Explore the beautiful Esztergom City
Esztergom in northern Hungary lies some 60km from Budapest beside the Danube River. Due to its great historic importance Esztergom has become an important tourist center.
Esztergom was first settled by Celts and then by the Romans who set-up a military camp called Solva Mansio. During the 9th century the Magyars came to inhabit the region and Prince Géza constructed a castle here (likely the oldest in Hungary). Géza's son was crowned as the first King of Hungary in the church of St.Stephen. King Béla III who reigned between 1172 and 1196 established the seat of government in Esztergom.
Mongols devastated the thriving town in 1241 and thus the seat was moved to Buda. Turks annexed the town in 1543 and thereafter many battles were fought here. Esztergom returned to Hungarian rule in 1683 and became an important religious town as the archbishop took up residence here and it became the seat of the Prince Primate (1715). Following World War Two, several industries were built in Esztergom.
Esztergom Basilica, is Hungary's largest church. Measuring 118m by 48m, the Cathedral features a prominent dome. The majority of the structure that you see was constructed from about 1822 to 1869. It is in fact built on the site of the 11th century St. Adalbert church which had been demolished. Bákocz Chapel is part of the old church and was built in 1510. Esztergom Cathedral has a massive crypt where several bishops were laid to rest. Also inside is a magnificent treasury. The Christian Museum is housed in what was previously the Primate of Hungary's palace built in 1882. Impressive artwork by Hungarian and Italian Renaissance artists are displayed in the museum. Several other famous works are also housed here such as sacred art, medieval works and Late Gothic panels. The Diocesan Library dating back to 1853 contains a priceless book collection. Estergom's old market is encircled by buildings from the 18th and 19th century combined with newer, contemporary houses.
Those seeking outdoor leisure activities should make their way to Alsó-sziget Island, connected to the mainland via three bridges. The island offers fun-filled days with many recreational facilities such as sports grounds, the open-air theater and landing-stages. The Esztergom baths are a great place to ease away the stresses of life as well as fro healing certain ailments. The nearby Pilis Mountains are a natural delight with caves, forests and chalk cliffs as well as an abundance of wildlife. Many trails run through the impressive mountains, perfect for a day trip.
There are no direct flights to Esztergom. The closest airport is the one in Budapest. You can hire a car to Esztergom from the airport parking area. You may also consider care hire in Esztergom so that you can explore nearby cities and attractions.
Esztergom is a fascinating tourist destination, with awe-inspiring buildings, places of natural interest and warm atmosphere.