2011. december 10., szombat

Doba - Somló Castle - Somlóvár Castle

Mount Somló is a huge basalt-pyramid standing independently from other mountains in the county of Veszprém, Devecser region, near Somlyó-Vásárhely, its hight is 435 ms. On it's peak the ruins of a fortess can be seen, with more or less intact walls. In the lower fortress one can distinct the guard-rooms and dwellings of the lord and the kitchen with it's high chimney. On the middle of the court there was a well, nowadays its almost filled up with stones and soil.

The fortress existed as a royal property already in the 15th century. King Sigismund gave it in 1389 to the two sons of palatine Garai Miklós, Miklós and János in return for the property of Ivánkaszentgyörgy in the county of Valkó.

It remained property of the Garai family until 1457, when the palatine Garai László, who appeared in front of the convent of the St. Benedict monastery of Pannonhalma and revealed that his father Miklós, ruled the episcopate of Győr with wordly hand and used it's incomes for himself, and did not keep his promise to pay Győr church everything back. Thus he, to save his father's soul from the vengeance of God, offered the family fortress to the church of Győr.

In 1464 it becomes the property of Anthimi János. In 1495 Bakócz Tamás, bishop of Eger got it from the king and left it as a legacy in 1517 for his nephew Bakócz Péter of Erdőd. From then on the Erdődy family owns the fortress in the 16th century. From 1603 it belongs to Nádasdy Tamás, who on the 6th of January sold it together with the castels of Ugod and Devecser to Megyeri Imre and his whife, Viczai Magdolna for 6000 hungarian forints. Count Liszti János is the proprietor in 1675.

In 1707, Bottyán János general of II. Rákóczi Ferenc, when hearing the the news that Starhemberg, Rabutin and Pálffy are coming, supplied it with food and put a defence in the more or less rebuilt fortress. It had no military significance by then, so after the riot they left it to destruction.
source: www.karpatok.info

2011. december 4., vasárnap

Simontornya Castle

The Tower was built in the 13th century by Simon (Son of Salamon) among the swamps of the Sió river. The name Simontornya means Simon's Tower. Nearly all owners of the castle made some alterations throughout the centuries. The Lackfi's built a new gothic wing in the 14th century, altered the old Tower, and added an arcaded loggia to the back-front. After the extinction of the Garai family in 1482, the castle again belonged to Queen Beatrix, wife of Matthias Corvinus. Simontornya Castle from the North side

Mózes Buzlay, marshall of King Ulászló II improved the castle into a renaissance palace with the help of Italian masters and craftsmen from Buda. After Buzlays' death the castle was taken over by the Turks in 1545. This event marked the beginning of a new era with an emphasis on military requirements. During the nearly 150 years of occupation minor alterations and refinements were constantly being made.

Simontornya, the center of a sandjak was recaptured by Louis William, Margrave of Baden-Baden in 1686. In just two years (1702-1704) major alterations turned the castle into a fortress. During the revolution against the Habsburgs, led by Prince Francis II Rákóczi, Simontornya became the stronghold of the Kuruc rebels in southwest Hungary. The fortress was captured by the Austrian army in 1709 housing troops until 1717. The castle fortress was later donated to the House of Limburg-Stirum, but, after building a new a castle, they turned the old one into a barn. It has been used as a barn by all new owners until 1960, when archeological excavations started.
source: Wikipedia

2011. november 28., hétfő

Sárvár Castle / Nádasdy Castle

Today’s castle is a "result" of two former parts that were built together: the three-storey tower block from the XIII. Century (today it is the south-western part) and the one-storey wing, that is the northern part today. The fist mentioning in writing dates back to 1288.

The next large-scale construction works took place in the second half of the XV. Century, in Gothic style. Under the Kanizsai era, a three-storey residence, with vast knights’ halls, was built in place of today’s southern wing. The lower level of today’ gate-tower was built at the end of the XV. Century. By the beginning of the XVI. Century a huge, enclosed courtyard was established, which was protected by earth walls enhanced with carven wood pillars. The Nádasdy family owned the castle from 1534 to 1671. During the reconstruction in the Renaissance period the shape of the castle was formed, which can be seen today. Hans Rudolf Miller painted the ceiling frescoes in the knights’ hall1653, the paintings on the side walls, depicting scenes from the Old Testament, are the works of István Dorfmeister from 1769. Today’s defence system with ancient Italian bastions was built between 1588 and 1615. The archduke, Ferdinand Estei bought the castle in 1803, his ancestor had it restored. The Renaissance row of arcades in the eastern wing was bricked up, corridors were built in the wing on the first floor, and hence one could walk along the entire castle. The moat was filled up and the bridge, that can be seen today, was set upon it. In the XIX-XX. centuries only minor changes were made, subsequently the castle looks today like a fortified late-Renaissance (XVI-XVII century) castle.

source: Hotel Villa Classica

2011. november 23., szerda

Salgótarján - Salgó Castle

Salgó is a Hungarian stronghold near to Salgótarján (Nógrád county), 120 km from Budapest.

In the beginning it was only a square-shaped stone tower. The people called it ’Salgó’ meaning ’shine’, however it’s still not clear whether the name ’Salgó’ was the name of the volcanic peak, or they started to call the place by this name after the tower was erected. This fortified tower was built by the Kacsics clan, who were the lords around these hills in the 13th century. According to certain consideration the building of this tower related to the Mongol invasion (1241-1242), because all over Hungary only the fortified towns or castles could resist the Tartar’s army. The sieges of fortresses were not the Tatar’s cup of tea. After the invasion the king, IV. Béla ordered and supported the fortifications of manor houses and towns and the building of new strongholds.

Salgó started as a small tower (7,5 x 9,5 m) and a small castle-yard. It is thought that the cellar of the tower was used as a prison. The water-supply was a difficult one on this volcanic rock, therefore in the lower level of the peak, under the tower, they constructed a water-collecting cistern. This rock-castle had two cistern, a huge and a smaller one. The water was essential, not only for drinking but also fire fighting.

In 1460 the Hussites captured the small fortress of Salgó. King Mathias the First recaptured it in the same year and gave it to Imre Szapolyai. This time was the great age of Salgó. The lower castle-yard was built in that time and the upper castle-yard became roofed-over. This part of the yard became a living space. The lord of the castle didn’t live in Salgó but his substitute, the castellan lived in this upper yard living building. In the lower castle-yard there were the stables and the storehouses. In the 16th century a huge pentagonal battlement ( 14 x 15 m) was built in the east side of the rock.

Even this reinforced building could not resist the Turkish (Ottoman) attack. Legends were told, that Kara Hamza bey, the governor of Szécsény and Hatvan, took the castle by ruse. He made his soldiers lay tree trunks on to gun carriages and push them under the fortress. The soldiers in the tower thought that the trunks were real guns because they couldn't see well in the fog. They handed over Salgó. In the reality the fortress was shelled into ruins by the Turks. They set the artillery on the top of the neighbouring hill, opposite to Salgó called Kis-Salgó (Small-Salgó) or Boszorkánykő (The cliff of witches).

The father of Bálint Balassi, the great Hungarian poet, got the fortress (however the Turkish was in it). After his death his sons Bálint and Ferenc Kövér couldn’t decide who was the owner. It was an acrimonious lawsuit of long standing between them.

In 1593 Michael Pálffy and Christof Tieffenbach reoccupied Salgó. Bálint Balassi died in 1594 in the siege of Esztergom. The nephew of Bálint inherited the ruins of Salgó but he left it alone. The ruins became overgrown with grass and shrubs. When Sándor Petőfi another great and famous poet of Hungary climbed up to the ruins of Salgó in 1845 the atmosphere of the ruins made him write his romantic poetry: Salgó. This is a tragic story about Kompolti clan the lords of Salgó who tyrannized the region, which were under their power. The story is based on a traditional legend.

Nowadays Salgó is a well-known, beauty tourist spot.

source: Wikipedia

2011. november 17., csütörtök

Rezi Castle

The ruins stand on the suddenly narrowing ridge of the 418-metre hill. Although only a few remaining wall sections and the protective battlements still remain of the hilltop castle built in the 13th-14th century, the view is fantastic.

The elongated, irregular shape hillside fortress had an internal tower. Only the eastern portion of the keep and the eastern and western walls of the castle remain with the traces of windows and barrel vaults. The remaining walls are between 8 and 10 metres high and 120-180 centimetres thick.

It appears that the square-based keep on the northern end of the cliff was the first portion to be built. In front of this is a courtyard with a high enclosure where a round and a square tower once served to protect the gate entrance built on the southern wall. A deep and 2-metre wide dry moat was cut into the rock in front of the fort that could be crossed only over the drawbridge.

Can be visited at any time.

source: Hungary starts here

2011. november 16., szerda

Regéc Castle

The castle Regéc stands on top of the 625 m high Várhegy (Castlehill), which is situated between two villages Mogyoróska and Regéc.

The first evident about the castle dates back to 1307. The castle was built by the members of the Aba nation possibly in the XIII-XIV century. In the next centuries it was a royal possession. During the middle age the following families owned the castle, Szapolyai, Serédy, Alaghy and Esterházy.

The castle's hey day was when György Rákóczi the I., ruler of Transylvania took over the castle due to the peace treaty of Linz in 1645. In its secure courtyard Ferenc Badinyi tought the 6 year-old Ferenc the secret of the Latin language, which made his childhood difficult.

The castle served its last military purpose during the revolution, lead by Thököly, when it became a war material storage place for the "kuruc". In 1685 the mercenaries of the "keizer" blow up the wall by gunpowder.

In the 1990's the excavation of the deteriorating castle of Regéc was started thanks to the initiatives of the localpatriots.

source: Northern Castles

2011. november 14., hétfő

Pécsvárad Castle

Among the most significant Hungarian heritage from the Middle Ages is the castle built on a Benedictine monastery commissioned by King St Stephen. The building complex is now used as a museum and a hotel.

The shape of this polygonal castle was developed in the 13th century. The best-preserved part is the cannon tower of the southeastern corner, the Old Tower (Öregtorony). It currently serves as a hotel.

The ruins of the abbey can be seen in the northwestern section of the castle. Next to these is the triple-nave abbey church consecrated in 1015. One of these naves has been excavated; it is 15 metres long and closes with a semicircular apse. The sanctuary is decorated by Romanesque windows and figurative frescoes from the 12th century.

The monastery chapel also dates back to the time of St Stephen. It may be approached from the entrance at the medieval drawbridge on the north side.

The loopholes of the Romanesque mansion can be discerned to the west of the entrance. To the east is the entrance to the castle museum that provides an insight into the medieval flourishing life of the oldest Benedictine monastery in Hungary.

source: Hungary starts here

2011. október 28., péntek

Pipo de Ozora Castle

This regular 15th-century Gothic castle with an enclosed courtyard had a two-story residential block made from brick and surrounded by a defensive wall with circular towers at each corner. It was remodelled in the 18th century.
With its external facades richly articulated with tracery the castle shows late-Gothic elements. However, it gained its current shape in 1772 when the tympanum of the southern wing together with the massive arcades to the courtyard were built. At that time the other wings were already serving as granaries, with wine and tithe cellars beneath them. The basement also provided space for a prison.
The castle was commissioned by Filippo Scolari - Pipo de Ozora as he was known in Hungary - who was the son of a Florentine merchant family living in Hungary.
The castle today is a museum.
source: Hungary starts here

2011. október 27., csütörtök

Ónod Castle

In the South-Eastern direction from the town of Miskolc on the Sajó river-bank stands the castle of Ónod, the walls of which witnessed many bloody historical events in the past centuries.
We gradually learn more about the history of the castle thanks to the archeological excavation of the present days. In the 14th century the church of the peasant village of Ónod was situated in this place. Péter Czudar turned this church into a fortified private castle. Two hundered years later Péter Perényi, the guardian of the crown ordered to demolish this old block of buildings and instead he ordered to construct a castle with four corner bastions in accordance with the most contemporary Italian-style military theories of that time.
One of the tasks of the army, stationed in the castle was to through back the Turkish attacks. In 1639 the castle's defenders succesfully fought back the attack of the Ottoman army from Eger, but by the end of the century their post had been destroyed.
Because of that the "kuruc" national assembly took part on the otherside of the river in the fields of Köröm in 1707. Related to this event there is a legend about the famous "kuruc" spy Panna Czinka, who was a very good violin-player. She was charged with treachery and executed under the order of his majesty in the outskirt of Ónod, in a place, called Nyakvágó (decapitating).
source: Apartman Eged Vendégház

2011. október 20., csütörtök

Nagyvázsony - Kinizsi Castle

Kinizsi castle originating from the 14th century was extended in the 15th century in a Gothic style and refurbished in the 16th-17th century. Today the castle is a stage for Renaissance games and festivals.
Go through the gate of the outer round bastion into the castle, then cross the bridge across the 'wolf pit' pit full of water and pass through the inner gate tower into the courtyard.
This courtyard is surrounded by the buildings of the palace. Here stands the 29-metre high keep or 'old-tower' which is today a museum.
From the courtyard steps lead to the chapel in which the most important sight is the red marble lid and its remnants of Pál Kinizsi's sarcophagus. The gravestone originally safeguarded the earthly remnants of the forceful commander in the church of the Pauline monastery he had founded. However, after the crumbling walls had collapsed onto the gravestone the sarcophagus was dug out and then broken open by treasure hunters in 1708. Pieces of the broken gravestone were placed in the castle.
Weddings are still held in the castle chapel. Castle games are held every day at 11 am and 3 pm in July. At the Kinizsi Festival held annually on the first weekend of August, the lord of the castle himself appears in the company of his wife to observe the knights' tournament, the performance of the Italian flag throwers and the battle of the Hungarian and Turkish troops.
source: Hungary starts here

2011. október 9., vasárnap

Magyaregregy - Márévár Castle

Máré Castle, in the southern Transdanubia village of Magyaregregy, was built in Gothic style in the 13th century on the remains of a Roman watchtower, and later rebuilt in Renaissance style. According to legend, Máré was a soldier who lived in the castle with his wife, and another soldier, Miklós, lived nearby. When the king called the soldiers to the army, Máré left, but Miklós stayed. Miklós and Máré's wife fell in love and eventually had a daughter. When Máré came home from the war, he went into a rage, destroyed the castle and killed his wife. The daughter born out of wedlock survived by hiding in the cellar, but before Máré's wife died, she cursed her daughter, making her the protector of the castle's treasures. The curse imprisoned her daughter in the cellar and she will not be free until someone dares to kiss her in the form of a bull, a snake or a frog.
source: caboodle.hu

2011. október 5., szerda

Kőszeg - Jurisics Castle

The walled town and the castle within were part of the national defence system. The Gothic inner castle built in the 13th-14th-century was later refurbished in a Renaissance and Baroque style.
The castle evolved continuously from the 13th-century onwards. Not only of a strategic and defensive nature, it also had a status role as the centre of the Kőszeg estate. To this day the castle's twin character has been preserved and it is easy to imagine both the outer and the inner castle surrounded by a moat. Although today a stone bridge leads towards the gate of the outer castle, the stone sockets above the gate bear witness to the former drawbridge.
In the outer castle courtyard is a statue of castle defender Nikola Jurisic (Jurisics Miklós) as well as part of the castle's former outbuildings. The stone bridge leading to the inner castle was laid following dismantlement of the drawbridge.
The trapezoid inner castle courtyard is framed by an arcade erected on the second storey following a 1777 fire. From the courtyard only the eastern wing has retained its original shape. Passing the so-called 'stairway house' visitors may enter the exhibition halls of the Jurisics Castle Museum (Vármúzeum) from where the splendid facade of the Kőszegi Palace (1279-90) can be enjoyed. Another stairway leads up to the knights' hall built between 1392 and 1441. In the north wing Gothic ornamental wall paintings have been preserved. Several decades later, from 1483 to 1490 the late Gothic-early Renaissance row of windows was created along with Renaissance wall paintings and sgraffito. The castle's east and south wings were constructed from the second half of the 15th to the first half of the 16th century. From 1616 to 1695 the inner courtyard was once again refurbished.
The castle owes its name to its captain and defender during the Turkish period, Nikola Jurisics. Some also call it Esterházy Castle given that the Esterházy family owned it for the longest period of 236 years.
Today the castle is home to the Jurisics Community Centre and to the exhibitions of the Castle Museum.
source: Hungary starts here

2011. október 4., kedd

Kisnána Castle

At the southern part of the Mátra, where the high mountain ranges are turning into downs - there you will find Kisnána, a village situated in a picturesque site equally suitable for hiking, hunting and relaxation.
The knight's castle of the Kompoltis is the best known sight of the village. Only the donjon, gatehouse, castle walls, and the church tower reminds us of the old times.
The castle was built by the Kompoltis, a family originated from the Aba clan. The Kompoltis were expanding to the extent possible, and laid down the foundations of a safe home a short time after the Mongol invasion of Hungary in 1241-42. Then the fortress was being slowly formed into a genuine baronial residence.
Although the castle of Kisnána was never reinforced with outer round bastions and battlements, its high and strong walls offered a safe shelter against unexpected attacks in the age of longbows and catapults.
The Kompoltis were followed by the Losonczys. László Móré, a robber baron feared throughout the country was their relative. He and his cruel men were plundering the Hungarians, Turks and Germans, equally. He scraped together an enormous fortune, but finally he drew upon himself the hatred of the pasha of Buda.
The robber baron had to run away to the fortress of Kisnána with the pasha's armies at his heels. László Móré resorted to a trick: thinking of the besiegers' greed he threw down many gold pieces to them. But he could not stop the Turkish soldiers by that, so Móré's eyrie was occupied and the baron was taken to the Seven Towers, a prison in Constantinople.
Even today, some villagers are telling old tales about Móré's treasure that was hidden in the ground somewhere in the fortress. Of course, no one has found the treasure so far, but the legend lives on...
source: ektf.hu

2011. szeptember 28., szerda

Hollókő Castle

Among the hills of Cserhát the castle of Hollókő stands on a cliff only for a few steps away from the Old village, which is part of the UNESCO World Heritage. The castle is visited by many tourist all-year-round.
According to contemporary documents the earliest buildings were established by Kacsics nation, among them were the pentagonal old tower. In the XIV. century Máté Csák took over the castle, from whom the army of King Károly Anjou took it back. In the next decades it belonged to the baron Szécsényi family. Though its owners tried to build up its defences, by the XVI. century it lost its military position.
In 1550 György Kapitány captain of the castle fighted his famous duel with the Aga of Szandavár. After the expulsion of the Turks the castle became useles and were partly destroyed by the Habsburg army. Then the local inhabitants continued with removing the stones of the castle. The restoration, started in 1960-es put an end to the destruction of the castle and made it possible to open up a castle museum behind its old walls at present.
According to the legend András Kacsics kidnapped his neighbour's wife and kept her in his castle. The lady's wet-nurse - being a witch - managed to convince the devil to help her to set the lady free. The devil's sons changed into crows and disassembled the castle stone by stone, in this way the lady became free. But the crows carried the stones into the hill of Szár and built the castle of Hollókő at its present location.
Nowadays only some remainders of the wall of the inner castle and the cannon of the outdoor castle remained.
source: Északi Várak

2011. szeptember 27., kedd

Döbrönte: Szarvaskő Castle

On the north coast of the Bakony Mountains, on downs over the valley of the Bittva brook ridge the spectacular command castle of Döbrönte was built. The castle was built by Benedek Himfi, who was a Bulgarian viceroy and the reeve of the bakony king’s hunt, with the permission of King Lajos I. for the protection of his property. According to chronicles it was built in 1367-74.
In the 15th century the Himfi’s sank armod, brigand, loot, and their castle became a robbercastle. They stormed the surrounding villages including the monastery of Pannonhalma, so King Mátyás condemned their property for a short time and he donated it to the Kanizsai’s.
Imre Himfi, the captain of Visegrád was the last member of his family. His castles and property was given to Ferenc Essegvári and his only daughter. The captain of Pápa and Somló Szapolyai’s had the castle of Döbrönte rebuilt and extended after 1526. He had the outdoor castle and this defender cannon built. During the Turkish occupation the Essegvári family became poor and they couldn’t maintain the castle so it was held by the king guard after 1550.
About 1640 the successors of the Essegváris lived there, but in the second half of the 17th century it began to fall.
The irregular ground-plan castle of Döbrönte, which was standing on a rocky edge, was an indoor towered castle with 1.5 to 2-meter-thick walls. The window openings which can be seen on the remainders of the wall originate from the 17th century reconstruction. The castle was rounded by rampart and chase, then additional chase and rampart dissevered it from the inner, palatial castle of Benedek Himfi viceroy.
Nowadays only some remainders of the wall of the inner castle and the cannon of the outdoor castle remained.
source: http://fured.loczy.sulinet.hu

2011. szeptember 26., hétfő

Miskolc - Diósgyőr Castle

Diosgyor castle started life most likely as an earthwork castle in the 12th century and which was later destroyed during the Mongol invasion of 1241–1242. The current castle, which stands today, is a result of an order by King Bela IV who, after the Mongols withdrew from the country, ordered that every hill top had to have a castle constructed upon it. Diosgyor was oval in shape with a rounded donjon, encompassed by a polygonal outer wall.
The castles hey day was during the rule of Louis I, who modernised and refurbished the castle. These modernisations included an inner castle which was built around a rectangular courtyard and had four towers, one on each angle. The first floor contained the storerooms, whilst the second floor contained the rooms and the Knights' Hall. As well as the fore mentioned, the castle was surrounded by a four meter deep moat. The modernisation programme was finally finished during the rule of Mary, who was Louis’s daughter.
In 1364 the nearby town of Miskolc came under the control of the Diósgyõr estate. Whilst in 1381, the Peace Treaty of Turin was signed at Diosgyor castle. The treaty compelled the Italian town of Venice to raise the flag of the Anjou dynasty in St. Mark's square every Sunday.
Diósgyõr castle started to loose its status when the personal union between Hungary and Poland ended (Louis had shared the two countries between his two daughters Mary and Jadwiga.) Over the perusing centuries the castle became a holiday home for the ruling monarchy.
During the time of the Ottoman occupation of the southern territories of Hungary, Diosgyor castle was further fortified against the advancing armies. The present ruling family turned it into a large fortress, and had an Italian-style rondelle constructed in the north-western tower with enforced bastions replacing the smaller turrets. These were the final alterations to take place at the castle as from 1564 the owners changed frequently, and the castle slowly deteriorated.
In 1596 the Ottoman army defeated the Christian army at Mezõkeresztes with Diósgyõr falling into the hands of the advancing army. For the next 90 years, Diósgyõr was under the control of the Ottoman Empire until 1687 when it was freed from Turkish rule.
In 1953 restoration of Diosgyor castle was started with only the areas being restored were those threatened with collapse. In the north-eastern tower there is an exhibition of the history of the castle, a weapons exhibition and the waxworks showing the singing of the Torino Peace Treaty. The south-western tower is in ruins.
Sadly, today instead of the rolling hills and countryside of it former past, Diosgyor castle is surrounded by concrete buildings and the trappings of a modern city.
source: Guide to Castles of Europe

2011. szeptember 24., szombat

Csókakő Castle

As part of the system of borderline fortifications in the Vértes Mountains, Csókakő Castle was built and first owned by the Csák clan in order to guard the main road between Győr and Komárom. The first written document dates back to 1299. The name originates in Chowka, an early nickname for Stephen. It was King Charles I who, recognising the strategic importance of the castle, made it a royal possession in 1327. Later it became the property of various noble families. Following the Turkish occupation, German soldiers were stationed in the castle which, as its owners did not care much about maintenance, gradually fell into ruin. The outstanding strategic position of the castle was due to the steep, almost vertical hillsides on three sides. It was only approachable from the west, where it was defended by a ditch, a drawbridge and a gatehouse with loopholes. Today the ruins nestle on a rocky ledge above the small settlement built among vineyards. The first inhabitants were settled here by Count Lamberg in the 1750s. These days, the village is a favourite centre of rural tourism owing the beauty of the landscape, the history of the region and the fiery wines.
source: Közalapítvány / Pro Vértes Public Foundation for Nature Conservation

2011. szeptember 19., hétfő

Csobánc Castle

The castle of Csobánc was mentioned in a document for the first time in 1272, but the owner is unknown to us. We know, however, that from 1300 on for about 400 years the estate was owned by the Gyulaffys, who belonged to the clan of "Rátót". Together with the castle of Hegyesd it controlled the road between Veszprém and Tapolca. After the fall of Veszprém (1552) it became a member of the royal border castle-system. It was never occupied by the Turks. In 1554 Gyulaffy László with his troops repelled the turkish aggressors, but in 1561 Aga Pajazit took Hegyesd, and then Csobánc got into a difficult situation. Gyulaffy challenged Aga Pajazit to a duel, he ran the armoured turk through the body with his spear, which could be pulled out of the dead body only with the help of a hatchet. In the time of the Rákóczi War of Independence the insurrectionists occupied the fortress, and it became an important provision-centre for them. In 1707 the emperor's troops failed to besiege the castle, but in 1709 they succeeded in occupying it. The damages caused by the attacks were not restored, and this way it began to decay. The walls of the big tower are reaching as high as 8m today as well, but only some stumps have remained from the other walls. source: elisanet.fi

2011. szeptember 16., péntek

Bánd, Essegvár Castle

In the boundary of the village of Bánd there’s a little but steep slope where you can find the relic of 9-10-meter-high towers. Besides these are only a part of the outer walls remained from the castle. The castle was built in the middle of the 13th century. At this time it was owned by Pankotai Lőrinc from whom the Essegváris bought it in 1309. They were followed by the Kőszegis, the Rozgonyis, then the Újlakis from 1457 to the dying out of the family. During the Ottoman occupation of Hungary the castle wasn’t mentioned so it’s likely that after the fall of Veszprém it was destroyed. In a 1641 list it appeared again as a ruin. source: Castles and palaces in Veszprém county

2011. szeptember 15., csütörtök

Buda Castle

After the Mongolian conquest in the 13th century, King Béla IV. ordered fortresses from stone to be built. The fortress of Buda was also founded at that time. The castle reached its golden age during the rule of the renaissance king, Matthias. He had it enlarged and transformed to a palace. The Buda Palace Later, during the Turkish occupation of Hungary, it was under Turkish rule for over 150 years. Not even the Habsburgs cared much about it, as the empire was ruled from Vienna. During the second world war it was badly damaged. The Palace was founded around 1247, but the royal seat was in Visegrád until the 15th century. It went under major reconstructions several times. Firstly, King Matthias converted the fortification to a palace, later Maria Theresa had it rebuilt and enlarged. In the 19th century the famous Hungarian architect Miklós Ybl got the comission to reconstruct it. From the original fittings unfortunately nothing was left. Today the buildings house the National Gallery, the National Library and the Historical Museum. From the panorama terrace there is a magnificent view of the Pest side. The funicular railway One way of getting to the palace is by the funicular next to the Tunnel, which has a 95 metres long, 48% steep track and offers one of the most astonishing panoramas in the World - as mentioned in a popular travel blog. The Dísz tér is to be found on the northern side of the palace. It was the place of the market during the middle ages, the place where executions were performed too. Szentháromság tér (Holy Trinity square) is situated in front of the Matthias Church, it is the place, where all major streets of the castle district meet. In the middle of the Szentháromság tér a Holy Trinity coloumn was erected to commemorate the plague epidemic in 1709. The Castle district The first Town Hall of Buda faces the square, which was built after the end of the Turkish occupation. Off the beaten track in the smaller side streets one can still feel the atmosphere of old ages, you can see hidden courtyards, signs of the guilds, beautifully reconstructed citizenhouses. A range of Amsterdam holiday apartments to rent in Central Amsterdam. Tóth Árpád sétány also worth a walk. The Castle district of Buda is part of the World Heritage since 1987. source: budapestinfo.org

2011. szeptember 14., szerda

Szeged Castle

The castle of Szeged was built parallel to the river Tisza with an irregular layout but roughly rectangular in shape. On every corner of the castle stood a circular tower built for defensive purposes, and the walls on everySzeged Hungary Church side were also fitted with rectangular towers. The castle’s palace was situated west of the southern gate and was turned into an artillery storage space from the 18th century. The circular tower on the south-eastern side of the castle was far bigger than the other towers. It was later named the water tower because it stood on the banks of the river. The thickness of its walls surpassed all others so experts think that it was originally a medieval old tower.

In the 18th century the castle was surrounded by a water filled ditch which was 18-19 meters wide and 3-3,5 meters deep. The water of the ditch was fed by the river Tisza. Although it is not a proven fact the castle was most probably planned by the French engineer Villard de HOnnecourt, who was invited to Hungary by King Béla the 4th.

The building of the castle started in 1247 due to the privileges given by King Béla the 4th right after the invasion of nomad tribes. It is most likely that the building of the castle was carried out by replacing the existing wooden castle walls and towers with stone built ones. The first official document mentioning the castle is from the reign of Róbert Károly when the castle was managed by master Pál who was the son of Dénes from the Dorosma clan. As a king’s castle the ownership of it changed many times with the reign of Hungarian kings.

In 1524 after King Lajos the 2nd paid off a debt of 2000 forints the castle of Szeged was passed on to the archbishop of Esztergom.

After a Turkish attack the Szeged Hungary Hotel Squarecastle was rebuilt by the order of King János in 1528. 14 years later the city of Szeged and the castle was sieged again by the Turks and was finally captured. The strengthening of the badly damaged castle was almost immediately started by the Turks (castle walls were built higher, the water filled ditch was cleaned and deepened, ditches and bastions out of dirt were erected to protect the city laying south of the castle). According to historical sources the number of castle guards was 323 in 1545 and 348 seven years later. The name of the first Turkish ruler of the Szeged area was Mustafa.

The recapture of the castle started with an assault on October 5th, 1688. The troops were lead by captain De la Vergne who died of severe wounds sustained during combat. Baron György Wallis took over command and other leader worth mentioning who took part in the battle were Barkóczy, Petneházy and Bercsényi Jr and baron István Károlyi. Since the defenders of the castle did not receive any help they surrendered the castle on October 23rd.

In 1704 during the war of independence with the leadership of István Andrássy and Ádám Vass 8000 soldiers tried to capture the castle of Szeged but failed. Later in July Ferenc Rákóczi the 2nd also took siege of the castle but was also unsuccessful.

Szeged Hungary Walking StreetAfter the Szatmári peace treaty the castle was strengthened between 1714 and 1716 according to the plans of De le Croix Paitis.

The irony is that the demise of the castle was not caused by war or the enemy but by the force of nature. Due to the Great Flood of 1879 the eastern wall and north-eastern tower fell into the Tisza river. Since the ruined castle lost its significance and was deemed just a big obstacle in the rebuilding of the city the residence of Szeged started to demolish the remainder of the castle walls.

The only remnants of the once important castle are the water tower still found on the banks of the river and small ruins of the castle interior from the time of Mária Terézia.
source: hungaryrooms.com

2011. szeptember 13., kedd

Eger Castle

Eger is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Hungary. Situated in the northeast, the town is rich in historic monuments and famous for its wines and medicinal waters.

St. Stephen, first king of Hungary, founded a bishopric in Eger sometime between 1001 and 1009 AD. The town’s ecclesiastical importance led to the construction of a stone fortress for its protection in 1248, built around a Romanesque cathedral. Over the next several hundred years, high- and late-Gothic cathedrals were built to replace this church, which had since fallen into ruin. The episcopal seat, situated within the castle precinct, enjoyed its golden age during the 15th century Renaissance, when the town was one of the country’s most important cultural centres. By the 16th century, the Turkish invasion was in full swing, with Buda falling in the 1540’s. In 1552 the Turks turned their attention to one of the biggest obstacles in the region, the fortress of Eger. The Hungarian defenders, only two thousand strong, managed to withstand a five-week siege by a force about forty times its size. This heroic show of defiance is considered to be one of the most outstanding military events in Hungarian history, and was immortalized in Géza Gárdonyi’s world-famous historical novel, Egri Csillagok (lit. “The Stars of Eger” though the English translation used the alternate title “Eclipse of the Crescent Moon”).

The fortress of Eger, now a protected historic monument, is the site of the István Dobó Castle Museum. Permanent exhibitions cover the history of the castle, the underground fortification system (Casemates), while another exhibits the medieval forms of punishment. Carvings from the destroyed cathedral can be seen in the lapidarium, while the marble sarcophagus of István Dobó, the heroic captain of the fortress during the 1552 siege, can be found in the Heroes’ Hall. The Art Gallery, also hosted in the castle, has one of the finest art collections in Hungary with works by Dutch, Italian, Austrian, and Hungarian masters.

There are also various programmes offered to visitors alongside the exhibitions to illustrate the historical traditions of the fortress.

2011. június 28., kedd

Sirok Castle

On the east range of Mátra vulcanic peak can be found the robust block of Castle of Sirok. As a result of the reconstruction work taking place in the present days a solid road service leads to the monument so we can reach the many centuries old walls with comfortable strolls.

We take our footsteps to a special scene because the builders of the castle in the 13th century used the inner side of the mountain as well and they engraved tunnels and smaller or bigger rooms into the volcanic stone.

It was taken from Aba clan by King Károly's troops from Anjou dynasty, the people of the surrounding villages had to serve the lands of the castle. In the 1560's gun bastion lower castle was built but it was useless because the cowardly guards gave over the castle to the Turkish without any fight. More than hundred years past when the imperial mercenary took it back who partly exploded the defending walls.

Without owner the weather constantly destroyed its walls until 1960's since when the castle, which is in harmony with the nature, has been reconstructed in several steps. Nearby the so called Barát (Friend) and Apáca (nun) cliffs are situated. According to the folk tradition these cliffs are hiding a couple who grew stiff because of love unhappiness.
source: www.latvany-terkep.hu

2011. június 24., péntek

A new historical castle is on Castles of Slovakia:: Bratislava castle

Castles of Slovakia: Bratislava castle: "History The construction of a new castle of stone started in the 10th century, but it was not finished. Under King Stephen I of Hungary..."

Füzér Castle

On the Northen part of the Zemplén mountains stands the castle of Füzér in a cliff. You can drive your car until the parking lot, situated next to the houses of the village, from here a beautiful walking path leads to the hilltop.

Füzéri vár rekonstrukciós rajzaIt is likely that one of the members of the Aba family ordered to build the castle. It was first mentioned in a charter from 1264. Many times it was part of the King's properties, then it was possessed by baron Perényi. In 1526 Péter Perényi, guardian of the crown - after the crowning of János Szapolyai - hide the crown in the castle of Füzér for a year. In the XVI. century the owners of the castle fortified it in accordance with the military theory and built an Italian tower around the castle gate. The last pledge taker was Ferenc Bónis. The general of the town of Kassa ordered to set the castle on fire to avoid becoming a hiding place for the rebels.

Later Károlyi landlords commissioned Kálmán Lux, architect to carry out the most urgent preservation works on the castle, which was in a deteriorating condition.

From 1970 István Feld and Juan Cabello archeologists examined the remains. Since 1992 the excavation and restoration works are carried out under the supervision of Zoltán Simon. Meanwhile the society of castle friends was established by the local inhabitants. In the summer castle plays revive the history of the castle.
source: fuzer.hu

2011. június 18., szombat

Boldogkő Castle


The castle was built for the order of king Béla IV, after the invasion of the Mongols in 1241-42, by the Tomaj family. It was first mentioned in 1282, when it became the property of the king. In the next centuries the ownership of the castle changed several times, eg. it was owned by king László IV, Aba Amádé, Károly Róbert, the Drugeth family, king Zsigmond, Czudar Péter, Brankovics György, king Matthias, Szapolyai János, Báthori István, Martinuzzi Fráter György, the Bebek family, Rákóczi György I., etc. The Germans blew it up in 1702 - like nearly all other castles in the Kingdom of Hungary - after the lost war for independence led by Rákóczi Ferenc II. Its last owners were the Zichys before the nationalization in 1947.
source: karpatok

2011. június 17., péntek

A historical Hungarian castle on: Castles of Slovakia: Orava Castle

Castles of Slovakia: Orava Castle: "History Orava Castle (Hungarian: Árva vára, German: Arwaburg, Slovak: Oravský hrad) is situated on a high rock above Orava river. It i..."

Siklós Castle

Towering above the surrounding countryside, the Siklós Castle was built in the late 13th century. It was steadily expanded in the centuries to come, eventually belonging to the Garai estate. According to legend, the family jewels were guarded in the castle prison by a python 12 metres in length and as thick as a tree trunk. The snake even appears on the Garai family crest above the chapel entrance.

The Renaissance fortress was later owned by King Mátyás and his son János Corvin before passing to palatine Imre Perényi in 1515. Siklós fell into Turkish hands from 1543 to 1686 and was conquered by Kuruc forces during Rákóczi's war of independence. The exhibitions in the castle offer something for everyone, including relics of the castle itself, the town and the battles fought around it, masonry from the Middle Ages, and artefacts relating to hunting, painting and folk art. There is even an exhibition of gloves and related fashion through the ages, and the rich heritage of the Villány-Siklós wine region is also represented here. At the foot of the hill, Siklós offers much more to see, such as the restored Turkish monuments, the djami of Bey Malkoc and a beautiful Franciscan church. Weary travellers will appreciate the opportunity to unwind at the Harkány medicinal baths no more than a short drive away.
source: pelasta

2011. június 16., csütörtök


The medieval castle of Csesznek was built about 1263 by the Baron Jakab Cseszneky who was the swordbearer of the King Béla IV. He and his descendants have been called after the castle Cseszneky.
Between 1326 and 1392 it was royal castle when King Sigismund changed offered it for the Garai family in lieu of the Macsó Banate.
In 1482 the male line of the Garais died out and King Matthias Corvinus donated the castle to the Szapolyai family. In 1527 Baron Bálint Török took it up.
During the 16th century the Csábi, Szelestey and Wathay families were in possession of Csesznek. In 1561 Lőrinc Wathay repulsed successfully the siege of the Ottomans. However, in 1594 the castle was occupied by the Turkish troops, but already in 1598 the Hungarians recaptured it.
In 1635 Dániel Esterházy bought the castle and village and from that time on Csesznek was the property of the Esterházy family till 1945.
source: wikipedia