Szerencs Castle (Rakoczi Castle)

The town of Szerencs is called the gate of Hegyalja, which is world famous for its wineyards. There are a lot of sightseeings, but one of the most popular visiting place among tourists is the castle of Rakoczi standing inside the town.

In the middle of the 13th century Bogat-Radvany clan founded a Benedictine monastery on one of the outstanding hill of the swampy area which was reconstructed as a castle in order to give protection against the approaching Turkish troops. The first written data in connection with this fact relates back to 1556 at that time Ferenc Nemeti was the commander of the castle.

Later Schwendi's soldiers, who was the Emperor's general, occupied the castle and then the noble Zsigmond Rakoczi took it as a pawn. There were defences built around the building of the monastery gradually such as massive gunbastions and deep waterjump which protected it from attacks.

It lost its military importance after the peace treaty in Szatmar which put an end to the "kuruc" war of independence and it was formed to be a comfortable residence by its owners. As it has always been a residence it remained to the present days. Today the postcard collection of Zemplén Museum can be seen within the historical walls while in the other parts of the castle there is a hotel.

According to the popular traditions from the danger-fraught time the grape harvester women and the soldiers of the fortress managed to defeat the attacking Turkish troops together.

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