In this article we would like to share with you a hidden medieval castle in the heart of Hungary, in Zalaszántó, the Tátika Castle – which is called in Hungarian: Tátika Fellegvár. This place is one of the hidden secrets that only locals know about from the surrounding villages.

Where to find the Tátika Castle

To the north-west of Lake Balaton, in the Keszthely Mountains, stands the Tátika Castle on the top of a 413-meter-wide bazat hill. On the country road between Bazsi and Zalaszántó, at Tátikahidegkút, a small sign indicates the road to the castle.

How to get to the Tátika Castle

Among locals it’s a very common place to visit with kids, even the nearby schools organize class-trips here, as the hiking trail is easily doable by kids too. You need to track approximately 30-40 minutes from the official parking in order to reach the castle. But on the path there are points to relax, benches to sit down and to admire the nature. And once you are up, you will be amazed by the views on the highlands of Keszthely.

The history of the castle

The castle was built between 1248-1262 by the order of IV. King Béla and it was occupied by the Kőszeg clan till the first years of the 14th century, but King Károly Róbert recovered it from them in his 1321 campaign. It was then under royal treatment for the following decades, but in 1341, he acquired it from the Bishop of Veszprém in exchange for the estates of Kál in the countryside (wine-serving and courtier), pushing the inhabitants and farmers of the two areas into litigation.

Later, Tátika was acquired by the noble family of Pethő Gersei, by the grace of Albert Habsburg, after various pledgees. However, its early owner, the bishopric of Veszprém, did not rest in it, he occupied it several times with his armed men, so in 1494 and then in 1538. In the latter case, according to contemporary descriptions, Bishop Márton Kecsethy received the valuables of the noble families and Pauline monasteries in the area, who had been evacuated here due to Turkish danger, and their monetary value allegedly exceeded one hundred thousand gold forints.

After, from the XVI. century by the middle of the 19th century, Tátika became already an insignificant, privately owned castle.

The end came in 1589, when a larger raiding Turkish team rushed down and occupied it and then set fire to its buildings after looting. The impoverished Gersei Pethő family no longer rebuilt it. In 1713, imperial troops set fire to the abandoned castle as a military exercise. In 1741, the Festetics family, who acquired the estate, could only claim a ruined castle.

The Tátika Castle today

After several centuries of destruction, in the 2000s archeological excavations and restorations were finally carried out within its walls so that tourists visiting here could not only admire the magnificent panorama, but also the preserved parts of the medieval castle ruins.

Tátika Castle Zalaszántó

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