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Sárospatak Castle
Sárospatak Castle
Coat of arms of Sárospatak
Coat of arms
Sárospatak is located in Hungary
Coordinates: 48°19′08″N 21°33′59″E / 48.31897°N 21.56636°E / 48.31897; 21.56636Coordinates: 48°19′08″N 21°33′59″E / 48.31897°N 21.56636°E / 48.31897; 21.56636
Country  Hungary
Regions Northern Hungary
County Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén County
 • Total 100.5 km2 (38.8 sq mi)
Population (2009)
 • Total 13,357
 • Density 104.29/km2 (270.1/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 3950
Area code(s) 47

Sárospatak (German: Potok am Bodroch; Slovak: Šarišský Potok, Blatný Potok) (English rough translation: Muddy Stream or Muddy Brook on the Bodrog) is a town in Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén county, northern Hungary. It lies 70 kilometres (43 miles) northeast from Miskolc, in the Bodrog river valley. The town, often called simply Patak, is an important cultural centre.


Sárospatak - World War I memorial

The area has been inhabited since ancient times. Sárospatak was granted town status in 1201 by King Emeric. In the Middle Ages it was an important place due to its proximity to an important trade route leading to Poland. Its castle, built by Andrew II, is traditionally identified as the birthplace of his daughter Saint Elizabeth.

Sárospatak was elevated to the rank of free royal town by King Sigismund. In 1460, during the reign of King Matthias it received the right to hold a market. In 1575 a plague killed many of the inhabitants.

The Reformation began spreading into Hungary from this area. The first Protestant college, one of the most important colleges of Hungary at the time, was founded in Sárospatak in 1531. In 1650 Zsuzsanna Lorántffy, widow of George I Rákóczi prince of Transylvania invited the famous Czech educator Jan Comenius to Sárospatak. Comenius lived there until 1654, as a professor of the college, and he wrote some of his most important works there. The college (since 2000 a faculty of the University of Miskolc) now bears his name.

The owners of the castle of Sárospatak include many important individuals in Hungarian history. In the 16th century it was owned by the Dobó family. Bálint Balassi, the most important Hungarian poet of the century married Krisztina Dobó at the castle; the bride was the daughter of István Dobó, who defended the castle of Eger against the Ottoman Turks. Later the castle was owned by the Rákóczi family. The residents of the town took an active part in the revolution against Habsburg rule led by Francis II Rákóczi.

Today Sárospatak is a charming historical town and a popular tourist destination.

Tourist sights[edit]

The castle of Sárospatak on the reverse side of 500 Hungarian Forint banknote



  • The ceiling of one of the small rooms of the castle is decorated by frescoes of roses. The participants of the Wesselényi conspiracy held their secret meetings in this room. In Latin the term sub rosa means both "under the rose" and "in secret".
  • Because of its cultural significance, Sárospatak is sometimes referred as "Athens of the Bodrog".

International relations[edit]

Twin towns — Sister cities[edit]

Sárospatak is twinned with:


  1. ^ "Krosno Official Website - Partner Cities". Flag of Poland.svg(in Polish) © 1998 - 2001 Urząd Miasta Krosna. Retrieved 2008-10-23. 

External links[edit]