The Rákóczi Castle of Borsi

After crossing the border to Slovakia, one should take a left turn at the first intersection, and from there, the road leads directly to Borša (or Borsi in Hungarian). Its historical significance lies in the fact that it was the birthplace of Prince Ferenc Rákóczi II. Sadly, its present day condition does not indicate the fact that one of the most important historical figures in Hungary was born there. Sources indicate that following the 13th century Mongol offensive, an earlier castle was built. However, a partial excavation has not provided definitive proof of this. The Rákóczi Castle was built by István Zeleméri Kamarás, the captain of the Tokaj castle, around 1579. The Rákóczi family came into possession of the castle through the marriage of György Rákóczi I and Zsuzsanna Lórántffy. A few sources indicate that members of the Rákóczi family usually stayed there during their trips to Munkács. Ilona Zrínyi spent a short time there while she was on her way from Munkács to Regécze in 1676. As a matter of fact, it was only by chance that Ferenc Rákóczi II was born there on 27 March.
According to an inventory from 1631, the building had been expanded by that time with the northwestern bastion and the northern wing residence halls for women. By 1638, the castle had been further expanded with the southern section of the western wing, a southern wing with guest rooms, and possibly the now ruined southern corner bastion. The expansion was probably commissioned by Zsuzsanna Lórántfy as a large amount of attention was given to the southern wing intended for women. Southwards from the building, in the direction of Bodrog, there lay a Renaissance garden. Towards the southwest stood a four-stone watermill on the side of the dammed lake of the Ronyva Stream and a small summer house at the foot of the embankment.
In 1644, the army of Palatine Miklós Esterházy VIII marching against György Rákóczi I seized and ravaged the castle. It has never been restored to its original glory, though a partial renovation of the ruined castle is currently in progress.
The castle can be visited any time; even if its main gate is closed, it can be accessed through its backyard. The present day conditions are clearly reflected by the fact that in the spring of 2013 unknown culprits stole the statue of Rákóczi. The large bust of Rákóczi had stood in front of the castle since 1969. It was made by Ede Mayer in 1907, based on a painting by Ádám Mányoki, when the ashes of Rákóczi were brought back from Rodostó, or Tekirdağ, in Turkey.

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