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Visegrad Castle - Hungary

                    The Castle Visegrad, Hungary on the Danube

 

This impressive hilltop castle ruin in Visegrad, Hungary sits on the right bank of the Danube, north of Budapest. It is one of the fascinating stops on a recent woman's tour through Hungary, Slovakia and Czech Republic.

This portion of the Danube has been inhabited since prehistoric times. The name Visegrad is first mentioned in history about 1009. The castle remains you see were built and restored by many of the Hungarian Kings, after the destructive invasion by the Mongols. King Bela IV of Hungary had a new fortification system built from 1240-50, after the invasion. The first reconstruction completed was the upper castle with three towers at its corners sitting high on top of the hill. Later in the 14th century, the castle became a royal residence once again, being enlarged with new walls and palace buildings. Hungarian Kings continued to change and enlarge the castle, palace and its fortifications. During this time, it held the Hungarian Royal Insignia in safe keeping.  Visegrad was invaded in 1540 by the Ottoman Empire, remaining in the hands of the Turks until 1685.  During this time of occupation by the Turks, the castle was severely damaged and was never inhabited after that. 

 You will notice as you stroll through the ruins that a lower portion of the castle  can still be visited. This is part of the fortification system or lower castle. This lower castle connected the upper castle with the Danube River. The Solomon Tower, a large hexagonal residential tower dating from the 13th century, was destroyed during a Turkish raid in 1544 and was partially destroyed. In the 1870s reconstruction of the tower began, which was not finished until the 1960s. Today the King Matthias Museum of Visegrad maintains historic exhibitions in the tower.

 Enjoy the heritage of this castle, its Kings and their families, as you wander the historic halls of the reconstructed Palace, the Solomon Tower, and Citadel on an exciting woman's tour of Central Europe.

 Return to Gems of Central Europe

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