Taking part on our tours you will discover natural beauty of countryside castles and palaces of Hungarian kings and influecing aristoratic or noble families. The earliest stonework castle remains can be found in Esztergom, where the first king of Hungary, Saint Stephen was born around 969.
That time a wide-spread practice was to build castles with an earth- and wooden structure, stone castles were regarded as special royal privilages. Unfortunatelly earthwork castles were occupied destroyed during the Mongol invasion, only the well-built stone castles were able to survice. Following the withdrawl of the Mongols, King Béla IV ordered a stone castle to be built on every hilltop. The importance of Buda and Visegrad castles have increased, and they became royal seat (Buda was the home town of kings Béla IV and Sigismund and Visegrád was the
royal seat during the realm of King Charles, Matthias Corvinus). The castles became more comfortable and ornamented. Louis the Great rebuilt and modernised Diósgyőr castle, what became the seat of six queens of Hungary. During the Turkish occupation the border fortresses tried to defend Hungary against the overwhelming Turk troops (with success at Nádorfehérvár/Belgrade, Szigetvár, Eger, and Kőszeg). Castles of Győr and Szendrő were reinforced against the Turks. During the 150 years Turkish accupation of Central Hungary most of the castles built in the Middle Ages were destroyed. After the Turks had been driven out from Hungary, many castles were destroyed by Habsburgs (Szigliget, Sirok, Tokaj). The new Komárom fortress network at the Danube was built in the 18th and 19th centuries based on cutting-edge principles of
military architecture. From the 18th century many castles had been reconstructed and splended new palaces built, often on the flat lands with magnificent, baroque gardens, like Esterházy palace at Fertőd, Festetics castle at Keszthely and Grassalkovich Royal castle at Gödöllő.
From 19th century the English example of social and political life influenced style of castles, and natural beauty and botanical interest of gardens came into fashion. Nádasdy castle at Nádasladány is one of most beatiful castle of historism. The famous Lillafüred palace was built in neo-Renaissance style in 1930, by István Bethlen, the Hungarian aristocrat and statesman, served as Prime Minister. Now most of the castles and their beautiful gardens are in state property, as museums or other public buildings.