The inner castle can be found in the middle of a beautifully maintained garden. The statue of Zsigmond Rákóczi, Prince of Transylvania, the builder of the castle stands right to the gate of the inner castle. The gate leads to a Renaissance-style closed courtyard. The Zemplén Museum can be found in the wing of the building. An exhibition on the history of the castle displays items of various periods.
A separate hall contains a collection from the era of Zsigmond Rákóczi. His war flag and the replica of his monument are showcased here, together with Turkish and Hungarian weapons, old ceramics and mannequins dressed in noble costumes. A scale-model of the 17th-century castle is also on display. The collection includes several weapons, chain mails, iron crates and lion chairs.
A separate exhibition presents a collection of postcards. (Donated to the city by Dr. László Petrikovits, local dentist and renowned art collector on July 15, 1967.) In the exhibition space titled ‘The History of Postcards’, a small post office is set up in the middle of the hall. It introduces the era of modern postcards, in which pictures became at least as important as texts. The first open postcard was released by the post directorate of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy in 1869. Illustrated versions appeared in the following year.
These were decorated by summer resorts, local sights and religious pictures. During World War I, military topics also appeared. Postcards delineating specific events like firestorms of natural disasters are also displayed in the museum. The exhibition contains a large card collection from European countries. A separate panel presents postcards of historical and political topics. Humor also appeared in the imagery, in the form of caricatures, comical photos and drawings. Special size cards and greeting cards are also showcased here.
A separate exhibition displays the bookplates and book illustrations of graphic artist Antal Frey. Another exhibition introduces the history of chocolate manufacturing in Szerencs. Visitors can learn about the documented history of the chocolate factory, and also about cocoa beans, local packaging techniques, confectionery tools, famous products and chocolate figures. Of course, the delicious Szerencs chocolate can also be tasted in the nearby chocolate shop.
Walking back towards the castle gate, visitors can spend some time in the well-maintained park of the castle garden. With its garden paths, wide-spreading trees and decorative lake, the park is an attractive venue for various events from spring to autumn.
Ferenc Némethy had the castle built between 1556 and 1559 on the site of a one-time monastery, which was located in a hilly area surrounded by a swamp. The old stones of the monastery were also used during the construction. The shape of the castle was reminiscent of a medieval mansion. In 1583, Zsigmond Rákóczi acquired the estate, and the halcyon days of the castle began. Taking years to construct, it was renovated in Renaissance style. The inner courtyard surrounded by the palace wings, the outer stairway and the porch were also built in this period. The sons of Zsigmond Rákóczi started another construction in Sárospatak.
The Szerencs castle lost its role as a residence and became an estate center. Animal hides, wheat and other goods were stored in its halls. During the Thirty Years' War, the castle was captured by the troops of the Holy Roman Emperor. Later, it was retaken by the Rákóczis, but the building was severely damaged. The castle was renovated again, but lost its military role. Its last owners were the Szirmay family. During World War II, the castle was pillaged. Later, it hosted several institutions, but its condition worsened. Another renovation took place after the 1968 archaeological excavations. As a result, the castle is available for visits.
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