Its owners include several famous Hungarian historical figures. The castle in Sárospatak was in its heyday from 1616, the year from which the Rákóczi family occupied it for around 100 years. The family is one of the greatest dynasties in Hungarian history. The castle, the center of its estate, is also depicted on the Hungarian 500-forint banknote.
A part of Hungary at the time was under the rule of the Habsburg Empire while Transylvania was an independent principality. Several members of the Rákóczi family carried the title of Prince of Transylvania (in Latin: Princeps Transylvaniae). As rulers and powerful Hungarian landlords, they pursued several campaigns against the Habsburg crown. In the 1670's, at the wedding of Ferenc Rákóczi I, a secret conspiracy against the Habsburgs was formed in the Sub Rosa room of the Sárospatak Castle. The room was preserved to this day. Its name originated from the rose shaped stucco in the middle of the umbelliform vault. The Latin expression sub rosa means “under the rose”. It gained an indirect meaning in Hungarian after the above event. It means to do something in secret.