The hidden treasures of Pest county contain fairytale castles and wonderfully decorated rooms as well.
Have you ever been to Angelina Jolie’s favourite Hungarian castle? Have you seen the frescoed hall at Pécel, where the famous Hungarian writer, Mór Jókai spent his honeymoon? Have you ever been a guest of an earl? In the following, there are three castles, which are not further than 50 minutes from Budapest. Though not being perfectly renovated, their splendor is still preserved.
Schossberger Castle, Tura
With its spectacular clocktower and graceful chimneys, Schossberger Castle could stand by the Loire Valley. It was built in 1883, according to the plans of Gyula Bukovics.
Although the castle included many technical achievements (electricity, central heating, food elevator), it was used as a hospital by the Germans (and later by the Soviets) during the World War II. Until 1973, it was used as a school; and its renovation finally began in 2005.
Many ambitious plans have been raised (including a five-star wellness hotel), but its future is still insecure. For now, the interior of the castle is spectacular rather than the outside.
Despite its ruined condition, the castle can be visited daily. It is also an important filming location, it is a typical location in Angelina Jolie’s directorial debut.
April 1 – October 31., Monday-Sunday: 9:00 – 19:00
November 1 – March 31., Monday-Sunday: 9:00 -16:00
Full price: 1500 forint
Students and pensioners: 750 forint
Up to 7 years, admission is free.
Ráday Castle, Pécel
By the frontiers of the capital city, Ráday Castle stands at Pécel as a miniature copy of the Grassalkovich Castle. The similairty is not accidental: in 1755, Gedeon Ráday commissioned András Mayerhoffer (the builder of Grassalkovich Castle) to convert the mansion into a baroque castle.
According to travelo.hu, there are two special things which are definitely worth visiting the castle: the frescoes decorating the halls, and the baroque kitchen in the basement. The frescoes are black and white, and depict scenes from the Greek and Roman mythologies.
In 1825, the roof of the castle burnt down, and it was sold by auction in 1872. It was not used until the early 20th century, and major renovations were carried out in the 1920s. In the 1950s, it was nationalized, and the collections of furniture, pictures and coins were scattered. Until 1998, a local department of MÁV hospital was placed there.
Nowadays, despite the restoration, the frescoed and decorated halls can be visited.
The castle can be visited by appointment. Call: Birkás Gábor: +36 20 400 1322; Hajdi Márta: +36 20 400 1312
Full price: 600 forint
Groups (min. 15 people): 500 forint/person
Student (admission is free for children under 6): 400 forint
Retired: 400 forint
Families (min: 2 adults 1 or more children aged 6-14): 1400 forint/family
Károlyi Castle, Fót
This castle was built in the early 1800s, and then extended by Miklós Ybl in 1840. Since 1995, 83-year-old Count László Károlyi has been living in the castle with his wife and their dog; though, the castle is not theirs, they only rent it from the state.
However, they deeply care about the fate of the castle. For example, this year, an exhibition about the past of the family and the castle will be opened. Until that, the castle can be visited by logging in, and the wines of Count Károlyi can be tasted at the Fót Castle Restaurant.
It is also worth taking a walk before in one of the first English parks of Hungary, and sneaking into the magnificent hall of the castle, where weddings are held.
based on article of travelo.hu
translated by Vivien Pásztai