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ThermalToursENG - Esztergom - Szent István Városi Fürdő - Esztergom
 
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Esztergom - Szent István Városi Fürdő
 

2500- Esztergom
Bajcsy-Zsilinszky út 14

 



You may spend some nice days in a beautiful, historical and sacred town if you visit the spa of Esztergom. The bathing culture of the town dates back to Turkish times. This spa was built during the 20s. Nowadays there are one open-air and one indoor pool in the complex. The thermal water has a mildly healing power. The spa is situated inside the centre of the town, thus it is close to Esztergom’s main sights. It is surrounded by old plane-trees and a small, well-kept park.

History

According to the finds that archeologists found here, this land was inhabited since the Paleolithic Ages. During the time of the Great Migrations, it became deserted for a short period. In the 10C it became the residence of prince Géza, and Stephan I, who’s name was Vazul that time (before he became Christian), was also born here. Until the 13C, when the Tatars invaded Hungary this was the residence of the Hungarian king. The servants of the king lived around the castle, and after a few years, Esztergom became one of the most important towns of Hungary in the Middle Ages. It was situated in the cross of important trade routes, and because the town got the privilege to stop every caravan which went through the town, thus it became also an important trade centre. In the 11C, it became also the Hungarian Catholic Church’s headquarter, thus it plaid an important role in ecclesial life as well.


After the Tatar invasion, Béla IV changed the place of the residence, and moved to Buda. Nevertheless, Esztergom staid an archiepiscopal centre and the castle became the property of the Catholic Church. Worth mentioning János Vitéz, one of the archbishops, who was a great humanist, and made Esztergom an important and flourishing renaissance cultural center.


When the Turks invaded Hungary in the 16C, Esztergom became a part of Ottoman Empire. After the repeating attacks, the town became almost deserted. Its new settlers built up four separated settlements, which united only in the 19C.


After Trianon it became borderland, but didn’t lost its importance in the country’s cultural and religious life. Even during the communist era it was one of the most important towns of Hungary, though the government tried to put the town on the back burner. Nowadays it is still a beautiful town with lively cultural life. Since the political transformations in Hungary more and more reconstructions were made around the town.

Place of interest


After refreshing your self in the spa, you should take a walk around the town, because there are lots of interesting things to see and do.


Esztergom is one of those towns of Hungary, where you can find something interesting almost on every corner, even if you walk around without real destinations. Walking around its narrow streets between the old houses, or take a peaceful walk by the side of the river or the small canal is a great way to smell the atmosphere of this historical town.


Due to its importance in religious life there are lots of important sacred places in the town and some interesting exhibitions of ecclesiastical art and history. The Cathedral, which dominates the town, was built in the 19C, after the former cathedral was ruined by the Turks. Inside you should visit the Bakócz Chapel, a perfect example of Renaissance architecture from the early16C. Miraculously it survived the battles, and was dismantled into 1600 pieces and reassembled in its present position inside the new Cathedral. After walking around this imposing building, you should also visit the Cathedral Treasury, the cathedral crypt and climb up the stairs to the tower from where you can get some fantastic views. If you would like to see some more sacred displays, you should visit the Christian Museum inside the Bishop’s Palace.


If you would like to know more about the castle and the town’s history, you should enter the Castle Museum next to the Cathedral. Around this building complex there is a well-kept park with some small walks, monuments and great views.


There are also exhibitions of literature in the town. You can visit the Mihály Babits Memorial House in his former house by the side of the hill or the Bálint Balassa Museum near the cathedral hill.


Besides these there are temporary exhibitions and festivals or other performances in the town, mostly in the main season, so try to get some information about these before traveling.


The surrounding hills with some fine excursions, the cycle path to Szentendre and the small fish-ponds around are great places to do some sports or to take a rest in nature after traveling around the country.

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Esztergom



 

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