Conventions

Füzér Castle: The Middle Ages reloaded

Füzér Castle
Füzér
Tokaj and Nyíregyháza

Visit the citadel in one of the most beautiful places in Hungary. In terms of surroundings, this is just as spectacular as the rightly famous Gothic Revival Neuschwanstein Castle, but was built on a volcanic cone 650 years before its Bavarian counterpart.

Our guides in Füzér castle will help you learn about the history of the fort. Füzér is located at the northernmost point in Hungary, in the eastern part of the Zemplén mountains. The village can be accessed via two main roads: Road 37 on the Szerencs-Sárospatak-Sátoraljaújhely route, or Road 3 from Hidasnémeti-Gönc-Telkibánya. The road passes the famous Tokaj wine region, where you should rest a bit and visit the cellars. While you are here, make sure you also visit the Nagy-Milic Nature Park Visitor Centre, the traditional local houses and the Steward’s Office building. There you will find some interactive exhibits that present the region’s main sights to those who would find it difficult or are unable to climb up into the castle. But if you can, you should most definitely visit the castle, since its scale and proportions in real life are a different experience, and no virtual solutions can imitate how it feels when the beams creak under your shoes. 

The past of Füzér

Here you will learn about the owners of the castle and how they lived in the Middle Ages. The castle is first mentioned in a document from 1264, while according to another document from 1270, starting from the middle of the 13th century the lord of the castle was a certain “blind Master Andronicus” of the Kompolt clan, who then sold it to Andrew II. Another document that mentions Füzér states that it was gifted to Princess Anna, the daughter of King Béla IV, together with the estate around it, but that her brother then took it away by force. In 1320, Füzér is again mentioned as a royal castle. In 1389, the castle was gifted to the sons of Péter Perényi by King Sigismund of Luxembourg. The most influential period in the history of Füzér castle was the time it was owned by the Perényi family. After the battle of Mohács was lost in 1526, Péter Perényi, a Guard of the Crown, had the Holy Crown of Hungary transported and hidden in Füzér Castle so that the Ottomans would not find it. On 3 November 1527, Perényi changed sides and joined Ferdinand I, giving up the Crown to the Austrian archduke, who laid rightful claims to the throne based on the treaties in effect. In return, Perényi was given Sárospatak and the right to the usufruct of the episcopal assets of Eger. The last pledgee of the land was Ferenc Bónis. Füzér Castle was burned down by the General of Kassa to prevent it from being used by the rebels as a hiding place. Minor conservation work was carried out on the ruins of the castle between 1934 and 1936, with the costs borne by the Károlyi family, who had been the owner of the estate since 1686. Archaeological excavations in the castle were only launched in 1977, with works still in progress. Renovations commenced in the 1990s and are still underway in several phases. The lower castle was rebuilt, while the chapel, the palace wing and the lower bastion of the upper castle were renovated a few years ago.

After a reconstruction the castle is more interesting than ever

What you see today is a historic building protection experiment: reconstruction has been designed by architects based on contemporary descriptions, authentic portrayals and their own ideas. This means that this is not mere conservation work, but also a reconstruction. The interior is therefore based on facts on the one hand, but is also the product of imagination, despite the fact that every detail and furniture of the rooms were carefully described by contemporary inventories. The horseshoe-shaped building complex has a women’s and a men’s wing. The porch of the women’s wing opens onto the Renaissance garden. The men’s wing, also known as the old palace, is where you will find the castle’s Great Hall. From the Great Hall, you enter the Gothic chapel, with its high-arched ceiling, built in the age of Sigismund in the 1400s. If you look up, you will see canopied statue niches under the main ribs of the dome. These are almost identical to the statue niches of the cathedral in Kassa. In its current state, the castle could be a perfect shooting location for historical films. You can almost see the hero slowly climbing down the walls from the tower to escape. While on the topic of walls, check out the griffin-shaped spouts that serve to protect the outer walls from rainwater. The griffin is the heraldic animal and as such it appears in several places throughout the castle. If you are in the neighbourhood, make sure to visit Füzér: you’ll never forget the view from the breastwork of the castle.

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