The Castle of Kisnána is one of the most beautiful remains of late-Medieval noble residences in Hungary. Its history well demonstrates the evolution and transformation of landlord residences. Like the other settlements in the Mátra region, Kisnána also belonged to the Clan Aba. In the early 13th century the Kompolti family evolved from the Clan Aba, and one of its descendants, Péter Kompolti took possession of the land of Nána. Péter accumulated an immense fortune during the reign of the last kings of the Árpád dynasty and King Charles Robert and even held important posts in the king's court; he was the Chamberlain of the Queen. His fortune allowed him to build a fortress and the Castle of Oroszlánkő near Domoszló was probably built by him.
In 1325 Péter's three sons shared the inheritance from their father and István inherited the village of Egyházas-Nána. He transferred his residence there and he and his descendants assumed the name Kompolti of Nána. He had the first mansion built near the parish church. In the first third of the 15th century the members of the Kompolti family had the village parish church of the now called Kisnána rebuilt in Gothic style. Under the inheritance agreement, when the Kompolti family died out along the male line, Kisnána was inherited by the Guti Ország family. The castle was transformed and a large wine cellar was built under the inner court which could be entered through the stairway from the new extension built next to the chapel. The earth excavated during the construction of the cellar was used to raise the level of the court, which was then covered with new stones. The north palace was also transformed and Renaissance-style window frames were built in.
In the early 1500s, the castle was fortified again, the Anjou-age mansion in the south-west corner of the outer fortress was demolished and its stone walled basement was filled up with earth. At that time the Lord of the Castle was István Losonczy, who gave refuge to László Móré (see the legend). In 1543, only two years after the Turkish occupation of Buda, Kisnána was destroyed by the Turks. As the Turks did not retain the ruined castle, in the next few decades several plans were made to rebuild and change the fortress into a border stronghold. However, the castle, was never rebuilt partly because of the early death of the owner.
The ruins of the castle were cleared in the 1940s when the members of the paramilitary youth organizations created a military practice field there. During the clearing work, Géza Lux surveyed the ruins, a dwelling house was built among them and another dwelling place was also created in the gate tower. Between 1962 and 66, Nóra Pámer and later János Győző Szabó conducted thorough archaeological excavations, which were then followed by the historic restoration of the site. The exposed walls were restored, the north palace was covered with a protecting metal roof and the roof of the chapel was covered with a flat hip roof.References:
The St Sophia's Cathedral was built between 1045-1050 inside the Novgorod Kremlin (fortress). It is one of the earliest stone structures of northern Russia. Its height is 38 m. Originally it was taller, for during the past nine centuries the lower part of the building became concealed by the two-metre thick cultural layer. The cathedral was built by Prince Vladimir, the son of Yaroslav the Wise, and until the 1130s this principal church of the city also served as the sepulchre of Novgorodian princes. For the Novgorodians, St Sophia became synonymous with their town, the symbol of civic power and independence.
The five-domed church looks simpler but no less impressive than its prototype, the thirteen-domed St Sophia of Kiev. The cathedral exterior is striking in its majesty and epic splendour evoking the memories of Novgorod's glorious past and invincible might. In the 11th century it looked more imposing than now. Its facade represented a gigantic mosaic of huge, coarsely trimmed irregular slabs of flagstone and shell rock. In some places (particularly on the apses), the wall was covered with mortar, smoothly polished, drawn up to imitate courses of brick or of whitestone slabs, and slightly coloured. As a result, the facade was not white, as it is today, but multicoloured. The play of stone, decorative painting and the building materials of various texture enhanced the impression of austere simplicity and introduced a picturesque effect.
The two-storied galleries extend along the building's southern, western and northern sides, with a stair-tower constructed at the north-eastern corner. The cathedral has three entrances - the southern, western and northern, of which the western was the main one intended for ceremonial processions. A gate standing at the entrance is known as the Sigtuna Gate (mid-12th century); according to legend, it was brought from the Swedish town of Sigtuna in 1187. The second name of the gate derives from the town of Magdeburg, where it was made. The two leaves are decorated with biblical and evangelical scenes in cast bronze relief. In the lower left corner there are portraits of the craftsmen who created this superb specimen of medieval Western European bronze-work. An inscription in Latin gives their names, Riquin and Weissmut. The small central figure - judging from an inscription in Slavonic - is a representation of the Russian master craftsman Avraam, who assembled the gate.
There is yet another bronze gate in the cathedral, called the Korsun Gate. Made in the 11th century in Chersonesos, Byzantium, it leads from the southern gallery into the Nativity Side-Chapel. Legend has it that the gate was handed over to Novgorod as a gift of Prince Yaroslav the Wise (c. 978 - 1054).
The interior of the cathedral is as majestic as its exterior. It is divided by huge piers into five aisles, three of which end in altar apses. In the south-western corner, inside the tower, there is a wide spiral in relatively small, modest buildings of the 12th - 16th centuries.