Castle of Szigliget

A castle with a rich history and stunning view.

The history of the castle dates back to the mid-13th century when castle constructions had intensified following the Mongol Raid. The first owner was the Abbey of Pannonhalma. The castle was built on a volcanic peak surrounded by swamp and was much smaller than today having just two towers with a keep in between and a walled bailey. Later it passed into the hands of the king by exchange and then it was obtained by the Bishop of Veszprém who kept it until the end of the century.

The castle changed hands many times. It was considerably extended by the Móriczhidais in the mid-14th century. Together with minor changes the outer bailey with two towers were built. The latest major structural change was building the Round Tower.

The best known castellan of the castle was Bálint Magyar who was in charge of the fortification in Fonyód on the opposite side of the lake. He governed the castle in the mid-16th century for nearly 30 years and withstood more sieges by the Turkish. With a fading strategic importance over the 17th century the castle was finished off by a lightning in 1697 exploding gunpowder supply in a tower. Afterwards it was not restored, what’s more, the remaining part was destroyed by the Habsburgs to prevent troops of Rákóczi’s War of Independence from using it.

Over time locals gathered the stones and rubble for their own use and renovation started only in the 20th century. The latest major restoration project finished in 2013 and more exhibition rooms opened, such as a Baroque kitchen and a weapon collection.

The castle boasts a stunning view over Balaton on one side (another hill on the peninsula obstructs the view a little), buttes and Keszthely Mountains on the other.