The first fortress, built by Romans and then used by Slavs and Magyars, was destroyed by the Mongols during their invasions in 1241-42. In 1250, King Bela IV constructed the hilltop Citadel, the Lower Castle and the Water Bastion on Danube bank. In 1320 King Charles Robert started the cnstruction of the Royal Palace, one of the finest in Hungary, although it was used as a primary residence only by one king.
It was here where the famous Royal Summit took place in 1335. An alliance against Habsburg Austria was formed then between the kings of Hungary, Bohemia, Poland, the Marquis of Moravia and the princes of Bavaria and Saxony.
Charles’ successors continued with the construction of the palace, even though the royal court had moved back to the Royal Palace of Buda.
The golden age of Visegrád came under the reign of King Matthias. Thanks to his Italian wife, the Royal Palace and Castle were renovated by Italian masters in Renaissance style.
During the Turkish occupation the town got almost completely devastated. The remains of the fortress were exploded under the command of Leopold I, Austrian Emperor in 1702. The excavation of ruins, conducted by the most famous archaeologists of that time, took place only in the 20th century. The restoration of historic monuments is still under progress.