Last summer I visited Sarospatak a small town in Hungary where we spent a great weekend. It is a great place for tourists but the main problem was English because nobody speaks it there. It was a serious shock for us because it is 21st century Europe.
The area has been inhabited since ancient times. Sárospatak was granted town status in 1201 by King Emeric. In the Middle Ages it was an important place due to its proximity to an important trade route leading to Poland. Its castle, built by Andrew II, is traditionally identified as the birthplace of his daughter Saint Elizabeth.
Sárospatak was elevated to the rank of free royal town by King Sigismund. In 1460, during the reign of King Matthias it received the right to hold a market. In 1575 a plague killed many of the inhabitants.
The Reformation began spreading into Hungary from this area. The first Protestantcollege, one of the most important colleges of Hungary at the time, was founded in Sárospatak in 1531. In 1650 Zsuzsanna Lorántffy, widow of George I Rákóczi prince of Transylvania invited the famous Czech educator Jan Comenius to Sárospatak. Comenius lived there until 1654, as a professor of the college, and he wrote some of his most important works there. The college (since 2000 a faculty of the University of Miskolc) now bears his name.
The owners of the castle of Sárospatak include many important individuals in Hungarian history. In the 16th century it was owned by the Dobó family. Bálint Balassi, the most important Hungarian poet of the century married Krisztina Dobó at the castle; the bride was the daughter of István Dobó, who defended the castle of Eger against the Ottoman Turks. Later the castle was owned by the Rákóczi family. The residents of the town took an active part in the revolution against Habsburg rule led by Francis II Rákóczi.
Today Sárospatak is a charming historical town and a popular tourist destination.
Enjoy the view....