All you need to know to plan your visit
The castle of Eger is one of the main visitor highlights in the city of Eger. If you plan a trip to this historic city in Northern Hungary, you should also pay a visit to this fortified stronghold in the city center.
In this travel guide, we will supply you with all the information you need to make the best of your visit to Eger Castle.
We tell you about entrance fees, opening hours, getting there and about the exhibitions in the Istvan Dobo castle museum.
On top of that, this article also holds information on complementary things to make your visit even better!
If you’re interested in the actual history of the castle, you can scroll down to the bottom of this article, where we added a brief overview of the enthralling history of the castle!
So keep reading!
Combine this visit with a wine tasting afternoon
You can easily spend a couple of hours at the castle of Eger. Visit it in the morning and spend the afternoon at the Valley of the beautiful Women. This region is known for its delicious wines and you can explore many different wine cellars and enjoy some tastings as well.
Exhibitions and museums inside the Eger Castle
THE BISHOP'S PALACE
This pretty salmon colored building houses three exhibitions, two of them you can visit freely. The third one, Heroes Hall, you can visit with a guide.
Exhibition about the history of Eger Castle
On the second floor of this Gothic Palace you discover the expo about the history of Eger Castle.
Wandering through these seven rooms you learn the importance of the castle of Eger through different centuries in time. Each room represents a different era and all the displays come with an explanation in English.
If you are interested in the turbulent past of the castle that goes hand in hand with the past of the Hungarian people you really have to check out this expo.
The Heroes Hall can be found in the Bishop’s Palace on the ground floor.
This room is dedicated to Istvan Dobo who lead the Hungarians to victory in the 1552 siege of Eger castle.
Because of his important role, you find the red marble cover of Istvan Dobo’s tombstone in the center of this room. Flanked by 6 white statues, 3 on the left and 3 on the right, all representing a heroic character that took part in the fight.
One of the statues is a woman, to pay tribute to all the women who fought side by side with the man for the freedom of Eger.
The two illuminated corridors that make up this exposition represent an ancient dungeon where you can witness how prisoners and wrongdoers were treated in medieval times.
All of the pieces in this place are instruments that were used for torture, mutilation, intimidation and humiliation of the prisoners.
You can find tools for breaking bones, decapitation, burning, shaming and much more. Most of the items have a board hanging next to it explaining with images how the torture tools were used.
THE RUIN GARDEN
Before you enter the ‘Dark Gate’ to the casemates, you can walk through some ruins on the left side of the pathway.
The ruin garden is part of the castle garden where you can see the remains of a medieval Cathedral that was destroyed and rebuilt multiple times during various occupations. At one point, the bricks of this cathedral were used to fortify the castle walls.
In the back you can see a statue of St. Istvan, the first King of Hungary.
THE MUSTER OF ARMS EXHIBITION
The entrance to the Muster of Arms exhibition is located in a separate tower on the castle ground.
You have to descend to the minus third floor with an elevator or with the stairs to find the start of the expo.
This expo is pretty cool for weapon lovers, because it has al the ancient and old-school weapons you can imagine: swords, knives, spears and daggers. But also fire arms of different era.
If you carefully look at the weapons, you can see some of them have the name of their owner engraved!
In the Casemates exhibition you can visit the lapidarium, with remains of bricks and other stones of the actual Cathedral that once stood proudly in the what now is the Ruin garden.
We enjoyed our visit to this part of the castle museum a lot partially because of the awesome location in the cool corridors under the castle.
The casemates expositions are also very modern and you can find many interactive computer screens that show the history and invasions.
The corridors are fortified and were used in medieval times as secure passways from one side of the castle to another.
ECLIPSE OF THE CRESCENT MOON
The “Eclipse of the Crescent Moon” is a novel from 1899 by Gardonyi Géza, covering mainly the story of the siege of Eger.
This exhibition is dedicated to that book and the movie based on it.
The characters in the novel are based on historic figures and the actual battle, but the storyline is created by the writer in his manner to give a more human face to a brutal battle. In other words, he tried to capture the daily lives of the people living in that day and age.
It is one of the best known Hungarian books in history and it’s very popular in the country. You may assume that every Hungarian child has read it at some point in school, as it used to be required reading!
The book and passages of it are on display in the museum, but of course, most of it is in Hungarian. There are, however, some English information tags.
WANDERING AROUND THE CASTLE GROUND
All the tiny museums scattered around the place are worth your time, but the best part of the whole experience is to stroll around the castle ground.
Walk on the castle passages and explore the different bastions and courtyards. Imagining how life unfolded here day by day, enjoying the magnificent views over Eger town.
When to visit and opening hours
WHICH SEASON IS BEST
The castle can be visited all year round.
Each season has its own charms.
Avoid really hot days as the outside of the castle offers no protection from the blistering sun.
Special events in the castle of Eger
During the summer season, many activities and special events are organized within the castle grounds.
In August, you can visit the castle to attend a historical events with a Siege reenactment.
There’s also an Eger Castle day in October, and more events with varying dates.
See the full program here.
How to get to the Castle
The Castle is located in the heart of the city.
So we recommend parking your car in one of the designated parkings around Eger and make your way to the center on foot. This way, you get to see a little more of the city too.
Make your way to Dobo Square, which is the main city square. As soon as you enter the square, you can already see the castle rising in the background, at the North East side of the square. This way, you reach the South entrance of the castle.
Parking in Eger
Closest parking: Bastya Utca – at the Géza Gárdonyi Memorial House (limited spaces)
When parking here, you’re very close to the castle and won’t see much of the city. You reach the castle via the North entrance.
Recommended parking: Underground parking at Agria Park
We recommend this parking at the Agria Park because you don’t have to guess how long you’re staying straight away. You pay for your parking time once you check out.
Where to eat
You’re probably pretty hungry after digesting all this history and information.
There’s a food stall inside the castle walls, but we didn’t try it personally.
We do recommend the modern restaurant right outside the South entrance, called Brum Brum. They’re located right outside the castle and you can get great food here.
Also The Senator House Hotel has a terrace outside and we had a very tasty meal hear.
Where to stay
History of the Castle of Eger
Brief history of the castle
The building date of the original castle, which stood on a hill near Eger, is unknown. It was, however destroyed in 1241 during the Mongol invasion. After the destruction, a new castle was built on the current location.
A gothic palace was built inside the castle premises in 1470.
Almost a century later, in 1552, a Turkish army attacked the castle. This battle is also referred to as ‘The Siege of Eger’. At that time, the invading army had more than 35 thousand soldiers and Eger Castle was protected by little more than 2000 defenders. The Turkish army had to retreat because of their severe losses and Eger prevailed.
Forty years later, in 1596, the Turkish attacked again and this time they conquered the castle and city.
The Siege of Eger
1552 was a very special year for the city and castle in Eger.
Since 1526, Hungary was under Turkish attack and all the settlements in the area were conquered one by one. The Hungarian army was crushed. By the time the invaders reached the city of Eger, there weren’t many soldiers left to defend the stronghold.
Budapest had already been conquered years before and not much resistance was expected when the invaders prepared to conquer the other cities in the country.
But the Hungarians stood their ground, but the defence looked poorly. Little over 2000 people were holding the castle and they were attacked by a massive Ottoman army.
The defenders were only a few soldiers, but mainly peasants and women: the women of Eger!
The battles lasted little over a month and the invaders had to retreat because they suffered many casualties and they could not make their way into the fortress.
Because of this heroic siege, Eger has become the national symbol of patriotic heroism, because their small group of citizens defended their grounds against an army of 35.000 heavily armed attackers.
Why visit the Castle of Eger
Once you read the story of what happened in this particular place in Northern Hungary, you can’t pass a visit to this place, right?
Eger Castle was actually the only place in the entire country that could keep their grounds against such powerful army.
Go check out the place for yourself to see artworks about the Siege of Eger and visuals of how the women of Eger fought side by side with the men.
The castle exhibitions and museum is also very nicely maintained and beautifully displayed.
We were quite impressed by the quality and decoration we found inside these castle walls.
So a visit the the castle is definitely recommended!