Hričovský hrad - Castle Hricov
The oldest indication of Hričov dates back to 1208, when the castle was mentioned as a possession of the Nitra diocese. In 1254, the King Belo IV. gave away the castle and its estates to Master Toluš. The Balaš family tried to obtain the castle in 1270 – 1280. They managed it for a short time, but later the castle was captured by their archenemy Matthew Csák of Trenčín. The Balaš family regained the castle after Matthew's death in 1321. In the mid-14th century, the castle was again in royal hands. In the 1440s, the fortress was seized by the Hussites.
The castle was occupied by knights Podmanickí and Thurzo family as well
In 1469, the castle‘s owner became Blažej Podmanický. After his death, Viliam Tettauerobtained the castle, but Blažej‘s son Václav Podmanický protested against this. Subsequently,the Nitra diocese regained the castle, and later Michal Imrefy became its owner. In 1527, the castle fell into German hands. In 1536, the brothers Ján and Rafael Podmanický retook Hričov Castle back from the Germans. After the death of Rafael Podmanický in 1558, the castle fell into the hands of the royal chamber, which released it together with its estates and the town of Bytča to Anna Likarka. Ján Kilian, who came from Milan, worked for her as an estate administrator and took care of maintenance of the castle, where he resided. Anna Likarka held Hričov and Bytča until 1563, when this property was acquired by František Thurzo. After the death of František Thurzo, Hričov was managed by his widow Katarína Zrínska. In 1586, all Thurzo ‘s estates were acquired by the eldest son of František Thurzo - George Thurzo. In 1605, the poorly guarded castle was destroyed by Bočkay’s hajduci. Between 1617 – 1621, the Thurzo estates were administered by Georges‘s son Imrich Thurzo and after his death by the widow after Juraj, Elisabeth Thurzo Czobor, until 1626.
The Thurzo’s gave little consideration to Hričov, so the abandoned castle had already begun to deteriorate throughout the 17th century. As the following decades saw no renovation, it gradually turned into ruins. Today, a walk through them can remind us of the castle’s ancient history.
Obec Dolný Hričov - centrum
Kostol nesie znaky románskeho aj gotického slohu. Pôvodný kazetový strop bol v neskorších rokoch poži...
Europe is generally agreed to be the birthplace of western culture, including such legendary innovations as the democratic nation-state, football and tomato sauce.
The word Europe comes from the Greek goddess Europa, who was kidnapped by Zeus and plunked down on the island of Crete. Europa gradually changed from referring to mainland Greece until it extended finally to include Norway and Russia.
Don't be confused that Europe is called a continent without looking like an island, the way the other continents do. It's okay. The Ural mountains have steadily been there to divide Europe from Asia for the last 250 million years. Russia technically inhabits "Eurasia".
Europe is presently uniting into one political and economic zone with a common currency called the Euro. The European Union originated in 1993 and is now composed of 27 member states. Its headquarters is in Brussels, Belgium.
Do not confuse the EU with the Council of Europe, which has 47 member states and dates to 1949. These two bodies share the same flag, national anthem, and mission of integrating Europe. The headquarters of the Council are located in Strasbourg, France, and it is most famous for its European Court of Human Rights.
In spite of these two bodies, there is still no single Constitution or set of laws applying to all the countries of Europe. Debate rages over the role of the EU in regards to national sovereignty. As of January 2009, the Lisbon Treaty is the closest thing to a European Constitution, yet it has not been approved by all the EU states.
Text by Steve Smith.