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Rakoczi Manor restored to its former glory

Rakoczi Manor restored to its former glory

The Slovak and Hungarian presidents have opened the renovated birthplace of the leader of the 1703-11 uprising against the Habsburgs

Located in eastern Slovakia, just a short walk from the Hungarian border, the village of Borsa keeps an important relic of these countries’ shared past. On the outskirts of the village stands a Renaissance-style manor house where Ferenc II Rakoczi, Prince of Transylvania and leader of the 1703-11 Hungarian uprising against the Habsburgs was born on 27 March 1676.

Symbol connecting EU neighbours

At a ceremony on Saturday, Slovak President Zuzana Caputova and her Hungarian counterpart Janos Ader jointly opened the renovated Rakoczi Manor. The renovation project cost EUR 8.7 million, most of which, according to Caputova, were funds from the EU and Hungarian coffers. Slovakia’s financial contribution was minimal, but the state helped in arranging permits and other things, Caputova added.

The Slovak President quoted by TASR newswire, called Rakoczi manor a “symbol showing that centuries of common history shouldn’t divide us, but on the contrary, they should connect us as neighbouring member states of the European Union”.

Hungarian President Ader said on his part that the manor should become a venue for the present meeting with the past. “We, Slovaks and Hungarians, have jointly renovated something that should have received our attention long ago,” he said, hinting at the fact that the project was agreed 8 years ago by him and then Slovak president Ivan Gasparovic but launched only in 2018.

Museum of powerful Rakoczi family

Historians suppose that Rakoczi manor might have been built on the site of an older moat-encircled castle. The manor house received substantial modification between 1939 and 1943, with the original L-shaped building acquiring the form of irregular letter U.

Prior to its renovation, the manor served as a museum, displaying materials linked to the noble Rakoczi family which was listed as the wealthiest in Hungary in the 17th century.

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