Stay 28 : Wine and architecture escape in Central Europe

Stay 28 : Wine and architecture escape in Central Europe.

Occidental Route

Stage 28/35 - 342 kms


0 km Eger

139 kms Budapest

125 kms Gyor

78 kms Bratislava

carte Eger a Bratislava

Eger, famous for its wine, history and architecture in Central Europe

Eger Market Place - Hungary

Eger Market Place - Hungary - © Armin Hering - Fotolia.com

Eger is a beautiful historical town located in Northern Hungary. It is famous for its castle, cathedral, red wine, Baroque palaces and Turkish remains, including the northernmost minaret in Central Europe. Eger was built around a former cathedral, founded in the 10th century by the first Hungarian king, Saint Stephen. The city thrived during the Middle Ages when winemaking became the main source of income. In the 16th century, under Turkish occupation, Eger changed drastically. Today, the castle serves as a museum. After the Turkish occupation the archbishop returned and the city regained its status of an ecclesiastic seat. During the 18th and 19th centuries several beautiful buildings were built in the baroque and neoclassical styles. Eger’s historic buildings make the city an architectural gem. The attractions include the Cathedral of Eger, the Lyceum, the Archbishop’s Cathedral, the Baroque Minorite Church and many more.

Budapest: A very popular health resort

Parliament - Budapest - Hungary

Parliament - Budapest - © Noppasinw - Hungary - Fotolia.com

Budapest became one of Central Europe’s most popular health resort  in the 1990s. The city’s attractions include the Buda Castle which houses several museums including the Hungarian National Gallery, the Matthias Church, the Parliament Building and the City Park. The Buda Castle, the banks of the Danube River and the entire Andrassy Avenue have been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Hungary has approximately 1,300 thermal springs, including a third which are used in the spas across the country. Hungary’s thermal waters and spa culture are promoted to tourists. Hungary’s thermal baths have been used for 2,000 years for cleansing, relaxation and easing pains. More than 30 000 cubic metres of boiling mineral water sprouts from 118 thermal springs and supply the city’s thermal baths.

Budapest has been a popular spa destination since the Roman period. Most of the baths offer medical treatments, massages, and pedicures. The most famous of Budapest’s spas were built at the turn of the 19th century. In the Buda hills there are caves that are unique for having been formed by thermal waters. The Pálvölgy Stalactite Cave is a large and magnificent labyrinth. Discovered in the 1900s, it is the largest of the cave networks in the Buda hills. The Szemlőhegy Cave has no stalactites and contains fewer convoluted passages than the Pálvölgy Cave. The air in the cave is very clean and its lowest level is used as a respiratory sanatorium. The Matyas Cave in the city’s outskirts has an exploration section, including only one room called the “sandwich of death”.

Budapest, The banks of the Danube, the model of urban landscape

This site holds the remains of monuments such as the Roman city of Aquincum and the Gothic castle of Buda, which have had a considerable influence on the architecture of various eras. It is one of the world’s remarkable urban landscapes and illustrates the great periods of the Hungarian capital’s history. As a centre for receiving and disseminating cultural influences, Budapest is an outstanding example of urban development in Central Europe, characterised by periods of devastation and revival. Budapest has retained the separate structural characteristics of the former cities of Pest, Buda and Óbuda. One example is the Buda Castle quarter with its medieval and typically Baroque style, which are distinct from the extended and uniquely homogeneous architecture of Pest which is characterised by outstanding public buildings and arranged into the ringed structure of the radial city. 

Pilis (Man and Biosphere) : A stay in the Ottoman period

Pills Mountains Budapest Hungary

Pills Mountains Budapest Hungary - © H.Peter - Fotolia.com

Pilis is a town in the Pest County, Hungary. It was inhabited in the prehistoric era, but later it was abandoned at the end of the Roman rule. The town was then first mentioned in 1326. It was destroyed during the Ottoman rule in the 16th century, and was re-established only in 1711, by János Beleznay, the local owner. He brought the Slovak settlers from Upper Hungary, and built a palace in 1717 for himself and his family. The Beleznay family sold the town and its surroundings in the 19th century to the Nyári family, who renamed the palace as the “Beleznay-Nyári palace”. However the town’s ethnic composition changed over the centuries, there is still a significant Slovak minority having its own local government, which is responsible for maintaining the traditions and memories of the Slovaks of Pilis.

Győr : At the heart of the road of Central Europe

Gyor - Hungary

Gyor - Hungary - © gallas - Fotolia.com

Győr is northwest Hungary’s most important city, the capital of Győr-Moson-Sopron and the Western Transdanubia region, and halfway between Budapest and Vienna, located on one of the important roads in Central Europe. The city is the sixth largest in Hungary and among the country’s seven main regional centres. Győr’s history goes back a long way. The Romans settled down here and they named the town Arrabona, after a local Celtic tribe. Later, the Mongols and Turks occupied the town. In 1743, the queen Maria-Theresa granted the status of “free royal town” to Győr. Many religious orders settled here and built schools, churches, a hospital and a monastery. All of this in the Baroque style. In the mid-1800s, Győr played a more important role as the steamship traffic on the Danube began. Presently, Győr is a major cultural centre, a famous university town and a popular tourist destination. 

Millenary Benedictine Abbey of Pannonhalma and its natural environment

The millenary Benedictine Abbey of Pannonhalma and its natural environment was the first Hungarian Christian monastery and had a great influence on the propagation of Christianity in Central Europe. It was founded in 996, when Hungary was mainly a pagan culture. It is an example of an ancient Christian monastery that is still in use. The hill where the monastery was built was called Sacred Mount of Pannonia, after the Roman name for this region. In 1590, the monks left the monastery due to a siege by the Turks. Monastic life resumed in the first half of the 17th century. About 50 Benedictine monks still live in this monastery. They work mainly in the site’s boarding school. This site has strong links with the other two Benedictine abbeys which are the Mont Saint-Michel and the Convent of St. Gall.

Bratislava : Go back to the Celtic period and Roman

Bratislava - Slovakia

Bratislava - Slovakia - © kaycco - Fotolia.com

Bratislava is the Slovak Republic’s capital. It is situated in the south-western part of Slovakia on both banks of the Danube. The closest European large cities are Vienna, Budapest and Prague. The top attractions are the Bratislava Castle and its historical centre. Its origins date back to the Celtic period and Roman times. It was then rebuilt in the Gothic style and Renaissance style. The Devin Castle – the border fortress of Great Moravia standing at the confluence of the Morava and Danube rivers on the site of an ancient Celtic settlement. The St. Martin’s Cathedral – in 1563-1830, the coronation church of Hungarian kings and queens. It was built in the Gothic style and in the 18th century rebuilt in the Baroque style. The Door of Michael in the tower – a part of the original town’s fortifications. It was one of the four entrances to the town in the Middle Ages.

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