The name of the Modrý Kameň town was first mentioned as Keykkw ('Blue rock') in 1290. Ruins of the Modrý Kameň castle stand on a rock pinnacle above the town. The castle was built in the second half of the 13th century by the ancestors of the Balassa noble family. They had to recapture the castle from sons of Casimir of the Hunt-Poznan clan by a siege in 1290. The castle was captured by Ottoman troops in 1576, because its guard fled when they heard the approaching Ottomans.
The castle was given up and subsequently destroyed by Ottoman troops in 1593. It was restored between 1609 and 1612 by Sigismund Balassa. The castle was ravaged many times during the 17th century, so it became ruined and abandoned. The Balassa family built a new Baroque mansion house on the side of castle hill in the early 18th century; stones of the former castle were used in the mansion building operations. The last member of the Balassa noble family died in 1899. After the demise of the Balassa family, the Almásy noble family became the proprietors of castle Modrý Kameň. They sold the demesne to the Czechoslovakian state in 1923.
Now the manor house contains the Museum of Puppets and Toys, the only one of its kind in Slovakia. Visitors can see a permanent exhibition 'From the Life of Dwarfs'. The historical exhibition of dentist technology of the Slovak Chamber of Dentist installed here is unique in central Europe. Apart from exhibitions, several interestingevents and festivals are organized at the Castle.References:
Manarola is a small town, a frazione of the comune of Riomaggiore. It is the second-smallest of the famous Cinque Terre towns frequented by tourists, with a population of 353.
Manarola may be the oldest of the towns in the Cinque Terre, with the cornerstone of the church, San Lorenzo, dating from 1338. The local dialect is Manarolese, which is marginally different from the dialects in the nearby area. The name 'Manarola' is probably a dialectical evolution of the Latin, 'magna rota'. In the Manarolese dialect this was changed to 'magna roea' which means 'large wheel', in reference to the mill wheel in the town.
Manarola's primary industries have traditionally been fishing and wine-making. The local wine, called Sciacchetrà, is especially renowned; references from Roman writings mention the high quality of the wine produced in the region.