Štefan Čáki jr.,

co-owner of the Tematín dominion, royal judge, the highest military commander of Upper Hungary, hereditary county administrator of Spiš county. In 1683 he participated in the defence of Vienna against the Ottomans. His donations were listed in a document by LeopoldI. from 1693, in which all his property rights were confirmed.

Elisabeth Báthory

Elisabeth Báthory was born in 1560. In both dynasties of her parents there had been many important personalities of feudal Hungary. One of them, Stephen Bathory (Elisabeth´s uncle) even became the king of Poland. However, some members of the Bathory family suffered with mental disorders, there appeared also tendencies to violence, cruelty and perverseness. Elisabeth Bathory married Ferencz Nadasdy I. on May 8th 1575. The couple lived in various places- Beckov, Čachtice, Vienna, Bratislava, Piešťany... According to the legends Elisabeth Bathory was a properly educated, attractive and influential woman. But she inherited tendencies to sadism, which was the reason of suffering of young girls- virgins, whom she tortured and was said to have baths in their blood to preserve eternal youth.

Ján Dualský

b1056500.jpgJán Dualský (Dualszky) – (16. 1. 1808 Senica – 22. 3. 1881 Nitra), was a Roman-Catholic priest and a well-known historiographer of the Beckov region. His father Ján was a notary public from Senica, mother Katarína was born as Nasová. He studied theology at the grammar school in Nitra. From 1830 to 1835 he was employed as a tutor at Baron's Medňanský in Beckov. Then in the years 1835-1839 he worked as a chaplain in Trenčín and a Father in Opatová nad Váhom. He returned to Beckov (1844-1870) as a Father. In 1871 he became a canon in Nitra and was replaced by Martin Medňanský in Beckov. 
He is considered to be the first author of a publication about Beckov- Historia arcis et oppidi Beczkó, 1856- the manuscript remained preserved in the Archives of Nitra Bishopric. In 1857 he managed to publish some parts of Ladislav Revay´s Diary from the years 1600-1605 and in 1873 his booklet about the castle and city of Nitra was published- Nyitra vár és város történelmi vázlata.

Jakub Haško

jakub_hassko_1622-1695_-_biskup.jpgA Provost of Nové Mesto nad Váhom, Bishop of Nitra, an important figure of the national history and also a patron (27. 4. 1622 Trubín – 19. 10. 1695 Nové Mesto nad Váhom). 
He came from the family of a wood-cutter. He spent the first 15 years of his life in Trubín (Žiar nad Hronom), he was an altar boy under the local Father Michal Antonides, who taught him to read and write and introduced him to Juraj Szelepchényi (the Canon of Trnava at that time), who decided to support the talented boy. He finished grammar school in Trnava, in 1651 he completed Pazmaneum in Vienna and finally became a priest. For two years he was active as a chaplain in Liptovský Ján and since 1653 as a Father in Smolenice. In 1659 he became acquainted with the family of František Nádašdy, who sent him to the parsonage in Čachtice, where he did much important work. By request of Juraj Szelepčényi, the president of the Hungarian Royal Office, he went to Trnava in 1665. He became a preacher of Slovak Catholics, for whom he printed the first prayer book in Slovak language- A Book of Religious Prayers by Ján Abrahamfi was published in Trnava in 1693. Szelepčényi, as the new Archbishop of Esztergom, helped him to become a Provost in Nové Mesto nad Váhom in 1666. His activity in Nové Mesto was very successful. The church in Nové Mesto was reconstructed in the baroque style with rich financial support of Archbishop Szelepčényi. A copy of Beckov Madonna, which was in Koryčany at that time, was made. He improved the quality of the school in Nové Mesto, where he started teaching not only religion, but also reading, writing and counting in Slovak, Latin and German, so the pupils could study further at grammar schools and they also learned to sing and play musical instruments.
Provost Haško secured also construction of the church in Trubín, his birthplace, and Pobedim. His greatest work was finishing the building of the Franciscan Cloister and church in Beckov in the years 1692-1695. The construction was started by František II. Nádašdy who was beheaded in 1671. Haško reconstructed also the parsonage church in Beckov.
In 1690 he was rewarded with an exceptional office- the Bishopric of Nitra. After one year he resigned from his function to settle down in his little nest, as he called his Provost Office in Nové Mesto nad Váhom. He wanted to prepare there for his happy death. After a plague epidemic in 1694 he built a plague column on the square. He died in the building of his Provost Office at 11 a. m. on October 19th 1695, being in the care of Father Matej Vankovič. He was buried in the crypt of the church. His funeral was attended by many important personalities, among them delegates of Emperor Leopold, as well as delegates of Archbishop of Esztergom and Hungarian palatine. An extensive sermon in Latin was held by Emanuel Hunka, the guardian of Beckov´s Cloister.

Martin Medňanský

martin_mednansky_1897.jpgMartin Medňanský (10. 11. 1840 Divinka pri Žiline – 3. 11. 1889 Istebník, Trenčín) was a Slovak Catholic priest, poet, translator and publisher. His parents came from yeomen families, father Ľudovít Medňanský and mother Jozefína Nozdrovická from Nozdrovice.
In 1851-1854 he studied in Trenčín at the Piarist Grammar School and then theology in Nitra. In 1864 he became a priest. He was active as a chaplain in Lietava, Rosina, Vysoká nad Kysucou, Bošáca and Zliechovce. In 1872 he replaced Ján Dualský in the parsonage of Beckov, so his successful activity of a Roman-Catholic priest began (1872-1891). He devoted his time to literature, wrote for magazines, he also published in newspapers of his fellow-countrymen in the USA and Poland. He wrote sermons, history articles, and poems with themes of love, Christianity and homeland. He translated from Polish, Hungarian, German and French. He was acquainted with many personalities of cultural life. He gave his extensive library to Ľ. V. Rizner. He published his poetry under the nickname The Poetry of Dušan Sáva Pepkin in Turč. Sv. Martin in 1876. In 1897 his Czech friend and admirer Jan Halouzka wrote and published a tiny booklet with the title Martin Medňanský from Medené. Among other things he revealed the reason of Medňanský´s retirement in Istebník- it was his deafness. He spent there his final years at his sister's. He was proud of his nobleman's status, which helped him to prove that the nobility had not always been the reason of denationalisation. He used also another nickname- Martin Divinko-Svedernický. His activity in Beckov is remembered through a memorial plate on the building of the Roman-Catholic parsonage.

Ladislav Mednyánsky

(23. 4. 1852 Beckov – 17. 4. 1919 Vienna), was the most famous personality born in Beckov, an artist of Middle-European importance, realist and Barbizone painter from the late 19th century, philosopher and traveller.
Biography
He was born on April 23rd 1852 in Beckov into the family of Baron Eduard Mednyánsky and Mária Anna Szirmayová. He spent his first ten years at the domain in Beckov, where he was influenced mainly by his grandmother Eleonóra, born Richert de Vhir (1798-1889). After the death of his grandfather Baltazár Szirmay (1793-1856) his parents inherited a manor house in Strážky na Spiši, where he later moved with the whole family. He had loved drawing since the early childhood, he is said to have been able to draw earlier than to speak. In Strážky he was taught by a tutoress who studied painting at the Academy in Dusseldorf. Then he was educated by private teachers in Kežmarok- Antal Just, a pastor in Vrbov (his teacher in 1862-1865), and Rudolf Weber (1867-1870), who later taught at the Lutheran High School in Budapest.
mednyanszky_laszlo_arckepe_222.jpgThe town of Strážky was visited by a well-known Viennese painter Thomas Ender, who worked in Slovakia for baron Waldenstein in the years 1862-63 and who finally became Ladislav´s external teacher. His mother sent his drawings to Ender who corrected and improved them. Ladislav completed his last two school terms in Miskolc where he graduated from grammar school. He should have become a technical engineer, so his family moved to Zürich, where was a polytechnic school. He was not accepted but he was educated privately. In 1871 he had scarlet fever and that is why his family went to Baden where he underwent a cure. In autumn he signed for study in a preparatory school term at polytechnic school. A year later they travelled to Erdody´s to Croatia and Serbia. He was occupied there with the aquarelle technique. His parents had finally understood that his career was inevitably connected with fine art, so they allowed him to study at the academy in Munich. He began in the studio of Alexander Strähuber. A year later in 1873 he was trained in the studio of Otto Seitz. He adopted academic style of painting, which initially prevented him from developing his talent. He was much influenced by a journey to Italy in 1873. It inspired him to change the place of his study. The next school year 1874-1875 he studied at École des Beaux Artes in Paris in the studio of Isidor Pils. After his teacher's death in 1875 he left the school. He was influenced again by a stay in France in the years 1875-1877 and by his visit of the Barbizone community, a group of painters specialised in landscape painting. He preferred especially two of them- László Páal and Tivadar Felenci. Trying to find his path in art and life, he returned to his beloved homeland.
beckovsky_kastiel_2.jpgIn 1880 he was impressed by Hungarian lowland in the region of Szolonok. He was infected with malaria in the local moors and had to be cured in Trenčianske Teplice, but he definitely recovered in Strážky. He found there a pupil (the son of a Jewish innkeeper) who later became a painter- Ferdinand Nándor Katona (1864-1932).
He came back to Strážky in 1883 when his mother died. Three years later he encountered with death again when the oldest son of his sister died. In 1895 followed the death of his father and all these tragic events were expressed in his drawings and paintings. All those years, especially in summer, Strážky was his favourite place for going for walks and painting. He repeatedly travelled to Paris, Vienna, Budapest, Beckov... He spent the winter of 1893 in Strážky, he painted and had to cure his scarlet fever in Tatras. After his father's death in 1985 he started spending more time in Beckov, but he had his studios in Vienna and Budapest.
1231756253_408px-ladislav_mednyanszky.jpgAfter the beginning of the First World War he started working as a military reporter for the Budapesti Hírlap newspaper. In September 1914 he went to the Galician front. He spent January 1915 in Žilina where was the seat of the Military Press Centre and also one of the first Russian prison camps. He still drew portraits of officers, battle scenes; he captured the oppressive atmosphere of the prison camps and hospitals. In May he was in Budapest, where he was finishing his works in his studio. In June he visited Beckov to prepare there some works for the exhibition of the Military Press Centre in Vienna. In July 1916 he suffered a light injury on the Italian battlefield. He was awarded with Order of Franz Joseph-Officer's Cross for his exceptional enthusiasm at work and drawings of high quality, which were created in the first front line. In August 1917 he arrived to Beckov for two weeks. He spent his time reading, walking trough the landscape, meditating. His favourite places were the forest district, castle, or the riverside of Váh. He went back to the Italian battlefront but his health condition was worsening, in October he had to cure his ill kidneys. At the end of the year he was cured in the military hospital in Vienna. After recovery he came back to his studio, which was not a very suitable place to live in. That is why he moved to the heated studio of his friend Gyula Kláber.
mednyanszky_zrucanina.jpgIn May and June 1918 some of his works could be seen at the military exhibition in the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest. There was also A Portrait of Mednyánsky in the real-life size painted by the Austrian painter Nikolaus Schattenstein.
mednyanszky_brana_beckovskeho_hradu.jpgMednyánsky went for a holiday to Strážky. He was still trying to finish his works and he was disappointed because he knew that he would not finish many of them, despite managing the technique perfectly. In October he returned to Vienna, where he lived at Klaber´s. He even tried to paint, but his condition was still getting worse. He suffered brain bleeding and was tortured by pains. Klábers wife Mina was taking care of him, but he finally passed away on April 17th 1919. He was buried on Sunday at 3 p. m. in Vienna. His body remains were transferred to Budapest and buried in the Ceste Fiumei cemetery in 1996.

Ján Ondrejovič

janondrejovic.jpgJán Ondrejovič, a pioneer of Slovak design and industrial designer, was born in Beckov on January 30th 1930 in the family of Štefan Ondrejovič and Anna, born Čiklová. After completing the elementary school in Beckov he was taught to become a machine fitter in the Machine Factories of Považská Bystrica. Since 1949 he had worked in Nové Mesto nad Váhom in Techna Enterprise, that was renamed to Research Institute of Mechanisation and Automation- VUMA. Beside his job he graduated from industrial school and was taught by a professional painter Juraj Krén, since he wanted to study at an art school. He completed the Secondary School of Art and Industry in Uherské Hradište in 1958. He worked in VUMA as a machine designer. He also worked in the field of petite architecture. He was the author of several patents, which were under the copyright protection. The Institute of Industrial Design registered some of his works, he was awarded with diplomas for the best products in industry and in 1972 he was given the National Prize.
He was the founder of technical design in Slovakia. At that time his work was groundbreaking. He could combine the intellect of a constructor with the skilfulness of a graphic artist. His Works served as models for the next generations of designers in Slovakia. Thanks to Ján Ondrejovič the design in Czechoslovakia reached high international level.
He died after a car accident on January 28th 1981 in the hospital in Trenčín. After 20 years, on July 8th 2001 his memorial plate was unveiled during a ceremony in Beckov.
He was the father of Jana Soukeníková (1961) a graphic designer, who lives and works in Plzeň and Peter Ondrejovič (1963), a well known traveller, climber and mountaineer.

Peter Ondrejovič

p.ondrejovic_omo.jpgPETER Becko ONDREJOVIČ (born on July 16th 1963) is a well-known mountaineer and traveller from Beckov. Son of designer Ján Ondrejovič and brother of graphic designer Jana Soukeníková, father of two sons.
The story of his life is connected with the massive rock of the Beckov castle. In the beginning it formed him as a climber and later as an expedition organizer. In the course of the 80´s he was the very first person to climb rocks in the Tatras and the Dolomites. During the years 1985-1993 he was the member of the national crew and his performances in the middle-sized mountains, such as High Tatras or the Alps, were five times awarded as The Best Climb of the Year. In 1992 he participated in his first expedition to the peaks of Ands, he travelled across one half of the South-American continent and also the Galapagos archipelago. In 1993 he suffered serious injuries as a consequence of a fall from the rocks. It opened him new horizons. A year after the injury he organized the first expedition to Venezuela connected with discovering the fascinating lost world. During the five-month stay in South America he climbed, went down the rivers and did paragliding. His paragliding in Columbia was groundbreaking. He is supposed to be the first one who has ever flown over the Indian area in the Santa Martha Mountains, which is the home of an independent Arhuako tribe, whose members are very distrustful towards strangers. He gained their admiration thanks to his parachute, so he could witness a remarkable contact of cultures. In 1995 and 1996 he organized a long exploration journey across Australia, Indonesian Isles, Malaysia and Thailand. He also organized other expeditions to Venezuela- in 1997 he trekked in the massive Mount of Auyán Tepuí where he roped down Salto Angel (979m) the highest water-fall of the world. A year later he entirely trekked through the Devil's Canyon in the same mountain. In 2004 he came back there to make a documentary about this fascinating world and three friends. It was called Amazonia Vertical and was made by Pavol Barabáš. He explored almost all Latin-American countries- from Mexico to Patagonia. He has visited South America more than 30 times so far. As the highlight of his travelling efforts he considers the second journey to Ethiopia, so called OMO Expedition, where ha made another documentary with Pavol Barabáš, an interesting movie dealing with a difficult journey to the disappearing tribal communities of the distant ages of Africa. The movie called Omo A Journey to the Prehistoric Times belongs to the most beautiful works by Pavol Barabáš. Then he organized an expedition to the Western Papua to Kombai, to meet there the natural people of the Stone Age, then also to the Amazonian Yamomami tribe. He has returned to the disappearing world near the river Omo three times.
Peter Ondrejovič is constantly trying to understand the world and nature. He occasionally participates in expeditions, such as descending the wild river Karnali in Himalaya, or kayaking in the Alps, rafting, paragliding in the mountains all over the world, despite the necessity to use the support of French crutches, which he needs under difficult conditions. A special category is represented by expeditions to distant parts of the wilderness organized in order to survive under circumstances, which were natural for the first people and which are being destroyed nowadays by the insensitive civilisation. To share his experiences he started to guide similar enthusiasts like himself, which developed into establishing his own private travel agency. He talks about his experiences also personally with admirers not only from Beckov, but from whole Slovakia, when he appears on personal discussions, presentations, or exhibitions. In 2013 he organized an exhibition of photos in the House of Culture in Nové Mesto nad Váhom and also in Bratislava.
More on www.anakonda.sk

Stibor of Stiboricz

stibor_nmnv.jpg(approximately 1350 Sciborice – 1414 Buda?)
In 2014 we are commemorating in our region the 600th anniversary of the death of the Duke Stibor of Stiboricz and Beckov, a dedicated knight of king Sigismund of Luxemburg, who was given the Beckov castle as one of the first donations for his loyal services. Stibor chose Beckov as his main residence, which explains the origin of his title "Of Beckov". The castle and the village gained a good and careful manager and also the favour of the king. The new lord rebuilt the castle and changed it into a noble and luxurious aristocratic residence in the gothic style. Three palaces, a chapel with an altar and a precious statue of Madonna, representative courtyard in the upper castle and a new cistern, but also newly designed administrative buildings and a dungeon... In the extramural settlement there was a new manor house, hospital, perhaps even a cloister, to say nothing of the constructions outside Beckov.
dscf8644.jpgStibor was given the Beckov castle on July 16th 1388 in Zvolen, the place of royal hunts. Shortly after that he started to use the title Lord of the Whole Váh Region – Dominus totius fluvii Vagh. He certainly was not exaggerating. During his 28 years in the services for king Sigismund of Luxemburg he became one of the richest men in Hungary. Even the first donations secured him a strong position in the country. At first, on September 25th 1387, he became the court minister, the Duke of Galicia (Galicia, Londomeria) and the administrator of the Bratislava County (1388, 1389-1402). The other titles and donations followed in 1388, he was given the administration of the Trenčín and Banská Bystrica Counties- Comes Trenchiniensis. On January 15th 1389 he and his brothers Mikuláš and Bichno became barons. They were given Uhrovec, Holíč and Šaštín, in 1392 Čachtice, Dobrý Kameň and Klátov. In 1394 followed the donations of Ostrý Kameň, Branč and Korlátka. In the years 1395-1401 Stibor was the Duke of Transylvania. In 1400 he was using the Lord of Váh title. On October 29th 1403 he gained positions in the Archbishopric of Esztergom and the Diocese of Eger. In 1408 he became the knight of a newly established Order of the Dragon. In 1409-1410 he participated in the struggles of Poles against the German knights. He was given the Duchy of Transylvania for the second time (1410-1414).
dragon_order_insignia.jpgHe won the king's favour thanks to his loyalty under any circumstances. As a true knight he had always been the right-hand man of his king and he protected the queen at the time, when Sigismund's Hungarian crown was insecure and the queen Maria of Anjou, the daughter of Louis the Great, was captured by the rebellious magnates.
In 1396 Stibor was the Duke of Transylvania, when the king Sigismund of Luxemburg organized a crusade (blessed by the Pope Boniface IX.) against the Ottomans. The battles were joined by the knights from Hungary, Germany, France, Poland, Italy and England- around 35 000 men. The Christian army under Sigismund´s leadership was summoned near Nikopolis on September 12th 1396. The besiegement of the city started on that day. The army soon started the battle against the soldiers of sultan Bayezid I., but the crusaders were shamefully defeated. King Sigismund and many noblemen saved their lives, fleeing to the shores of the river Danube, where the Venetian ships were awaiting them. Those less fortunate ones were undressed and completely naked they were beheaded. Only the richest ones were allowed to buy freedom for themselves. Those, who survived, were rewarded with possessions, among them also Stibor, whose donations were confirmed by the king on December 8th 1397.
zsigmond_nikapolyban.jpgAccording to a legend Stibor was defending the fleeing king, but he did not manage to board the ship, so he threw himself into the waves of Danube and fully armoured swam across the river. This story was written by a Polish chronicler Jan Dlugosz (1415-1480), but its hero was the knight Svantoslav. A hundred years later (1504) Martin Cromer substituted Svantoslav with the Duke Stibor and so the legend was born. It was later made popular by Alojz Medňanský in the 19th century.
Swimming across the Danube is not mentioned in the donation bill, but there was written, that Stibor had come to Nikopolis under his own flag and with his own army and on his way through Walachia he had defeated the Duke Vlad Dracula, who fought for the Ottomans at that time. Sigismund praised Stibor in the bill for his bravery: he fought like a brave athlete, ignoring the danger of death; he performed many audacious deeds and also suffered a serious injury when he was hit by a stone thrown from the castle battlements. Stibor, following the king's order, came back to Hungary to manage the country during his absence. On his way back home he conquered the main residence of Vlad Dracula, who finally took an oath of fidelity to the king.
stib666_jan_papai.jpgThe knights had to expect death at any moment of their life. It is not surprising that they often planned their last resting place in advance. For himself and his family Stibor chose a place which he founded: the monastery of Augustinians in Nové Mesto nad Váhom, as proved in the bill from January 16th 1414 that was written in Buda. Unfortunately, this desire of a great man was not full-filled. Stibor´s tombstone was discovered in Székesfehérvár, on the place of a royal basilica, the necropolis of the Hungarian kings. The city was conquered and destroyed by the Ottomans, who devastated the temple and the graves and the stone material was used for building of the fortifications. Some parts of Stibor´s tombstone were found in 1923 during the excavations near the gate of Buda and the head was found in the 70´s of the 20th century. The torso of the tombstone from a private collection is exposed in the Museum of Saint Stephen in Székesfehérvár.
To express their religiousness the medieval people built old people's homes (Štíbor in Skalica), churches, monasteries and chapels. Stibor was no exception, since he built a chapel as a part of the Beckov castle. He also ordered a statue of Virgin Mary.
beckovska_madona.jpgThe wooden statue of the Madonna in the above-life size (185 cm) from the main altar of the castle chapel belongs to the greatest works of the Middle-European gothic art of the late 14th century. It was created in Tyrol and nowadays we can see it in the church in Koryčany na Morave (Koryčany in Moravia).
Stibor and his wife Dobrochna transported the statue of Madonna to Beckov after 1388. At first it was placed on the main altar of the Romanesque church in Nové Mesto nad Váhom and after finishing the castle chapel it was brought to the castle.
The beautiful statue of Virgin Mary with a Child was much admired by the believers. The Provost Ján Lukáš Ďorďovič wrote that the statue secured the birth of a son for Stibor and Dobrochna. Virgin Mary of Koryčany was considered to have a miraculous power, in the 17th century there were many testimonies of people whom she helped.


Jozef Miloslav Hurban

(19. 3. 1817 – 21. 2. 1888)
One of the most important figures of Slovak national movement in the 19th century, codifier of the standard Slovak language, writer, publisher, politician, leading personality of the revolution 1848-49, speaker of the Slovak National Council, protestant priest.

jmhurban_1849_a.jovanovic.jpgLife and Work
He was born in Beckov into a family of a protestant pastor Pavol Hurban and Anna, born Voros. He was christened as Jozef Ľudovít. At first he was taught at home by his father and then in Trenčín (1826-30) in the local town school. In Bratislava he studied at the Evangelical High-school in the years 1830-1840. Here he became acquainted with Ľudovít Štúr who raised his interest in the Slovak Nation. On April 24th 1836 he took part in the meeting of Štúr-group on Devín castle where he adapted the name Miloslav. After becoming a priest he was given a place of a chaplain in Brezová pod Bradlom. From 1843 to his death he was a pastor in Hlboké. He studied further in Germany, obtained the PhDr. and ThDr. h. c. degrees. After Karol Kuzmány´s death in 1866 he was the superintendent of the Protestant Church. He married Anna Jurkovičová, they had 9 children (5 sons and 4 daughters): Svetozár Hurban Vajanský, Vladimír Hurban, Konštantín Hurban, Božena Royová (mother of the poet Vladimír Roy), Želmíra Mária Lorencová, Ľudmila Fejová, Bohuslav Hurban.
Hurban was one of the leading figures of Slovak cultural life for almost 50 years: a fighter for the rights of the Slovak nation, a revolutionary, an enemy to the Hungarian chauvinism, pioneer of the Slavonic mutuality. He was also referred to as a traitor, follower of pan Slavism, persecuted for his political views. But he was also a poet and writer, publisher of year-books, Church magazines. The places of his activities became centres of revolutionary events and cultural life. He organized theatre performances, Sunday schools, Societies of Sobriety, until 1848 he wrote in the biblical Czech, and then after meeting with Štúr and Hodža at Ján Holly's in Hlboké, they agreed to start using the dialect from the central Slovakia as the base of the standard Slovak language. A year later he published the Nitra year-book already in the new Slovak. In 1844 he became a member of the literary and cultural society called Tatrín. In the revolution years 1848-49 he organized the national revolutionary movement. He was involved in writing the Demands of the Slovak Nation; he published revolutionary poems The Bell of Freedom is Ringing! and Brothers Slovaks! He became the speaker of the Slovak National Council, the first political organ of the Slovaks. The Hungarian government wanted to arrest him, so he went to the Czech country. In Prague he took part in the Slavonic Congress and also the Prague uprising and together with Štúr departed for Croatia and Serbia. He organized the Slovak volunteers fighting for the Austrian Emperor. After the restoration of absolutism he was under the police attendance. He could not publish, but pursued the study of theology. In the late 50´s after the fall of Bach's absolutism he started joining the literary and political life. In 1861 he became the co-author of the Memorandum of the Slovak Nation. He delivered it personally to the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Vienna. He was also one of the co-founders of Matica slovenská. For publishing the articles What are we taught by History? and Truthful Word, in which he protested against the principles of the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867, he was imprisoned for 6 months on December 12th 1869. He also had to pay a fine 239 golden ducats. For an article in the Church Letters he was imprisoned again in 1875, this time for 3 months. He protested against the closure of Slovak grammar schools and Matica slovenská by publishing the Nitra year-book 76/77 in Czech language to demonstrate the Czecho-Slovak unity. His extensive biography of Ľudovít Štúr contributed to the revival of Slovak movement. He finished it at the end of his life. He died in Hlboké on February 21st 1888. The grateful nation built a memorial financed with money collected from the public. The Hungarian authorities did not allow people and also his family to approach the memorial.
jmhurban_fara_1929_beckov.jpgPublicist and literary work
Hurban was the most passionate and critical writer among the Slovak journalists and writers of the 19th century. He wrote for more than 20 magazines and newspapers in Austria-Hungary and also to Church magazines. He used nicknames such as Dr. H., J. M., L. Trenčiansky, Ľudovít Pavlovič, M. Z. Bohuslavíc, M. Selovský etc.
He published an extensive literary work, poetry as well as fiction: The Cups of Korytnica, the feuilleton Walking in the Váh World, A Word about the Societies of Sobriety and Sunday Schools, A Journey of a Slovak to the Moravian and Czech Brothers, The Marriage of the Great-Moravian King, Gottschalk, A Medicaster, Slovak Pupils, Ľudovít Štúr I-IV. His work was published in selections: in 1954 From the New Year's Eve to Three Kings, in 1956 Images for Life, in1983 The Works I-III. His literary heritage is preserved in the Archives of Matica slovenská.
Publishing activities
The year-book Nitra was first published in 1842 and then irregularly until 1877. In 1846, 1847 and 1851 he published Slovak Views on Science, Art and Literature. He published also Church Letters and Missionary Letters.

Dionýz Štúr

(2. 4. 1827 Beckov – 9. 10. 1893 Vienna)
Born in Beckov, he became a well-known natural scientist, geologist, and Director of the Imperial Geological Institute in Vienna, founder of the modern geology, paleobotanist, botanist and geographer. In 1861 he signed the Memorandum of the Slovak Nation.
Biography
d.stur_cestna_plaketa_sav.jpgHe was born in Beckov on April 2nd 1827 into a family of a protestant teacher Jozef Štúr and Johana, born Riznerová. He was christened Dionysus Rudolphus Josephus Štúr. His father Jozef came from the Štúr family and was related to Ľudovít Štúr. Dionýz had younger siblings, Ľudovít Jozef and Karol who both died shortly after their birth and sister Karolína died childless in 1848. The family moved to Vrbové in 1839, then to Modra, where Dionýz attended a secondary school. He studied at the grammar school in Bratislava and in 1844 he continued his studies at polytechnic school in Vienna, where he studied mathematics, physics and chemistry. Under the influence of Professor Wilhelm Haidinger, a mineralogist and Professor Stephan Endlicher, a botanist, he started to be interested in natural sciences. He was very talented and extremely active. In 1847 he was given a scholarship for study at the Mining Academy in Banská Štiavnica. In 1850 after completing his studies he started working as a geologist at the Imperial Geological Institute in Vienna. In 1855 he married Cecília Artl, an Austrian of German origin. Their marriage remained childless. He was fully devoted to his work and that helped him to develop his career. In 1863 he was appointed as the department geologist of the institute, in 1867 as mining advisor, in 1873 he was promoted to the main geologist, in 1877 he became a deputy director and in 1879 he became the principal mining advisor. The highlight of his career was the post of the Director of the Imperial Geological Institute in Vienna. He worked as the director from 1885 to 1892 as the most important geologist of the country. He retired in 1892 and died on October 9th 1893 in Vienna, where he was buried. His wife died in Modra in 1895 and was buried in Vienna to rest there peacefully with her husband. Štúr had never forgotten the poor background which he came from- in his last will he left 15 000 golden ducats for poor students.kronika_obce_beckov_1939_ds.jpg
d.stur_beckov_1953.jpgWork
His researches brought many significant findings, such as transparent geological maps of Austria-Hungary, for which he won a gold medal at the World Exhibition in London 1862. He personally explored the surroundings of Vienna, the landscapes of Western Slovakia, Moravia, Tirol, Carinthia, Croatia, and Transylvania... He was a renowned scientist and wrote more than 300 scientific works- 49 of them dealt with Slovakia- his homeland. He kept in touch either personally or through the correspondence with major European scientists of those times, among them botanists L. Haynald, A. de Candoll, Ch. Stevens, E. Purkyňe, natural scientists Ch. Darwin, J. D. Hooker, geologists and palaeontologists Ch. Lyell, J. Barrande, J. Krejčí, W. Haidinger, A. Frič, Geograf J. Palacký and others.

Mikuláš Tóth,

the son of Vavrinec, the county administrator of Tekov, the castle was donated to him by Louis I. (1342-1382) In 1351-1356 he was the Duke of Transylvania and in 1356 the palatine of Hungary. In the donation document from 1348 the village Modrovka was mentioned for the first time as alia Madro- (meaning the Other Modrová). Mikuláš who died in 1367 had three sons- Mikuláš, Bartolomej and Leukus. His sons Mikuláš and Bartolomej settled down in the castle in Úljak (Ilok in Croatia). His widow Klára lived in Tematín until her death in 1406. The Tematín dominion was given to Ladislav and Imrich, the sons of Bartolomej.

Mikuláš Újlaki,

the son of Ladislav of Újlak. In 1421 Mikuláš had to provide 100 horsemen to defend the country against the Hussites and in 1434 he negotiated onbehalf of the King. In 1441-1446 he was the Duke of Transylvania and the Bane of Slavonia and Mačva. He excelled in the struggles against Ottomans. He kept his significant status in the kingdom also under the government of Ladislav V. and Matthias Corvinus. In 1463 he was given the title King of Bosnia. He died in 1477.

Vavrinec Újlaki,

the son Mikuláš of Újlak. He lived permanently in Ilok. After the death of Matthias Corvinus he supported the succession of his son John Corvinus, what worsened his relationship with the King Vladislav II, with whom he reconciled in 1498. His death in 1524 ended the 176-year-long dominion of the Újlaki dynasty in Tematín.

Alexej Thurzo,

on July 20th 1524 he was given Tematín as a guarantee from Ľudovít (Louis) II. The donation document contains names Themethwen and Kysmodroh. After the Battle of Mohács in 1526, in which the King Louis II. died, there were two candidates who ran for the throne- Ferdinand I. of Habsburg and Ján Zápoľský. Alexej was on the side of the Habsburgs and Zápoľský made an alliance with the Ottomans. The Ottoman troops devastated the dominions of Habsburg allies, they burned down also the Tematín dominion and many people were enslaved. Alexej died in 1534. He had just 2 daughters and so the struggles for the heritage began. The conflicts were settled in 1596 after the death of Anna Salmová, the granddaughter of Alexej Thurzo. The possessions were given to the grandchildren of Juraj Thurzo, Alexej´s older brother.

Stanislav Thurzo,

won the Dominion in 1614 as the last living member of the Thurzo brothers. He reconstructed the castle, equipped the garrison. That is why he hired a renowned Italian gunsmith Angelo Ricciardi from Venetia. He died in 1625 in Piešťany, his daughter Eva in 1627, son Adam in 1635 and son Michal in 1636. With Michal´s death the dynasty of Thurzo died out.

Count Mikuláš Berčéni (Bercsényi),

a general, county administrator of the Ung county, share holder on the Tematín dominion, owner of the castle. H e was born on December 6th 1665 in Tematín, where he spent the years of his youth. He died in Turkey on November 6th 1725. Hs father built the manor house in Brunovce. He was married three times (to Kristína Drugetová, Kristína Čákiová, Zuzana Kösegiová). From the first marriage he had a son- Ladislav- who later became a French marshal. Thanks to his marriage to Kristína Čákiová he increased his share in Tematín. He studied at the Jesuit College in Trnava and on the court of palatine Esterházy. In Vienna he served in the imperial army and participated in the struggles against the Ottomans. His military ranks: 1685 captain in Šala, 1686 captain in Segedín, promoted to colonel, 1688-1693 deputy of the main captain of mining cities, 1696-1697 the main military commissioner of thirteen counties of upper Hungary. 640px-bercsenyi_miklos_vu.jpg
His life was connected with the life if Ferenc II. Rákoczy, the county administrator of Šariš. They had been preparing an anti-Habsburg complot since 1698. Their plan was revealed, but Berčéni managed to escape from Brunovce to Poland in 1701 (it is said that he escaped from the castle disguised as an ordinary soldier). With support of the Poles and the French he and Rakoczy planned their return to Hungary. Their uprising was joined also by Berčéni´s serves. Berčéni became the main general of the rebellious troops and he full-filled the organisational tasks. The decisive battle near Trenčín was lost on August 3rd 1708 and injured Berčéni fled from the battlefield. He carried on the diplomatic negotiations with the Poles and Russians and on November 21st 1710 he immigrated to Poland. The rebels gave up in spring 1711, but Rakoczy and Berčéni rejected the amnesty of Emperor Joseph I. and they chose exile. In 1715 they lost all their possessions. In 1716 Berčéni went to Turkey where he fought as the leader the kuruc army near the town of Oršov. In 1720 he joined the emigrants in Tekirdag, where he died.

Stephen V.,(1270-1272), 

the son of king Belo IV. - the castle was managed in his name by Ondrej, the caretaker.

Michal, Ondrej´s son, he defended the castle for the later king Stephen V.

Matúš Čák of Trenčín (died 1321),

the castle belonged to the possessions of the Lord of Váh and Tatras. After his death it belonged to Charles Robert, the king of Hungary.