The Castle of Diosgyor, located in the city of Miskolc, Hungary, is an attraction that has been pulled directly out of medieval history. Guests who visit can tour the castle, try their hand at various medieval crafts and recreational activities, and spend the day learning about this interesting part of Hungarian history.
The first castle built at Diosgyor has been traced back to the 12th century, although it was eventually destroyed during the invasion by the Mongols that happened between 1241 and 1242. The current castle, built in the gothic architectural style, became important to King Louis the Great before being given as a gift to the Queen of Hungary. Eventually, the castle fell into disrepair (around the 17th century) and remained that way until archaeologists started excavations there in the 1960s. The castle was rebuilt in 2014 and furnished in the medieval style before being opened to the public as a museum and tourist attraction.
The castle is the main attraction, allowing guests to wander around the vast grounds and even try their hands at some of the skills that can be found there. Below are a few of the “don’t miss” areas.
- Saint Hedwig Chapel & Relic - The two stories, centrally open contemporary chapel is a common find in many castles that were built in the same time period. Created to honor the king’s youngest daughter, Hedvig, who eventually was honored as a saint, the chapel is also home to Saint Helen’s basilica.
- Europe’s Largest Knight - Not a physical knight statue but an entire hall, the Great Hall was one of the largest on the entire continent and was originally designed in the 1300s. Make sure to check out the huge frescos located on both ends of the Great Hall that illustrate the struggle of the king. Pay special attention to the impressive arches, royal flags, women’s dresses, swords, armor, and general atmosphere.
- Queen’s Dormitory - The room where the Queen slept when spending time at the castle features a huge, a four-poster bed, a cradle, a five-sided vaulted bench displaying a playful medieval scene, and a dress box.
- Alchemy Room - Alchemy was the forefather of modern medicine, and this room teaches guests about the quest for health and longer life through exhibits and hands on potion making.
- Mint - Learn about how coins were made in the medieval Hungarian times, as well as the birth of gold bullion. This area of the castle also teaches guests about the gold and silver mines where the metal for the coins was sourced.
- Archery - Guests can try their hand against a skilled archer in the courtyard where many of the original residents practiced their own skills.
- Metalsmith - In this area of the castle, visitors will learn about how armor and weapons were manufactured in medieval times. Many original weapons used by knights are on display in the shop and guests are allowed to try their hand at using them (with the supervision of a skilled staff member).
The castle is open daily November through March, from 9am to 5pm, and slightly longer days from April to October (open until 6pm). Guided tours of the groups, offered by staff members in medieval garb, are offered from October to April on a daily basis. These will start in the upper courtyard and leave regularly starting at 10am.
Many different medieval events are hosted at the castle during the year. The website hosts a calendar of all of those events, searchable by month and location. Each event is also clickable, taking visitors to full information about it including time and age that it is appropriate for. Tickets are also purchasable through that link to allow guests to buy them ahead of a visit to save time. Many of the events happen around the major holidays, like Easter and Christmas. They also focus strongly on the history surrounding the castle, like the weapons created there and the many different competitions that used to be held there. Some require additional costs, and others are included with the cost of castle museum admission. There are even some that allow castle guests to stay overnight, which is one of the more fun and unique ways to see the castle (although it can be a little scary for youngers guests).
The gift shop at the castle offers a unique variety of medieval themed merchandise for guests to purchase. The shop offers jewelry, religious artifacts like crosses to decorate the home, wooden trinkets, toys for children, and other miscellaneous souvenirs. Each purchase helps to fund the daily operations of the castle.
Castle of Diosgyor, 3534 Miskolc, Var U. 24, Phone: +36-46-53-33-55