Anonymus, Hungary's earliest chronicler, from Prince Árpád's time mentioned Nógrád Fortress in his writings, when the Prince sent his soldiers to conquer Nógrád (Castrum Nougrad) and another nearby stronghold.
The Fortress's existence goes back to when Slavic tribes built the stronghold on top of the nearly 300 m high volcanic tip and called it Novigrad (New Fortress), hence the Hungarian Nógrád. Szent István (St. Stephen, Hungary's first king) made it a city and the district's administrative capital. During the 14th-15th Century Nógrád went through rapid development, the fortress got rebuilt and extended, including a 3 storey reneszansz palace type tower.
In 1544 the Turkish army stormed the empty fortress and used it for over 50 years.
In 1594 Habsburg Emperor's army retake it from the Turks.
In 1663 the Turkish army reoccupy the Nógrád Fortress again until 1685, when lightning burnt down the Tower, full of gun powder. The Turks demolished the rest of the fortress and abandoned it.
Nógrád, the village and the Fortress never fully recovered after the Turkish occupation.
Thousand of tourist visit the ruins now days.
Nógrád is in the Nógrád district and on State Highway 2, between Vác and Balassagyarmat.
Population: under 2000 Dialling code: 35
For a few years Hui Chin and I wanted to visit Felsõpetény, where my greatly admired and revered His Excellency József Cardinal Mindszenty of Hungary was under house arrest by the communist regime until the 1956 Hungarian Revolution.
We took the train from Budapest to Vác, where we had to wait and change to another train to Rétság where we had to change trains again to Bánk.
We took time out to visit Nógrád village and the Fortress' ruins, on our way to Rétság etc.
Unfortunately I do not have many of my photos left, although we had four cameras between us and we taken many, many photos wherever we went, two of my cameras, with large, 512 MB SD Cards and many thousands of photos on them with my valet and money, were stolen from my bag, later into our trip, by some 'lowlife'.
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