PEST: Visiting Fellegvár, Hungary’s ancient acropolis and “cloud castle”

The castle town of Visegrad is a good alternative to the crowdy and bustling city center of Budapest. Just about 50 minutes away via train, the town offers castle ruins and fortifications dating from the 1200s and an awesome view of the Danube River Bend. The castle complex consists of the Lower Castle, including the Solomon Tower where Count Dracula was imprisoned in the 1400s, the Royal Palace, and the Upper Castle. After enjoying a stress-free tour in the ruins of the Royal Palace and surrounding attractions, and a scrumptious lunch at Nagyvillam Etterem restaurant, my UP schoolmate and I continued our journey and explored the Upper Castle, or the Fellegvár Citadel. It is literally translated as “cloud castle”, and on this entry, you’ll find out why.

Welcome to Fellegvár Citadel!
Welcome to Fellegvár Citadel!
Welcome to the Fellegvár Citadel!
Welcome to the Fellegvár Citadel!

Originally built as a refuge for the Dominican Order nuns in 1246 by King Bela IV and his wide, Maria Lascaris, the citadel served as a defence fortification and checkpoint of the commercial routes between Buda and Eztergom. It was also the venue for the Royal Summit in 1335 among the kings and princes of Hungary, Bohemia, Poland, Moravia, Bavaria and Saxony, where they made economic agreements and support, and it housed the Saint Crown of Hungary and the Polish crown in earlier times.

Entrance to the castle is from the back, where the parking lot and several souvenir kiosks are also located. Located on top of 328 m hill, it offers an amazing view of the Buda side, and the Danube River Bend! Here are some photos showing what to expect during the trip:

Fellegvár Citadel!
Fellegvár Citadel
Fellegvár Citadel!
Fellegvár Citadel
Entering the Fellegvár Citadel
Entering the Fellegvár Citadel
Fellegvár Citadel!
Fellegvár Citadel
Fellegvár Citadel
Fellegvár Citadel
Fellegvár Citadel
Fellegvár Citadel
Fellegvár Citadel!
Fellegvár Citadel
A museum inside the Fellegvár Citadel
A museum inside the Fellegvár Citadel
A museum inside the Fellegvár Citadel
A museum inside the Fellegvár Citadel
A museum inside the Fellegvár Citadel
A museum inside the Fellegvár Citadel
A portrait of the Fellegvár Citadel
A portrait of the Fellegvár Citadel
Fellegvár Citadel
Fellegvár Citadel
Fellegvár Citadel
Fellegvár Citadel
Fellegvár Citadel
Fellegvár Citadel
Fellegvár Citadel
Fellegvár Citadel
Fellegvár Citadel, ancient punishment device
Fellegvár Citadel, ancient punishment device

According to sources, excavation in the castle town started in 1871 and is still underway today. It would be amazing if they could find more ruins in the hill. I couldn’t imagine how the thick walls were put up, and how power played an important role in the construction.

An here, you see why it’s called Fellegvár, literally “cloud castle”:

Fellegvár Citadel, with Buda and the Danube River in the background
Fellegvár Citadel, with Buda and the Danube River in the background
The Danube River, as seen from the citadel
The Danube River, as seen from the citadel
The Danube River Bend, as seen from the citadel
The Danube River Bend, as seen from the citadel
The Danube River, as seen from the citadel
The Danube River, as seen from the citadel
At the Citadel
At the Citadel

I’m sure there’s so much more to see and experience in Hungary, and I’m happy to get to know more about the country by visiting Visegrad. However, this entry is just about the Upper Castle. More about the Lower castle, particularly the Solomon Tower, where Count Dracula of Romania was imprisoned. That historical fact was actually the main reason I learned about Visegrad. 😛 The adventure continues…. Cheers! ❤

Fellegvár Citadel
Fellegvár Citadel

 

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