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The short history of the Castle of Sümeg

The Castle of Sümeg is one of the most beautiful fortresses of the country. It was built on a barren hilltop towering above surroundings, and it has been in relatively good condition since the Middle Ages.
The Castle consists of three major parts: an exterior and an interior fortress as well as a citadel. Building periods are also distinguishable. The lower level of the citadel's Old Tower , possibly built with an upper level of wood construction in the 1260s, is the oldest part of the Castle.
Large-scale extension was carried out in the 15th century, at the time of the bishops Mátyás Gathalóczy (1440-1457), Albert Vetési (1458-1486) and János Vitéz junior (1489-1499). Bishop Vetési had the Inner Gatehouse built and the palace on the southern cliff of the castle hill completed.

The construction of the Outer Gatehouse and the battlements can be put to a later period. Chapel design can be connected to bishop János Vitéz.
Largescale building operations started again after the fall of Veszprém to the Turks in 1552 when the episcopal seat took refuge in the Castle of Sümeg. Construction work was led by bishop András Köves (1553-1568) and commander of the Castle Józsa Ormányi. First of all, at the north corner of the castle, they built a big, two-level bastion of a pentagonal plan, named after bishop Köves later, then they had the palace wing reconstruced.
Bishop György Széchenyi (1648-1658) raised the Castle of Sümeg to the state of an episcopal seat and the launched the reconstruction of the palace wing in a baroque style. His successor bishop István Sennyei (1659-1683) went on with building the Castle, having the Outer Gatehouse reinforced and atall bastion, named after him now, put next to it.


The 17th century history of castle construction came to an end with the activity of bishop Pál Széchenyi (1687-1710) who might have new construction as well as repair work done.
Early in the following century, the Castle started to decline. It was burnt down again after the Rákóczi War of Independence and, from this time on, it was devoted to destruction for two centuries and a half.

Excavation and reconstruction started in 1957 and it took seven years.
Utilization rights have been privately exercised since 1989 and reconstruction has been going on ever since.
At the foot of the Castle, in front of the horse stables an equestrian statue of Saint George the Dragon Killer by Sándor Oláh is to be seen.

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Additional Photos by Csaba Witz (csabagaba) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 617 W: 172 N: 1499] (7018)
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