Sárospatak (German: Potok am Bodroch ; Slovak: Šarišský Potok, Blatný Potok) (English rough translation: Muddy Stream or Muddy Brook on theBodrog) is a town in Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén county, northern Hungary. It lies 70 km (43 mi) northeast from Miskolc, in the Bodrog river valley. The town, often called simply Patak, is an important cultural centre.

The area has been inhabited since ancient times. Sárospatak was granted town status in 1201 by King Emeric. In the Middle Ages it was an important place due to its proximity to an important trade route leading to Poland. Its castle, built by Andrew II, is traditionally identified as the birthplace of his daughterSaint Elizabeth.

Sárospatak was elevated to the rank of free royal town by King Sigismund. In 1460, during the reign of King Matthias it received the right to hold a market. In 1575 a plague killed many of the inhabitants.

A castle (from Latin: castellum) is a type of fortified structure built in Europe and the Middle East during the Middle Ages by nobility. Scholars debate the scope of the word castle, but usually consider it to be the private fortified residence of a lord or noble. This is distinct from apalace, which is not fortified; from a fortress, which was not always a residence for nobility; and from a fortified settlement, which was a public defence – though there are many similarities among these types of construction. Usage of the term has varied over time and has been applied to structures as diverse as hill forts and country houses. Over the approximately 900 years that castles were built, they took on a great many forms with many different features, although some, such as curtain walls and arrowslits, were commonplace.

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