The first written sources mention Nyírbátor in 1279. In that time the settlement was owned by the ancestors of the Bathory's, the Gutkeled clan. The settlement has become the administrative centre and the burial place of the landholder's family. The history of the family and the settlement became interlocked for more than 300 years. During the reign of the Bathory's the settlement was in its bloom and was an administrative, economic, trade and - for a short period - a political centre, as well, towards Transylvania, the Sub-Carpathian region and Poland. The landmark building remains are also linked with the family. István Bathory, the hero of the Battle of Kenyérmező, was the head of Voivodina of Transylvania, built the Reformed Church and the Transfigurational Cathedral, too. The dining palace (today a castle) was built and modernised by several generations. His son, Istvan Bathory, Monarch of Transylvania, King of Poland was the founder of the University of Vilnius. A debated personality of the family was Erzsébet Bathory with a legend of being infamous of having committed cruel deeds. Today the historians consider these conspirational accusations but these stories still make her seem a very negative person. All these accusations must have originated from her lands being taken away from her.