Castle of Diósgyőr, Hungary

Behind all the Miskolci skyscrapers and blocks of flats on the way to the already mentioned Lillafured is standing a dauntless castle of Diósgyőr, high and giant, visible from the all spots around.

The Castle of Diósgyőr, one of Hungary’s prominent historic monuments, is situated at the foot of the Bükk Mountains surrounded by a beautiful natural environment. The castle’s tall ruins stand on a stony hill rising from the valley of Szinva Stream. In the 12th century, the Castle became a royal possession and it served both as royal seat – in addition to Buda, Visegrád, and Zólyom – and as a betrothal gift to future queens. In 1364, a large piece of land was added to the Diósgyőr estate by King Louis the Great, who later turned the fortress into a magnificent Gothic royal castle. It saw its golden age after Louis I (I. Lajos) took the throne of Poland. The castle was surrounded by multiple complex rings of defense built around the rectangular courtyard with a peaked tower at each corner. Halls on the ground level served as storage rooms, while those of the upper floors were suites and a knight’s hall 13 by 25 meters in size. The construction of the latter was only completed during the reign of Louis’ daughter, Mary (Mária) who was the owner of the castle at that time.
The irregular outer wall fortified with double towers resembled those of a Roman castrum. The castle was surrounded by a four-meter-deep moat sustained by hot water springs. Its entrance on the North could be accessed across a wooden bridge supported by stone piers. The castle’s only known master builder is Master Ambrus.

If you like history, then, the next part of the article will be something for you (sources: diosgyor-lillafured.hu)

The fortress that was also known as a medieval cavalier castle, was first mentioned by Anonymus. It experienced its greatest splendour during the reign of King Louis the Great (Nagy Lajos) in the 14th century.  This was the start of the era that lasted to the first quarter of the 16th century, to 1526 – while the castle had been the engagement present and country residence of six queens. Its title, ‘the queens’ castle’ was derived from this age.

10-11th century – Diósgyőr Castle was first mentioned by Anonymus who was the notary of king Louis III. The records of the chronicle writer were supported by archaeological excavations, according to which an earthwork castle was standing on the hilltop of Diósgyőr. It might have been destroyed around 1241, during the Mongol-Tatar invasion.

13-14th century – The oval structure stone castle with two donjons, which was ordered to be built by Ernye family in the place of the earthwork castle, was first mentioned by a historical source in 1316. With its 2000 square meters interior and 4000 square meters exterior area, the fortress might have been one of the largest Hungarian castles of the period.

14-15th century – Diósgyőr had its prime during the reign of Louis I (Louis the Great), between 1342 and 1382. The construction works of the Gothic palace, which was built around a rectangular courtyard, had four towers on each corner, and boasted with multi-storey residential wings and a chapel, started around this time. The king himself spent plenty of time among its walls, and at the end of 1381 he signed the Peace Treaty with Venice here.

16th century – Up to 1526 Diósgyőr Castle had been the engagement present and a country residence of six queens, including Beatrice, the wife of King Matthias. During the period after the Battle of Mohács was lost, the castle was rented by pledgees who began to fortify the building with ramparts against the Turkish threat. However, some decades later, the plaintive letters of the worried captains reported about its deterioration.

18th century – The castle which lost its military importance, lapsed to the royal chamber in 1702. The lack of maintenance resulted in its buildings’ deterioration: its walls were made wrecked and its stones were carried far away beyond the neighbouring construction works. Engravings from the 19th century illustrated bare ruins in Diósgyőr.

20th century – Excavations and the monumental restoration of the castle started from 1953. Conservation works, which became urgent, started in the beginning of the 1990s.

2012–2014 – An architectural plan was designed for the partial reconstruction of Diósgyőr Castle, which regards historical accuracy as much as possible. The main idea behind the billion forints restoration and reconstruction works is to preserve the original, centuries-old image of the picturesque castle.

I think it’s great place where to spend an afternoon, one tour around takes apx. 1,5 hours. It’s very pretty, and with an audioguide in some languages even very interesting (ehm, maybe not for all haha).

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