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Šomoška castle is located right at the Hungarian border. While approaching on the road and looking straight at it you are actually looking from Slovakia through Hungary at the castle, which is in Slovakia. I visited the castle in summer of 1998.

Claming up the hill you will pass by stone waterfall, a range of basalt lava formations, which hardened into curved columns four million years ago and now resemble liquid rock pouring into a stone sea. Such basalt columns, which at this site are a haven for snakes and lizards, are found at few places on earth: Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Northern Ireland, California and Wyoming and British Columbia.


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Beginnings of Šomoška’s castle date back to 1291. It was completely built from hexagonal basalt columns. It was a very small castle as the top of the hill on which it stands is not very large. There was just one building with small triangular shaped courtyard. Later on it was fortified with two huge tower bastions. Third bastion was built at the entrance to the castle.

In 1323 the king Karol Róbert donated the castle to TomᚠSzéczényi. Under his ownership the castle was the center of busy social life. The castle belonged to the Széczényi family till 1461, at which time the Lošonci family became the owners.

During the Turkish invasions in the first half of the 16th century the castle was in the first line along with other Novohrad castles. Šomoška resisted Turkish armies for a long time. In 1554 Turks conquered the most important castle-Fiľakovo. From this place Turks controlled vast surroundings for a long years, despite this the small gothic castle fortified by three bastions resisted for 22 years. In the year 1576 beg Ali with strong army conquered Šomoška, the commander of the defenders was inexperienced MikulᚠModolóczy.


The castle was unbound from the Turkish domination in the 1593 when it became property of the Lošonci family again. Anna Lošonci married Žigmund Forgáč and after her death the castle descends to the Forgáč family. In the 17th century during the peasant uprising the castle served as shelter for Bocskai army (in 1619-1626 was the owner of the castle Behlen), later to the supporters of Thokoli rebellion. In 1703 the castle garrison joined to the rebels who were led by František Rákoczi. After an elimination of the rebellion in 1709 the owner Šimon Forgáč lost the castle and other lands. The only problem Šomoška had been lack of drinking water, which contributed to its decline in later years. Šomoška escaped from an emperor’s command to destroy all castles, though the building gradually decayed. After fire in 1826 caused by lightning, the owners of the castle had the remaining buildings destroyed.

Šomoška castle is unique among Slovak castles. There is a great view from the castle: Šalgo castle in Hungary, on the east is lava river from near volcano Medves, on the north can be seen the contours of Fiľakovo castle and Fiľakovo. 

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Published in the Slovak Heritage Live newsletter Volume 13, No.1, Spring 2005
Copyright Š Vladimir Linder 2005
3804 Yale Street, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada V5C 1P6
The above article and photographs may not be copied, reproduced, republished, or redistributed by any means including electronic, without the express written permission of
Vladimir Linder. All rights reserved.