Encyclopedia of the
State of the Hungarian Crown
History, Geography, Art, Folklore
Politics and Economic Conditions
By Dr. Boroviszky Samu, translated by Marta M. Szucs
Written before 1918
Homonna (Humenne) is a large village along the Laborcz River with 392 houses and 3,995 people, most of them are "Tot" meaning a Hungarian who speaks with a heavy dialect/accent.
This is the "Drugeth" Family ancient place, and their history goes back to the early centuries. In the XIII th. Century, it was the center of "Krajnya" and the very first landowners were the "Drugeth" Family. They were a rich family owning thousands of acres including whole villages.
The first document was found from 1322 when the landowner was "Janos Drugeth." In 1323 King Robert Karoly donated the domain to "Fulop Drugeth." In 1327 "Vilmos Drugeth" ingerited this land from his older brother Fulop. In 1360 "Tivadar Koriatovics," Russian Prince, took and occupied the domain, but in 1380, the King donated the domain back to the Drugeth Family, to the sons of Janos Drugeth.
Nobody knows exactly when the castle of Humenne was built, but in 1449 it was already there and through the centuries each owner did something to make it larger and nicer. In the XV th Century, the "Agoczi" Family owned a part of the domain (perhaps by marriage). At that time the estate was attacked by "Huszita" hordes, and it fell into the hands of the "Cseh" - robbery gangs. King "Matya's" chased them out and the Drugeth Family again took possession of their ancient estate and lands. There is word that "Janos Szapolyay" was hiding there when he was chased by the enemy King.
In 1559 when Istvan Drugeth died, his sons Laszlo and Balint inherited the estate. In 1610 "Gyorgy Drugeth Homonnai", the estate owner, became a representative of the County Parliament, and because of this he converted to the Catholic Religion. Two years later he took people to Humenne who were the "Jezsuits." (I think they were the first Jewish people who lived there.)
It may be a mistake in the text that the "Jezsuits" were Jewish. (note of Cherie Korer, 3/06)Because of this, Prince "Gabor Bethlen" took the domain away from "Gyorgy Drugeth." Around 1630 the son of Gyorgy, "Janos Drugeth" fought the troops of "Peter Csaszar" who had attacked the domain. (Peter was the peasants' King.) The troops were defeated and Janos Drugeth was given back the domain with its estates and lands, however it was never again as powerful as it had been before.
In 1644 "Gyorgy Rakoczy" took over the domain from the Drugeths. Later they took it back again, but in 1684 "Imre Thokoly" took the estate under siege from "Zsigmond Drugeth Homonnai" and the Drugeths Family could not hold it any longer. Zsigmond was taken to the fortress at Kassa (Kosice) and with his life ending there, the Drugeths lost their power forever. The estate is there even today and County "Andrassy Sandor" is the owner.
Humenne has a vast history, the Roman-Catholic Church is still there today giving proof that they suffered a lot under the religious wars. The Church was built in the XIV th Century. Sometime around 1583 Prince Rakoczy gave the Church to the Kalvinists. In 1765 the Church was rebuilt. The grave of Count "Bela Hadik" is in the Church. A Greek Catholic Church was built in 1717.
The synagogue was built in 1797. Nearby, a "Beshhamidrash" (house of study) was built by Rabbi Hersh Lieb Eichler in 1869. In the same courtyard there was also a "Hasidic shtebel." (More about the Jewish Community of Humenne can be found elsewhere on this website.)
The Girls High School and the Parochia, where the Priest lives, belongs to the Catholic Church. This Church was under fire in 1676 by the troops of Thokoly, but someway - somehow it was saved and today is still there where it is a kind of Monastery. In this Monastery The "Drugeth Family" had the schools - Gimnazium, but later, the Gimnazium was transferred to "Ungvar." The Protestants built their Church approximately in 1666.
Humenne is a village with a train station, distillery, stove factory and many associations, a Commerical High School, Taxation Department, Judge Office, and an Engineering Office to service the trains.
The Castle (They call it a Castle, but I don't think it is really a castle, but more of an estate) went through a lot of renovation, but even today is a very impressive edifice. On examining the lower walls, officials think it was a fortress in the time of the Emporer Arpad. The Castle is a square edifice with a big court and a large tower in the middle. Under it is a corridor that goes to the bridge. On both sides of the bridge on large columns are two stone lions. The inner premises of the Castle are very large and comfortable and they contain many works of art. The most interesting parts of the Castle are:
All the other rooms of the castle are full of old paintings from very famous painters.
The castle has a garden or park in the mixed style of French and English. The continuation of the park is the approximately 8,500 acre forest. A covered stream is going through the park. The Castle gets it's water from approximately 2 KM distance from the Castle through a plumbing system. Not too far from the Castle are the stables and a large Riding-School/Hall. The present owner of the Castle wants to restore it back to it's original fame.
Humenne's very popular excurion place is "Szirtalja" (Podskalka) near the Laborcz River. The iron bridge over the river was built in the XX th Century.
The Humenne Fair is very popular throughout the state. Also the Calvary to the Hill is very famous.