Found on the banks of the Danube, Visegrad was the most important political center of the middle age kingdom of Hungary. The hill castle was connected with the lower castle, a Roman relic that had access to the river. The castle was constructed by King Bela 4th of Hungary, it later became a royal residence and was improved by king Sigismund Bathory and king Matthias Corvinus. After the Ottoman conquest it became almost a ruin and was never used as home of Hungarian monarchs.
One of the most pleasant surprises the visitor has is the reenactment of the day to day life of the middle age aristocracy. It was a military society, in which hunting, armor and heavy weapons played a key role, but that did not lack style when it came to sumptuous banquets, elegant hand made costumes and dancing balls.
King Bella IV is considered the second founder of the Hungarian Kingdom, after Stephen I, over half a millennium before. His reign was marked by numerous battles with the Mongols and by expansions in the region and internal development. Charles Robert of Anjou descended from Arpad and from one of the oldest royal families in Europe, the Capetians (from Hugh Capet). His reign was marked by agile diplomatic alliances and by expansion campaigns to the south that ended with the lost battle of Posada, where he was stopped by the wallachs. King Matthias Corvinus is regarded as an important historic figure both by Hungarians and by Romanians. Son of John Hunyad, he was one of the most brilliant rulers of Hungary. Though he was constantly challenged by the barons, during his reign not only Hungary had the greatest territory in its history, but arts and living standards were developed under Italian influence. Important cities like Esztergom, Visegrad and Buda own a lot to the architects from the time of Matthias Corvinus.