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Europe > Central Europe > Hungary > Central Hungary > Danube Bend > Visegrád

Visegrád

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Not to be confused with Višegrad, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Visegrád (German: Plintenburg, Slovak: Vyšehrad) is a small castle town in the Danube Bend region. It is north of Budapest on the right bank of the Danube. Visegrád is famous for the remains of the Early Renaissance summer palace of King Matthias Corvinus of Hungary and the medieval citadel.

Understand[edit]

The name Visegrád (Vyšehrad) is of Slavic origin, meaning acropolis, literary "the upper castle" (the castle with a privileged position) or "the upper settlement".

Visegrád was first mentioned in 1009 as a county town and the chief town of an archdeaconry. After the destructive Mongol invasion of Europe in 1242, the town was rebuilt in a slightly different location to the south. King Charles I of Hungary made Visegrád, his hometown, the royal seat of Hungary in 1325.

In 1335, Charles hosted at Visegrád a two-month congress with the Bohemian king, John of Luxembourg, and the Polish king, Casimir III. It was crucial in creating a peace between the three kingdoms and securing an alliance between Poland and Hungary against Habsburg Austria. Another congress followed in 1338.

Sigismund, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Hungary and Croatia in personal union with Hungary, moved the royal seat to Buda between 1405 and 1408. King Matthias Corvinus (1443–1490), King of Hungary, used Visegrád as a country residence.

Visegrád lost importance after the partition of the Kingdom of Hungary following the Battle of Mohács in 1526.

Get in[edit]

By train[edit]

The closest train station is Nagymaros-Visegrád, which is located at the opposite site of the Danube river. From Budapest-Nyugati pályaudvar, you can travel by train to Nagymaros-Visegrád train station, then transfer to ferry towards Visegrád. The whole journey from Budapest to Visegrád takes about an hour and costs 1570 Ft.

By bus[edit]

View from the Castle of Visegrád
View from Solomon Tower

Direct buses from Budapest-Újpest-Városkapu are available hourly. The journey takes 75 minutes and costs 745 Ft.

By ferry[edit]

There are ferry services available between Visegrád and Nagymaros, and between Szentgyörgypuszta and Kisoroszi.

By boat[edit]

Boats are available between May 1–Aug 30 daily except on Mondays and between Aug 31–Sep 27 on Saturdays from Visegrád to Budapest and Esztergom.

3 Visegrád Port, +36 1 484-4013, . Scheduled boating: 505–3180 Ft (depending on distance), hydrofoil service: 2800–4300 Ft, 1.5 hour pleasure-boating: 1600 Ft.

Get around[edit]

There is no local public transport service. You can use the regional buses operated by Volánbusz.

By taxi[edit]

See[edit]

Medieval buildings[edit]

Castle of Visegrád
Royal Palace
  • 1 Castle of Visegrád (Visegrádi vár), +36 6-26-398-101, . Jan Feb: F–Su 10:00–16:00; Mar Oct: 09:00–17:00; Apr–Sep 09:00–18:00; Nov: 09:00–16:00; Dec: F–Su 10:00–15:00. After the Mongol invasion, King Béla IV of Hungary and his wife had a new fortification system constructed in the 1240–1250s near the one destroyed earlier. The first part of the new system was the Upper Castle on top of a high hill. The castle was laid out on a triangular ground plan and had three towers at its corners. In the 14th century, at the time of the Angevin kings of Hungary, the castle became a royal residence and was enlarged with a new curtain wall and palace buildings. Around 1400 King Sigismund had a third curtain wall constructed and enlarged the palace buildings. At the end of the 15th century, King Matthias Corvinus had the interior renovated. The Upper Castle also served for the safekeeping of the Hungarian royal insignia between the 14th century and 1526. In 1544 Visegrád was occupied by the Ottoman Empire, and, apart from a short period in 1595-1605, it remained in Turkish hands until 1685. The castle was seriously damaged by the Turks and was never used afterwards. The castle is now open to the public to visit. Adult: 1700 Ft; senior, student: 850 Ft. Castle of Visegrád (Q1460281) on Wikidata
  • King Matthias Museum (Mátyás Király Múzeum), +36 26 597-010, . A branch of the Hungarian National Museum. Finds of the local archaeological excavation and photos, drawings and textile can be see here.
    • 2 Royal Palace (Királyi Palota), Fő utca 23. Nov–Mar: Tu–Su 10:00–16:00; Apr–Oct: Tu–Su 09:00–17:00. The first royal house on this site was built by King Charles I of Hungary after 1325. In the second half of the 14th century, this was enlarged into a palace by his son, King Louis I of Hungary. In the last third of the 14th century, King Louis and his successor Sigismund of Luxembourg had the majority of the earlier buildings dismantled and created a new, sumptuous palace complex, the extensive ruins of which are still visible today. The palace complex was laid out on a square ground plan measuring 123 x 123 m. A garden adjoined to it from the north and a Franciscan friary, founded by King Sigismund in 1424, from the south. In the time of Louis I and Sigismund, the palace was the official residence of the kings of Hungary until about 1405–1408. Between 1477 and 1484 Matthias Corvinus had the palace complex reconstructed in late Gothic style. The Italian Renaissance architectural style was used for decoration, the first time the style appeared in Europe outside Italy. After the Ottoman Turks' siege in 1544, the palace fell into ruins. By the 18th century it was completely covered by earth. Its excavation began in 1934 and continues today. The reconstructed royal residence building is open to the public and houses exhibitions on the history of the palace and reconstructed historical interiors. Adult: 1400 Ft; senior, student: 700 Ft. royal palace of Visegrád (Q19703654) on Wikidata
    • 3 Solomon Tower (Salamon-torony), Salamontorony utca. May–Sep: W–Su 09:00–17:00. The Lower Castle is the part of the fortification system that connects the Upper Castle with the Danube. In its centre rises the Solomon Tower, a large, hexagonal residential tower dating from the 13th century. In the 14th century, new curtain walls were built around the tower. During a Turkish raid in 1544, the southern part of the tower collapsed. Its renovation began only in the 1870s and was finished in the 1960s. At present, the Tower houses exhibitions. The exhibitions present the reconstructed Gothic fountains from the Royal Palace, Renaissance sculpture in Visegrád, and the history of Visegrád. Adult: 700 Ft; senior, student: 350 Ft. Solomon Tower, Visegrád (Q2214925) on Wikidata
  • 4 Ruins of Pone Navata, Sibrik-domb. The ruins of this Roman Empire military camp can be seen on a hill overlooking river Danube. These are the basement walls of a five sided Roman Castrum from the 5th century and the ruins of the governor's castle from the 10th and 11th centuries. Free to visit. Castra Pone Navata (Q647481) on Wikidata
  • 5 Ruins of Archdeacon Church (Főesperesi templom romjai), Sibrik-domb, +36 26 597-010, . By appointment only. Built in Romanesque style. At the beginning of statehood, Stephen I constituted the castle called Visegrád as county seat. The first parish church of the county was built on the hillside near the castle. The church of the archdeaconry was built on its site after 1063, in King Solomon's time.
  • 6 Water Bastion (Vízibástya). It was built in the 13th century, reconstructed in 1939. There is a statue of King Béla IV of Hungary. Free to visit.

Modern buildings[edit]

Solomon Tower
  • 7 Zugfőzde, Rév utca 1, +36 30 474-6660, . Tu–Sa 14:00–18:00. Here can get information about the era when pálinka distillation was outlawed, from 1919 to 2010. You can also watch two short films show the history of pálinka distilling, and one an interesting compilation about the ingredients of pálinka, including medicinal pálinka. The films reveal exciting secrets about how the ancestors protected themselves against excise men and where they hid their illegally, yet continuously distilled pálinka in order to save their values. By watching the film shot in a "Kisüsti" distillery viewers can learn about the process of preparing "kisüsti" (pot still) pálinka. In the building of Zugfőzde there used to be a grocer's store at around the turn of the century for this reason there is an ice house under the building. Adult: 800 Ft; senior, student: 700 Ft.
  • 8 Pálffy Mansion (Pálffy-kastély), Salamontorony utca 3. Built in 1890.
  • 9 John the Baptist Roman Catholic Parish Church (Keresztelő Szent János Plébániatemplom), +36 26 398-006, . The baroque-style church was built in the second half of the 1700s. Planned by Lénárt Schade. This is a single-nave church with a tower and vaulted interior. The main altar decorated with beautiful color effected picture (moved from the Buda Castle's Sigismund Chapel) a work the 18th-century painter Vicenz Fischer. The pulpit, pews, baptismal pool are also the 18th-century origin.
  • 10 Mary Chapel (Mária-kápolna). Built in Baroque style in the first half of 18th century, modified in 1788 and rebuilt in the second half of 19th century. Free-standing, small, front towered memorial chapel. Triangular pediment is above the main facade, behind it is a low, wooden bell tower. A gabled building covered with red tiles.
  • 11 Calvary Chapel (Kálvária-kápolna). Built in the 18th century in Baroque style.

Nature[edit]

Zsitvay Observation Tower
Apátkúti Creek in summer, near to the Kaán Spring
  • 12 Zsitvay Observation Tower (Zsitvay-kilátó), Nagyvillám, +36 26 397-099. Oct 15–Apr 15: Sa Su 10:00–16:00; Apr 16–Oct 14: Tu–Su 10:00–18:00. The tower was built in 1933 on the top of the 378-meter-high Nagyvillám and was declared a monument in 2005. The observation tower and Nagyvillám area is an important center of hiking and tourist life, in clear weather you can see the capital and its 100 kilometers surroundings, from the Matra through the Pilis to the Zsámbék Basin, and even the Danube Bend can be seen even in cloudy weather. Adult: 400 Ft, senior: 300 Ft, children: 200 Ft.
  • 13 Mogyoró Hill Wildlife Park (Mogyoró-hegyi vadbemutató kert), Mogyoró-hegy. The area of the park is about 1.5 hectares, where red deers and wild boars live. Free to visit.
  • 14 Miklós Bertényi Botanical Garden (Bertényi Miklós Füvészkert), Apátkúti-völgy, +36 26 598-000, . Nov 1–Mar 1: Th–Su 12:00–19:00; Mar 15–Apr 30 Sep 1–Oct 31: M Th–Su 12:00–20:00; May 1–Aug 31: 12:00–20:00. Follow the 20 board signed nature trail. Every season offers different sight. Walking relaxing between singing birds in Alpine and submediterranean plant environment. A special sight is some andesite and loess between 150–350 m height. Also there is a small presentation house. Adult: 1000 Ft; senior, student: 500 Ft.
  • 15 Spartacus Trail (Spartacus-ösvény). One of the most beautiful hiking trails in the Visegrád Mountains. Free to visit.
  • 16 Kaán Spring (Kaán-forrás), Apátkúti-völgy. One of the most popular spring of the Visegrád Mountains.
  • 17 Ördögmalom Waterfall (Ördögmalom-vízesés), Apátkúti-völgy. Free to visit. (Q1472243) on Wikidata
  • 18 Telgárthy Meadow (Telgárthy-rét), Apátkúti-völgy. The rest area offers excellent recreation for children and adults alike.

Do[edit]

Culture[edit]

Sport[edit]

Castle of Visegrád
Yard in the Royal Palace

Events[edit]

The Gothic fountain of the Royal Palace in Solomon Tower
  • Visegrock Festival, . Rock-blues festival and hunting-gastronomy meeting in May.
  • International Palace Games of Visegrád (Visegrádi Nemzetközi Palotajátékok), +36 26 397-188, . The largest medieval festival in Hungary, held annually at the second weekend of July. The 3-day event is meant to reach a wide international public with its diversified programmes: performances and shows of Hungarian and foreign participants – hundreds of re-enactors, musicians, dancers, comedians and jugglers – in a uniquely authentic environment. 1500 Ft.

Buy[edit]

  • 1 CBA, Rév utca 8. M 06:30–18:00, Tu–F 06:30–19:00, Sa 07:00–16:00, Su 08:00–16:00.
  • 2 Ószerész, Fő utca 42, +36 20 965-1535. F–Su 10:00–17:30. Antique shop.
  • 3 Small Farmer's Market (Termelői piac), Fő utca 34, . Su 08:00–13:00.
  • 4 Coop, Kossuth Lajos út 130, Dunabogdány, +36 30 171-8851. M–F 06:00–19:00, Sa 06:00–17:00, Su 07:00–12:00.

Eat[edit]

This page uses the following price ranges for a typical meal for one, including soft drink:
Budget Under 2500 Ft
Mid-range 2500–3200 Ft
Splurge Over 3200 Ft

Budget[edit]

  • 1 Piknik Bistro, Fő utca 42, +36 70 550-6969. Th–Su 12:00–21:00. Swabian restaurant. 2100 Ft, hamburger: 1050 Ft.
  • 2 Gondűző Pizzeria, Kossuth Lajos út 195, Dunabogdány, +36 30 983-0277. 09:00–22:00. Pizzeria. 1950 Ft, pizza: 1950 Ft.

Mid-range[edit]

Copy of the Holy Crown in Castle of Visegrád
Herkules Fountain in the Royal Palace

Splurge[edit]

Drink[edit]

Ruins of Pone Navata

Sleep[edit]

This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:
Budget Under 16000 Ft
Mid-range 16000–28000 Ft
Splurge Over 28000 Ft

Budget[edit]

Mid-range[edit]

Exhibition in Castle of Visegrád
Corvin suite, dining room in the Royal Palace

Splurge[edit]

Connect[edit]

Visegrád's postal code is H-2025, and its telephone area code is 26.

Go next[edit]

Renaissance Garden next to the Royal Palace
  • Esztergom — one of the most visited cities in Hungary, 24 km west. Esztergom has much to see, including the largest cathedral in the country
  • Leányfalu – village 16 km southeast
  • Nagymaros – town 1 km west
  • Szentendre — town 23 km southeast known for its museums (most notably the Open-Air Ethnographic Museum), galleries, and artists
  • Szob – town 13 km northwest
  • Vác — town 19 km east
  • Verőce – village 9 km northeast


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