Korlátka – castle

History

   The Korlatka Castle (Konradstein) was built in the mid-13th century as a watchtower on the route connecting the medieval Bohemia and Hungary. It is not known who built it, the first mention of the castle appeared in 1289 and connected it with a certain Ugrin. At the beginning of the fourteenth century, it was in the hands of the Austrian knight Ulving Harcendorf, who in 1317, the magnate Matthew Csák had to pay in exchange for the stronghold.
   In 1394, the castle passed from the hands of King Sigismund to his closest and most influential adviser Stibor of Stiboricz. This nobleman of Polish origin came to Hungary in 1362, where he became associated with the court of Sigismund of Luxembourg, from 1378 the king of Hungary, and since 1387 the king of Germany. He had merits in fights with the Turks, where he reportedly saved the king’s life at the Battle of Nikopolis, and also suppressed anti-royal rebellions in Hungary at the beginning of the 15th century. In exchange for these merits, he became one of the richest and most influential aristocrats, possessing several dozen castles and several hundred villages.
   After the death of Stibor and his son Korlátka often changed owners. During the Hussite wars it was the seat of robber knights and hejtmans with their mercenary troops.
About 1444 raiders were driven away by the Bratislava burghers. In the mid-15th century, the castle was wielded by Mikuláš Ujlaky, who in 1452 gave it to his official Osvald from Bučany. Osvald’s descendants took over the castle for a longer time and began to write from it. This family died out in the mid-sixteenth century, after which subsequent owners of Korlánka again began to change often. In 1645, the stronghold was occupied by the army of George II Rákóczi, and in 1704 there were kuruc rebels here. In the mid-eighteenth century the castle was deserted and since then gradually destroyed.

Architecture

   The stronghold consisted of an upper castle and up to three outer wards. Located the highest on a rocky hill, the oldest part of the complex, the upper castle consisted of a massive main tower, residential house attached to tower from the north side and the defensive wall. The tower was a cylindrical construction, but set on a polygonal base. Its external diameter was 10.5 meters with a wall thickness of up to three meters. It probably played the role of bergfried, although small window openings suggest that it could also perform residential functions. The entrance gate to the upper castle was located on the north side.
   
To the north and south of the upper castle were small wards with economic buildings, which probably developed at the turn of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. The southern one extended on a rocky ridge running out of the upper castle and additionally protecting the main tower. On the southern side it passed into a hill measuring 50 x 55 meters, which was also protected by wood and earth fortifications. Apart from economic functions, the northern ward provided additional protection for the access road to the upper castle. A unique feature of its defensive wall were the three-side buttresses on the outside of the wall, resembling small towers.
  
The most distant ward extended on the eastern side and eventually formed in the first half of the 16th century. It was reinforced with a corner, cylindrical tower, a perimeter wall and on the east side with an additional, lower defensive wall with a gatehouse. The outer zone of defense was on the north and east side a ditch with a drawbridge over it. Probably it was the oldest part of the eastern ward, dug back in the 15th century when the ward was in the form of wooden and clay buildings.

Current state

   Small fragments of the perimeter walls and the main tower have survived from the upper castle, in a slightly better condition survived the fortifications of the outer bailey. Recently, restoration works have been carried out at the castle, vegetation overgrowing the stronghold has been cut down. Entrance to the ruin is free.

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bibliography:
Bóna M., Plaček M., Encyklopedie slovenských hradů, Praha 2007.
Wasielewski A., Zamki i zamczyska Słowacji, Białystok 2008.