PEST: A hiking tour to Count Dracula’s prison tower in Visegrad

The Fellegvár Citadel in the castle town of Visegrad is a famous destination for excursions and hiking tours. In 1323, the town 40 kms north of Budapest became the center of Hungary, guarding the kingdom from intruders, monitoring the commercial routes along the Danube River, and hosting several important historical events like the the Royal Summit of Kings in 1335 and the formation of the V4 (Visegrad Group), an association of the countries in Central Europe. After exploring the citadel and the ruins of the Royal Palace, my UP schoolmate and I hiked further into the woods and down to the Lower Castle, where the Solomon Tower is situated.

Climbing down the hill
Climbing down the hill
Climbing down the hill
Climbing down the hill

I can still remember the challenging route going down the hill. It was very steep and dry, rough and rocky. But eventually, we managed to reach the Lower Castle. So, what makes the Solomon Tower special? Well, the famous Vlad the Impaler, a.k.a. Count Dracula of Romania, was imprisoned there between 1462-74. I like history, so it fascinated me to visit the tower, despite the exhausting hike!

The Lower Castle
The Lower Castle
The Lower Castle
The Lower Castle
The Lower Castle
The Lower Castle
The Lower Castle
The Lower Castle
The Lower Castle
The Lower Castle
A view of the Danube River from the Lower Castle
A view of the Danube River from the Lower Castle
A view of the Danube River from the Lower Castle
A view of the Danube River from the Lower Castle
The renovated side of the tower
The renovated side of the tower
The Lower Castle
The Lower Castle

Built in 1258, the tower now houses the King Matthias Museum of Visegrad, which features exhibits and artefacts found in the area, e.g. Gothic fountains from the Royal Palace, architecture and history of Visegrad, etc. Unfortunately, the museum was closed during our visit, so I didn’t manage to see what’s inside. However, I still felt the history by walking through the ancient roads and gazing at the thick walls of the tower.

The Citadel, sitting on top of the hill
The Citadel, sitting on top of the hill — Been there!
Walking back to the port
Walking back to the port
Walking back to the port
Walking back to the port
The hill -- Hiked there!
The hill — Hiked there!
The Citadel -- Been there!
The Citadel — Been there!
Been there!
Visegrad -Been there!
Nagymaros train station
Nagymaros train station

Going back to Budapest, we took the same route — ferry and then, regional train. However, something unexpected happened. The train was super-delayed, had unnecessary stops, and got stuck indefinitely in the middle of nowhere. Still feeling hopeful (it was around 9pm already, by the way), we asked a nice Hungarian what to do. We got off the train, took a tram, and then the metro. It was such a wonderful adventure and I wouldn’t have it in any other way!

Central Europe used to be a mystery to me. But little by little, country by country, I’m getting to know more about it and about the planet as a whole! Can’t wait for more adventures to come! Cheers! ❤

The Citadel -- Been there!
The Citadel — Been there!
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