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Esztergom

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Nickname(s): Hungarian Rome, Hungarian Sion,
City of St. Stephen
Esztergom is located in Hungary
Esztergom
Coordinates: 47°47′8″N 18°44′25″E / 47.78556°N 18.74028°E / 47.78556; 18.74028
Country  Hungary
County Komárom-Esztergom
Established around 972
Capital of Hungary 972-1249
Government
 - Mayor Tamás Meggyes (Fidesz)
Area
 - Total 100.35 km2 (38.7 sq mi)
Population (2009)
 - Total 30,928
 - Density 308.2/km2 (798.2/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 - Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Website www.esztergom.hu
Postal codes:             2500-2509
Area code:                   33

Esztergom (pronounced [ˈɛstɛrgom]), also known by alternative names, is a city in northern Hungary, about 50 km north-west of the capital Budapest. It lies in Komárom-Esztergom county, on the right bank of the river Danube, which forms the border with Slovakia there.

Esztergom was the capital of Hungary from the 10th till the mid-13th century when King Béla IV of Hungary moved the royal seat to Buda.

Esztergom is the seat of the prímás (see Primate) of the Roman Catholic Church in Hungary. It's also the official seat of the Constitutional Court of Hungary. The city has the Keresztény Múzeum, the largest ecclesiastical collection in Hungary. Its cathedral, Esztergom Basilica is the largest church in Hungary.

Contents

Names

The Roman town was called Solva. The name Esztergom was first mentioned in documents in 1079. Some think the name comes from Isztergam ('Ister' meaning Danube and Gam referring to the nearby river Garam). The town is the seat of Etzel / Attila in the Niebelungenlied as Gran (German: About this sound Gran ). In Croatian Ostrogon, in Polish Ostrzyhom, in Slovak Ostrihom, in Medieval Latin Strigonium, in Turkish Estergon. Interestingly, ca. 1250, the town was known to Germans as Österheim[1]; another hypothesis could see a similar-sounding original earlier name of Germanic origin, later to be Magyarized in Esztergom.

History [2]

Basilica
Esztergom in 1664
The Cathedral with the Dark gate
Esztergom.bazilika.lights.jpg
Bakócz Chapel (16th. century)
Castle chapel
Castle
Courthouse
The former synagogue
Franciscan church
Széchenyi square
Downtown as seen from the Bottyán bridge
The town seen from the bridge
"Old seminary"
Downtown
Mária Valéria Bridge
Turkish mosque in Esztergom
The old seminary in Esztergom after the renovations in 2006
Christian Museum

Esztergom is one of the oldest towns in Hungary. Throughout its rich history, times of great kings, significant events, rich palaces and churches. Esztergom, as it existed in the Middle Ages, now rests under today's town The results of the most recent archeological excavations reveal that the Várhegy (Castle Hill) and its vicinity have been inhabited since the end of the Ice Age 20,000 years ago. The first people known by name were the Celts from Western Europe, who settled in the region in about 350 BC. Under their center on the Várhegy (oppidum) lay their expansive flourishing settlement until the Roman legions conquered the region. Thereafter it became an important border province of Pannonia, known by the name of Solva. The German and Avar archeological finds found in the area reveal that these people settled in the period of the migrations that were caused by the fall of the Roman Empire. Within the borders of the town, remains of its founding ancestors were found.

The settlement gained significance after 960 when Géza, the ruling prince of the Hungarians, chose Esztergom as his residence. His son, Vajk, who was later called Saint Stephen of Hungary, was born in his palace built on the Roman castrum on the Várhegy (Castle Hill) around 969-975. In 973, Esztergom served as the starting point of an important historical event. At Easter of that year Géza sent a committee to the international peace conference of Emperor Otto I in Quedlinburg. He offered peace to the Emperor and asked for missionaries.

The prince's residence stood on the northern side of the hill. The center of the hill was occupied by a basilica dedicated to St. Adalbert, who, according to legend, baptised St. Stephen. The Church of St. Adalbert was the seat of the archbishop of Esztergom, the head of the Roman Catholic Church in Hungary.

By that time, significant craft and merchant settlements had been founded. (According to some scholars, the town got its name after Esztrogin, a Bulgar settlement of leather armour makers.) In 1000, Stephen was crowned king in Esztergom. From the time of his rule up to the beginning of the 13th century, the only mint of the country operated here. At the same period the castle of Esztergom ( "Estergon Kalesi" in Turkish ) was built, which served not only as the royal residence until 1241 (the Mongol invasion) but also as the center of the Hungarian state, religion, and Esztergom county. The archbishop of Esztergom was the leader of the ten bishoprics founded by Stephen. The archbishop was often in charge of important state functions and had the exclusive right to crown kings.

The settlements of regal servants, merchants, craftsmen at the foot of the Várhegy (Castle Hill) developed into the most significant town of the age of the Árpád dynasty– as being the most important scene of the economic life of the country. According to the Frenchman Odo de Deogilo, who visited the country in 1147, ‘…the Danube carries the economy and treasures of several countries to Esztergom’.

The town council was made up of the richest citizens of the town (residents of French, Spanish, Belgian, and Italian origin) who dealt with commerce. The coat of arms of Esztergom emerged from their seal in the 13th century. This was the town where foreign monarchs could meet Hungarian kings. For example, Emperor Conrad II met Géza II in this town (1147). Another important meeting took place when the German Emperor Frederick Barbarossa visited Béla III. The historians traveling with them all agree on the richness and significance of Esztergom. Arnold of Lübeck, the historian with Frederick Barbarossa, called Esztergom the capital of Hungarian people ("quae Ungarorum est metropolis").

In the beginning of the 13th century Esztergom was the center of the country's political and economic life. This is explained by the canon of Nagyvárad, Rogerius of Apulia, who witnessed the first devastation of the country during the Tatar invasion and wrote in his Carmen Miserabile ("Sad Song"): '...since there was no other town like Esztergom in Hungary, the Tatars were considering crossing the Danube to pitch a camp there...', which was exactly what happened after the Danube froze. The capital of the Árpád-age was destroyed in a vicious battle. Though, according to the certificates that remained intact, some of the residents (those who escaped into the castle) survived and new residents settled in the area and soon started rebuilding the town, it lost its leading role. Béla IV gave the palace and castle to the archbishop, and changed his residence to Buda. He himself and his family however, were buried in the Franciscan church in Esztergom, which had been destroyed during the invasion, and which had been rebuilt by him in 1270.

Following these events, the castle was built and decorated by the bishops. The center of the king’s town however, which is surrounded by wall, was still of royal authority. A number of different monasteries did return or settle in the religious center.

Meanwhile the citizenry had been fighting for maintaining or reclaiming the rights of towns, against the expansion of the church within the regal town. In the chaotic years after the fall of the House of Árpád, Esztergom suffered another calamity: in 1304, the forces of Wenceslaus II, the Czech king occupied and raided the castle. In the years to come, the castle was owned by several individuals: Róbert Károly, and then Louis the Great patronized the town. In 1327, Kovácsi, the most influential suburb of the town, lying in the southeast, was united with Esztergom. The former suburb had three churches with mainly blacksmith, goldsmith, and coiner residents.

In the 14th and 15th centuries Esztergom saw events of great importance and became one of the most influential acropolis of Hungarian culture alongside with Buda. Their courts, which were similar to the royal courts of Buda and Visegrád, were visited by such kings and scientists, artists as Louis the Great, Sigismund of Luxembourg, King Matthias Corvinus, Galeotto Marzio, Regiomontanus, the famous astronomer Márton Ilkus and Georg Peuerbach, Pier Paolo Vergerio and Antonio Bonfini, King Matthias’ historian, who, in his work praises the constructive work of János Vitéz, King Matthias’ educator. He had a library and an observatory built next to the cathedral. As Bonfini wrote about his masterpiece, his palace and terraced gardens: ‘… he had a spacious room for knights built in the castle. In front of that, he built a wonderful loggia of red marble. In front of the room, he built the Chapel of Sybils, whose walls were decorated with paintings of the sybils. On the walls of the knights’ room, not only the likeness of all the kings could be found, but also the Scythian ancestors. He also had a double garden constructed, which was decorated with columns and a corridor above them. Between the two gardens, he built a round tower of red marble with several rooms and balconies. .. He had Saint Adalbert’s Basilica covered with glass tiles… ‘. King Matthias’ widow, Beatrix of Aragon, lived in the castle of Esztergom for ten years (1490-1500).

The time of the next resident, Archbishop Tamás Bakócz (†l521) gave the town significant monuments. In 1507 he had Italian architects build the Bakócz chapel, which is the earliest and most significant Renaissance building which has survived in Hungary. The altarpiece of the chapel was carved from white marble by Andrea Ferrucci, a sculptor from Fiesole in 1519.

The Turkish conquest of Mohács in 1526 brought a decline to the previously flourishing Esztergom as well. In the battle of Mohács, also the archbishop of Esztergom died. In the period between 1526 and 1543, when two rival kings reigned in Hungary, Esztergom was besieged six times. At time the forces of Ferdinand I or John Zápolya, at other times the Turkish attacked. Finally, in 1530, Ferdinand I occupied the castle. He put foreign mercenaries in the castle, and sent the chapter and the bishopric to Nagyszombat and Pozsony (that is why some of the treasury, the archives and the library survived). In 1543 Sultan Suleiman I attacked the castle with an enormous army and countless cannons. Following two years of heroic struggle of resistance, the foreign (Spanish, Italian and German) guards betrayed the castle. This was the period when the outskirts were finally destroyed. The damaged buildings were not rebuilt any more. All means were used to rebuild and strengthen the fortresses or to build new ones. At the same time, the eastern section of the Saint Adalbert Church and other significant buildings of the castle were devastated.

Esztergom was the centre of a Turkish sanjak controlling several counties, and also a significant castle on the northwest border of the Turkish Empire – the main clashing point to prevent attacks on the mining towns of the highlands, Vienna and Buda. In 1594, during the unsuccessful but devastating siege by the walls of the Víziváros, Bálint Balassa, the first Hungarian poet who gained European significance, died in action.

The most devastating siege took place in 1595 when the castle was reclaimed by the troops of Count Karl von Mansfeld and Count Mátyás Cseszneky. The price that had to be paid, however, was high. Most of the buildings in the castle and the town that had been built in the Middle Ages were destroyed during this period, and there were only uninhabitable, smothered ruins to welcome the liberators. From 1605 to 1683 the Turkish ruled in the castle, as well as the whole region again.

Though the Turkish were mainly engaged in building and fortifying the castle, they also built significant new buildings including Jamis, mosques, minarets, baths. These instalments, along with the contemporary buildings, were destroyed in the siege of 1683 resulting in the liberation of Esztergom - though some Turkish buildings prevailed up to the beginning of the 18th century. The last time the Turkish attacked Esztergom was in 1685. During the following year Buda was liberated as well. During these battles did János Bottyán, captain of the cavalry, later the legendary figure of the Rákóczi war of independence disappear. All that had been rebuilt at the end of the century was destroyed and burnt down during Ferenc Rákóczi’s long lasting, but finally successful siege.

The destroyed territory was settled in by Hungarian, Slovakian and German settlers. This was when the new national landscape developed. In the area where there had previously been 65 Hungarian villages, only 22 were rebuilt. Though the reconstructed town received its free royal rights, its size and significance marked only the shadow of its old self.

Handicrafts gained strength and in around 1730, there were 17 independent crafts operating in Esztergom. Wine-culture was also of major significance. This was also the period when the Baroque view of the downtown area and the Víziváros (Watertown) were developed. The old town's main characteristic is the simplicity and moderateness of its citizen Baroque architecture. The most beautiful buildings can be found around the marketplace (Széchenyi square).

In 1761 the bishopric regained control over the castle, where they started the preliminary processes of the reconstruction of the new religious center: the middle of the Várhegy (Castle Hill), the remains of Saint Stephen and Saint Adalbert churches were carried away to provide room for the new cathedral.

Although the major construction work and the resettlement of the bishopric (1820) played a significant role in the town's life, the pace of Esztergom’s development gradually slowed down, and work on the new Basilica came to a halt.

By the beginning of the 20th century, Esztergom gained significance owing to its cultural and educational institutions as well as to being an administrative capital. The town’s situation turned worse after the Treaty of Trianon of 1920, after which it became a border town and lost most of its previous territory.

This was also the place where the poet Mihály Babits spent his summers from 1924 to his death in 1941. The poet's residence was one of the centers of the country's literary life; he had a significant effect on intellectual life in Esztergom.

Esztergom had one of the oldest Jewish communities in Hungary. They had a place of worship here by 1050. King Charles I (Caroberto) gifted a plot to the community for a cemetery in 1326.

According to the 1910 census, 5.1% of the population were Jewish. The 1941 census found 1510 Jews here. The community maintained an elementary school until 1944. Jewish shops were ordered to be closed on April 28, 1944, the short-lived ghetto was set up on May 11. The former Jewish shops were handed over to non-Jews on June 9. The inmates of the ghetto were sent to Komárom in early June, then deported to Auschwitz on June 16, 1944. Two forced labor units, whose members were mainly Esztergom Jews, were executed en masse near Ágfalva, on the Austrian border in January, 1945.

Soviet troops captured the town on December 26, 1944, but were pushed back by the Germans on January 6, 1945, who were finally ousted on March 21, 1945.

The Magyar Suzuki Corporation plant opened in 1992, and is now the biggest employer in the city.

The Mária Valéria bridge, connecting Esztergom with the city of Štúrovo in Slovakia was rebuilt in 2001 with the support of the European Union. Originally it was inaugurated in 1895, but the retreating German troops destroyed it in 1944. A new thermal and wellness spa opened in november, 2005.

Architecture

One of the most important events of the 1930s was the exploration and renovation of the remains of the palace of the Árpád period. This again put Esztergom in the center of attention. Following World War II, Esztergom was left behind as one of the most severely devastated towns. However, reconstruction slowly managed to erase the traces of the war, with two of Esztergom’s most vital characteristics gaining significance: due to its situation it was the cultural center of the area (more than 8,000 students were educated at its elementary, secondary schools and college ). On the other hand, as a result of the local industrial development it has become a vital basis for the Hungarian tool and machinery industry. Those traveling to Esztergom today can admire the most monumental construction of Hungarian Classicism, the Basilica, which silently rules the landscape above the winding Danube, surrounded by mountains.

The building that might be considered the symbol of the town is the largest church in Hungary and was built according the plans of Pál Kühnel, János Páckh and József Hild from 1822 to 1869. Ferenc Liszt wrote the Mass of Esztergom for this occasion. The classicist church is enormous: the height of the dome is 71,5 meters; it has giant arches and an enormous altar-piece by Michelangelo Grigoletti. On one side, in the Saint Stephen chapel, the glittering relics of Hungarian and other nations’ saints and valuable jewellery can be seen. On the south side, the Bakócz Chapel, the only one that survived the Middle Ages, can be seen. The builders of the Basilica had disassembled this structure into 1600 pieces, and incorporated it into the new church in its original form.

The treasury houses many masterpieces of medieval goldsmith's works. The western European masters’ hands are praised by such items as the crown silver cross that has been used since the 13th century, the ornate chalices, Francesco Francia’s processional cross, the upper part of the well-known ‘Matthias-Calvary’ which is decorated in the rare ronde-bosse enamel technique. The Treasury also has a vast collection of traditional Hungarian and European textiles, including chasubles, liturgical vestments and robes.

The sound of the enormous bell hung in the southern tower can be heard from kilometers away. From the top of the large dome , visitors can see a breath-taking view: to the north, east and south the ranges of the Börzsöny, Visegrád, Pilis and Gerecse mountains rule the landscape, while to the west, in the valley of the Danube one can see as far as the Small Plains.

The winding streets of the town, with its church towers create a historical atmosphere. Below the Basilica, at the edge of the mountain stand the old walls, bastions and rondellas – the remains of the castle of Esztergom. The remains of one section of the royal palace and castle that had been built during the Turkish rule had been buried in the ground up until the 1930s.

Most parts of the palace were explored and restored in the period between 1934 and 1938, but even today there are archeological excavations in progress. Passing through the narrow stairs, alleys, under arches and gates built in Romanesque style, a part of the past seems to come to life. This part of the palace was built in the time of King Béla III. With his wife - the daughter of Louis VII - French architects arrived and constructed the late-Roman and early-Gothic building at the end of the 12th century.

The frescoes of the palace chapel date from the 12th-14th centuries, while on the walls of the mottes, some of the most beautiful paintings of the early Hungarian Renaissance can be admired (15th c.). From the terrace of the palace one can admire the landscape of Esztergom. Under the terrace are the houses and churches of the Bishop-town section, or ‘Víziváros’ (Watertown) and the Primate's Palace. Opposite the palace is the Saint Thomas hill, and surrounded by the mountains and the Danube. The walls of the castle still stand on the northern part of the Basilica. From the northern rondella one can admire the view of Párkány on the other side of the Danube as well as the Szentgyörgymező, the Danube valley, and the So-called ‘Víziváros’ (Watertown) districts.

The Víziváros (Watertown) section was named after being built on the banks of the Kis- and Nagy Duna (Small and Great Danube). Its fortresses, walls, bastions and Turkish rondellas can still be seen by the walk on the banks of the Danube. By the northern end of the wall, on the bank of the Nagy-Duna, an interesting memorial is put, a stone table with Turkish writings commemorates Sultan Suleiman’s victorious siege of 1543. The narrow, winding streets within the walls hide the remains of Turkish mosques and baths.

Along the delightful streets of the Víziváros (Watertown), surrounded by Baroque and Classicist buildings stands the Primate's Palace, designed by József Lippert (1880-82). The Keresztény Múzeum (Christian museum), founded by Archbishop János Simor, is located in this building. It houses a rich collection of Hungarian panel pictures and sculpture of the Middle Ages as well as Italian and western-European paintings and handicrafts (13th-18th c.). This is where one can admire the chapel-like structure of the late Gothic ‘Úrkoporsó’ (Lord's coffin) from Garamszentbenedek that is decorated by painted wooden sculptures (c. 1480), the winged altar-piece by Thomas of Coloswar (1427), paintings by Master M.S. (1506), the gothic altars from Upper Historical Hungary (Felvidék), handicrafts of Italian, German and Flemish artists from the 13th–17th centuries, tapestries and ceramics.

The building of the Balassa Bálint Museum that was built in Baroque style on medieval bases and is located in Víziváros (Watertown), served as the first town hall of Esztergom county after the Turks had been driven out of the region.

The parish-church in the centre of the Víziváros (Watertown), which was built by the Jesuits between 1728 and 1738, and the single-towered Franciscan churches are also masterpieces of Baroque architecture.

The Cathedral Library standing in the southern part of the town, which was built in 1853 according to plans by József Hild is one of the richest religious libraries of Hungary, accommodating approximately 250,000 books, among which several codices and incunabula can be found, such as the Latin explanation of the ‘Song of Songs’ from the 12th century, the ‘Lövöföldi Corvina’ originating from donations of King Matthias, or the Jordánszky-codex, which includes the Hungarian translation of the Bible from 1516-1519. Along with Bakócz and Ulászló graduals, they conserve also the Balassa Bible, in which Balassa’s uncle, Balassa András wrote down the circumstances of his birth and death.

The main sight of the nearby ‘Szent-Tamás hegy’ (Saint Thomas Hill) is the Baroque Calvary, with the Classicist chapel on the top of the hill, which was built to commemorate the heroes who died for Esztergom. The hill was named after a church built by Bishop Lukács Bánffy in memoriam the martyr Saint Thomas Becket, who had been his fellow student at the University of Paris. The church and the small castle which the Turks built there were destroyed a long time ago. On its original spot, the top of the hill, the narrow winding streets and small houses that were built by the masters who were working on the construction of the Basilica at the beginning of the previous century, have an atmosphere that is similar to that of Tabán in Buda. At the foot of the hill are the swimming pool and the Classicist building of the Fürdő Szálló (Bath Hotel). This is where Lajos Kossuth stayed in 1848 on one of his recruiting tours.

On the southern slopes of the hill there is a Mediterranean, winding path with stairs that lead to the Baroque Saint Stephen chapel. The main square of the town is the Széchényi square. Of the several buildings of Baroque, Rococo and Classicist style, there is one that catches everyone’s eyes: the Town Hall. Originally, it used to be the single-floor curia of Vak Bottyán (János Bottyán, Bottyán the Blind), the Kuruc general (1689). The first floor was constructed on its top in 1729. The house burnt down in the 1750s. It was rebuilt in accordance with the plans of a local architect, Antal Hartmann. Upon its façade there is a red marble carving which presents the coat of arms of Esztergom (a palace within the castle walls, protected by towers, with the Árpáds’ shields below.) On the corner of the building the equestrian statue of Vak Bottyán (created by István Martsa) commemorates the original owner of the house.

The Trinity-statue in the middle of the square was created by György Kiss in 1900. In Bottyán János Street, near the Town Hall, there are well decorated Baroque houses. This is where the Franciscan church is located (built between 1700-1755). Opposite this building there is a Baroque palace which used to belong to the Sándor Earl family.

In the direction of the Kis Duna, the downtown parish-church, built by the architect Ignác Oratsek can be admired. A bit farther is the Classicist Church of Saint Anne. The orthodox church at 60 Kossuth Lajos street was built around 1770 by Serbian settlers in Esztergom.

This town, with its spectacular scenery and numerous memorials, a witness of the struggles of Hungarian history, is popular mostly with tourists interested in the beauties of the past and art. However, the town seems to regain its role in the country’s politics, and its buildings and traditions revive.

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Esztergom is twinned with:

Partner City

Population history

Year Population
1000 10 000
1242 12 000
1701 2 000
1756 4 342
1820 10 169
1824 11 157
1850 11 661
1867 11 215
1869 14 512
Year Population
1880 14 944
1890 16 749
1893¹ 15 749
1900 16 948
1910 17 881
1920 16 040
1930 17 354
1943 22 170
1949 20 040
Year Population
1957 34 000
1967 26 000
1980 30 870
1990 28 730
2001 29 041
2006 30 122

¹ 9,349 living in the royal city

Gallery

See also

Siemens Desiro in Esztergom

References

  1. ^ Barnes & Nobles Revised Atlas of World History
  2. ^ http://www.esztergom.hu/wps/portal//varos?docid=ADMR-6WQKVH

External links

Coordinates: 47°47′8″N 18°44′25″E / 47.78556°N 18.74028°E / 47.78556; 18.74028


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Europe : Central Europe : Hungary : Esztergom
Contents

Esztergom is a town near Budapest in Hungary. Situated on the right bank of the river Danube which marks the border between Slovakia ad Hungary. The biggest basilica (church) of Central Europe can be found in Esztergom.

  • From Budapest drive out in direction Buda north on road No 10 (Pilisvörösvár-Dorog-Esztergom) ca. 45 km
  • From Budapest drive out in direction Buda north on road No 11 then turn left at Szentendre towards Pomáz and climb the Pilis hills to arrive at Esztergom ca. 50 km
  • From Budapest drive out in direction Buda north on road No 11 and follow the Danube along (Szentendre-Visegrad-Esztergom) ca. 65 km
  • From Slovakia: Bratislava-Komarno-Štúrovo E 575, than local road: no. 63 and cross the Danube river at Sturovo
  • From Vienna: E60, E75 highway, in Hungary M1 till way out at Komárom (9 km), than local road :no.10 and no. 11 till Esztergom
  • from Budapest:
    • Budapest-Esztergom local train from Nyugati PU. (Western Railstation) about 45 km. Note: Due to the reconstruction works of the northern rail bridge of Budapest, trains to and from Esztergom arrive and start from Margit Bridge, Buda from 21 June until 21 September 2008.
    • InterCity/EuroCity fast trains departing from Keleti PU. (Eastern Railstation) For example, the IC 170 runs from Budapest to Berlin with a stop in Štúrovo, across the Danube from Esztergom. Note: the Sturovo railway station is outside the city, so expect a long walk to Esztergom from there.
  • Budapest-Dorog-Esztergom (45km) or Budapest-Visegrad-Esztergom (65 km) local far-distance Volan bus line from Árpád Bridge Volan bus station in Pest.
  • HÉV suburb train from Buda Batthyány Square till end-station in Szentendre, than Volan bus line Szentendre-Visegrád-Esztergom.

By boat

Daily boat line MAHART Passnave from Budapest Vigadó Square at Pest.

  • The train station is roughly a twenty minute walk from the town center and basilica. Buses #1 or #6 run directly to the town center.
  • The bus station is in the town center, just a two minute walk away from the main square, but in 2008 it will be moved out of the downtown area to the southern part of Esztergom next to the Tesco hipermarket.
Pulpit of the Basilica
Pulpit of the Basilica
  • Esztergom Basilica on castle hill. 9AM-4:30PM. The town's claim to fame and the largest basilica in the country. It was in a church formerly built on the same spot that the Hungarian king Vajk was baptised and from then on known as Saint Stephen. Entrance to the basilica is free, though you can pay extra to visit the crypts, cupola, and the treasury.
  • The Keresztény Múzeum/Christian Museum, Mindszenty ter 2. Tu-Su 10AM-5PM. The biggest ecclestial collection in Hungary. The museum is in the Primate's Palace in the Watertown part of town.
  • Castle museum, Szent Istvan ter 1. Tu-Su 9AM-4:30PM. It's next to the basilica. The castle was built on ancient Roman fundaments. Free.
  • Széchenyi square is one of the town's latest sights. It was completely rebuilt in 2006. It's the main square of Esztergom with mostly baroque buildings, fountains and restaurants.
  • Bálint Balassa Museum, Pázmány Péter u., 33/412-185. Local and regional history museum.  edit
  • Mihály Babits Museum (Babits-villa), Babits Mihály u 11 (By car: Take Siszler u. opening from the main road). House of famous 20th century poet Mihály Babits.  edit
  • El Greco Gallery, (see listing under Sleep). Holds periodic exhibitions of contemporary arts.
  • Thai massage in the Vadregény Pension and Holidaypark, [1].
  • Aquasziget, Táncsics Mihály u. 5. Wellness spa  edit
  • Tesco, open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (except national holidays).
  • Aldi, Dobogókői út. 7-20. German Supermarket-chain  edit
  • Park Center, Dobogókői út. Strip mall  edit
  • Plus (Spar), Esztergom-Kertváros, Damjanich utca. Supermarket  edit
  • Anonymous Restaurant, next to the Primate Palace
  • Cafe El Greco, 2500 Esztergom, Pázmány Péter utca 15, [2] is situated in the cosy, historical Viziváros. Here You can also visit periodic exhibitions of contemporary arts in the El Greco Gallery.
  • CAFFE GRANTE Restaurant & Cafe, Dorogi út 5-7. Esztergom (GPS:N 47 deg 45.218 min E 18 deg 43.954 min), +36-33-512-465, [3]. 12-20. The mediterranean colors of the walls and the friendly staff provide a warm and snug environment. The terrace is open from March until October. Free parking in the large parking area is available in the whole year. The restaurant is open for corporate parties and meetings up to 80 people. Opening time: Cafe: from Monday to Saturday from morning 8 till 22 o'clock in the evening and Sundays from morning 8 till 16 o'clock Restaurant:from Monday to Saturday from 12 till 20 o'clock in the evening. Sundays closed.  edit
  • Guest House El Greco, 2500 Esztergom, Pázmány Péter utca 15, Tel.: +36 33 631064, +36 30 9140595, [4]. In the beautiful historical quarter of Esztergom, the Viziváros (Watertown), neighboring the world famous Christian Museum, and also just a close walk away from the newly built Aquasziget Thermal and Wellness Spa.
  • Pension Decsi lies in a small, quiet street next to the Restaurant Alpesi, in a five minutes walking distance from the center of Esztergom.
  • Hotel Esztergom at the foot of the Kossuth-bridge on Primate-island.
  • Hotel Oktáv is in the suburban part of Esztergom, about 6 km from the old town
  • Hotel Grante is in the suburban part of Esztergom, about 5 km from the old town. (GPS: N 47 deg 45.218 min, E 18 deg 43.954 min). Tel: +36 33 435-272 or + 36 30 969 1742
  • Vadregény Pension and Holiday Park [5] - The scenic landscape of the Danube Band and the Búbánat valley near the city of Esztergom is the location of Vadregény Pension and Holiday Park. Those wishing to hike and recreate may spend their free time pleasantly on crystal air in the picturesque surroundings of the Duna-Ipoly National Park.

Contact

Free wireless internet is available on the main square (Széchenyi square).

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

ESZTERGOM (Ger. Gran; Lat. Strigonium), a town of Hungary, capital of the county of the same name, 36 m. N.W. of Budapest by rail. Pop. (1900) 16,948, mostly Magyars and Roman Catholics. It is situated on the right bank of the Danube, nearly opposite the confluence of the Gran, and is divided into the town proper and three suburbs. The town is the residence of the primate of Hungary, and its cathedral, built in 1821-1870, after the model of St Peter's at Rome, is one of the finest and largest in the country. It is picturesquely built on an elevated and commanding position, 215 ft. above the Danube, and its dome, visible from a long distance, is 260 ft. high, and has a diameter of 52 ft. The interior is very richly decorated, notably with fine frescoes, and its treasury and fine library of over 60,000 volumes are famous. Besides several other churches and two monastic houses, the principal buildings include the handsome palace of the primate, erected in 1883; the archiepiscopal library, with valuable incunabula and old MSS.; the seminary for the education of Roman Catholic priests; the residences of the chapter; and the town-hall. The population is chiefly employed in cloth-weaving,wine-making and agricultural pursuits. An iron bridge, 1664 ft. long, connects Esztergom with the market town of Parkany (pop. 2836) on the opposite bank of the Danube.

Esztergom is one of the oldest towns of Hungary, and is famous as the birthplace of St Stephen,the first prince crowned "apostolic king" of Hungary. During the early times of the Hungarian monarchy it was the most important mercantile centre in the country, and it was the meeting-place of the diets of 1016, 1111, 1114 and 1256. It was almost completely destroyed by Tatar hordes in 1241, but was rebuilt and fortified by King Bela IV. In 1543 it fell into the hands of the Turks, from whom it was recovered, in 1595, by Carl von Mansfeld. In 1604 it reverted to the Turks, who held it till 1683, when it was regained by the united forces of John Sobieski, king of Poland, and Prince Charles of Lorraine. It was created an archbishopric in iooi. During the Turkish occupation of the town the archbishopric was removed to Tyrnau, while the archbishop himself had his residence in Pressburg. Both returned to Esztergom in 1820. In 1708 it was declared a free city by Joseph I. On the 13th of April 1818 it was partly destroyed by fire.

For numerous authorities on the see and cathedral of Esztergom see V. Chevalier, Repertoire des sources. Topo-bibliogr. s.v. "Gran." Of these may be mentioned especially F. Knauz, Monumenta Ecclesiae Strigoniensis (3 vols., Eszterg, 1874); Joseph Danko, Geschichtliches. aus dem Graner Domschatz (Gran, 1880).

ÉTAGÈRE, a piece of light furniture very similar to the English what-not, which was extensively made in France during the latter part of the 18th century. As the name implies, it consists of a series of stages or shelves for the reception of ornaments or other small articles. Like the what-not it was very often cornerwise in shape, and the best Louis XVI. examples in exotic woods are exceedingly graceful and elegant.


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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

English

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Proper noun

Esztergom

  1. a city in Hungary

Simple English

[[File: |thumb|Location in Hungary]] Esztergom is a city in Hungary, 45 kilometers north of Budapest. 30 928 people live in Esztergom. It is the center of the Roman Catholic Church in Hungary, and the Constitutional court is in the city. There are a lot of rich museums in the city.

Geography

Esztergom is on the right side of the river Danube. There are big islands on the Danube. There are mountains to the east, that surround the city. The city is 100,35 km² big.

History

The city was founded in 972 by Géza of Hungary. It is one of the oldest cities in Hungary. Until 1249 it was the capital of the country. The archbishops built many schools, churches, palaces, and the kings of Hungary built castles. In 1242 the city was attacked and destroyed by mongols, but the castle on the hill was not. After the attack king Béla IV. moved to Buda, and gave the city to the archbishop. In 1543 the city was taken by the Turks, who built many spas. The Hungarians tried to take back the city many times, so it was destroyed again in the wars. The Turks left Esztergom in 1683. In 1822 Alexander Rudnay, the archbishop started building a big temple called a basilica. It is the biggest temple and the tallest building in the country, and the third biggest temple in Europe.

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