The first record of the castle in Halič dates from the year 1450. In the years 1450-51 it belonged to the Jiskras, later to János Hunyady before becoming inhabited by King Matthias Corvinus in 1462. In the first half of the 16th century it was in property of Istvan Losonczy from Lučenec. The castle was reconstructed, without royal permission, by him and was damaged in 1544 during a siege. After the death of Štefan Lučenský, his daughter Anne inherited the county and married Zsigmund Forgách. The Forgáčs were one of the oldest Hungarian aristocratic family being descendants of the Great Moravian family Poznam, who had preserved their positions in Slovakia after its incorporation into the Kingdom of Hungary. The Halič castle was owned by the Forgáčs until 1945.
Zsigmond Forgách rebuilt the castle on land which had been part of the estate of the owner of the county since 1598, choosing a site that was both strategic and offering natural fortifications. In 1612 it was repaired carefully and the foundations of an irregular hexagon was laid. On top of these; a storied building with six corner bastions was constructed, secured by a ditch and mounds. Wings of this hexagon led into a courtyard with plain walls, later covered with many murals depicting figures of the Roman emperors and the Hungarian kings between its windows and entrances.
At the end of the 17th century Imre Thököly attempted to capture the castle but did not succeed. In 1678, when owned by Adam Forgáč, the castle was besieged again, on this occasion by Turks. The defenders repulsed this attack and also a second attempt in 1703. Six years later Ferenc II Rákóczi overran the castle and in another siege; the leader of the emperor's troops, the General Sigbert Heister, managed to raze parts of the building including the roof and some of the interior equipment.
The Forgáčs had the castle reconstructed in 1762 due to the need of a representative seat in this region. The Austrian Andre Meyerhoffer, was in charge of the works, notable as he was the builder of some of the palaces in Bratislava.
Today Halič castle stays abandoned and waiting the restoration.References:
Kirkjubøargarður ('Yard of Kirkjubøur', also known as King"s Farm) is one of the oldest still inhabited wooden houses of the world. The farm itself has always been the largest in the Faroe Islands. The old farmhouse dates back to the 11th century. It was the episcopal residence and seminary of the Diocese of the Faroe Islands, from about 1100. Sverre I of Norway (1151–1202), grew up here and went to the priest school. The legend says, that the wood for the block houses came as driftwood from Norway and was accurately bundled and numbered, just for being set up. Note, that there is no forest in the Faroes and wood is a very valuable material. Many such wood legends are thus to be found in Faroese history.
The oldest part is a so-called roykstova (reek parlour, or smoke room). Perhaps it was moved one day, because it does not fit to its foundation. Another ancient room is the loftstovan (loft room). It is supposed that Bishop Erlendur wrote the 'Sheep Letter' here in 1298. This is the earliest document of the Faroes we know today. It is the statute concerning sheep breeding on the Faroes. Today the room is the farm"s library. The stórastovan (large room) is from a much later date, being built in 1772.
Though the farmhouse is a museum, the 17th generation of the Patursson Family, which has occupied it since 1550, is still living here. Shortly after the Reformation in the Faroe Islands in 1538, all the real estate of the Catholic Church was seized by the King of Denmark. This was about half of the land in the Faroes, and since then called King"s Land (kongsjørð). The largest piece of King"s Land was the farm in Kirkjubøur due to the above-mentioned Episcopal residence. This land is today owned by the Faroese government, and the Paturssons are tenants from generation to generation. It is always the oldest son, who becomes King"s Farmer, and in contrast to the privately owned land, the King"s Land is never divided between the sons.
The farm holds sheep, cattle and some horses. It is possible to get a coffee here and buy fresh mutton and beef directly from the farmer. In the winter season there is also hare hunting for the locals. Groups can rent the roykstovan for festivities and will be served original Faroese cuisine.
Other famous buildings directly by the farmhouse are the Magnus Cathedral and the Saint Olav"s Church, which also date back to the mediaeval period. All three together represent the Faroe Island"s most interesting historical site.