István Csáky was born on October 7, 1741 in Iliašovce and came to Vienna as a young count, 18-21 years old.
He was educated with the Jesuits in Theresianum and thus enriched his hobby in architecture, gardens and parks. Thanks to his studies at Theresianum, he gained classical education. He mastered French culture and learned several languages, both verbally and in writing. All aspects that influenced him were reflected in the area between Levoča and Spišská Nová Ves.
After returning from Vienna, István Csáky decided to settle in a rural environment, far different from the Theresian Vienna, full of philosophical scholars with French manners. The first step after returning to Iliašovce was to smarten up the birthplace surroundings in the style of French parks. At that time, István Csáky was already married to Júlia, daughter of Count Erdődy, whom he married on October 24, 1764.
István brought the fashion of English parks to Iliašovce together with the translation of English novels, books of art and the creation of English gardens. A large number of these books were placed in the library at Sans Souci, along with Italian, French and valuable copies of Voltaire, a total of 5160 volumes.
István Csáky ‘s greatest idea began to be realized in 1773, when the construction of Sans Souci began, to which two years later the surroundings were transformed into fairytale gardens and parks. István Csáky and his wife Júlia wanted to live here in symbiosis with the surroundings and the local population for which they organized celebrations of folk holidays. Therefore, San Souci can be considered as the peak of social life in this environment. It was an environment with an artistic spirit in a magical place where the surroundings were formed by gardens surrounded by a spruce forest in complete solitude.
At the core of Sans Souci, lavish parties and philosophical conversations disputed with Christian dogmas were organized in the salons where all the books were collected and distinguished guests invited.
After István’s departure to the manor house in Humenné and Júlia’s departure to Bratislava, only the remnants of Sans Souci linked the couple. Júlia died in 1809 in Bratislava and István a year later.
He is buried under the chapel in the Iliašovce manor church built in 1768. On the south wall of the presbytery is a marble tombstone with a date of István’s death, May 30, 1810.