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

Königstein Fortress

Königstein Fortress is located on the left bank of the River Elbe. It is one of the largest hilltop fortifications in Europe. The 9.5 hectare rock plateau rises 240 metres above the Elbe and has over 50 buildings, some over 400 years old, that bear witness to the military and civilian life in the fortress. The rampart run of the fortress is 1,800 metres long with walls up to 42 metres high and steep sandstone faces. In the centre of the site is a 152.5 metre deep well, which is the deepest in Saxony and second deepest well in Europe.

The fortress, which for centuries was used as a state prison, is still intact and is now one of Saxony's foremost tourist attractions, with 700,000 visitors per year.

By far the oldest written record of a castle on the Königstein is found in a deed by King Wenceslas I of Bohemia dating to the year 1233. It is probable that there had been a stone castle on the Königstein as early as the 12th century. The oldest surviving structure today is the castle chapel built at the turn of the 13th century. In the years 1563 to 1569 the 152.5 metre deep well was bored into the rock within the castle - until that point the garrison of the Königstein had to obtain water from cisterns and by collecting rainwater.

Between 1589 and 1591/97 Prince-Elector Christian I of Saxony and his successor had the castle developed into the strongest fortification in Saxony. The hill was now surrounded with high walls. Buildings were erected, including the Gatehouse (Torhaus), the Streichwehr, the Old Barracks (Alte Kaserne), the Christiansburg (Friedrichsburg) and the Old Armoury (Altes Zeughaus). The second construction period followed from 1619 to 1681, during which the John George Bastion was built. The third construction period is seen as the time from 1694 to 1756, which included the expansion of the Old Barracks. From 1722 to 1725, at the behest of August the Strong, coopers under Böttger built the enormous Königstein Wine Barrel, the greatest wine barrel in the world, in the cellar of the Magdalenenburg which had a capacity of 249,838 litres. It cost 8,230 thalers, 18 groschen and 9 pfennigs. The butt, which was once completely filled with country wine from the Meißen vineyards, had to be removed again in 1818 due to its poor condition. Because of Böttger, Königstein Fortress is also the site where European porcelain started.

Even after the expansion during those periods of time there continued to be modifications and additions on the extensive plateau. The Treasury (Schatzhaus) was built from 1854 to 1855. After the fortress had been incorporated in 1871 into the fortification system of the new German Empire, battery ramparts were constructed from 1870 to 1895 with eight firing points, that were to have provided all-round defence for the fortress in case of an attack that, in the event, never came. This was at this time that the last major building work was done on the fortress.

Because Königstein Fortress was regarded as unconquerable, the Saxon monarchs retreated to it from Wittenberg and later Dresden during times of crisis and also deposited the state treasure and many works of art from the famous Zwinger here; it was also used as a country retreat due to its lovely surroundings.

The fortress played an important role in the History of Saxony, albeit less as a result of military action. The Saxon Dukes and Prince-Electors used the fortress primarily as a secure refuge during times of war, as a hunting lodge and maison de plaisance, but also as a dreaded state prison. Its actual military significance was rather marginal.

Since 1955 the fortress has been an open-air, military history museum of high touristic value.