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Old town atmosphere, Eger

Eger is one of the most beautiful Baroque cities in Hungary. The centuries-old architectural heritage, the ecclesiastical treasures, the wine culture, the thermal baths and numerous cultural events combine to make Eger the most significant tourist centre in Northern Hungary.

According to some hypothesises the town was named after the alder ('éger') trees along the Eger Stream. This assumption is supported by the German Erlau/ Erlen-au (alder grove) name of the town.
Eger was among the first bishoprics created by St Stephen, the state-founding king.
In the early Middle Ages the town was situated on what is today known as Castle Hill. The stone castle built on the order of Béla IV in 1248 is today a fantastic piece of heritage and a museum.

The minaret is from the Turkish times

Eger gained its glory in its defence against the invading Turkish armies; in 1552 the advance of the conquering Turkish was brought to a halt here. Since then the town and its castle have been the symbol of firm resistance and fame; even though the Turkish managed to occupy the castle in 1596.
During the Turkish occupation the so-called Eger 'vilayet' (district) was formed. This was the official boundary of the Ottoman Empire's sphere of influence. Significant architectural Turkish heritage can be seen even today from this period.
After the withdrawal of the Turkish in 1687, the Jesuits, the Cistercians, the Minorites, the Franciscans, the Servites, and the Trinitarians started large-scale building operations.
The religious orders played a vital role in the town's cultural life. It was at this time that elementary and secondary education was started and ecclesiastical seminars and law and medical schools were founded. The first Teacher Training College in which the language of teaching was Hungarian was opened in Eger in 1828. The student town character of Eger exists to this day.

The Archbishopric Library

The 18th century was the time of flourishing and prosperity. The bishops of the town carried out several building operations which still determine the Baroque style townscape even today.
The emergence of the Eger Wine Region can be placed in the early 1700's. It was then that the borders of the town were planted with grapes; the viticulture and viniculture here are still vitally important. Of the red vines produced in Eger Bull's Blood (bikavér) is the most prestigious and best known; it is made out of four grape types.

Several architectural heritages are connected to the turn of the 19th-20th centuries. The independent theatre opened in 1904 as well as the open-air baths (strandfürdő) built around the thermal waters visited by many who come to relax or looking for a cure.
The Baroque town centre of Eger was declared protected heritage in 1968. The town has won the title 'City in Bloom' several times.
There are numerous outings to be enjoyed in the forests of the Bükk and the Mátra Hills.

How to get there:
By public transport, take a train from Budapest to Eger, if travelling from Miskolc change at Füzesabony. There are Volán coaches available from Budapest and from Miskolc. By car, from Budapest take the M3 motorway, exit at Füzesabony and continue north. On the M3 from Miskolc turn off at Mezőkövesd or travel through the wooded hills of the Bükk from Miskolc or Ózd. (Source: Vendégváró)

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Additional Photos by George Rumpler (Budapestman) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 8900 W: 3 N: 20435] (82620)
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