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Lake Öreg and the Tata Castle - Tata, Hungary

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GPS coordinates: Latitude 47°38'54", Longitude 18°19'10" (N47 38.9 - E18 19.17)

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The sunny southern side of the Tata Castle - Tata, Hungary The sunny southern side of the Tata Castle

The structure in the central part of the Tata Castle is not a true keep or residental tower, but the modified southern wing of the original rectangular inner castle that had four corner towers. The castle was blown up by the Ottoman troops in 1683. Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Hungary ordered to completely destroy this castle together with many other Hungarian fortresses, but this further destruction was avoided thanks to the outbreaking Rákóczi's War of Independence in 1702-1703.

Then the castle was acquired by the Esterházy family who ordered to do major changes to the building in 1755, but mostly the surroundings of the northwestern wall was affected by these modifications (the new gate with a stone bridge over the ditch, the "prison chapel", etc.). There was a fire in the castle in the early-19th century, then in 1815 the remaining parts of buildings were altered and extended in neo-gothic style (gothic revival or romantic style). The most of the upper level of the current "tower" (the "Old tower") was built at that time, including for example the covered terrace, the small rounded closed balcony and the neo-gothic style windows as well.

Tower of the Tata Castle (in reality it is the inner castle itself), including the Kuny Domokos County Museum - Tata, Hungary Tower of the Tata Castle (in reality it is the inner castle itself), including the Kuny Domokos County Museum

The remaining and rebuilt inner part of the Tata Castle received its current form at around the turn of the 1800s-1900s. At this time the windows were modified to the current style that reminds to the Italian gothic, as well as there were also some other minor modifications inside the building (e.g. stairs, vaulted ceiling, etc.). The castle remained in the possession of the Esterházy family until 1945, the end of the World War II. The Kuny Domokos Museum is operated in the castle since 1954, among others there is a historical and local history exhibition here, as well as a lapidary (stone collection) of the Roman Age and the Middle Ages. The major archaeological excavations of the castle were begun in 1964, and the monumental restoration works were finished in 1973 (however not fully completed, the exploration of some parts of the building, like for example the ditch, the casemates or the castle wells is yet to come).

The water wheel system of the old Cifra water mill - Tata, Hungary The water wheel system of the old Cifra water mill

The oldest water mill of Tata town is situated at one of the northern sluices of the Old Lake ("Öreg-tó"), over the stream called "Által-ér". The first written record of the Cifra Mill is from 1587, then it survived the times of the Turkish occupation of Hungary (1541-1699) and in 1753 it was rebuilt in baroque style. It was used normally for grinding until the end of the 1960s. Today (in 2014) the building stands empty and without function.

Until 1938 the border of the two separate villages, Tata and Tóváros (literally "Lake Town") was situated here at the Által-ér ("Által Stream"). At that time these villages were united and the modern Tata settlement was formed, which then received the rank of town in 1954. In 1985 Agostyán village was also annexed to Tata, and today the former villages live in the names of the quarters of the town.

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