The Károlyi dukes of Carei are one of the ancient Hungarian aristocratic families. They are derived from the Kaplon clan (the descendants of leader Kond's second son), who gained their lands – among others, Kaplon and Carei - during the Hungarian conquest. In Kaplon, the ancient monastery of the clan was standing; and from the settlement called Carei that was nearby, the Károlyi family got their names. The best known monument is the Károlyi Castle. Its building started in 1482 by László Láncz-Károlyi, when they got the permission from King Matthias to build a house of stones. It has been rebuilt several times until it received its final form which is a castle of neo-gothic-neo-baroque style with seven towers and with moats around it. Among the family members were dukes, barons, hospital founder, Kuruc general, scientist, academic, politician, Maecenas, prime minister and president.