The ruins of Damásd Castle
The village of less than 500 inhabitants today is extremely rich in archaeological sites. It was first mentioned in official documents in the 13th century. The exact date of the construction of Damásdi Castle is not known, but fragments of 12th century vessels have been found among the ruins. The first major wave of construction took place at the end of the reign of Károly (Charles) I King of Hungary, who visited the site at least ten times between 1339 and 1342. During these years it was referred to in charters as a royal hunting ground. His son, King Nagy Lajos (Louis) I of Hungary, visited Damásd less frequently, issuing a total of two charters between 1345 and 1376. The castle was most probably built to provide comfort for the monarchs who frequently crossed the Danube on their way from Visegrád, the royal capital at the time, and occupied Damásd. After King Luxemburgi Zsigmond (Sigismund of Luxembourg) moved the royal seat to Buda between 1405 and 1408, making Visegrád a provincial royal residence, and the role of Damásd reduced. Esztergom fell in the war against the Turks in 1543, followed a year later by Vác. From then on, the Turks ruled the castle and nearby villages. In 1581, the Turks built a palisade on the site of the former castle, which was attacked several times in the following years. In 1594 the castle was still inhabited by Turks, but in 1595 Chief General Miklós Pálffy asked for the castle to be supplied with soldiers. In 1626, the Turks occupied the castle again under the leadership of Pasha Murteza of Buda. At the end of this year, Gábor Bethlen and Ferdinand II reached an agreement in Nicolsburg, whereby some points of the peace agreement were amended to stipulate that Damásd must be returned to the Turks. In the following year, the "Peace of Szőny" was concluded with the Turks, who nevertheless continued to raid and pillage the castles. In July 1641, the Turks struck again in the absence of the castle captain László Bercsényi, and occupied the castle, which was illegal under the Treaty of Szőny. Under the terms of the agreement, they had to withdraw again. This time the castle was set on fire and burnt to the ground, except for the walls. The military role of the castle was thus ended. After the Turks left, there was talk of rebuilding the castle, but this never materialised and the stones were slowly scattered. After 1641, the castle was never rebuilt.