Ruins in Hungary

St. Mary Magdalene's Church Tower

The St. Mary Magdalene"s Church, dating from the middle of the 13th century, originally served as the parish church for the Hungarian citizens of the town (the Mátyás Church was for the use of the town’s German citizens). During the 14th and 15th centuries it was enlarged several times. During the first-half of the Turkish occupation it remained the only Christian church in the Castle; during the ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Budapest, Hungary

Székesfehérvár Basilica Ruins

The Cathedral Basilica of Saint Stephen was built in the late 1010s by Saint Stephen I, the first King of Hungary. It was the most significant place of the Kingdom of Hungary in the Middle Ages, as it contained the crown jewels, including the throne, the Holy Crown of Hungary, the treasury and the archives. 37 kings and 39 queens consort were crowned in this basilica and 15 were buried in it. In 1543, the Turks occupied S ...
Founded: c. 1010 | Location: Székesfehérvár, 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

Csesznek Castle Ruins

Csesznek castle was built around 1263 by the Jakab Cseszneky who was the swordbearer of the King Béla IV. He and his descendants have been named after the castle Cseszneky. Between 1326 and 1392 it was a royal castle, when King Sigismund offered it to the House of Garai in lieu of the Macsó Banate. In 1482 the male line of the Garai family died out, and King Matthias Corvinus donated the castle to the Szapolyai family. ...
Founded: 1263 | Location: Csesznek, Hungary

Drégely Castle Ruins

Drégely Castle was probably built by the Bozók branch of the Hunt-Poznan family in the second half of the 13th century, during the Árpád dynasty, by order of Béla IV. It was first mentioned in a charter of 1285 as the possession of Demeter of the Hunt-Poznan family. The proprietors had to surrender to Máté Csák III in 1311. After the death of this oligarch in 1321 th ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Rétsági, Hungary

Kisnána Castle Ruins

The Castle of Kisnána is one of the most beautiful remains of late-Medieval noble residences in Hungary. Its history well demonstrates the evolution and transformation of landlord residences. Like the other settlements in the Mátra region, Kisnána also belonged to the Clan Aba. In the early 13th century the Kompolti family evolved from the Clan Aba, and one of its descendants, Péter Kompolti to ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Kisnána, 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

Zselicszentjakab Abbey Ruins

The Zselicszentjakab Abbey was a Benedictine monastery established at Zselicszentjakab in the Kingdom of Hungary in 1061. Its founder was the Palatine Otto of the Győr clan. The monastery was dedicated to the Apostle Saint James the Great. The deed of the foundation of the monastery is the first extant charter issued by a nobleman in the Kingdom of Hungary.
Founded: 1061 | Location: Kaposvár, Hungary

Somogyvár Abbey Ruins

The Somogyvár Abbey was a Benedictine monastery established at Somogyvár in the Kingdom of Hungary in 1091. It was dedicated to Saint Giles.
Founded: 1091 | Location: Somogyvár, Hungary

Markaz Castle Ruins

The ruins of the former Markaz castle at the end of Vár crag lie about 2 km way from Markaz. It is assumed that the Kompolti family that belonged to the Aba genus had it built in the 1270-1280"s. The castle did not have significance from a military point of view as it was mainly used for recreation and hunting by the owners. The palace was constructed in the tiny and narrow castle with a tiny yard. On the sout ...
Founded: 1270-1280 | Location: Markaz, Hungary

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Pembroke Castle

Pembroke Castle is a Norman castle, founded in 1093. It survived many changes of ownership and is now the largest privately owned castle in Wales. It was the birthplace of Henry Tudor (later Henry VII of England) in 1457.

Pembroke Castle stands on a site that has been occupied at least since the Roman period. Roger de Montgomerie, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury founded the first castle here in the 11th century. Although only made from earth and wood, Pembroke Castle resisted several Welsh attacks and sieges over the next 30 years. The castle was established at the heart of the Norman-controlled lands of southwest Wales.

When William Rufus died, Arnulf de Montgomery joined his elder brother, Robert of Bellême, in rebellion against Henry I, William's brother and successor as king; when the rebellion failed, he was forced to forfeit all his British lands and titles. Henry appointed his castellan, but when the chosen ally turned out to be incompetent, the King reappointed Gerald in 1102. By 1138 King Stephen had given Pembroke Castle to Gilbert de Clare who used it as an important base in the Norman invasion of Ireland.

In August 1189 Richard I arranged the marriage of Isabel, de Clare's granddaughter, to William Marshal who received both the castle and the title, Earl of Pembroke. He had the castle rebuilt in stone and established the great keep at the same time. Marshal was succeeded in turn by each of his five sons. His third son, Gilbert Marshal, was responsible for enlarging and further strengthening the castle between 1234 and 1241.

Later de Valence family held Pembroke for 70 years. During this time, the town was fortified with defensive walls, three main gates and a postern. Pembroke Castle became de Valence's military base for fighting the Welsh princes during the conquest of North Wales by Edward I between 1277 and 1295.

Pembroke Castle then reverted to the crown. In the 15th and 16th centuries, the castle was a place of peace until the outbreak of the English Civil War. Although most of South Wales sided with the King, Pembroke declared for Parliament. It was besieged by Royalist troops but was saved after Parliamentary reinforcements arrived by sea from nearby Milford Haven. Parliamentary forces then went on to capture the Royalist castles of Tenby, Haverfordwest and Carew.

In 1648, at the beginning of the Second Civil War, Pembroke's commander Colonel John Poyer led a Royalist uprising. Oliver Cromwell came to Pembroke on 24 May 1648 and took the castle after a seven-week siege. Its three leaders were found guilty of treason and Cromwell ordered the castle to be destroyed. Townspeople were even encouraged to disassemble the fortress and re-use its stone for their purposes.

The castle was then abandoned and allowed to decay. It remained in ruins until 1880, when a three-year restoration project was undertaken. Nothing further was done until 1928, when Major-General Sir Ivor Philipps acquired the castle and began an extensive restoration of the castle's walls, gatehouses, and towers. After his death, a trust was set up for the castle, jointly managed by the Philipps family and Pembroke town council.

Architecture

The castle is sited on a strategic rocky promontory by the Milford Haven Waterway. The first fortification on the site was a Norman motte-and-bailey. It had earthen ramparts and a timber palisade.

In 1189, Pembroke Castle was acquired by William Marshal. He soon became Lord Marshal of England, and set about turning the earth and wood fort into an impressive Norman stone castle. The inner ward, which was constructed first, contains the huge round keep with its domed roof. Its original first-floor entrance was through an external stairwell. Inside, a spiral staircase connected its four stories. The keep's domed roof also has several putlog holes that supported a wooden fighting-platform. If the castle was attacked, the hoarding allowed defenders to go out beyond the keep's massive walls above the heads of the attackers.

The inner ward's curtain wall had a large horseshoe-shaped gateway. But only a thin wall was required along the promontory. This section of the wall has a small observation turret and a square stone platform. Domestic buildings including William Marshal's Great Hall and private apartments were within the inner ward. The 13th century keep is 23 metres tall with walls up to 6 metres thick at its base.

In the late 13th century, additional buildings were added to the inner ward, including a new Great Hall. A 55-step spiral staircase was also created that led down to a large limestone cave, known as Wogan Cavern, beneath the castle. The cave, which was created by natural water erosion, was fortified with a wall, a barred gateway and arrowslits. It may have served as a boathouse or a sallyport to the river where cargo or people could have been transferred.

The outer ward was defended by a large twin-towered gatehouse, a barbican and several round towers. The outer wall is 5 metres thick in places and constructed from Siltstone ashlar.

Although Pembroke Castle is a Norman-style enclosure castle with great keep, it can be more accurately described as a linear fortification because, like the later 13th-century castles at Caernarfon and Conwy, it was built on a rocky promontory surrounded by water. This meant that attacking forces could only assault on a narrow front. Architecturally, Pembroke's thickest walls and towers are all concentrated on its landward side facing the town, with Pembroke River providing a natural defense around the rest of its perimeter.