K ing Louis the Great had a two-storey chapel, open in the middle, built in the Castle of Diósgyőr, unique to medieval castle architecture. The chapel was consecrated in 2014 AD to the veneration of Hedvig (Jadwiga) the youngest daughter of the king. After her father’s death, Hedvig inherited the Polish throne. She was respected as a saint already during her lifetime, as she was a real patroness of the conversion of Lithuanians to Christianity, and she emphasised hail and grace as opposed to her husband Vladislaus Jagiellon’s violent methods. Hedvig was canonised as a saint by Pope John Paul II in 1997.
Saint Hedvig’s (Jadwiga’s) relic: On 15 July 2015, Ferenc Palánki suffragan bishop of Eger and Vince Mikolai parish priest of Diósgyőr ceremonially received Saint Hedvig’s bone relic from the parish priest of Wavel cathedral in Krakow, and the authenticity of the relic was certified by the signature of Dzsivis Krakow’s Cardinal Archbishop. In 18 July 2015, the day of Saint Hedvig’s holiday, the relic was taken to Saint Hedvig’s Chapel in a ceremonial procession after a mass celebrated in the Great Hall, and was placed into the relic holder in the side of the altar.
E nter the Great Hall of King Louis the Great to marvel at the impressive arches, the fascinating grandeur that evoke the Age of Chivalry when even the Venetian Republic was lying at the feet of the Hungarian monarch! The Great Hall of the Castle of Diósgyőr was one of the largest halls for such use in medieval Central Europe, which has been restored to its old grandeur. King Louis the Great celebrated his coronation to King of Poland here and on 26 September 1381 the peace treaty concluding his long warfare with Venice was signed among these walls, and the Doge of Venice himself arrived in the castle for the event. The two ends of the great hall are decorated with the two scenes of the mural survived in the church of Székelyderzs, which show the fight of Saint Ladislaus, the beau ideal of King Louis the Great, with the Cumans. On the walls of the great hall full-body armours, royal armoried flags and swords and impressive dresses for women are on display. The impressive architectural solutions take today’s visitors breath away, but the most captivating is probably the unique atmosphere of the Great Hall, which evokes the weekdays of the knight king, and that historical period when the whole of Europe paid attention to the Castle of Diósgyőr.
T he impressively furnished dormitory is one of the most spectacular rooms of the palace, where the queens’ luxurious interior is on display: a canopy bed, a jewellery box, a home altar, a cradle-shaped table, a clothes trunk, and a pentagonal arched bay with bench, remained in its original condition, on the keystone of which a scene from a medieval game is represented.
M ysterious lights and sounds indicate the mysterious world of alchemy, with which everyone associates making gold. Beside producing gold, alchemists were looking for the philosophers’ stone and the secret of eternal life. In the innermost tower room of the castle you can get an insight into the mysterious world of alchemy. You can even blend a medieval magic potion with the devices of our modern time, which you might want to send to your friends as a joke.
M edieval coins were made by manual minting. A unique feature of Hungarian coin minting was that goldsmiths did not chisel the pattern but imprinted. Gold coins were first minted in Venice in the middle of the 13th century. This currency became popular in international commerce very soon, and the Hungarian gold forint was produced to that model, the name being Hungarianised from “fiorino d’oro” into forint. Our rich gold and silver mines ensured precious metal to meet the increased demand of mints. In the 14th century one fourth of Europe’s silver production was mined in the Kingdom of Hungary, 10 thousand kg per year, and almost all of its gold production, an annual amount of 1000 kg. In the workshop of our minting master in the yard of the upper castle, visitors can try minting King Charles Robert’s first gold forint, Louis the Great’s dinar, as well as King Matthias’s gold forint. As a memory of the visit, you can take a memorial coin medallion with the coat of arms of the city of Miskolc and the Castle of Diósgyőr.
A rchery is becoming more and more popular in Hungary, but there are few places where it can be tried out in practice. From our archers with great competition experience you can learn not only historical reenactment but also the technical details of archery as a sport.
A part from the crafts of a blacksmith, medieval metalworking also included the crafts of making weapons and armours, as well as the crafts of a brass and copper smith and even a silver and goldsmith. In line with the atmosphere of the knight castle, here the emphasis shifted to a weapon and armour smith’s artisanship. The metal workshop presents assault and defence weapons of the Age of Chivalry and Renaissance, which you can try out with the help of a master. If you have an adventurous spirit, you may get an insight into the secrets of making a chain mail, starting from folding the eyelets to interweaving them, and you can even have your own lucky horse shoe made by the blacksmith.