Siklos Castle in the very South of Hungary is one of the few Hungarian castles not to have been seriously damaged by either the Turks or the Austrians, though it did suffer damage in WW2. It dates from the 13th century but has been substantially altered since. Here it is on one of the 1960 Hungarian definitives.
Somlo - or Somlyo - Castle in Hungary (the name is spelt both ways, including on different printings of the stamp) dates back to at least the 14th century. In the mid-15th century, the father of its owner had purloined the income of a local monastery: the son, to save his father's soul, offered the castle to a local church. It passed into the ownership of a bishop, who bestowed it upon one of his nephews. Here it is on a Hungarian 1960 stamp.
Last Edit: Jan 26, 2015 11:35:24 GMT -5 by Deleted
Holloko Castle in Northern Hungary dates from the 13th century. Originally built following the Mongol invasion, from about 1550 to the late 17th century it changed hands several times between Hungarians and Turks. The castle - now a ruin - features on one of the 1960 Hungarian definitives.
Another castle shown on the 1960 Hungarian definitives is that of Csesznek in Western Hungary, originally built in 1263 by the then king's swordbearer. For much of the 14th century it was a royal possession. In the 1590s Turkish troops occupied it for a couple of years, but were driven out in 1596.
Eger Castle in Northern Hungary is in one of the country's main wine regions. Like a number of Hungarian castles, it was built in the latter part of the 14th century after the 1241 Mongol invasion. The castle was destroyed during an unsuccessful mid-16th-century siege by the Turks, but rebuilt afterwards, only to fall into Turkish hands at the end of the century. In 1687 the Turks were starved into surrendering the castle. In 1701 the Austrians, who were fighting a Hungarian uprising, blew up much of the castle. Here it is on one the 1960 Hungarian definitives.
Koszeg - or Jurisics - Castle in the very West of Hungary dates from early medieval times. In 1532 it was besieged by Suleiman the Magnificent of Turkey but held out, despite the garrison having no artillery and less than 1000 men. here it is on one of the 1960 Hungarian definitives.
The top value in the 1960 Hungarian definitive set shows Sarvar Castle, dating from the 16th century. It has several calls to fame. In 1541 the first book in Hungarian was printed there - a translation of the New Testament. Rather less religiously, it was associated with one of Hungary's most notorious aristocrats, Countess Elizabeth Bathory: she was betrothed at age 10 to Ferenc Nadasdy, but became pregnant about three years later by one of the servants at the castle. Her husband-to-be had the poor man castrated and then thrown to a pack of dogs. She helped to defend her husband's estates against the Turks, but in the early 17th century she was convicted of torturing and killing tens, possibly hundreds, of people, many of them teenage girls, with the help of four servants: three of the servants were executed, one was given a life sentence, and the Countess herself spent the rest of her life - four years - bricked up in solitary confinement with just slits for ventilation and for food to be passed to her. Some revisionist historians say the charges against her were trumped up, but it seems certain that a lot of bodies were found before her trial. In 1921, King Ludwig III of Bavaria died at Sarvar Castle, three years after being deposed at the end of WW1. In 1940 Ludwig's grandson Albrecht - an opponent of the Nazis - took his family there, but they were all arrested and sent to concentration camps (they were freed from Dachau in 1945).
Last Edit: Jan 26, 2015 16:27:12 GMT -5 by Deleted
I think I am not the only Stamp Bear who loves the Italian set of castles on definitives issued between 1980 and 1994. Here is the Castel del Monte in Andria, Apulia in Southern Italy. It was built in the 1240s by the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II and is in the form of an octagon with an octagonal tower at each corner. Historians are uncertain whether it ever served any real military purpose, or was just, perhaps, a hunting lodge. The castle also appears on a 1-cent Italian Euro coin. It is a UNESCO world heritage site. In Umberto Eco's novel The Name of the Rose the castle Aedificium (which means just "the building") was probably based on this castle.
In soil around the castle scientists discovered a red compound produced by bacteria which has been used for medicinal purposes, in drugs for the treatment of some types of leukemia and many other cancers.
The Rocca di Calascio is the highest fortification in the Apennines, and features on one of the Italian castle definitives. Starting as a watchtower built in the 10th century, it was substantially extended in the 13th, but then badly damaged by a major earthquake in 1461, and never restored. It has been used in several films, including the film version of Umberto Eco's novel The Name of the Rose.
Castello Aragonese is on a volcanic rock connected by a bridge to the island of Ischia in the Gulf of Naples. There have been fortifications there since the 5th century BC. Access is through a tunnel containing a small chapel. In 1809, during the Napoleonic Wars, the British badly damaged the castle. It features on one of the Italian castle definitives.
The Castello Pandone at Cerro al Volturno is a massive fortress built to command a major trade route in Southern Italy. It was originally built by the Lombards, who ruled from the mid-6th to the late 8th centuries, and later much expanded. Here it is on one the Italian castle definitives of 1980-94.
The castle at Mondavio in central Italy is one of the best preserved fortifications of the country. Dating back to at least the late 14th century, it was substantially rebuilt in the late 15th century and carefully designed to enable a small body of troops to defend the whole edifice.
Miramare is a 19th-century castle in Trieste in NE Italy. It was built in the mid-19th century for a younger brother of the Austrian emperor and is surrounded by an extensive park. When Trieste was occupied by the Germans during World War 2, the castle served as a German officers' training establishment, but Friedrich Rainer, the Austrian gauleiter, refused to allow it to become a Nazi HQ, and this probably saved it from being substantially damaged in shelling and bombing as the Allies advanced. After WW2 it was for a time a military base for successively New Zealand, British and American troops. Here the castle is on one of the Italian 1980-94 definitives.
The Swabian castle at Bari in Southern Italy was built in the first half of the 12th century by Roger II, Norman king of Sicily, only to be destroyed some 25 years later by his son and successor William I of Sicily. In the 1230s the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II restored and strengthened it. In the late 16th century it became a prison and barracks. The castle features on one of the Italian castle definitives.
Rovereto Castle in Northern Italy dates back to the 13th century and was enlarged under Venetian rule. It was built on the site of an ancient Roman military base. It features on one of the 1980-94 Italian definitives.
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