Pipo of Ozora or Filippo Scolari was a skilful mercantile clerk coming from a Florentine middle class family, whose calculation skills enthralled King Sigismund of Hungary. The ruler rewarded Pipo’s loyalty with his lifelong friendship and confidential offices, including the royal treasurer and the administrator of the royal salt chambers. The young man proved to be a talented military leader and was entrusted with the defence of the endangered southern border against the frequently invading Ottomans. In 1416 he was allowed to erect a fortress or a palace in Ozora. With enormous labour, the steep hilltop became transformed to level ground in order to be the site of a splendid multi-storey baronial palace surrounded by a fort with a square layout and with circular towers at the corners.
The building looking austere from the outside was marked out from Hungarian castles by its once regular layout, majestic appearance and cosiness. The renovated Renaissance palace offers colourful programs and experiences every season. Visitors can wander in the inner courtyard and in the historic rooms upstairs where they can see the bedchamber of Pipo’s wife, the ornate throne room, the Renaissance dining room and the furnished chapel of the castle. Guests can also watch the armoury with the life-size statue of a cavalryman in Gothic armour and the 17th-century aristocratic kitchen. Downstairs, the special exhibition on the history of the castle, the 3D film and the display of the original archaeological findings all help visitors to experience the atmosphere of a glorious past. Five guest rooms can be booked in the palace where guests and visitors may feel themselves real captains within the old walls.
After exploring the palace, visitors may enjoy some frothy coffee in the atmospheric café in the inner courtyard.