Reuters is reporting that the Krásna Hôrka Castle in the Eastern region of Kosice that was the home of the Andrássy family for over four hundred years and was prominently featured in Jókai Mór’s novel The White Lady of Levoča (A Lőcsei Fehér Asszony) was set ablaze by two Slovak youths aged 11 and 12 whose experience with smoking got out of hand. The fire was believed to have spread from the surrounding grass to the wooden roof of the fortress and required 84 firemen to contain the blaze. The children were able to accomplish what over seven hundred years of destructive wars had failed to acheive. The castle’s website states,
A picturesque countryside of Gemer set in the heart of Slovakia had always been seen as little Europe or small-scaled Hungarian Kingdom. Its hills, valleys and towns formed the scene of both our own and European history. During World War II and especially the time after it, the cruel hand of fate and of the emerging era devastated the Slovak cultural and historical heritage. Fortunately, even the socialist regime was unable to completely destroy the rich culture of our ancestors. However, only a small number of almost fully preserved castles has been left to please our eyes, one of them being the Krásna Hôrka Castle…As we have already mentioned, Krásna Hôrka is one of the few profane historic sites in Slovakia that had escaped the wartime and post-war plundering. Its historical collection is based especially on armaments that were exhibited in the castle in the 19th century already. Of exceptional value today are the contemporary photographs of furnished castle premises coming from the break of the 19th/20th centuries that document the design of the old exhibition.
Luckily, Reuters is reporting that the Slovak National Museum has reported on its Facebook webpage (although I could not find the FB page),
that damage to the castle was extensive but about 90 percent of historical collections were saved, including contemporary photographs of furnished castle premises from the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, oil paintings and various ornaments.
“The castle’s roof burned down completely, as well as the new exhibition in the gothic palace and the bell tower. Three bells melted,” the museum said.