Situated on the second floor of the Gothic Palace, the Eger Castle Exhibition is, at least in my opinion, a must-see for those who want to appreciate the place that Eger and its castle occupies in the Hungarian psyche.
One cannot underestimate the role that this small frontier castle played in Hungarian history, and the exhibition does an admirable job of telling the story.
Eger Castle, 1617. Engraving by Georg Hoefnagel
The exhibition's seven rooms take visitors from the foundation of the castle, which, legend has it was overseen by the founder of the Hungarian State, King István ( later to become Saint István); to its destruction by the Tartars (Mongols) in the thirteenth century; then to the great siege of 1552, perhaps its greatest hour; next comes the 110 year occupation by the Ottomans and, finally, its last military action, the Rákóczi War of Independence (1703-11).
What the Castle Exhibition doesn't chart is the long slow decline, which saw the castle being picked apart stone by stone; many of the buildings you see in Eger today were built with stone taken from the castle.
By 1937 little remained of Eger Castle
The seven rooms of the exhibition:
It wasn't until 1925 that archaeological excavations began in the castle and we have these to thank for many of the exhibits.
All manner of artifacts are displayed here: Gothic cups, both Turkish and Hungarian weaponry, suits of armour, clothing, domestic utensils, jewelery and a host of other items.
Due to the important place Eger held in the Church hierarchy there are many ecclesiastical treasures, also.
Eger Castle today
Unlike most museums and exhibitions in the city, all the exhibits are labeled in flawless English, as are the historical introductions to each room. This makes for a truly satisfying experience and really helps visitors put the Castle into its historical context.