Potamopolis (in Latin)
Potok am Bodroch (in German)
?ari?ský Potok / Blatný Potok (in Slovak)
|o Total||100.5 km2 (38.8 sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|o Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
|Area code||(+36) 47|
Sárospatak (German: Potok am Bodroch; Slovak: ?ari?ský Potok, Blatný Potok) (English rough translation: Muddy Stream or Muddy Brook on the Bodrog) is a town in Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén county, northern Hungary. It lies 70 kilometres (43 miles) northeast from Miskolc, in the Bodrog river valley. The town, often called simply Patak, is an important cultural centre.
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.
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 owners of the castle of Sárospatak include many important individuals in Hungarian history. In the 15th and 16th centuries, it was owned by the Pálóczi (Pálóczy) family, until baron Antal Pálóczi was killed at the first Battle of Mohács in 1526, which precipitated a conflict between the family of his widow, born of the Perényi family, and the Pálóczi-related Dobó family. The Perényi family gained control of the castle, and it was in their possession until 1602, when it passed to 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 and war of independence against Habsburg rule led by Francis II Rákóczi between 1703 and 1711.
The Reformation began spreading into Hungary from this area. The first Protestant college, 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.
In 1631 Hutterites from Alvinc (today Vin?u de Jos, Romania) came to Sárospatak to work on constructions. In 1645 George I Rákóczi gave land to Hutterite families in the Héce area of Sárospatak. They came mostly from Csejte (today ?achtice, Slovakia). According to Conrad Jacob Hildebrandt in 1656 there was a significant population of Hutterites numbering 200 people. They were predominantly craftsmen, but some also worked in the agricultural industry. The appearance of the Jesuits in the city in 1663 meant the end of the life of the community. The Jesuit, Johannes Grueber forced them to recatholisation.
Today Sárospatak is a charming historical town and a popular tourist destination.
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