Hungrian castles
Bastions of european christianity

Hungary has been from the time of the Hungarian conquest of the Carpathian Basin (896) the strongest kingdom in Europe; it had the most efficient and strongest army. The kings of the country created a well-developed system of border castles of almost two thousand castles.

Then the Muslim Osman Empire and the greatest army of the world tried to destroy the Christian belief in Europe. Hungary stayed on the way of the Muslim expansion as the strong bastion of Christian Europe. The way led through Hungary to Europe. Already in the 14th century there were constant border clashes with the Turks, and in the 15th century the Hungarian kings led several campaigns through the Balkans repelling the Turks and keeping them at bay. At the beginning of the 16th century Hungary struggled through a severe inner strife and the king on the throne was weak; this led to the lost battle of Mohács in 1526, which started a 150 years long patriotic war.

Hungary did not give in! The land-owning gentry and the border castles fought divided, one by one against the strongest army of the time. Several well-known films were made of heroes of the world. But only a few know what happened in Hungary during these 150 years. If the Osman Empire went through Hungary and conquered the weak and divided Europe of the time, then world history would have another course today...

During the fights in this 150 year period two thirds of these border castles fell, only those on the northern mountains remained intact.

Every siege is an epic history; every one of them could be a Hollywood blockbuster... unfortunately only the border castle ruins make us remember these heroic times. In Europe every people feared the Hungarians since the 5th century, the arrival of the Huns of Attila, so the whole Europe gloated over the 150 years of war with the Turks. We did not receive any help; moreover, the neighboring German Empire captured from the northern territories whatever they could.

At the end of the 17th century with the weakening of the Osman Empire the united European army with German leadership “liberated” Hungary and created the Austro-Hungarian Empire. This liberation led to the destruction of the remaining castles and the dismembering, weakening of Hungary by all possible means.

In the storms of history the Magyars survived, and though many peoples disappeared, they remained alive. As we walk the ruins of our once proud castles, never forget, that the proud Europe should thank them their Christianity.


When the castle was built is not known, maybe sometime near the Mongol invasion. Interesting, that we know of almost none of the castles in Nógrád, when they were built. It is mentioned first in a charter of 1303. In the immediate surroundings of Buják there are eight castles which were built to protect the mining towns.


The spectacular castle of Somoskő built in the Middle Ages on a volcanic peak was placed a couple of meters behind the Trianon borders. For decades it was only possible to admire it from the edge of the village, but today through the interoperability of the borders we can visit without difficulties this imposing castle ruin and the geological curiosities also belonging to Slovakia at the side of the mountain, the basalt organs and the rock field.


The castle of Drégely stands in the northern part of the Börzsöny mountains, in a 444 meters high volcanic stone peak among the green mountains.


The construction of the Latorvár is dated through the ceramic findings to the Árpád-era, the end of the 12th century or the beginning of the 13rd century.



This castle is a valuable relic of provincial Hungarian baroque architecture. A forerunner of the building, the castle from the Middle Ages stood already in 1456. The baroque castle of today was built by the family Forgách around 1753-1763.


The castle of Boldogkő is a castle from the Middle Ages built on a rocky peak on the eastern side of the valley of the Hernád river, immediately next to the village Boldogkőváralja. The Bodókő-hill on which the castle stands, made from andesite tufa from the Miocene age, belongs to the Zemplén Nature Protection Area. The beauty of the surroundings and the relatively good condition of the castle makes it a popular objective; it is also a station of the National Blue Trail.


Near Salgótarján the proud castle of Salgó crowns a high, rocky peak of the Medves-plateau. The ruins of the castle built on a steep volcanic cone are seen from afar, they can be reached through a light tracking route. On the top of the peak of 625 meters we can enjoy a breathtaking full panorama of the neighboring mountains.


The ruins of the castle of Hasznos, or otherwise, the castle of Cserter are located at an unbelievable place, at the top of a steep cone above a water reservoir with splendid view of the mountains of the Mátra.


At the top of the 529 meters high peak of the Cserhát lie the ruins of Szandavár. The castle of Szanda was rich, many lands, properties and villages belonged to it. Its golden age was in the 15th century, that time Szanda had the rank of a town.