Diosgyor Castle

Diósgyőr Castle


Location: Diósgyőr  Map

Constructed: 12h century


Description of Diosgyor Castle

Diosgyor Castle is situated in a town of Diósgyőr in Hungary. Diosgyor Castle was originally constructed in the 12th century, but during Mongol invasion (1241- 42) it was razed to the ground. New Diosgyor Castle was probably reconstructed by the orders King Bela IV. In the late 16th century invading Ottoman armies captures the citadel along with surrounding lands. By the time the Christian armies retook back Diosgyor Castle it was in ruinous conditions. It was abandoned and used by local peasants for their purposes. Many of lower structures and walls were taken apart and used for construction of other buildings. Only in 1953 the reconstruction project have began in Diosgyor Castle.


History of Diósgyőr and the castle
The area has been inhabited since ancient times: in the cave of the opposite Castle Hill, stone tools and animal bones made in prehistoric times were found, and on the hill of the castle, traces of a Bronze and Iron Age settlement were found. A 9–10. From the 16th century, corrugated vessels and piles of beams and beams were found. This settlement from the time of the conquest was surrounded by earthworks and ramparts.

Around 1200, Anonymus first mentions the name of Diósgyőr, although he is still in Győr form: “after leaving Szerencset with his army of Prince Árpád, which is called Győr. ” The castle was first housed in a fortification in the 12th century, but archaeologists have not found a trace so far; it was presumably an earthen castle that was destroyed during the Tartar invasion - according to some, this castle may not have stood on its present location, but on Castle Hill.

The present castle is probably in the IV. It was built by Béla's Ernye ban after Ákos's initiative. This structure has an oval floor plan as was the custom of the time (it was a structure of about 40 × 35 m with a round old tower), an opposite corner tower and a polygonal outer castle. A stone bridge with a stone pillar led through the moat to its north-facing entrance. Ernye's mansion probably stood on the site of the later Pauline monastery.

The castle was mentioned in 1316 as Wywar or Újvár, which also suggests that it was built on the site of an earlier earthen castle. This year, Ernye's grandchildren turned against Károly Róbert, took part in the battle of Debrecen on the side of Borsa Kopasz (1317), so the king confiscated their castle and donated it to his beloved devotee, Dózsa Debreceni from Transylvania. Between 1319 and 25, it was owned by Miklós Szécsi, a Croatian ban, and then became part of the Drugeth family. According to a 1330 list, the village belonging to the castle paid 12 garas taxes, suggesting that it belonged to the richer settlements of the county. At the next major construction, the lower level of the walls was built of the demolished material of this castle. It has been a royal castle since 1340 - usually owned by queens. From that time on, he was also the bishop of Borsod and mostly even one or two neighboring counties. It also had three additional royal castles under its jurisdiction:
Also regrec.

The heyday of the castle of Diósgyőr began during the reign of King Louis I. He turned here more and more often since the 1360s. The castle gained importance in 1370 as one of the stops on the road from Hungary to Krakow, the capital of Poland (Louis the Great's mother, Elizabeth Lokietek was a Polish princess, Louis the Great herself became a Polish king in 1370). The king, who increasingly neglected Buda, made Diósgyőr its third seat besides Visegrád and Zólyom, rebuilt and modernized the castle. Multiple articulated defense rings surrounded the actual castle, which was built around a rectangular courtyard, with a spiers on top at each corner. The rooms on the ground floor served economic and storage purposes, the suites on the first floor, and the knight's hall of 13 × 25 meters, which was a two-nave hall supported by three columns. Its construction was already completed during the reign of the daughter of Louis the Great, Mary, who was then the owner of the castle. The irregularly grounded outer perimeter wall, reinforced with specially arranged double towers, is reminiscent of Roman castrum. The castle was surrounded by four-meter-deep moats, and its water was fed by hot springs. The only builder known by the name of the castle is Master Ambrus.

In 1364, the city of Miskolc and its surroundings were annexed to the Diósgyőr estate. ~ In 1370, King Louis the Great signed the first European letter of donation declaring a city (Kassa) a “free royal city”. On November 26, 1381, in the castle of Diósgyőr, in the presence of Venetian ambassadors, the king ratified the previously concluded peace of Turin, in which the city of Venice committed itself to hoist the Anjou flag on St. Mark's Square on Sundays and public holidays. The event is captured by a panopticon in the north-eastern tower of the castle of Diósgyőr.

With the dissolution of the Hungarian-Polish personal union, Diósgyőr lost its significance, and from then on it was a holiday resort for Hungarian queens. Owners line:
Lokietek Erzsébet
Kotromanić Erzsébet
Queen Mary
Borbála Cillei
Elizabeth of Luxembourg
Katalin Podjebrád
Beatrix of Aragon
Candale-i Anna
Anna Jagelló
Mary of Habsburg


The last queen to live here, II. Louis was his wife, Mary of Habsburg. In 1546 he resigned in writing from the castle, which by then had been occupied by the Transylvanian voivode. As the Turkish threat approached, the north side of the castle was fortified.

After 1526, Sebestyén Pemfflinger became his castle ambassador. In 1540, the colonial Zsigmond Balassa took a pledge from King Ferdinand for 20,000 gold forints. The family converted the former castle palace into a fortress, and a rondelle was built in Italian style in front of the north-west tower. The slender towers were replaced by squat bastions. The entrance was moved to the west side, and a pentagonal Italian bastion was built next to the royal staircase. At that time, the three-story dungeon was also raised. This was the last major reconstruction in the history of the castle. After the death of Zsigmond Balassa, the castle was inherited by his wife, Borbála Fánchy, and after his death it was redeemed by the king. From 1564 a whole series of pawnbrokers followed one another, and the castle began to decay. In the second half of the 16th century, the castle was added to the border line. His small guard could not prevent the Turks from burning and looting him in 1544, and then, together with the surrounding villages, forcing Miskolc to pay taxes.

In 1596, the Turks captured Eger and defeated the Christian armies next to Mezőkeresztes. Then soon (in 1598) Diósgyőr also fell, and his lord became the pasha of Eger, but then the Christians quickly recaptured him. Their unfavorable location could not be improved, but they tried to confirm with external defenses:

on the most defenseless north side, the double gate tower of the outer castle was converted into a covered cannon stand,
a large rondella was attached to the north-east tower,
a polygonal bastion was built for the northwest tower,
a hussar castle was erected in front of the gate to the west.
At the beginning of the 17th century, the parliament ordered its expansion and maintenance in a series of resolutions, but these provisions remained on paper until 1660. The salary of the guard faltered, the walls collapsed - but the Turkish siege of 1650 was still repulsed. In 1673 the roof of the castle burned down. At that time the castle was barely habitable. By the end of the century, it had lost all its military value. The kuruc no longer played any role in the fighting.

By 1703, its three sides were already heavily ruined; the fourth was tidied up by the owner, Baron Haller. In 1730, the wing, which also included the chapel, was still usable, the others were not cared for. In 1756, the crown estate of Diósgyőr wanted to transform it into a wine house, but in the end nothing came of the plans; the ruins were used by the population of the area as a quarry. In 1784, the county applied for and received permission to mine stones from the castle wall to build the Sajó Bridge. Worship services were still held in the chapel for a time, but by 1820 it was also scattered.

Although the two settlements were connected by bus from 1903 and by tram from 1906, a 1932 guidebook mentions Diósgyőr as an adjoining village with Miskolc. On January 1, 1945, Diósgyőr was officially annexed to Miskolc, at which time Nagy-Miskolc, formed from historical Miskolc, Diósgyőr and the surrounding settlements, was established. Diósgyőr and Miskolc were first connected by the factory being built between them, then the two settlements became more and more merged, nowadays only a sign indicates the border of the former historical Diósgyőr.

Exploring the castle
In 1934–36, scientific excavations had already taken place in the castle. Restoration of the castle began in 1953, between 1955 and 1961 a several-meter-high embankment was carried out of the castle, and at that time only the life-threatening ruined parts were repaired. Archaeological excavations also began in 1960. The rondelle was arranged by architect Károly Ferenczy. In 1962, the National Monument Inspectorate took over the management of the excavation, and Ilona Czeglédy entrusted it with further excavation. The Diósgyőr Castle Museum was established in August 1968 to present the excavated monument and a large number of finds. In the north-east of the four towers (the tower of the former royal suite) there was then a castle history exhibition, an arms exhibition and a panopticon commemorating the peace of Turin with wax figures of King Louis the Great and the Venetian ambassador; in the north-west there was a lookout tower, and on the ground floor there was a coinage (still in operation), where the tourist could make a commemorative medal for himself; the southeast tower (the former queen suite) is intact but closed to tourists (mostly as a locker room for Castle Games actors); the southwest tower is ruined.


The cultural significance of the castle today
The main venue of the Kaláka Festival (formerly Kaláka Folk Days, Kaláka Folk Festival) was the Diósgyőr Castle between 1980 and 2011,

The tourist attractions of the castle include a slightly larger panopticon in the outer castle, here six life pictures provide an insight into the everyday life of medieval Diósgyőr. The castle hosts the castle games of Diósgyőr twice a year, during which the age of Louis the Great is revived, knightly tournaments and other performances can be seen, and a medieval fair takes place next to the castle. Prior to the 2014 renovation, open-air concerts and color performances were held in the central courtyard of the castle, and the auditorium seats 800 people. Following the renovation, the Knights' Tournament Square in the area of ​​the former Diósgyőr beach offers the opportunity to hold events for up to thousands of people.

The fact that due to the tumultuous history of the area it is not surrounded by such a historical part of the city as the castle of Eger or Kőszeg, and in addition to wild romantic forests, the tenant houses of the less romantic housing estate in Diósgyőr also serve as an environment for the tourist attraction of the castle. However, the central part of the Bükk region is nearby, which increases its attractiveness. Notable include the Déryné House in the immediate vicinity of the castle, a museum dedicated to the beloved actress of the 19th century, and the medieval Mary's Column next to the slightly more distant Catholic church.

In 2014, the castle was rebuilt with an investment of HUF 2.7 billion, during which not only the ruins were preserved, but also their further construction and reconstruction was carried out. The castle was rebuilt to a height of two levels, with the exception of the southwest tower. The southwest tower was damaged much earlier, due to a lightning strike, so and for the sake of antique effect, the tower was not restored. In the other three reborn palace wings, the largest knight's hall in Central Europe, the castle chapel and the queen's residence, were also restored. The renovation was based on original plans and contemporary paintings. The renovated castle was handed over on August 30, 2014.

In the neighborhood of the castle - partly occupying the area of ​​the Castle Bath - the Knight's Tournament Square was completed by August 2015, where equestrian events, knight's tournaments and sports events are held, and it is also suitable for outdoor theater performances and concerts.

Renovation of the castle within the framework of the National Castle Program
The aim of the project:

Central to the development is a personalized experience walk that allows the presentation of different ages in real physical spaces using the tools of virtual reality.

The creation of the attraction will be accompanied by a large-scale infrastructure investment, in the framework of which the outer castle will be completely reconstructed.

Other curiosities
A memorial plaque commemorates Sándor Petőfi, who visited the castle of Diósgyőr on July 8, 1847. The poet watched the sunset from the castle, which inspired his poem Twilight.

Sándor Petőfi: Twilight
The sun is like a withered rose,
He lowers his head in slackness;
Leaves, faint rays,
They fall apart with a sad smile.

Silent, quiet the world around me,
Only a little evening bell is far away,
Far away and nicely, as if coming from heaven
Or a sweet dream from that sound.

I listen with deep attention. Oh this
A dreamy voice is good for me.
God know what I feel, what I don't feel,
God knows where my mind is.

The original image of the 200-forint banknote in circulation between 1998 and 2009 was exhibited in the castle museum of the north-east tower.
The spring, which used to fill the moat, supplied water to the Diósgyőr Beach for decades, until the beach closed in 2014.
Medieval festivals in the castle - e.g. During the Queen's Spring (April), Diósgyőr Castle Games (May), Medieval Whirlpool (August) - during dr. Emese Lovász, archaeologist of the Herman Ottó Museum, personifies Elizabeth Kotromanić, the wife of King Louis I, while her husband, Attila Lénárt, depicts Louis I, the knight king. They are both founding members of the Golden Spark Order of Diósgyőr.