History of castle
Cabrad is one of the least-known castles in Slovakia. It was built aside from most of the main roads. The purpose of building a castle here was in the need to protect the road that lead to mining towns from the south. The castle is often mentioned as Litava in older litereature. However, the latest research showed that this name, in fact, belongs to another nearby castle that is now known as Deserted Castle. This confusion arose because the name was taken from river Litava, which flows both nearby Cabrad and also near Deserted Castle.
Anyway, the surrounding area was in possession of Ders from the Hunt-Poznan family since the 1256. Ders resided at Litava which was, however, later during the 14th century taken by Mathias Csaky. Litava became deserted before 1342. Sometimes at that time period, Cabrad castle was built. It had a better position and thus became more suitable than Litava which soon became known as Deserted Castle (and this name, in Slovak language Pusty Hrad, remains until today).
Cabrad was conquered by Jan Jiskra of Brandys and his Hussite army. They were able to hold the castle until Mathias Corvinus came here with his army and took it back in 1462. Cabrad was later, at the beginning of 16th century, given to Cardinal Thomas Bakoc. He invested a large sum in rebuilding and reconstructing the castle. His main reason was to make his residence look according to his status as he was the highest church official in Hungary. He built new residential and administrative buildings to change the castle into a suitable nobleman residence. This vast reconstruction and rebuilding took place in year 1520.
After Thomas died, his nephew Peter Bakoc inherited the castle. This made him one of the richest noblemen in Hungary. He changed his surname because of this. His family became known as Erdod family. However, the castle changed owners soon because of his sister’s marriage. It became ownership of Palffy family. However, in 1547, Cabrad was taken by bandit-knight Melichar Balasa. The castle became a bandit den, although it was taken back by a king’s army in 1548.
In 1585, vast reconstruction and rebuilding of Cabrad became. It was rebuilt into a modern very well-armed fortress. The main reason for this was a danger of Ottoman invasion. And Ottomans really came and attacked Cabrad twice. First attack came right after the reconstruction in 1585 and the second one came in 1602. Ottomans failed to take the castle in both cases. The castle soon changed owners. It became the king’s fief. In 1622, king gave it to noble Peter Kohary who was a successful anti-Ottoman fighter.
In 17th century, Cabrad was no longer endangered by Ottomans. It also survived all the anti-Habsburg rebellions relatively undamaged. However, the nearby road lost its importance. It was being swallowed by forest and castle became totally unimportant. In 1750, Kohary family moved to their newly built mansion in Saint Anton. Cabrad served only as their summer house since then.
Franz Anton Kohary set Cabrad on fire in 1812 for financial reasons. Since then, Cabrad was deserted and left to decay and today only ruins remain.