Citadel

Top choice fortress in Visegrád

Image by sndr Getty Images

The 13th-century citadel looms over Visegrád atop a 350m hill and is surrounded by moats hewn from solid rock. The real highlight is just walking along the ramparts of this eyrie and admiring what is arguably the best view of the Börzsöny Hills and the Danube. Take the steep ‘Fellegvár’ trail from the back gate of Solomon's Tower (40 minutes), the shorter 'Kálvária sétány' (Calvary Promenade) trail behind the Catholic church on Fő tér (20 minutes) or the City-Bus minibus.

Completed in 1259, the citadel was the repository for the Hungarian crown jewels until 1440, when Elizabeth of Luxembourg, the daughter of King Sigismund, stole them with the help of her lady-in-waiting and hurried off to Székesfehérvár to have her infant son László crowned king. (The crown was returned to the citadel in 1464 and held here – under a stronger lock, no doubt – until the Turkish invasion.)

There’s a small pictorial exhibit in the residential rooms on the west side of the citadel and two smaller displays near the east gate on hunting, falconry and traditional occupations in the region, like stone cutting and beekeeping.

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