Esztergom and the Visegrad Fortress

In the autumn of last year, I had the opportunity to go on a trip to Hungary and see Esztergom and the Visegrad Fortress. Although in the capital we were in rainy and windy weather, for the walk along the river, luck smiled. The sun appeared and allowed us to spend wonderful time and make pictures of pictures of bright colors and “decorative” – ​​as I call them – clouds. If you travel through Hungary, most of the excursions are only Budapest on the way, for example, to the Austrian capital Vienna, but this country offers many other, no less interesting sights.

Esztergom is fifty kilometers from Budapest, and as our road passed along the river, we were able to enjoy the beautiful natural landscapes on the sunny morning. Esztergom was the first Hungarian capital between the 10th and 13th centuries, and the birthplace of the creator of the Hungarian kingdom, St. Istvan (Stefan). There was the conversion of the Hungarians, and today the city houses the residence of the archbishop of the Hungarian Catholic Church.

The main landmark is the Archbishop’s Cathedral, which is the largest in Hungary and built on a hill so it can be seen from miles away. An interesting fact is that the red marble chapel is over three hundred years old and older than the building itself. One legend claims that during the Turkish invasion, the natives had cut it into thousands of pieces and buried it. The old church building was destroyed, but the chapel survived and was subsequently restored.

Above the river near the cathedral stands this monument showing the conversion of the Hungarians. Inside, the cathedral is spacious and impressive. Unlike other temples, I did not see banners and people were taking pictures, so I also took some pictures. In the cathedral in 2016 a memorial plaque with St. Ivan Rilski, dedicated to the Bulgarian-Hungarian friendship. You can see it to the right of the entrance.

It is said that from the dome there is a wonderful view of the Danube, but unfortunately we did not have time to climb up there. Nearby are a museum that replaces the former palace, and partially restored fortress walls. The palace was a resurrection of the Hungarian rulers before the capital moved to Buddha and was destroyed at the Ottoman invasion. The museum preserves archaeological finds from that period, including a large collection of ceramics.

Our second stop for the day was the Visegrad Fortress. It rises on a high hill over the Danube. Refurbished and attended with an entrance fee. The entrance for this part of the exposition is paid extra, but it is not always open. During our visit there was a group of children who rushed forward, so I do not particularly regret that we missed it.

The castle itself, although relatively well preserved, did not impress me very much. It was built in the 13th century by King Bela Fourth, and in the 15th century it was completely changed and expanded. There are upper and lower parts, but we visited the one on the top of the hill. The view revealed by it to the great bend of the Danube is wonderful and it is worth visiting.

Every year, a medieval festival is held in Visegrad with historical reenactments, knight tournaments, demonstrations of clothing, food and beverages. Most events happen in the city itself, but some of the events take place in the courtyard of the palace.

There are bridges with bridges, in some places the corridors and rooms are directly dug into the rocks, and the interior is reached by a steep open wooden ladder. In the fortress you can see a copy of the royal crown, whose original is kept in Parliament in the capital Budapest, as well as portraits of significant Hungarian rulers, knight armor, weapons and furnishings.

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