Eger Castle- The European Shield


When reading about the history of Europeans and Ottomans, you are bound to come across Eger Castle. It played a notable role in building the defense of the Christian empire against the Ottomans. This Medieval castle blended with Gothic architectural influences stands proud today with all its glory and glamor carefully preserved.

Let us take you on an intriguing journey to Eger Castle, where you will get to know detailed information about the castle’s history, its architectural uniqueness, and ways you can visit and explore this magnificent castle in Hungary.

Eger Castle served as an army barricade in the twentieth century by the Hungarian forces.

The Gothic Bishop's palace at the Eger Castle.
The Gothic Bishop’s palace at the Eger Castle. karel291, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Frequently Asked Questions


Early History

Early Construction of the Castle (11th – 13th century)

The original building of Eger Castle was built on Várhegy at Felsőtárkány, a hill near Eger city. It consisted of a manor house, originally a chapel to which a residential tower had been added on. The exact period around which this structure was built is unknown. In 1241, the Mongol invasion rendered the castle in ruins. For the coming two centuries, the castle remained in ruins until the Bishop of Eger decided to move the castle to an adjacent rocky hill near Eger city. 

An artistic representation of Eger Castle in the thirteenth century.
An artistic representation of Eger Castle in the thirteenth century. Joris Hoefnagel, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Inclusion of the Gothic Elements to the Castle (15th to 16th century)

It was around that time when the importance of Eger Castle was boosted as it became the episcopal of the Kingdom of Hungary. The reconstruction of the Eger Castle at the relocated spot included an expanded version of the original castle intertwined with Gothic inspirations. A Romanesque cathedral including a bishop chapel was added to the castle’s structure. Led by lead architects of the time, Francesco Pozzo and Martino Remiglio, the fortification of the castle was completed in the 1560s, with outer and inner castles built, mirroring the gothic influences of the time. 

Fortification of Eger Castle during Battle of Mohács

The Battle of Mohács that broke out in 1526 between Hungry and its allies resulted in the siege of Eger Castle by Péter Perényi. In the midst of the mayhem, a fire broke out,  incinerating the cathedral’s roof and various houses located within the castle walls. Later, Tamás Varkoch, the Castle’s lieutenant, took it upon himself to expand the fortifications of the castle. The project included the addition of new bastions and expansions of the interior buildings. 

A peek at the front door of the Eger castle.
A peek at the front door of the castle. Joris Hoefnagel, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Siege of Eger Castle by Ottomans (Late 16th Century)

The castle came under fire from the Ottomans for its strong defensive barrier as it served as a gateway for Ottomans to enter Europe. After multiple attempts, the Turk Sultan’s army took over the castle in 1596. The subsequent attacks on the castle by the Sultan’s army caused serious damage to the bastions of the castle, which were later repaired by Turk forces. Turk’s rule over Eger Castle lasted for the next century, during which the castle observed further expansion and fortification of its outer walls.

Recovery of Eger Castle by Austrian-Hungarian Armies (Late 17th century)

The castle was recovered from the Turks by Austro-Hungarian forces in 1687. In the coming years, the outer fortifications of the castle were demolished, leaving only the inner castle standing. The castle again proved to be of military importance during the Rákóczi War of Independence, when the Habsburg true forces took over the castle in 1710. 

A peek inside the ruins of Eger Castle.
The ruins of Eger Castle. SchiDD, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Demolishing of Eger Castle

The church authorities approved the demolition of Eger Castle around 1783–the castle bastions, buildings, and cathedral were demolished. However, the complete demolition of the castle was stopped by Archbishop János László Pyrker, who realized the historical significance and importance of Eger Castle.

The south wall in Eger Castle.
The south wall in Eger Castle. Globetrotter19, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Current Times

Today, the bishop palace is the only original medieval structure of Eger Castle. Most structures remain from the recent centuries that archeologists excavated. The castle’s history is preserved by the Eger Castle museum, including wax figurines of important figures associated with the history of Eger Castle.

The entrance in the courtyard of Eger castle.
The entrance in the courtyard of Eger castle. SchiDD, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Interesting Eger Castle Facts

  • The Siege of Eger is the key event that gave the castle fame for repelling the Turkish attacks. 
  • In 1701, the Austrians explored half of the Castle’s original structure when the demolition of the castle was ordered by the church. 
  • Eger Castle served as an army barricade in the twentieth century by the Hungarian forces. 

Visiting Eger Castle – Tips and Tricks

If you are inspired by the history of Eger Castle and feel intrigued to visit, we have you covered. In the coming section, we have provided you with all the necessary details, including the ticket prices, visiting hours, and how you can get to Eger Castle with maximum ease and comfort. 

A panoramic view of Eger city from the castle walls.
A panoramic view of Eger city from the castle walls.

How to get to Eger Castle?

It is very convenient to commute from the city of Eger to Eger Castle. Since the castle is close by, it is barely a ten-minute walk. If you wish, you can also take a taxi up to the castle, costing around 600 to 1000 HF ($2- $3 USD). In addition, bus numbers 11, 12 and 14 leaving from Eger city are also cheap options to reach Eger Castle.

Ticket Prices, Visiting Hours & Travel Tips

Information was checked & updated on October 29, 2023.

The castle is open for visitors all days of the week except Mondays. The visiting hours vary depending upon the seasons. In the summers, March till November, the castle opens up at 8 am and closes at 6 pm. Whereas, in the winters, November till February, the Castle opens at 8 am and closes at 4 pm. The castle museum closes at 5 pm in the summers and 4 pm in winter. 

The entry fee to visit Eger Castle is 3600 HUF ($10 USD) per person, including the entry fee to the castle’s museum. A discount is available for children and students visiting the castle where the entry fee is half of the original amount. Entry is free for senior citizens over 70 and children under 6 years of age. 

You can also avail of guided tours and auto-guides while visiting the castle, each of which requires an additional fee to be paid to avail the service. A number of companies offer private tours which can cost from $100- $250 USD.

Visiting tourists around Eger.
Visiting tourists around Eger.

How Long Will It Take to Tour Around?

It can take about 2 hours to complete your visit to Eger Castle, including its interior, as well as exploring the castle’s museum.

Some words of advice and tips: 

  • The castle is most crowded during the first half of the day. If you wish to avoid the crowd, you can visit the castle in the afternoon. 
  • Adjacent to the castle are several famous restaurants that you can visit to have a scrumptious meal. 
  • The castle also allows wedding photography for which you have to buy a ticket and management’s permission for the photoshoot. 

Quick Video Tour of The Main Eger Castle Areas

Kainat Khalid
Kainat Khalid
Kainat is an English literature graduate with a profound interest in historical architecture. She has studied and explored the dusted pages of history for years which has ignited her passion to explore the existing remnants of our past glory and revisit them from a revised perspective. “There is no present without the past” is what she believes in and what drove her to begin cataloging these timeless historical monuments.

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