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 the end of the 1600s it was already in ruins. Archaeological excavations started in the 1960s. In 2014 the castle was completely rebuilt, the reconstructed rooms are furnished with Mediaeval-style furniture.

The first castle was an earthwork and timber castle. The castle that stands today was probably built by King Béla IV, who, after the Mongols left the country, ordered a castle to be built on every hilltop. In the earliest times the castle was an oval structure with a rounded donjon, surrounded by a polygonal outer wall. In 1316 it was mentioned as 'new castle', which confirms the theory that it was built in place of a destroyed castle. Judging from a document listing the taxes paid by towns in 1330 it seems the town around the castle was one of the richest towns of the county.

The castle had its prime during the reign of Louis I (Louis the Great). Its importance lay in standing near the road leading to Poland (the mother of Louis the Great, Elizabeth Lokietkówna, was a Polish princess; Louis himself became King of Poland in 1370.) The king had the castle rebuilt and modernised. Surrounded by several walls, the inner castle was built around a rectangular courtyard, and it had four towers, one on each corner. On the first floor were the storerooms and on the second floor were the rooms and the Knights' Hall, which was 25 meters long and 13 meters wide. The modernising of the castle was finished under the reign of Louis' daughter Mary. The castle was surrounded by a 4 metre deep moat.

In 1364 the nearby town Miskolc was annexed to the Diósgyőr estate. In 1381 the Peace Treaty of Turin was signed in the castle of Diósgyőr. In the treaty the Italian town of Venice was compelled to raise the flag of the Anjou dynasty on the St. Mark square every Sunday. In the north-eastern tower of the castle there is a waxworks exhibition showing the wax figures of King Louis and the Venetian envoy.

Diósgyőr lost some of its importance when the personal union between Hungary and Poland ended (Louis shared the two countries between his two daughters Mary and Jadwiga.) For the next few centuries the castle was a holiday residence for queens. The last queen owning the castle was Maria, wife of Louis II. She gave up the castle formally in 1546 (by this time it had been occupied by the ruling prince of Transylvania.)

When the Ottoman army began to occupy the southern territories of Hungary, the castle was fortified. Its owners, the Gyarmati Balassa family turned it into a large fortress, and they had an Italian-style rondelle built to the north-western tower. The slim turrets were replaced by strong bastions. This was the last time the castle was rebuilt; after 1564 the owners changed frequently, and the castle slowly deteriorated. In 1596 the Ottoman army occupied the Castle of Eger and defeated the Christian army at Mezőkeresztes. The castle of Diósgyőr fell too; it was built to be a holiday residence and was never intended to be a large fortress that withstands the siege of a foreign army. From this time Diósgyőr was under Ottoman occupation and the area was ruled by the Pasha of Eger until 1687 when this part of the country was freed from Turkish rule. By this time the castle lost all of its military importance.

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Founded: 14th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Hungary

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4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Vladimír Lacko (2 years ago)
Located not far from the center of Miskolc. It was recently renovated - large and really complex renovation. There are about 20 rooms/large spaces to see, full of decorations, furniture, ancient artefacts. Audio guide, touch screens, video projections ... it is definitely worth a visit.
Rajmund Schilling (2 years ago)
Very nice, well worth the price of admission. Tour guide included. Tours not in English though.
Przemek Sikorski (2 years ago)
Very nice castle. There are lot of different chambers to visit, especially I recommend this one with spices in which you can feel the smell of different herbs and etc. Staff is very friendly. In chambers you can find descriptions, some simple puzzle games and lot of different interesting things. Definitely you must visit if you're nearby Miskolc.
Barney Mezey (3 years ago)
We absolutely loved it. It is a fantastic castle to get a glimpse into the medieval world. There are interesting rooms showing the day to day operations of various crafts and interesting exhibitions of how the nobility lived. The kids activities are great too.
Ade Krownwell (3 years ago)
Modern renovations, looks medieval and also modern and stable. The inside rooms are brilliant and from the rooftop all the city is visible. Interactive screens with diverse games inside, including a photography maker machine that sends you a postcard with your personal photo on e-mail on the spot. Worth the ticket!
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