Daytrip Szigetvár

A nice day trip and well worth it if you like history, find ruins nice and interesting and want to stroll in museums or go shopping.

About a half hour drive from Kaposvár you find Szigetvár. You can reach the ruins of the famous castle when coming from the 67 and turn right after the two towers and go right on the Joszef Attila utca. The two towers are part of the Musical hall of Szigetvár. Like a lot of interesting places the castle of Szigetvár is somewhat difficult to find. Szigetvár itself is on highway 6, which connects Bárc via Pécs with Budapest. The siege of the castle of Szigetvár (Castle Island) in 1566 against the Turks was one of the most spectacular events in Hungarian history.

At the time, both the town and the castle were situated on islands in the marshland which made them difficult to conquer. For exactly 33 days commander Miklós Zrinyi held the castle with his 2,500 men against a Turkish army of 80,000 men led by sultan Süleyman. Despite tempting offers – for example Zrinyi was offered to rule over the Turkish satellite states Croatia and Slovenia for ever if he would surrender – Zrinyi did not give up. When finally it became a battle from man to man, the Turks won and only a few defenders of the castle survived the battle.

In the mosque and a 1930s villa near the ruins is a museum detailing the history of the castle and the city (Zrinyi Vár utca 19).

From Szigetvár you can drive on to Pécs, European Capital of Culture in 2010. The journey takes about half an hour.