The famous Visegrad Castle

The Visegrad Castle

The Visegrad Castle ©sander_123/Flick

The Slavic name of the city of Visegrad means higher castle. And indeed, the Visegrád Castle rises majestically above the region. From that place on the top of the city we can have an indescribable sight, you see almost the entire bending Danube. The fortification that is staying there is not the first castle built here. The first castle, which was destroyed during the Mongol invasion, was built on the Sibrik Hill on the foundations of a former Roman camp.

The Visegrad castle system was built between the years 1250-1260 to the request of Bela and his wife Queen Mary Lascaric, from the dowry of the Queen.

The upper fort

The Visegrad Castle consists of the fort walls surrounding the hilltop, two towers and a palace. In later times King Charles Robert placed the capital to Visegrad and extended the castle. There took place of the famous meeting of the kings in 1335. The castle was modernized at the time of Sigismund, and probably that was the time when the made house was built as well

The Visegrad Castle

The Visegrad Castle ©Réka M. Varga/Flick

The lower castle

The upper fort was connected to the lower castle by a wall, which stretched until the bank of the Danube, and then ended with the watchtower. Through the walls led in the Middle Ages the way from Esztergom to Buda, which was closed by the gate tower in the north and a gate in the south.

The times of King Matthias

During the reign of King Matthias the palace wings of the Visegrad Castle were completely renovated. The holy crown and the jewels of the crown were preserved in the castle several times over the centuries, Visegrad even has a robbery story: In 1440, maid of honor on behalf of Queen Elizabeth stealth the holy crown from there.

The Visegrad Castle

The Visegrad Castle ©sander_123/Flick

Damages and restorations of the castle

During the Turkish occupation the castle suffered enormous devastation and in 1544 was occupied by the Turks. After that is was alternately in the hands of the Turks and of the Hungarians, and then finally the Ottomans – after it became totally unfit for military purposes – left the almost completely destroyed castle. Not only the castle, but the city was also destroyed, its re-population took a long time. The first attempts of castle restoration were made in the early 1870s, and it is still continuing today.

If you visit the famous Visegrad Castle, you can see many interesting exhibitions including the History exhibition of the castle, the Reconstructed maquette of the forts, the Holy Crown historical exhibition, the Wax museum, the Hunting, fishing and farming exhibition.

Waxwork at the Visegrad Castle

Waxwork at the Visegrad Castle ©David Spender/Flick

 

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