Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Visegrad Trip: Castles, Kings & Vampires

If you like castle/mountain/river - scapes, this is just the post for you! This post is lousy with castles! If you don't like castles, you might not be real into this post. But I did mention vampires... that seems to interest lots of folks these days. If that sounds like something that might interest you... read on!
The day before Easter, we ventured off to Visegrad. It's about 45 minutes outside of Budapest. Visegrad is an old little village and it boasts the remains of two castles: Fellegvar (the citadel) & Kiraly Palota (King Matthias Corvinus' royal palace). The shot above is from the royal palace. It had some beautiful windows.
We started with the citadel (Fellegvar). King Bela IV built this around 1240 AD, after the Mongol invasion of Hungary. It was built for the purpose of watching the Danube for approaching invaders. Nice view of the Danube, huh?! Claudia was more concerned with her squashed banana.
She pretty much ran around looking for Princess Aurora the whole time.
Man, we need to get to Disney World!
But even Claudia was taken aback by the beautiful view.
Here's one of the three towers of the citadel...
and three invading Mongols storming the castle!
Teasing.The citadel is fortified with some winding stone ramparts.
Daddy and Bop could have cared less about the castles,
but they had a great time playing around.
... and walking around.
After the citadel, they had had enough.
They found a super playground in Visegrad and left me to my castles.
This is the royal palace and it's situated below the citadel, by the river.
It was built by King Matthias Corvinus around 1477.
It was actually completely covered by a mudslide for about a century.
It was discovered and unearthed around 1934.
Surprise! We found a castle!
Now here's the part about the vampires! One of the palace towers is called Solomon's Tower. Between 1462 and 1467, Vlad the Impaler, a Transylvanian nobleman was imprisoned here by King Matthias Corvinus. I didn't know this myself, but Transylvania was once part of Hungary. Several centuries later, Bram Stoker wrote up a little book based on Vlad... you may have heard of it... Dracula! Creepy, huh? The real life Dracula lived here!
Here's something more light hearted for you. This fountain is on the fourth floor courtyard of the palace. Under Matthias, it ran with red wine. Wine would spout of the lions' mouths. The story goes that Matthias would bring visiting dignitaries to the fountain for discussions. After he got them good and drunk, they'd pretty much agree to what he wanted. Maybe they should install one of these at the White House!
Here's one of the lions from which the red wine would spout.
Maybe that can be my next home renovation project: installation of red wine fountain.
And that's all from Visegrad.
Maybe I'll tour Solomon's Tower next Halloween!
dun, dun, duuuunnn!

1 comment:

  1. Love this post. You just can't find a good castle in the States! Once again, I enjoy living/traveling vicariously through you.


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