In the framework of the National Castle Program, the recently-restored Mosonmagyaróvár Castle was inaugurated on Tuesday. The castle has acquired new functions as a tourist destination in the form of interactive exhibitions, in addition to preserving its role as a center for higher education.
At the ceremony, Gergely Gulyás, head of the Prime Minister’s Office, noted that this renovation serves the purpose of presenting the past and shaping the future at the same time. He added that amid the competition with the best institutions of higher education in Europe, the Hungarian government provides the necessary funds to universities and colleges, including the agrarian department of the Széchenyi University in Mosonmagyaróvár Castle.
The Minister of Agriculture, István Nagy, said that the castle is reborn, and continues to function as an orientation point, and part of the town’s identity. The Ministeral Commissioner responsible for the National Castle Program, Zsolt Virág, highlighted that the castle was built in several stages. In the oldest, south-western part of the castle, a Gothic stone coat of arms was found, which is a unique piece of the Hungarian memorabilia.
Photo by Csaba Krizsán/MTI
Indeed, the castle looks back on a rich and eventful history as it was partially or fully rebuilt multiple times in different periods, and over the centuries its owners were regularly changing. The construction of the castle itself began in 1364. The Ottomans burnt it down two times, once in the first half of the 16th century, and then upon their return from the siege of Vienna, in 1689. The castle was reconstructed and strengthened over the 16th and 17th centuries to resist the attacks of, for example, the Ottomans, and later the anti-Habsburg Kuruc army, up until 1712, when following the end of Rákóczi’s War of Independence against the Habsburg Empire, the castle lost its military significance.
From 1712 onwards, the castle belonged to the Habsburg court, and Maria Theresa gave the land and its seat to her daughter, Maria Kristina. In 1818, the castle acquired its current form, and Prince Albert Casimir of Saxony, Duke of Teschen (husband of Maria Kristina), established the Private Economic Institute of Magyaróvár (Magyaróvári Gazdasági Magántanintézet), the predecessor of today’s university department.
Over the 20th century, the castle was renovated, and archeological excavations also took place on the site. In 1997, it was declared a highly protected monument. It is still possible to see part of the defense system, and the town wall as well as the moat, which renders the building closest to the common notion of a castle. An important symbol of Mosonmagyaróvár, the history of the castle is closely intertwined with the high-level educational and scientific activities conducted within its walls, which has significantly contributed to the preservation of the building.
Featured photo by Csaba Krizsán/MTI