Čabraď Castle is first mentioned in 1276. Then it also went by the name Litava Castle, due to its position on top of the Litava Valley and its river (with a dominating position). It along with other (sentry) castles were built to protect the roads that were going through the area to the central Slovakian mines that were booming at the time. The castle was the residence of the Ders of Hunt-Poznan who are noted as being in the area from 1256.
In the 14th Century the castle is recorded as becoming the residence of Mathias Csák, around 1342 the castle began to be expanded into a more suitable fortification than it was. Some time later Cabrad was conquered and taken over by Jan Jiskra of Brandys, who was marching with his Hussite forces. Matthias Corvinus came and claimed the castle in 1462.
In the early part of the 16th Century Cardinal Tamás Bakócz took over the castle and invested in its refurbishment and further expansions, he was one of the richest men in Hungary and the country's highest clerical official. All the work took place around 1520. Peter Bakoc his nephew, inherited the castle after his uncles passing—along with his wealth, after Bakoc, his sister and brother-in-law took over the residence.
In 1547 the castle was taken seized by the knight Melichar Balassa and his bandit retinue, until the king forced him out a year later in 1548.
Around 1585 fears of Ottoman advances were raising in the country and vast fortification works were initiated, led by the Italian fortress architect G. Ferrari. This is probably why the Ottoman army failed in both its attempts during the years 1585 and 1602.
After these events the castle became part of the King's fiefdom, which he rewarded in 1622 to noble Peter Kohary, for his outstanding actions and efforts in fighting the Ottomans. The 17th Century was a relatively peaceful time for Cabrad Castle, going through the anti-Habsburg rebellions without much event or issue. But also around this time the road which was the castle's reasoning began to lose its importance.
In 1750 the Koháry family gave up on Cabrad Castle as their residence, keeping it for a time as just a summer home until Ferencz József Koháry de Csábrág put the castle to blaze 1812, since then it has remained the ruin it is today, slowly being reclaimed by the surrounding forests.References:
From its origin as a small stronghold built by the ancient Illyrian tribe Dalmatae, becoming a royal castle that was the seat of many Croatian kings, to its final development as a large fortress during the Ottoman wars in Europe, Klis Fortress has guarded the frontier, being lost and re-conquered several times. Due to its location on a pass that separates the mountains Mosor and Kozjak, the fortress served as a major source of defense in Dalmatia, especially against the Ottoman advance, and has been a key crossroad between the Mediterranean belt and the Balkan rear.
Since Duke Mislav of the Duchy of Croatia made Klis Fortress the seat of his throne in the middle of the 9th century, the fortress served as the seat of many Croatia"s rulers. The reign of his successor, Duke Trpimir I, the founder of the Croatian royal House of Trpimirović, is significant for spreading Christianity in the Duchy of Croatia. He largely expanded the Klis Fortress, and in Rižinice, in the valley under the fortress, he built a church and the first Benedictine monastery in Croatia. During the reign of the first Croatian king, Tomislav, Klis and Biograd na Moru were his chief residences.
In March 1242 at Klis Fortress, Tatars who were a constituent segment of the Mongol army under the leadership of Kadan suffered a major defeat while in pursuit of the Hungarian army led by King Béla IV. After their defeat by Croatian forces, the Mongols retreated, and Béla IV rewarded many Croatian towns and nobles with 'substantial riches'. During the Late Middle Ages, the fortress was governed by Croatian nobility, amongst whom Paul I Šubić of Bribir was the most significant. During his reign, the House of Šubić controlled most of modern-day Croatia and Bosnia. Excluding the brief possession by the forces of Bosnian King, Tvrtko I, the fortress remained in Hungaro-Croatian hands for the next several hundred years, until the 16th century.
Klis Fortress is probably best known for its defense against the Ottoman invasion of Europe in the early 16th century. Croatian captain Petar Kružić led the defense of the fortress against a Turkish invasion and siege that lasted for more than two and a half decades. During this defense, as Kružić and his soldiers fought without allies against the Turks, the military faction of Uskoks was formed, which later became famous as an elite Croatian militant sect. Ultimately, the defenders were defeated and the fortress was occupied by the Ottomans in 1537. After more than a century under Ottoman rule, in 1669, Klis Fortress was besieged and seized by the Republic of Venice, thus moving the border between Christian and Muslim Europe further east and helping to contribute to the decline of the Ottoman Empire. The Venetians restored and enlarged the fortress, but it was taken by the Austrians after Napoleon extinguished the republic itself in 1797. Today, Klis Fortress contains a museum where visitors to this historic military structure can see an array of arms, armor, and traditional uniforms.