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

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

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 residence to ...
Founded: 10th century | Location: Esztergom, 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

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 also served as a cus ...
Founded: 1247 | Location: Visegrád, 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

Bory Castle

Bory Castle is a real curiosity. The special architectural feature of the castle is that it is made of concrete. The 20th century knights’ castle was constructed by architect and sculptor Jenő Bory over a period of 36 years as a symbol of his eternal love for his wife. In 1923, the architect and sculptor Jenő Bory started to build a castle on an artificial hill in the suburb of Öreghegy, still rural and covered with ...
Founded: 1923-1959 | Location: Öreghegy, 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

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, the castles was rebuilt and fo ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Sümeg, 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 protect its subst ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Szigliget, 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

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

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

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

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

Kinizsi Castle

Kinizsi Castle in Nagyvázsony was built in the 15th century by Pál Kinizsi, the military leader of King Matthias Corvinus. Kinizsi"s sarcophagus can be found in the castle chapel.
Founded: 1472 | Location: Nagyvázsony, Hungary

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

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Wawel Castle

Wawel Hill – a Jurassic limestone rock, a dominant feature in the landscape of Kraków, have provided a safe haven for people who have settled here since the Paleolithic Age. It is supposed that the Slav people started living on Wawel hill as early as the 7th century. Early medieval legends tell stories about a dreadful dragon that lived in a cave on Wawel Hill, about his slayer Krakus, and about the latter’s daughter Wanda, who drowned herself in the Vistula rather than marry a German knight. Towards the end of the first millennium A.D Wawel began to play the role of the centre of political power.In the 9th century it became the principal fortified castrum of the Vislane tribe. The first historical ruler of Poland, Miesco I (c.965-992) of the Piast dynasty as well as his successors: Boleslas the Brave (992-1025) and Miesco II (1025-1034) chose Wawel Hill as one of their residences.

At that time Wawel became one of the main Polish centres of Christianity. The first early Romanesque and Romanesque sacral buildings were raised here, including a stone cathedral that was erected after the bishopric of Kraków was established in the year 1000.

During the reign of Casimir the Restorer (1034-1058) Wawel became a significant political and administrative centre for the Polish State. Casimir’s son, Boleslas the Bold (1058-1079) began the construction of a second Romanesque cathedral, which was finished by Boleslas the Wrymouth (1102-1138). In his last will of 1138, this prince divided Poland into districts, and provided that Kraków was to be the residence of the senior prince. In 1291 the city of Kraków along with Wawel Hill temporarily fell under the Czech rule, and Wenceslas II from the Premysl dynasty was crowned King of Poland in Wawel cathedral.

In 1306 the Duke of Kuyavia Ladislas the Short (1306-1333) entered Wawel and was crowned King of Poland in the Cathedral in 1320. It was the first historically recorded coronation of a Polish ruler on Wawel Hill. Around that time, at the initiative of Ladislas the Short, the construction of the third Gothic cathedral began, the castle was expanded and the old wooden and earthen fortifications were replaced by brick ones. The tomb of Ladislas the Short in the cathedral started a royal necropolis of Polish kings in Krakow.The last descendant of the Piast dynasty, Casimir the Great (1333-1370) brought Wawel to a state of unprecedented splendour. In 1364 the expanded gothic castle witnessed the marriage of Casimir’s granddaughter Elizabeth to Charles IV accompanied by a famous convention of kings and princes, subsequently entertained by a rich burgher Wierzynek. The accession to the throne in 1385 of Jadwiga from the Hungarian dynasty of Andegavens, and her marriage to a Lithuanian prince Ladislas Jagiello (1386-1434) started another era of prosperity for Wawel. The royal court employed local and western European artists and also Rus painters. During the reign of Casimir Jagiellon (1447-1492) the silhouette of the hill was enriched by three high brick towers: the Thieves’ Tower, the Sandomierz Tower and the Senatorial Tower. The first humanists in Poland and tutors to the king’s sons: historian Jan Długosz and an Italian by the name Filippo Buonacorsi (also known as Callimachus) worked there at that time.

The Italian Renaissance arrived at Wawel in the early 16th century. King Alexander (1501-1506) and his brother Sigismund I the Old (1506-1548) commissioned the construction of a new palace in place of the Gothic residence, with an impressive large courtyard with arcaded galleries which was completed about 1540. Sigismund’s patronage also left an indelible impression in the cathedral, where a family chapel was erected, known today as Sigismund’s Chapel - the work of Bartolomeo of Berrecci Florence, and through various foundations, one of which was that of a large bell, called the Sigismund to commemorate the king. Close artistic and cultural relations with Italy were strengthened in 1518 by the king’s marriage to Bona Sforza. Alongside Italian artists, German architects, wood workers, painters and metal smiths worked for the king. The last descendant of the Jagiellonian dynasty, Sigismund II Augustus (1548-1572), enriched the castle’s interiors with a magnificent collection of tapestries woven in Brussels. In the “Golden Age” of Polish culture Wawel became one of the main centres of humanism in Europe.

The reign of Sigismund III Waza (1587-1632) also made a strong impression on the history of Wawel. After a fire in the castle in 1595 the king rebuilt the burned wing of the building in the early Baroque style. The relocation of the royal court to Warsaw was the cause of a slow but nevertheless steady deterioration in the castle’s condition. The monarchs visited Kraków only occasionally. Restoration of the castle was undertaken during the reign of John III Sobieski, the Wettins and Stanislas Augustus to counteract neglect.

After Poland had lost its independence in 1795, the troops of partitioning nations, Russia, Prussia and Austria, subsequently occupied Wawel which finally passed into the hands of the Austrians. The new owners converted the castle and some of the secular buildings into a military hospital, and demolished some others, including churches. After the period of the Free City of Kraków (1815-1846) Wawel was once more annexed by Austria and turned into a citadel dominating the city. By the resolution passed by the Seym of Galicia in 1880, the castle was presented as a residence to the Emperor of Austria Franz Josef I. The Austrian troops left the hill between 1905-1911. At the turn of the 20th century a thorough restoration of the cathedral was conducted, and shortly afterwards a process of restoration of the royal castle began which lasted several decades.

When Poland regained its independence in 1918, the castle served as an official residence of the Head of State, and as a museum of historic interiors. During the Nazi occupation the castle was the residence of the German governor general, Hans Frank. Polish people managed to remove the most valuable objects, including the tapestries and the “Szczerbiec” coronation sword to Canada, from where they returned as late as 1959-1961. At present, the main curators of Wawel are Wawel Royal Castle – State Art Collection and the Metropolitan Basilica Board on Wawel Hill.