Szigliget, the pearl of Lake Balaton
Szigliget was formerly called “Sziget-liget” (island-park) or “Zeg-Ligeth”, and certainly not by accident! In those days it was really an island but when in the 19th century the Lake of Balaton was drained, it became a peninsula. Today three large hills and the valley lying between them dominate the landscape, where were people living already the stone age people, and today it is the home of almost one thousand people.
Although Szigliget is not as trendy destination as Tihany or Siofok, it is still one of the most visited tourist sites. It is a peaceful, quiet little settlement.
The old center of the village
The Old Village lies on the south side of the Castle Hill. This is the oldest, most romantic, most charming part of this historic settlement of Szigliget, full of ethnographic monuments including houses, thatched mansions, nice barns, winding, steep streets. This part of the village is a conservation area.
The Szigliget Castle
From the old village center of Szigliget you have to take a steep path to reach the Szigliget Castle, that is standing lonely on the nearby peak. As we arrive to the 230 -meter-high hill , we can step into the remains of the irregularly shaped fortress elongated into the north-south direction, which offers a majestic scenery even if today it is only a castle ruin. The castle was built by the abbot of Pannonhalma between the years 1260-12621. It was transformed or extended several times over the passed years.
The Fortress of Szigliget also had a defending role during the Turkish wars. The remains of the chapel, the prison, the drawbridge gate, the palace and the walls with battlement blows takes us back in time with hundreds of years. Visit the oldest part of the castle, the Old Tower, which lies on the south side, on the highest point.
After many years of splendor, the Szigliget Fortess had a sad fate. At the end of the 17th century, because of a lightning it was almost totally burned, then the locals scattered the remaining stones to the nearby construction sites. If you look around from up here, you will see a luxurious romantic landscape with rich parks, dense forests, steep mountain sides, gently sloping valleys. When you stand on the Castle Hill, in the middle of this beautiful surrounding, you feel an almost irresistible urge to take a long walk in the forest and deeply inhale the fresh humid air.