Settlement of the year 2007: Sárospatak
A jewel among the historic towns of Hungary, Sárospatak lies at the foot of the Zemplén Hills on the River Bodrog and is a much visited cultural and tourist centre. Its very name conjures up those lions of the War of Independence, Prince Rákóczi and his followers.
The present face the town offers is a happy blend of the modern and the many buildings designated as historic monuments. Buildings designed by Imre Makovecz in his hallmarked style sit comfortably in the historic townscape.
Patak was a royal possession from the 11th century on. Between 1534 and 1541 Péter Perényi erected a large five-floored tower as residential quarters at the south-east corner of the walls. Hungarian master builders completed the castle complex in a late Renaissance style, to the plans of Allessandro Vedani, the Italian architect. The fragments of Romanesque and Gothic carvings are what remains of the Dominican monastery and the castle. The Pérenyi wing on the north was built between 1540 and 1567. In 1616 its proprietor, Zsuzsanna Lorántffy wed the later Prince of Transylvania, György Rákóczi II. In this way Patak became the centre of the Rákóczi possessions. From 1640 the castle's defences were strengthened and the Lorántffy wing added, then the logia and the platform for cannon. From 1676 the castle was held by Ferenc Rákóczi, its defences were ordered torn down by the Emperor in 1702. It was restored in the Baroque style by the Trautson princes (1711 - 1776) and in the Romantic (from 1807) by the Bretzenheim princes, while preserving its Renaissance elements. From 1875 it was owned by the princes Windischgrtz and from 1945 by the Hungarian state. Since 1950 the Museum has held the Rákóczi inheritance.
The first phase of the history of the Collegium, begins in 1531 with the munifiscenceof the lord of the castle, Péter Perényi and later with the generosity of György Rákóczi and his wife Zsuzsanna Lorántffy. They provided approriate buildings for the school, its teachers, its magnificent library and drew up the regulations under which it was run. In the Collegium, primary, secondary and higher education were built on each other, from time to time different types of school were established. In Patak, alongside Theology, Arts and Law, later Pedagogy received emphasis. Over the centuries, the Collegium has been the centre of the town's life. A citadel of classical education, Hungarian writers have bestowed on Patak titles such as Athens on the Bodrog, the seat of the Muses and later, because of the English diplomas it began to award, the Hungarian Cambridge.