Castles in Hungary

Buda Castle

Buda Castle is the historical castle and palace complex of the Hungarian kings in Budapest, and was first completed in 1265. Buda Castle was built on the southern tip of Castle Hill, bounded on the north by what is known as the Castle District, which is famous for its medieval, Baroque, and 19th-century houses, churches, and public buildings. The castle is a part of the Budapest UNESCO World Heritage Site. The first citi ...
Founded: 1247-1265 | Location: Budapest, Hungary

Eger Castle

The Castle of Eger is historically known for repelling the Turkish attack in 1552 during the Siege of Eger. During the Mongol invasion in 1241, this castle was ruined, and the bishop of Eger moved it to a rocky hill in the city of Eger. On the hill, a new castle was built, and it developed rapidly. In 1470 a Gothic palace was built. In 1552, a Turkish army of 35,000-40,000 soldiers attacked the castle which had 2,100-2,30 ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Eger, Hungary

Esztergom Castle

Esztergom was the capital of Hungary from the 10th till the mid-13th century when King Béla IV of Hungary moved the royal seat to Buda. During the same period, the castle of Esztergom was built on the site of ancient Roman castrum. It served not only as the royal residence until the 1241 (the Mongol invasion), but also as the center of the Hungarian state, religion, and Esztergom county. After changing his residen ...
Founded: 10th century | Location: Esztergom, Hungary

Visegrád Castle

The Citadel (Fellegvár) and the Lower Castle The Visegrád double castle system is one of the castles built by Béla IV recognizing the consequences of the Mongol invasion. The fortress preserved its significance until the Turkish invasions. The Citadel had a multifunctional role: it was protecting the valley of the Danube, it was controlling the main commerical route between Buda and Esztergom, and al ...
Founded: 1247 | Location: Visegrád, Hungary

Tata Castle

Initiated by the Lackffy family, construction of the Tata castle began at the end of the 1300s. It has continually been built and rebuilt ever since. One of Tata’s gems today, it had its glory days as a royal summer residence during the reign of King Sigismund of Luxembourg and that of King Matthias Hunyadi. Thanks to the Esterházy family, one-time residents of the castle, the building today reflects the styl ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Tatai, Hungary

Hollókõ

Hollokö is an outstanding example of a deliberately preserved traditional settlement. This village, which developed mainly during the 17th and 18th centuries, is a living example of rural life before the agricultural revolution of the 20th century. The village has been an UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987. In the middle of the 13th century, in the aftermath of the Mongol invasion, construction of Hollók&# ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Hollókõ, Hungary

Sárvár Castle

Through the Nádasdy family, the castle of Sárvár, now called Nádasdy Castle, played a significant role in the progress of Hungarian culture in the 16th and 17th centuries. The first Hungarian book, The New Testament of 1541, was printed here. The knight's hall of the castle is decorated with the battle scenes of Lord Chief Justice Ferenc Nádasdy (married to the notorious Elizabeth B&aacu ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Sárvár, Hungary

Siklós Castle

Siklós castle was built by Baron János György Benyó in the 13th century. It was first mentioned in a charter from 1294. The oldest building is in the southern part of the residential wing. In 1401 disgruntled nobles lead by Count György II Benyóvszky temporarily imprisoned king Sigismund in the castle. The castle also houses a chapel built in the 14th and 15th centuries. The castle wa ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Siklós, Hungary

Sümeg Castle

Sümeg Castle was built in the latter half of the 13th century by Béla IV of Hungary. It is situated atop a mountain called 'Castle Hill'. Later, it was presented as a gift to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Veszprém by Stephen V of Hungary. In the 15th century, the castle was fortified, and the second of two towers was built.In 1552, in response to the capture of Veszprém by the Turks ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Sümeg, Hungary

Mosonmagyaróvár Castle

King Stephen ordered the building of a castle at Moson to defend the border in the early 11th century. Settlers flocked around the wooden and then stone castle, and by the 11th century it was described as a strong fortress and bustling merchant town. However, in 1030, the Holy Roman Emperor Conrad II was able to conquer the castle on his way to the Rába. During the Crusades, Kálmán, King of Győr ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Mosonmagyaróvár, Hungary

Szigliget Castle

Szigliget castle was built by Favus Abbot of Pannonhalma, it was completed in 1262. A small village with a church had been developed under the castle belonging to it as usual in the life of a border fortress. The Castle passed into royal proprietorship and then from 1521 for centuries it became the property of Tóti-Lengyel family. Upon the order of Emperor Lipót issued in 1702 the Castle was blow up.To prote ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Szigliget, Hungary

Jurisics Castle

Jurisics Castle, named after Croatian nobleman Nikola Jurišić. The oldest part was built in the 13th century. The inner castle originally of Gothic style was extended later on. This building complex served as an estate castle and was also converted in the Renaissance and Baroque era. The character of the two islands still can be observed: it is visible that the fortress and the interior of the castle were surr ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Kőszeg, Hungary

Simontornya Castle

Simontornya Castle tower was built in the 13th century by Simon (Son of Salamon) among the swamps of the Sió river. The name Simontornya means Simon"s Tower. Nearly all owners of the castle made some alterations throughout the centuries. The Lackfi"s built a new gothic wing in the 14th century, altered the old Tower, and added an arcaded loggia to the back-front. After the extinction of the House of Garai ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Simontornya, Hungary

Diósgyor Castle

The first castle of Diósgyőr was built probably in the 12th century and was destroyed during the Mongol invasion (1241-42). The current, Gothic castle was built after the invasion and reached the peak of its importance during the reign of King Louis the Great (1342-1382). Later it became a wedding gift for the queens of Hungary, which it remained until the Ottoman invasion of Hungary in the 16th century. By th ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Diósgyõr, Hungary

Füzér Castle Ruins

The ruins of Füzér Castle stand on a solitary rock cone at the edge of the village. It was built by the designs of 'Blind' Anoronicus at the beginning of the 13th century and expanded in the 14th and 15th centuries. The castle was ruined at the end of the 18th century. Its architectural characteristics include stone remains in lace form. The entire castle hill is a protected historic site with protected plants and anima ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Füzér, Hungary

Boldogkõ Castle

Boldogkő Castle towers above the village atop a north-south elongated and irregularly oval-shaped andesite mountain top. The exact time of its construction is unknown, but it is certain that it was built after the Mongol invasion in the mid-13th century. The stronghold, designed with an interior turret, defended the road to Košice and the Hernad Valley. Presently, the castle is in the hands of the local munici ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Boldogkõváralja, Hungary

Rákóczi Castle

The oldest part of the Rákóczi castle, the five-storey Red Tower, dates from the late 15th century – inside you’ll find period rooms in excellent condition. Note that this can only be visited by guided tour. The Renaissance-style Palace Wing, connected to the Red Tower by a 17th-century loggia called the Lorántffy Gallery , was built in the 16th century and later enlarged by its most famo ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Sárospatak, Hungary

Gyula Castle

From the construction to its surrender for the Turks, Gyula Fortress can be linked significantly with the royal court either by relation right or by the way that the King himself or a member of royal family was the proprietor of the big manor. All this is worth of emphasizing since Buda and Vajdahunyad are the nearest two castles unequivocally having this kind of royal position. The first factual mention of the fortress ...
Founded: 1405 | Location: Gyulai, Hungary

Pipo Castle

Pipo Castle in Ozora is a unique piece of Italian Renaissance in a small Hungarian village. The castle was built for Filippo Scolari, otherwise known as Pipo of Ozora, who came to Hungary as a merchant’s clerk/assistant when he was 13 years old and rose to become a renowned economist, a brilliant soldier and a distinguished diplomat at the 15th century court of King Sigismund. The castle contains important Renaissa ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Ozora, Hungary

Somló Castle Ruins

Somló castle was built in the 13th century soon after the Mongol Invasion. It had a great deal of owners. Kinizsi Pal was also among them but the castle’s golden age was when the bishop of Eger, Bakócz Tamás bought it in the late 15th century. He rebuilt it and it served as a castle and as a chapel. The Turkish tried to occupy several times unsuccessful. By the 18th Century it was a bad condition. The ruins are not e ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Somló, Hungary

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Royal Palace of Aranjuez

Palacio Real de Aranjuez is a former Spanish royal residence. It was established around the time Philip II of Spain moved the capital from Toledo to Madrid. Aranjuez became one of four seasonal seats of government, occupied during the springtime (from about holy week). Thereafter, the court moved successively to Rascafría, El Escorial and wintered in Madrid. Aranjuez Cultural Landscape is an UNESCO World Heritage Site.

After the Christian conquest, Aranjuez was owned by the Order of Santiago and a palace was built for its Grand Masters where the Royal Palace stands today. When the Catholic Monarchs assumed the office of Grand Master of the Order of Santiago, Aranjuez became part of the Royal estate. This fertile land, located between the Tajo and Jarama Rivers, was converted into the Spanish monarchy"s most lavish country retreat: during Spain"s Golden Age, Aranjuez became a symbol for the perfection of nature by mortal hands, as El Escorial was for art.

Such excellence was based on strong Renaissance foundations, as Charles V envisaged this inherited estate as a large Italian-inspired villa, a desire continued by Philip II who appointed Juan Bautista de Toledo to design leafy avenues that ran through the gardens and farming land. A series of dams was constructed in the 16th century to control the course of the Tajo River and create a network of irrigation canals.

The splendour of the estate was only enhanced by the Bourbon monarchs, who would spend the whole spring, from Easter to July, at the Palace. Phillip V added new gardens and Ferdinand VI designed a new system of tree-lined streets and created a small village within the estate, which was further developed by Charles III and Charles IV. As Ferdinand VII and Isabella II continued to visit Aranjuez during the spring, the splendour of this site was maintained until 1870.

The Royal Palace, built by Phillip II on the site of the old palace of the Grand Masters of Santiago, was designed by the architect Juan Bautista de Toledo –under whom construction began in 1564– and later Juan Herrera, who only managed to finish half the project. Although glimpses of the original layout still remain, the building itself is more characteristic of the classicism favoured by the Hapsburg monarchs, with alternating white stone and brick. The original design was continued by Phillip V in 1715 but not finished until 1752 under Ferdinand VI. The rectangular layout that Juan Bautista de Toledo had planned, and that took two centuries to complete, was only maintained for 20 years, since in 1775 Charles III added two wings onto the Palace.

Real Casa del Labrador

As the Prince of Asturias, Charles IV was a frequent visitor to the pier pavilions built by Ferdinand VI and grew up playing in the Prince’s Garden. When he became King, he decided to build a new country house at the far end of these gardens, known as the Casa del Labrador (the labourer"s house) due to its modest exterior that was designed to heavily contrast the magnificent internal decor. It was built by chief architect Juan de Villanueva and his pupil Isidro González Velázquez, who designed some of the interior spaces. These rooms, developed in various stages until 1808, are the greatest example of the lavish interior decor favoured by this monarch in his palaces and country retreats. Highlights at this Site include the combination of different types of art and the luxurious textiles, in particular the silks from Lyon, as well as wealth of original works on the main floor, where Ferdinand VII added various paintings and landscapes by Brambilla.

King"s Garden, the Island Garden, Parterre Garden and the Prince"s Garden

Phillip II, a great lover of gardens, paid special attention to this feature of the Aranjuez Palace: during his reign, he maintained both the Island Garden, designed by the architect Juan Bautista de Toledo, and the King"s Garden, immediately adjacent to the Palace and whose current layout was designed by Philip IV. The majority of the fountains on this island were commissioned by Phillip IV, while the Bourbons added other features such as the Charles III benches.

Phillip V made two French-style additions to the existing gardens: the Parterre Garden in front of the palace and the extension at the far end of the Island Garden, known as the Little Island, where he installed the Tritons Fountain that was later moved to the Campo del Moro park by Isabella II.

The Prince"s Garden owes its name and creation to the son and heir of Charles III who, in the 1770s, began to use Ferdinand VI"s old pier for his own enjoyment. He also created a landscaped garden in the Anglo-French style that was in fashion at the time and which was directly influenced by Marie Antoinette"s gardens at the Petit Trianon. Both Juan de Villanueva and Pablo Boutelou collaborated in the design of this garden.