Castle Réka

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Castle Reka
Réka vár
Castle RekaRéka vár is located in Hungary
Castle RekaRéka vár
Castle Reka
Réka vár
Location of Castle Reka
Coordinates: 46°13′20″N 18°25′53″E / 46.2221°N 18.4313°E / 46.2221; 18.4313Coordinates: 46°13′20″N 18°25′53″E / 46.2221°N 18.4313°E / 46.2221; 18.4313
Country  Hungary
County Baranya

Castle Réka (Hungarian: Rékavára or Réka vár); is a ruined castle in Baranya county, Hungary. It has been identified as the possible place of refuge for members of the royal family of England in the eleventh century.

The ruins of Castle Réka are near Mecseknádasd, on a hilltop marked with a cross, towards the opening to Old Mine's Valley (Óbányai-völgy). Both the Scots and the Hungarians consider this castle to have been the birthplace of St Margaret of Scotland.[1][2][3]

The English historian J. Abbot describes that in 1022, in St Stephen's time, two English princes came to Hungary, one of whom, Edward, was given one of St Stephen's daughters in marriage. After the death in 1016 of the English king, Edmund Ironside, his two sons escaped from the pretender, the Danish Cnut the Great to the court of King István (Stephen), the first Hungarian king. One of them, Edward, married Agatha, probably a kinswoman of the king or the queen (once thought to be their daughter, but this can't be proven), and also received an estate from the king. This estate with Castle Réka in the middle is called "Terra Britanorum de Nadasd"[4] by a document from 1235 (The deed of gift issued by Andrew II in 1235 gave certain land bordering the territory of the Brits of Nádasd to the chapter of the Bishop of Pécs). The family lived in Castle Réka until their return to England in 1058, and their daughter, Margaret, was born here in 1045. Later Margaret became the wife of Malcolm III, King of Scots, and did her best to the establishment of the Scottish state and the popularisation of Catholicism.

According to experts, the approximately 200 metre long and 36 metre wide courtyard was surrounded by a 3 metre thick stonewall. The round tower foundation discovered in the excavations probably are the remnants of the guards' post. The central section of the courtyard was enclosed by a row of buildings behind which there was a 10 metre-wide ditch along the side of the outer castle. This row was presumably single-storey with a shingled roof. The remnants of a multi-storey tower were uncovered on the side of the outer castle. The precise time of its construction is still under debate. It is thought to be of Illyrian or Celtic origins or rooted in the later 9th century Frankish architecture. The first charter referring to the castle dates from 1309. The circumstances of its destruction are unknown (The castle was possibly burnt down at the Turkish age (16th-17th century)). The locals took what was left of it to build homes and mills.


  1. ^ Brian Starr, The KnightMaker, Brian Starr, 2010, p. 145 [1]
  2. ^ Bérczi Sz. (2008): Magyarországi szent királylányok emlékezete. ( Remembrance of saint princesses of Hungary) TKTE. Budapest (ISBN 978-963-87437-2-5)
  3. ^ Rosemary Roberts, 10-Minute Celtic Spirituality: Simple Blessings, Wisdom, and Guidance for Daily Living, Fair Winds, 2003, p. 20 [2]
  4. ^ Gabriel Ronay, The Lost King of England: The East European Adventures of Edward the Exile, Boydell & Brewer, 2000 [3]