|House of Thurzó|
|Country|| Habsburg Monarchy |
Kingdom of Hungary
|Final ruler|| Imre (Orava branch)|
Mihály (Spiš branch)
|Dissolution||1621 (Orava branch)|
1636 (Spiš branch)
|Cadet branches||Orava branch|
Thurzó (Slovak : Turzo; Polish : Turzonowie) was a Hungarian noble family from the 15th century to the first half of the 17th century. It was in Kraków that the rise of the Thurzó family began, and the family in turn boosted that city into an important center of business, science, and Renaissance high culture. The family's long-term involvement in capitalist enterprises, high-level politics, the affairs of the Church, and its patronage of the arts made the family rich, famous and powerful well beyond the city. Its achievements resembled the Medici family in Italy and France, perhaps the Fugger family in Germany. Key family patriarchs were János Thurzó (1437–1508) and his sons János V (1466–1520), bishop of Wrocław, and Stanislav I (1471–1540), bishop of Olomouc, and Palatine György who founded town Turzovka.
Karen Lambrecht argues that the family's most important role was in facilitating "intercultural communications." That is they used their vast network of friends, clients and allies to introduce new concepts in the arts, facilitate the exchange of ideas among scientists, and open contacts among different high status social groups.
The ancestors of the Thurzó family were perhaps Germans,coming from Lower Austria. Their original land holdings were located around the village of Betlenfalva in the Szepes county (today Betlanovce, Spiš region). From the end of the 15th century, they were mostly businessmen and entrepreneurs in Kraków, Levoča, Szepes, Gemer, central Upper Hungary, Transylvania, Bohemia and Germany.
In 1495, they established the Thurzo-Fugger company, which is sometimes regarded as the first capitalist company in Europe.They soon acquired a monopoly on the trade of copper and opened new places all over Europe. Around the year 1500 they dominated the production of precious and non-ferrous metals in Hungary.
From their earnings they bought lands in the northern part of the Kingdom of Hungary (today Slovakia), and owned several castles and their surroundings, for example Červený Kameň, Lietava, Tematín, Zvolen, Hlohovec, Orava and so on, as well as land in the other parts of the Kingdom of Hungary and Germany.
In the whole of the 16th and the first half of the 17th century, they were one of the most prominent families of Royal Hungary, and slowly began to control the key top posts in the kingdom. They became perpetual ispáns (hereditary heads) of the Szepes (Spiš) and Árva (today Orava) counties (in today Slovakia).
Members of the Thurzó family still exist today.
Spiš is a region in north-eastern Slovakia, with a very small area in south-eastern Poland. Spiš is an informal designation of the territory, but it is also the name of one of the 21 official tourism regions of Slovakia. The region is not an administrative division in its own right, but between the late 11th century and 1920 it was an administrative county of the Kingdom of Hungary,.
Orava Castle, is situated on a high rock above Orava river in the village of Oravský Podzámok, Slovakia. It is considered to be one of the most beautiful castles in Slovakia. The castle was built in the Kingdom of Hungary in the thirteenth century. Many scenes of the 1922 film Nosferatu were filmed here, the castle representing Count Orlok's Transylvanian castle.
Abaúj is a historic administrative county (comitatus) of the Kingdom of Hungary. In parts of the 19th century, and in the beginning of the 20th century, it was united with Torna County to form Abaúj-Torna county. Its territory is now in eastern Slovakia and north-eastern Hungary. Today Abaúj and Abov are only informal designations of the corresponding territories in Hungary and Slovakia.
The ruins of Spiš Castle in eastern Slovakia form one of the largest castle sites in Central Europe. The castle is situated above the town of Spišské Podhradie and the village of Žehra, in the region known as Spiš. It was included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 1993. This is one of the biggest European castles by area. It is administered by the Spiš Museum at Levoča, a division of the Slovak National Museum.
Szepes was an administrative county of the Kingdom of Hungary, called Scepusium before the late 19th century. Its territory today lies in northeastern Slovakia, with a very small area in southeastern Poland. For the current region, see Spiš.
Stará Lesná or "Old Forest" is a village and municipality in Kežmarok District in the Prešov Region in north-central Slovakia. Stará Lesná is located in an area traditionally known as Spiš and it is situated within the Slovak Tourism Region of the Tatras.
Lietava Castle is an extensive castle ruin in the Súľov Mountains of northern Slovakia, between the villages of Lietava and Lietavská Svinná-Babkov in the Žilina District.
The ruins of Spiš Castle is one of the largest castle sites in Central Europe. The castle is situated above the town of Spišské Podhradie and the village of Žehra that with adjacent ecclesiastical town Spišská Kapitula form components of the UNESCO World Heritage site. In 2009, the site was extended to include the famous altar by Master Paul of Levoča and the historic centre of Levoča with many well-preserved Renaissance buildings.
György Thurzó was a powerful Hungarian magnate, who served as the Palatine of Hungary between 1609 and 1616.
János Thurzó was a Hungarian entrepreneur and mining engineer. From 1477 until his death he was an Alderman of Kraków, Poland, and became even its mayor for a while.
The Banate of Severin or Banate of Szörény was a Hungarian political, military and administrative unit with a special role in initially anti-Bulgarian, latterly anti-Ottoman defensive system of the medieval Kingdom of Hungary. It was founded by Prince Béla in 1228.
Count George Zápolya de Szepes was a Hungarian magnate, son of Palatine Stephen Zápolya and younger brother of King John I of Hungary. He served as Hereditary Lord Lieutenant of Szepes County.
Baron Zsigmond Forgách de Ghymes et Gács, sometimes Sigismund Forgách was a Hungarian nobleman in the Kingdom of Hungary, who served as Palatine from 11 May 1618 to 23 June 1621.
Baroness Krisztina Nyáry de Bedegh was the daughter of Baron Pál Nyáry and Katalin Várday de Kisvárda. She was the second wife of Palatine Nikolaus, Count Esterházy. Her son, among others, was Paul I, Prince Esterházy.
Count Imre Thurzó de Bethlenfalva was a Hungarian aristocrat, son of Palatine György Thurzó, who served as Perpetual Ispán of Árva County between 1616 and 1621. Count Imre also functioned as Rector of the University of Wittenberg from 1616 to 1621. He was the last male member of the prestigious Thurzó family.
Baroness Erzsébet Czobor de Czoborszentmihály was the second wife of Palatine György Thurzó.
John V Thurzó was a 15th-century Bishop of Wrocław, Poland. A great patron and lover of the arts and Sciences, Luther called him "the greatest bishop of the century".
Stanislav I Thurzo was a 15th-century Bishop of the Czech Diocese of Olomouc. Although a Catholic he was the son of Jan Thurzo a protestant Hungarian nobleman of the Thurzó family who was Mayor of Krakow, and his first wife, Ursula Boehm. He was educated at Padua in theology and law and was made canon in Olomouc.
Pál Pálffy ab Erdőd was a Hungarian noble and Palatine of Hungary.
John Ernuszt de Csáktornya, Jr., also known as John Hampó, was a Hungarian baron, who served as Ban of Croatia, Dalmatia and Slavonia between 1508 and 1510.