If you like hiking, the hills surrounding Visegrád offer a great opportunity to get your boots out!
Visegrád is a small town north of Budapest, famous for its citadel and Royal Palace. It shot to fame in the 14th century when King Charles I hosted a two month conference there as he brokered an alliance between Hungary and the Bohemian and Polish kings. The name Visegrád is derived from the Slavic words for ‘high castle’, and it’s quite fitting: the 13th century citadel of Visegrád towers over the Danube bend, offering stunning views from its rocky eyrie.
Beyond the Pale
Visegrád’s magnificent Royal Palace once boasted 350 rooms. Even if these days it is far from those decadent heights, it remains impressive. It was the first Renaissance palace to be built outside of Italy, and around a dozen rooms centred on the Court of Honour and the Hercules Fountain are open to visitors. Learn about the history of the palace through the archeological exhibition, and catch a glimpse of elite medieval Hungarian life in the reconstructed bedchambers, kitchen and chapel.
Sitting atop a 350 metre hill and surrounded by a moat hewn from solid rock, the citadel is an imposing sight. Make the trek to the top and you will earn a marvellous view of the Börzsöny Hills and the Danube from its ramparts. Famously, the citadel was once the repository for the Hungarian crown jewels — at least until 1440, when Elizabeth of Luxembourg and her lady-in-waiting stole them to have her infant son László crowned king. You can imagine there were probably a few red faces.
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