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Date updated: 03/07/2023

Čachtice Castle

    Čachtice Castle

    Čachticky Chateau (Čachticky Hrad) - sadly famed by one of its owners, Countess Elisabeth Báthory (Alžbeta Báthoryová), who lived here at the turn of the 16th and 17th centuries. It is estimated that 600 to 2000 young girls were murdered. To stay young and beautiful she had to bathe in their blood.

    History of the Chahti Castle

    Construction began in the first half of the 13th century at the suggestion of Hungarian King Bela IV (Belo IV) and was associated with the protection of trade routes and the invasion of the Mongols.

    At the beginning of the 14th century the castle was conquered by the uncrowned King of West and Central Slovakia, Matúš Čák, but after his death in 1321 the castle was taken by the troops of King Charles I of Hungary, Robert of Anjou, and the castle was returned to the Balaš family. In 1392, Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund I of Luxembourg presented the Chuchtice Chateau to Stibor zo Stiboríc for his loyal service. When Stibor died in 1414, the castle was inherited by his son Stibor II, but since he had no heirs after his death in 1434, the castle was returned to the Hungarian Crown.

    In 1436, Sigismund I of Luxembourg gave the castle to Michal Orság z Guta. His family had owned the castle for not long 130 years, and again due to lack of heirs the castle was passed to the Hungarian kingdom. But in 1569, Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian II transfers the Chachticky Chateau into the hands of the Nádašdy family, or more precisely, the widow of Hungarian Palatine Tamás, Kanizsai Orsolya.

    In 1602, the son of Tamás Nádásdy, František Nádašdy, bought the castle from the Hungarian Crown, and after his death in 1604 his wife Countess Elisabeth Báthoryová became its owner. The countess is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the woman with the most murders.

    On the 30th of December 1610, the Hungarian palatinate named Juraj VII. Turzo arrested Countess Báthory and four of her servants whom he believed to be accomplices. The court ordered Countess Bathory to be imprisoned in her own castle in Czachtice and she did not leave it until she died in August 1614. As for her four servants who were arrested with her, three were executed and the fourth was sentenced to life imprisonment. The story of this bloody countess has inspired many creative people. For example Jožo Nižnánsky, author of the book The Lady of Czachtice. Viktor Kubal created a cartoon and Juraj Jakubisko the film Bathory.

    Following the death of the bloody countess and disputes among her heirs, her son Pavol Nádašdy became the owner of the castle, followed by his son František II. Nádašdy, who did much for the castle itself. In 1665, František II Nádašdy took part in a conspiracy with Ferenc Vešelényi against Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I, but the plot was foiled. On the orders of Leopold I, the castle was seized and looted by soldiers, and the property was confiscated.

    In 1703 began a rebellion against Habsburg rule, and in 1708 Czahtice Castle was seized by the rebel army of Ferenc II Rakoczi. After these events, the owners of Cahtice Castle were various noble Hungarian families, even after the fire in 1799, the owners of the castle changed, but did not make any effort to rebuild it.

    Čachtice Castle

    A fire in 1799 caused serious damage to the castle, and it remained in this condition for more than 200 years.

    In 2012-2014, archaeological research was carried out on the area for the first time and some restoration work was carried out. 

    Today, the Chahti Castle stands as a reminder of the grim legacy of Elisabeth Báthory. Many believe that the castle is haunted by the spirits of the girls who died here. Visitors can tour the castle and learn about the history of the region, but many say they can sense an unease and sadness in the air.

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