There is hardly anybody in Hungary who has not heard of the castle of Drégely or of the settlement under the castle, Drégelypalánk. You can read about the place on the pages of history, in literary works and there are a lot of folk ballads and legends about György Szondi, the hero, who set a good example of braveness. Drégelypalánk is situated in a beautiful, picturesque environment and is famous for its history. It is easily accessible both on railway (Vác-Balassagyarmat line) and on road (No. 2, E75).
Due to its natural beauty and its historical sights it is a popular excursion spot. Its history goes back to the Turkish times, to the period when the nation was fighting against the pagan Turks.
The rock fortress of Drégely was built by Demeter from the Hun family in the place of the demolished castle of Hont, on a 444m high volcanic cone. King Albert donated it as a perennial property to György Pálóczy, the archbishop of Esztergom in 1438. Archbishop Pál Várady found shelter here after the battle of Mohács. He appointed György Szondy as the captain of the castle. Ali, the pasha of Buda started the siege of the castle on 6 July 1552 with his troop of more than 10,000 men strong. Szondi and his troop of 146 men tried to resist the huge attack, but after a short, red battle they were finally defeated. The rock fortress, which is being built even today, is a symbol of heroism and patriotism for the people living today, for the visitors and their grandchildren. The archaeological excavation, partial restoration and protection of the castle has been going on for several years. A work graven in a huge stone presenting the battle of Drégely by sculptor Miklós Melocco was placed here in 2004. The castle of Drégely is part of the World heritage. To commemorate the heroes of the border castle ceremonies preserving the traditions of Szondi are held every year. Visitors to Drégelypalánk can see the baroque church - the most beautiful one in the region - rebuilt in 1792 in the place of the old church from 1658. The shrine of St. Elizabeth of the House of Árpád is preserved here. One of the most beautiful monuments of the village, the statue of the Holy Trinity was erected in 1762. The baroque chapel built in 1857 is a nice attraction in the village. In the centre of the village, in Szondi park you can see a work by sculptor Pál Kő, the Szondi-sarcophagus from 1988. At 22 Fő street you can visit the exhibition of local history presenting interesting information on the past and the present of the village. Apart from the relics of the rich historical past, the beauty of the neighbourhood and the natural values also attract many visitors. The flood plain of the river Ipoly flowing along the border is the most beautiful part of the Danube-Ipoly National Park. It is the habitat for rare, endangered species of the fauna and flora.
In Drégelypalánk traditions such as the carnival, the custom of waiting for the spring, egg painting at Easter, Whitsun procession, harvest procession, feast, nativity play and Holy Family Walk are still preserved. The vintage procession and ball held in September is a popular event with the participation of several hundred people. The local government of the village has set up a micro-regional association which aims to attract visitors - students, families, and elderly people - by offering relaxation for several days combining Palots specialities, bicycle and riding tours and castle tours. An ideal starting point is offered for half a day or one day programmes, excursions in the region. Restaurants are available in the village as well as acommodation in private houses within the framework of rural tourism. The village surrounded by hills, forests, fields provide unforgettable experiences for the lovers of nature. The ruins of the Szondi castle arising behind the village deservedly preserve the memory of the battles at the border.
An outstanding event is the Szondi Castle games and castle tour held on the third Sunday of July every year.
Further information on the region, active tourism, accommodation and programmes is available at the Community Centre and Public Library Tourist Information Centre: 7 Fő street, Drégelypalánk 2646. Tel.: 35/567-070.