From the construction to its surrender for the Turks, Gyula Fortress can be linked significantly with the royal court either by relation right or by the way that the King himself or a member of royal family was the proprietor of the big manor. All this is worth of emphasizing since Buda and Vajdahunyad are the nearest two castles unequivocally having this kind of royal position. Compared to the latter, Gyula Fortress may be even more highlighted, since it can be connected also with foreign monarchical circles.
The first factual mention of the fortress building is from 1445, although János Maróti began with its construction already in 1405. His life passed in uninterrupted fighting against the Turks, therefore the leader and terminator of the works in Gyula could be his son, László Maróti. In 1476, the fortress and the huge manor reverted to the crown. In 1482 King Matthias gave the territory to his son, János Corvinus (John Corvin), who made his mark on the fortress – in addition to other building operations – by erecting the present Corvin-bastion (so called ‘Rondella’ round bastion). From strategic point of view, the fortress advanced in fact after the Mohács Disaster. The adherents of János Szapolyai succeeded to seize it, and then for a short while it was in the hands of noblemen of Transylvanian interestedness. However, in 1552 it got again into king’s ownership in consequence of to an exchange. In the meanwhile, the Ottomans engaged in the destruction of the surroundings. Then they built palisades not far off from the fortress herewith hindering the food supply for the defenders. In summer of 1566, Pertaf pasha, nephew of Suleiman II (Suleiman the Magnificent) finally laid siege to the fortress. After a nine-week siege, they subscribed the fortress’ capitulation agreement, thus the town fell into the Turks’ hands. With the onset of a relative peace, the life of the city began to develop slowly, and then in 1695 the Christian troops reoccupied the territory. Thereafter the estate’s ancillary units were placed in the castle.
The renovation of the fortress was started in the beginning of the 1960s. The Castle Theatre has operated within the walls since 1960, and the old permanent exhibition was opened also at this time. Following a long-standing renovation, the new Renaissance Castle Museum was finished in 2005, in which the visitors can go through the history of six centuries in 24 exhibition rooms.
Gyula Fortress being the only flatland, Gothic brick-masonry fortress of Central-Europe remained intact stands at the persons’ service showing an interest, with 24 exhibition rooms.
The visitor can have a look at, how our ancestors settled in as a lord of the castle, how they lived their weekdays as a lady of the castle, in what a Turkish Sanjak bey’s office room differed from a Hungarian castellan’s room or what kind of weapons they battled during the past centuries.
Within the restored castle, downstairs there are the dungeon (open to the public out of Castle Theatre’s season), the chapel, the tavern and the ancillary rooms such as a dispensary, a bake-house, a smithy and a pottery. Upstairs there are various suits (of the lord and of the lady), the halberdier hall, the Sanjak bey’s reception room, the armoury and the knights’ hall.
The castle gives several possibilities to arrange events: the chapel consecrated again lends itself to performing christening and wedding ceremonies, while the knights’ hall to organizing receptions and conferences. The Castrum Castle Tavern can complete them, and it is also suitable hold independent programmes.
The museum-pedagogic classes provide special experience for children, on which they can get acquainted with not only the castle’s history and memories, but for them also an opportunity presents itself to make various articles.