Visegrád Castle

Visegrád, Hungary

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 custom’s house. The fortress consisted of two parts.

The construction of the Lower Castle started under the reign of Béla IV around 1247. It was unique, as the fortress was not located next to the road differing from the common traditions, but the road was crossing the territory of the castle. The most interesting part of the Lower Castle is the so called Solomon Tower. The Tower was named after a false story, stating that Solomon was guarded in this Tower after loosing in the battle for the throne against King Saint Laszlo and Geza.

This unique Hungarian building was constructed based on a southern-German design. Under the reign of Louis the Great King of Hungary, the famous bell-founder Konrád Gaal was operating in the fortress. Today the Tower is hosting a five-storey museum, introducing the history of Visegrád to its visitors.

In 1246 Béla IV started the construction of the Citadel on an area with outstanding geographical characteristics, by the using the money from the family jewels of his wife, Mária Lascaris to build a refugee for the Dominican Order nuns living on the ’Rabbits Island’ (today’s Margaret Island). At that time the plan of the fortress was triangle-shaped, with two towers.

The Old Tower was erected at a location most at risk, and the Gate Tower protected the southern entrance. The significance of the fortress considerably improved during the Anjou era. Once Charles Robert obtained the fortress from Máté Csák, he moved the royal court here in 1323.

The Visegrád Citadel hosted the famous Royal Summit of Kings, and the first Anjou King died in the castle in 1370. The Saint Crown of Hungary was guarded here. When Louis the Great became the King of Poland in 1370, the Polish crown was also stored in the castle. The palace wings and a new external wall was erected during the Anjou reign. Sigismund of Luxemburg extended the fortification with a third set of walls and carried out several lavish constructions.

Following the Turkish reign, after the liberation of Buda in 1686 the Habsburgs conquered the fortress after a 5-day siege. Due to the dissolution of the border castle system the fortification became unwanted and was left to ruin.

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Address

11116, Visegrád, Hungary
See all sites in Visegrád

Details

Founded: 1247
Category: Castles and fortifications in Hungary

Rating

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

JoAnn Shepherd (19 months ago)
Lovely view of Danube, great history! Worth the trip from Budapest.
Evalynn B. (20 months ago)
If someone visits Visegrad and the River Danube bend, it is a must to see. Though still need a bit of a restoration to lift it up to a higher standard, but it is still a nice historical place with good view from the hill. There are a few restaurants, hotels, guest houses to stay, The bobsled track to have fun and it is a great place to stay 1-2 days and look around. Very peaceful, quiet, green with fresh air and nice environment.
Melania Usai (2 years ago)
Breathtaking view on the river and across the border to Slovakia. Well worth the visit, you can tour in half an hour.
satish. chekuri (2 years ago)
Great view of the river from the castle, the parking is around 1€ and you also need to pay for the entrance to the castle. The views are amazing, but it might be worth it to go when the castle is close to check them, that way the entrance is free to the surroundings.
Zoli Bertli (2 years ago)
We met a very beautiful cat who let us in for free but this time the castle was closed. Anyway, the view is amazing.
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