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Castle Gyula

Gyula is a town in Békés County, Hungary. One of the main attractions of Gyula is the castle, which is located in the central part of the settlement, near the other main attraction, the Gyula Castle Spa. The construction of Gyula Castle began in the 14th century but finished only in the mid-16th century. There is a village near Gyula, called Ajtós. It is famous for a unique German-Hungarian family who left for Germany in 1455 and became famous in Nurnberg: the family of the great Renaissance artist, Albrecht Dürer. The word “Dürer” is the direct translation of the village’s name, “Ajtós”. However, those family members of Dürer who remained in Hungary must have perished while fighting against the Ottoman Empire. During the Hungarian-Ottoman wars, Gyula was an important stronghold on the Great Hungarian Plain, taken by Pasha Pertev only in 1566. The famous siege lasted for two months and finally the defenders, led by captain Kerecsényi László, withdrew into the brick-built inner castle. Finally, they had to surrender the castle in exchange for free passage but upon leaving the ruins, the captain and his soldiers were put to the sword. The renovated castle was reopened in 2005. A nice exhibition can be seen in the restored rooms and halls, and outdoor performances are held in the courtyard.

History of Castle Gyula

The castle has a regular floor plan and an inner tower. It was built in a well-defendable swampy-marshy area, in the floodplain of the Fehér-Körös River, on a long island. The settlement was born between 1232 and 1313. It was in 1230 that King Endre II donated the then uninhabited area to the brother of Archbishop Ugrin of Esztergom. He was Miklós of the Csák Clan, Chief Comes of Csanád, and later Bihar County.

The first recorded reference to Gyula was in a document dated 1313 which mentioned a monastery called Gyulamonostora. (It means „the monastery of Gyula”) By 1332 the settlement around the monastery was also called Gyula. The place was already listed as "Gula" in the papal tithe register of 1332-37.

The Transylvanian Voivode Losonczi László received it from King Sigismund in 1387. After László’s death, the manor was inherited by his son. (Please, note that I use the Oriental name order for Hungarians where family names come first. (more in the History section)

What can we see in the castle?

Gyula Castle awaits its visitors with 24 exhibition halls: on the ground floor there is the castle prison, the restaurant, the bakery, the blacksmith and pottery workshop, the wine gallery, and the chapel.

Upstairs we can find the quarters of the castle mistresses, castle lords and ladies, the castellan’s office room, the reception hall of the Ottoman Sanjak Bey, the armory, the halberd hall, and the knightly hall.

The re-consecrated chapel of the castle is ready to serve baptisms, weddings; while the knightly hall is also suitable for receptions and conferences. The castle's gift shop is located in the former two-story cannon tower, in the same room where the ticket office can be found. A falconry demonstration is held every day at 11 p.m.

Open hours:

Monday: closed Tuesday-Sunday 10 A.M. – 6 P.M. Entrance ticket: 2,100 HUF