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

Historic Site of the week

Veste Coburg

The Veste Coburg is one of Germany's largest castles. The hill on which the fortress stands was inhabited from the Neolithic to the early Middle Ages according to the results of excavations. The first documentary mention of Coburg occurs in 1056, in a gift by Richeza of Lotharingia. Richeza gave her properties to Anno II, Archbishop of Cologne, to allow the creation of Saalfeld Abbey in 1071. In 1075, a chapel dedicated to Saint Peter and Saint Paul is mentioned on the fortified Coberg. This document also refers to a Vogt named Gerhart, implying that the local possessions of the Saalfeld Benedictines were administered from the hill.

A document signed by Pope Honorius II in 1206 refers to a mons coburg, a hill settlement. In the 13th century, the hill overlooked the town of Trufalistat (Coburg's predecessor) and the important trade route from Nuremberg via Erfurt to Leipzig. A document dated from 1225 uses the term schloss (palace) for the first time. At the time, the town was controlled by the Dukes of Merania. They were followed in 1248 by the Counts of Henneberg who ruled Coburg until 1353, save for a period from 1292-1312, when the House of Ascania was in charge.

In 1353, Coburg fell to Friedrich, Markgraf von Meißen of the House of Wettin. His successor, Friedrich der Streitbare was awarded the status of Elector of Saxony in 1423. As a result of the Hussite Wars the fortifications of the Veste were expanded in 1430.

Early modern times through Thirty Years' War

In 1485, in the Partition of Leipzig, Veste Coburg fell to the Ernestine branch of the family. A year later, Elector Friedrich der Weise and Johann der Beständige took over the rule of Coburg. Johann used the Veste as a residence from 1499. In 1506/07, Lucas Cranach the Elder lived and worked in the Veste. From April to October 1530, during the Diet of Augsburg, Martin Luther sought protection at the Veste, as he was under an Imperial ban at the time. Whilst he stayed at the fortress, Luther continued with his work translating the Bible into German. In 1547, Johann Ernst moved the residence of the ducal family to a more convenient and fashionable location, Ehrenburg Palace in the town centre of Coburg. The Veste now only served as a fortification.

In the further splitting of the Ernestine line, Coburg became the seat of the Herzogtum von Sachsen-Coburg, the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg. The first duke was Johann Casimir (1564-1633), who modernized the fortifications. In 1632, the fortress was unsuccessfully besieged by Imperial and Bavarian forces commanded by Albrecht von Wallenstein for seven days during the Thirty Years' War. Its defence was commanded by Georg Christoph von Taupadel. On 17 March 1635, after a renewed siege of five months' duration, the Veste was handed over to the Imperials under Guillaume de Lamboy.

17th through 19th centuries

From 1638-72, Coburg and the Veste were part of the Duchy of Saxe-Altenburg. In 1672, they passed to the Dukes of Saxe-Gotha and in 1735 it was joined to the Duchy of Saxe-Saalfeld. Following the introduction of Primogeniture by Duke Franz Josias (1697-1764), Coburg went by way of Ernst Friedrich (1724-1800) to Franz (1750-1806), noted art collector, and to Duke Ernst III (1784-1844), who remodeled the castle.

In 1826, the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha was created and Ernst now styled himself 'Ernst I'. Military use of the Veste had ceased by 1700 and outer fortifications had been demolished in 1803-38. From 1838-60, Ernst had the run-down fortress converted into a Gothic revival residence. In 1860, use of the Zeughaus as a prison (since 1782) was discontinued. Through a successful policy of political marriages, the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha established links with several of the major European dynasties, including that of the United Kingdom.

20th century

The dynasty ended with the reign of Herzog Carl Eduard (1884-1954), also known as Charles Edward, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, a grandson of Queen Victoria, who until 1919 also was the 2nd Duke of Albany in the United Kingdom. Under his rule, many changes made to the Veste in the 19th century were reversed under architect Bodo Ebhardt, with the aim of restoring a more authentic medieval look. Along with the other ruling princes of Germany, Carl Eduard was deposed in the revolution of 1918-1919. After Carl Eduard abdicated in late 1918, the Veste came into possession of the state of Bavaria, but the former duke was allowed to live there until his death. The works of art collected by the family were gifted to the Coburger Landesstiftung, a foundation, which today runs the museum.

In 1945, the Veste was seriously damaged by artillery fire in the final days of World War II. After 1946, renovation works were undertaken by the new owner, the Bayerische Verwaltung der staatlichen Schlösser, Gärten und Seen.

Today

The Veste is open to the public and today houses museums, including a collection art objects and paintings that belonged to the ducal family of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, a large collection of arms and armor, significant examples of early modern coaches and sleighs, and important collections of prints, drawings and coins.