Visegrad – Hungary

Visegrad is a very small town about 1 hours’ drive from Budapest.  While it might be a small town, with less than 2,000 habitants, it had its glory time and is still being accredited for its well-known history.  This is no legend, the Royal Palace and Medieval Citadel are evidence of its past. Visegrad was once the location of the Hungarian main castle.

Visegrad is in fact a strategic location.  Up on the hill next to the narrow Danube River, it provides a good view and defense against invaders.

A number of kings have noticed the potential of this natural shelter.   First, King Bela IV of Hungary and his wife, had the fortification build in 1240-1250, replacing the previous one. In 1325, when King Charles I was ruler, it became the first royal seat of Hungary. King Matthias used it as a country residence.

For years after, it was occupied by the Ottoman Empire. The Turkish then abandoned it after important damage.

Only many years later, excavation work began to reveal the treasures of this forgotten buried gem.

Two comparable strategic events, more than 650 years apart, were held in Visegrad.  Both meetings were to ensure the best cooperation and support between countries.  Four countries, four nations, four different languages, different strengths to do what is right.  The most recent meeting was an significant symbol of the original strategic merge power.  The four countries part of the Visegrad Group (also known under V4) are: Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia and it all started in Visegrad in 1335.

While we did appreciate our visit, I can’t say it is a must see, particularly if you have been visiting similar attractions. We were there during the summer festival and it was a nice stop for the children, especially since we also added a ride in the Visegrad Toboggan Park.