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Concert location

Catholic Church (22 Hunyadi utca)

Nógrád (Photo: István Fekete)The village which lends its name to the county is famous for the castle sited on the volcanic rock plateau which rises in its centre, as well as for the hiking areas around.

Nógrád was considered a strategically important location even before the Magyars settled in Hungary. In the centre of the settlement is a castle built at 286 metres above sea level on a rock plateau known as Castle Hill (Vár-hegy). Fortifications had been erected on this site at the time of the migration of nations. Slavic tribes from Bulgaria then rebuilt the fort naming it “Novigrad”, that is “New Castle”, which was later spelled Nógrád in Hungarian.

Nógrád (Photo: Ferenc M. Horváth)The first Hungarian King, St. Stephen I, declared Nógrád a county seat and granted it city status. The settlement reached its peak during the rule of King Matthias when the fort was expanded by a three-storey Renaissance castle tower.

During the Turkish era Mehmed, pasha of Buda, occupied the Nógrád fortress from 1544, and for the following 50 years it became the Turkish centre of administration and several hundred guards were stationed here. The emperor’s troops reclaimed the fort in 1594 but only temporarily as the Turks fought back and re-conquered it in 1663. In 1685 lightning struck the gunpowder tower which was destroyed by the explosion. The Turkish troops tore down the remaining walls and left the castle. Thus the military role of the fortress came to an end.


Nógrád vista from the neighbour village Berkenye (Photo: Máté Lachegyi)
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4th Börzsöny Baroque Days Hungarian Development Bank The Hilliard Ensemble