Zádor Castle. Although he received the building permit from Queen Mary as early as 1384, which is mentioned in diplomas two years later. It was then that the 25 m high residential tower with the associated smaller buildings and the wall surrounding the courtyard could be completed.

After the family became extinct on a male branch in 1472, King Matthias Hunyadi donated it to Kinizsi for his bravery in his campaigns. At this time, the four smaller towers formed the outer rectangular wall, the inner courtyard of which was extended with a two-story palace wing, a castle chapel in the corner, and a cannon guard (barbican) in front of its entrance (gate tower) to enclose it. In 1490, Miksa Habsburg's mercenary army demanding the throne occupied the castle, and it was not until the following year that Kinizsi, who was campaigning against them, was able to retake it with his militants. As the nobleman Pál Kinizsi usually defended the endangered parts of the country with his army, his residence in Vázsony was inhabited by his wife, Mistress Benigna Magyar, and remarried shortly after the death of Kinizsi (1494). As his second lord, Márk Horváth, broke his neck when he fell off the horse, he said yes for the third time. However, her husband, Gergely Kereky, was known as a violent, rude man, so Mistress Benigna suffered a lot from her, and in 1519 she was satisfied with her husband's behavior and killed her confidential followers, and then threw her body into the trenches of Vázsony. However, the murder was revealed and was not convicted by the royal court solely on the merits of Kinizsi, and he was eventually sentenced to perpetual exile, which he had to spend in the castle of Zsolnalitva in the distant highlands. In 1526 King János donated the castle to Ferenc Bodó, then from the second third of the 16th century a relative of the second husband of the already deceased Magyar Benigna, the Horváth noble family, acquired the castle, who thickened its walls, blowing up the nearby Pauline monastery and that the Turks might not acquire it and turn it into a fortress. From the middle of the 16th century, part of the Hungarian border fortress system, although it was not one of the most significant fortifications from a military point of view, it was used only for surveillance services, the nearby town paid regular taxes to the Turks. He left his guard in 1594 after the occupation of Veszprém, and then it was occupied by the Turks, but not for long, the Hungarians soon recaptured it.


The Zichy noble family from Zicsi and from then on Vázsonykő acquired the castle estate in 1649 and settled Hajdús here. The last clash of a military nature was fought in front of its walls during the Rákóczi War of Independence, where it was in the hands of the Kurucs and the Labans, but only in a secondary role. For a time, it was also the headquarters of Antal Esterházy, general. Eventually, in 1709, it became permanently in the possession of the Labans, and its military importance gradually diminished thereafter; its slowly decaying buildings were used as the prison of the manor until 1848. In 1756 a manorial brandy kiln was established here. In 1727, Imre Zichy rededicated the castle chapel, which was the only Catholic church in the village around this time. In 1762, the Zichys built their new castle on the other side of the creek, so it completely lost its significance. Only the old townspeople still lived in the residential tower. By the end of the 18th century, only a residential tower was found in good condition, as we know from the 1776 census of the Zichy family, but shortly afterwards an earthquake and then a fire in 1857 damaged the tower. Its eastern façade cracked along its entire length, and its roof was also lost in the fire, which was later replaced at the urging of Flóris Rómer. At the turn of the century, the upstairs high wall stump of his palace also collapsed. It was in this state that archaeological excavations and preservations began between 1954 and 1960. The works started in the castle, organized by the Tourism Office of the Veszprém County Council, under the direction of its head, Ferenc Zákonyi, and museologist Aurél Vajkai. In 2005, further excavations were carried out. In 2013, in view of the dangerous condition of the residential tower, the MNV and the KÖH granted permission to restore it, which happened.

The castle is currently operated by the Nagyvázsonyi local government-owned Nagyvázsonyi Kinizsi Cultural and Service Public Benefit Nonprofit Ltd., headed by the current castle ambassador. Since 2013, various smaller and larger programs have been continuously developing, among which the nationally famous Chicken-Knuckle Festival, Kinizsi Days, and the Potato Festival stand out.

Renovation of the castle within the framework of the National Castle Program
The castle will be renovated from 2017 as part of the National Castle Program. The implementation of the project was carried out by the NÖF National Heritage Development Nonprofit Ltd. performs.

The castle will be renewed from the European Union (GINOP-7.1.1-15-2017-00031) from the European Union (GINOP-7.1.1-15-2017-00031) within the framework of the "Development of the Nagyvázsony Castle for Tourism" project.

The purpose of the development:
reconstruction of the historical squares of the castle and development of exhibition content presenting contemporary life,
presentation of the legends surrounding the castle, the lord and mistress of the castle,
expansion of tourist services, creation of unique tourist experience elements in the Kinizsi Castle in Nagyvázsony.
The aim of the project is the rehabilitation of the iconic building of Nagyvázsony, Kinizsi Castle, the expansion of the range of tourist services provided, the creation of a tourist attraction providing complex services in line with the needs and trends of the 21st century. serves. The main goal of tourism development is to create an exhibition that meets the needs of today.