Similar to the Citadel, the Solomon Tower has a breath-taking sight, too (to which the Danube gives a not-less effective background), which is the place of many wedding ceremonies even today, and at the training ground, one can see the regular medieval tournaments held by the Szent György Order’s military tradition-keeping class.
The Solomon Tower is one of the most frequented sights of Visegrád from spring to autumn, where you can see a tournament, a drum parade on almost every day of the week.
The Solomon Tower’s – one of the symbols of Visegrád – largest mystery is in its misleading name; however, it is commonly called this way. Namely, King Solomon could be a prisoner in the tower house of the Citadel (which we also call Solomon Tower for the tradition) in no-way, because Solomon was a captive of King Ladislaus in Visegrád in the 11th century; however, only during the period of the reign of Béla IV, in 1256 we can see the news of the dual castle-system for the first time in an official document.
Therefore, we are “right” only, if we call this important part of the Citadel which was built in the middle of the 13th century Lower Castle of Visegrád, or house tower.
The lower castle of Visegrád, which was continuously improved by every Hungarian king from Béla IV to King Matthias, basically had three tasks during the whole time: a fortress for military purposes, a dwelling for the land-steward, and a home for the king. Getting comfort behind the walls of this fortress they could precisely control the main road connecting the two highly-important cities, Buda and Esztergom, and also the shipping routes on the Danube.
Permanent exhibitions of the Solomon Tower:
- The Royal Palace of Visegrád’s honorary fountain of the 14th century
- The history of Visegrád from the prehistoric age to the 20th century
1 May – 30 September
Monday – Tuesday: CLOSED (except on holidays)
Wednesday – Sunday: 09:00 AM – 05:00 PM
Between 1 October and 30 April the Solomon Tower is CLOSED.
Adult: 700 HUF
Preferential: 350 HUF (between ages 6-26, between ages 62-70, visitors accompanying at least two close relatives under the age of 18 (maximum of 2 persons)
Free: under the age of 6 and above the age of 70
Regarding the national holiday of the 20th of August, visiting the exhibitions in the Solomon Tower is free for everyone.
2025 Visegrád, Salamontorony utca, Tel.: +36 26 597 010, E-mail: email@example.com
GLOWING LIKE THE PUMPKIN OF SOLOMON – WHAT IS THIS ABOUT?
The history of Hungary is full of myths, which to the people of later periods’ minds appearing many times as facts, and reading a charter is not considered much more of a proof then such myths and stories like King Matthias often roamed the country in disguise. The former has its proof in the archives, the latter however – although its reality cannot be completely excluded – is not more than a tradition with the memory of a lost and glorious age based on rumours and fables made throughout the centuries based on each other. The same is with the Pumpkin of Solomon.
During the period of the inner struggles for the possession of the crown, when the two younger cousins of King Andrew I, Géza and Ladislaus were battling with the king’s son, Solomon for the throne, and finally defeat him in the Battle of Mogyoród (1704), and later, in spite of the peace treaty, Solomon became a prisoner.
At that time, there was only one place in Visegrád that could serve as the prison of the exalted Solomon, and that was the steward castle built during the reign of King Saint Stephen which was based on the fundamentals made in the Roman Age (of these times the Sibrik-hills stand as a witness)
“Therefore, in today’s Solomon Tower Solomon could not have been a prisoner.”
One of the most popular myths claims that during the period of the imprisonment of Solomon the windows of the castle (so the late Steward castle) for safety reasons were lit with pumpkin lanterns in the evening, of which lights could be seen also from a long distance and were much help and an orientation point for the sailors of the Danube; and the phrase “glowing like the pumpkin of Solomon” came from these sailors.
The truth will might not be ever known…
Did you know?
The 31 metre-high Solomon Tower’s walls reach the 8 meter wall-thickness in some places, so – although once there were enormous tile stoves in every room – it was impossible to effectively heat up the building.
During this period, because of the same characteristics of the houses similar to the Solomon Tower, the arthritis was not rare among the highly-ranked Lords and Ladies. Nowadays the memory of all of this is fortunately only kept in the pleasing chilly weather that brings relief, the blessing of which can be felt on hot summer days, if we enter the enormous gates of the tower.