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Sümeg Castle

Sümeg Castle is one of the most beautiful and best-preserved medieval fortresses in the country. It makes Sümeg one of the most spectacular castles in the Trans-Danubian Region, north of Lake Balaton. It offers an impressive sight as it dominates its surroundings from a high hilltop. Every summer we can take delight in castle games where the former splendor and the life of the heroes are being immortalized. The Historical Equestrian Games are famous all over Europe. The ongoing developments and exhibitions of the well-maintained castle are attracting more and more visitors and tourists to Sümeg Castle. No wonder, that the castle has become one of the most popular excursion destinations in Hungary.

History of Sümeg Castle

Sümeg and its surroundings were already inhabited in prehistoric times, then it became part of a Roman province. A Roman settlement and a square-shaped castrum, as well as the remains of a three-aisled early Christian basilica, were excavated not far away from the town, in the Marcal Valley. During the Home Taking of the Magyar tribes in the 9th century, the area was occupied by the Lád Clan. The last member of this clan, Bulcsú, died losing the battle at Augsburg in 955, so his property was taken over by the princely Clan of Árpád. As our first Christian king, István (Stephen) belonged to the Árpád dynasty, the estate was ownedhim. Around 1000, he donated this land to the bishop of Veszprém. (more in the History section)

What can we see in the castle?

The castle includes an inner tower, and it has an irregular polygonal floor plan with a north-south orientation. It is located at the top of a 87-meter-high Castle Hill. It consists of three larger parts, the outer castle, the inner castle, and the citadel. The castle can be reached on foot, the old castle-taxi service is currently out of order. Entering through the outer and then the inner castle gate, we reach the castle courtyard, where a real medieval atmosphere welcomes the visitor, with cannons and flags all around. The Old Tower can be found on the right. it is the oldest part of the castle. After climbing the spiral stairs we find a small exhibition on the history of the castle. In the castle courtyard, there is a smithy, a medieval kitchen, a bakery, and a torture chamber opening from the inner castle courtyard. We can pay a visit to the castle chapel, and take photos of each other in a pallet in the yard. The greatest experience is provided by the fabulous view from the castle walls: we can see the whole fortress, and the small Baroque town at our feet.

We can say without exaggeration that the castle of Sümeg provides the most complete medieval castle atmosphere in Hungary. More sights await us outside the castle. Right at the castle, located on the north-western slope of Castle Hill, there is the so-called Tarisznyavár (Haversack-castle), which has never been a real fortress as it was just protecting the gate of the outer castle. Programs and events are regularly organized in the Historical Adventure Park. The Historical Adventure Park has been set up in a large visitor center at the feet of the castle, which uniquely presents the life of medieval castles, the course of contemporary battles, and siege weapons. There, in the framework of an interactive history lesson, we can get acquainted with the everyday life of the Middle Ages. The siege towers, stone-throwing machines, spear throwers, and cannons are part of the war machine exhibition. It offers an exciting discovery, especially for tourists with children who can play in the historic playground. We can also take a look at a reconstructed Ottoman siege camp. The castle estate offers a wide range of experiences, including horse riding, horse-drawn carriage rides, petting zoos, horse-riding. You can take horse riding and equestrian lessons, try wine tasting, hunting, fishing, and take excursions in the area.

Logistics

Open:
January, February, March: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
April, May, September, October: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
June, July, August: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Tickets:
Adult: 1,500 HUF / person
Child (under 6 years): free
Children (6-14 years): 800 HUF / person
Retired / Student: 800 HUF / person
 
Text by Gábor Szántai