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1100 years in the heart of Europe | Map
Budapest and Surroundings
Eger–Tokaj Wine Region
The Puszta and Lake Tisza
Pannonia
Lake Balaton
 
     

The region lying west of the Danube has everything that makes exploring the country and recreation pleasant and diverse. there are royal cities, picturesque hills, shallow lakes and parks offering irresistible walks. The region, blessed with natural beauty and full of history, is ideal for boat trips and cycling and offers a wide selection of excellent wines. The towns and cities among the hills are rich in historic monuments. The Pannonhalma Abbey, custodian of Hungarian cultural heritage, an early Christian burial place in Pécs and Lake Fertő and its surroundings are World Heritage sites.

 

Vértes Hills (D3)
Picturesque valleys and rare plants can be seen in the Vértes Nature Reserve, where life existed as early as 10 million years ago, as attested by animal bones and the remains of a three-toed pre-historic horse discovered in the Esterházy Cave on Guba Hill above Csákvár. Secluded in the Fáni Valley are the finest plants in the area. Feather grass grows on Irtás Meadow. The red soil of the bauxite mine in Gánt-Meleges gives the impression of an eerie lunar landscape. Ruins of former castles and fortresses squat on the cliffs. Stretching between Csákvár and Gánt, a 3.5-km nature trail offers good walks through Haraszt Hill and Kőlik Valley. A picturesque view of old cottages welcomes visitors to Vérteskozma.

 

Majk (D2)
Monks, dressed in white habits, obeying a vow of silence and observing strict rules, lived in the isolated cells of the Camaldulian hermit order. Built in the mid-18th century, the 17 hermit chambers were ideal dwellings for monks. Each had a chapel, a small bedroom, a workshop and a store room. Housed in one of the chambers, an exhibition devoted to the history of the order details their lifestyle. The church in the middle of the complex remains intact. Its tower gives a panoramic view of the surrounding area and a carillon chimes every 15 minutes.

 

 

Tata (D2)
Called the 'town of waters', it was a favourite royal resort in the Middle Ages, a reminder of which is the castle on Öreg ('Old') Lake. Today the castle houses within its walls the Kuny Domokos Museum, which traces the history of the region dating back to Roman times and displays a rich collection of archaeological finds and Tata pottery. An artificial ruin was built from the stones of the 12th-century Vértesszentkereszt Abbey in Hungary's first English park on the shore of Lake Cseke. The most famous of the water mills, once operated by the power of abundantly available water, is the Cifra Mill, the oldest monument of the town. The German Ethnographic Museum in the Nepomucenus Mill (1 Alkotmány utca) presents the artefacts and cultural heritage of the Germans of Hungary from the 17th century to the present day. The plaster replicas of ninety-six world-famous antique statues are on display at the Museum of Greco-Roman Replica Statues in a former synagogue (7 Hősök tere). The Geological Museum and the surrounding nature protection area at the foot of the Calvary Hill are interesting features. Layers of rocks in the abandoned quarry have preserved fossilised shells of 170 million years ago as well as a fireplace of pre-historic man. Next to the Calvary Chapel with Stations of the Cross is the 45-m high Fellner Jakab lookout tower. Fényes Spa, with its sports facilities, is worth a visit. Its water is supplied by spring-fed lakes protected because of their flora.

 

Tata, castle

Komárom (C-D2)
The strategic importance of this town on the Danube has been evident all through its history: it was a colonial town of Lower Pannonia in Roman Brigetio; a fortress was built on the orders of St. Stephen in the 11th century and it became 'the city of fortresses' in the 19th century. The three fortresses in the town are unique monuments of military and industrial history. The Monostor Fortress, a building complex of about 40 thousand m2, is he largest. Protected with a system of casemates and moats, completely invisible from the outside, it is the best preserved fortress in Europe. The much smaller Igmándi fortress houses the Roman lapidary collection of the György Klapka Museum. The third, the Csillag Fortress is, for the time being, not open to the public. Under the Treaty of Trianon, the northern part of the town was annexed to Czechoslovakia. The two parts are connected by the Erzsébet ('Elisabeth') Bridge. Situated in a quiet park with shady trees, its six pools supplied with thermal waters gushing from a depth of 1,268 m, the town's thermal baths offer remedial treatment for locomotor and gynaecological disorders.

 

Komárom, preservation of the national historic heritage

Győr (C2)
'The city of encounters', Arrabona for the Romans, a diocese almost a thousand years old, the scene of one of Napoleon's military victories (the Battle of Győr, 1809), today an industrial city, famous for its schools and well-loved because of its atmospheric centre and fine Baroque buildings. The heart of the ancient city is Káptalan Hill at the confluence of three rivers, the Duna, Rába and Rábca. Püspökvár (5/A Káptalan Hill), the residence of Győr's bishops, is easy to identify from afar with its squat tower. A 13th-century dwelling tower and the 15th-century Gothic Dóczy Chapel are the oldest buildings in the city. The Bishop's Cathedral (a basilica minor) stands on Apor Vilmos tér. Its Romanesque predecessor was built in 1030. The Gothic Chapel of St. Ladislaus (Héderváry-kápolna), built for the canonisation of King St. Ladislaus I (1077-1095), was added to it 400 years later. The gilded silver herm of St. Ladislaus, representing the pinnacle of medieval goldsmiths' art, is kept here. The Győr Diocese Treasury and Library (26 Káptalan Hill) holds the masterpieces of 1,000 years of ecclesiastical art. The works of Miklós Borsos (1906-1993), an outstanding representative of 20th-century Hungarian sculpture, are on display at the museum named after him at (2 Apor Vilmos tér). Staged in the loft of the Classicist edifice called Kreszta House (1 Apáca utca), an exhibition of charming ceramic figures made by Margit Kovács (1902-1977) is worth a visit. The Iron Rooster proclaiming the surrender of the fortress to the Turks in 1594 is the symbol of the city. It stands at the ornamental well on the Dunakapu tér. The fortress itself was ordered to be demolished by Napoleon. The Vastuskós House (No. 4) is one of the historic buildings on Széchenyi tér. The nail-studded block of wood at the corner of the house used to be the sign of a 19th-century grocer's shop. Apátúr House (No 5), a splendid Baroque palace, the former residence of Győr's abbots, now houses the Xantus János Museum exhibiting a rich collection of documents on urban and medical history, works of applied art and postage stamps. Three important buildings that used to belong to the Benedictine Order also stand on this square. One of them is the Church of St. Ignatius of Loyola, with its interior styled after the Church of Il Gesú in Rome, furnished with authentic early-Baroque furniture and decorated with fine frescoes. A pleasant stroll around the city could include a visit to the Zichy Palace (20 Liszt Ferenc utca), a scene of weddings and concerts. The wrought-iron embellishments of the Old City Hall (1 Rákóczi utca), the impressive Eclectic building of the new one (Városház tér), the Tuscan-columned courtyard of the Hungarian Ispita (6 Rákóczi utca) and the lavishly decorated enclosed balcony of Rozália House (21 Kazinczy utca), are characteristic features of the city's architecture and are worth seeing. The Váczy Péter Collection of the Municipal Museum (6 Rákóczi utca) includes Greek and Roman decorative objects, Renaissance and Baroque furniture, statues and paintings, Chinese porcelain as well as contemporary graphics. The 18th-century 'Foam Virgin' statue in the Carmelite church at Bécsi kapu tér is one of the finest Hungarian sculptures. A rich collection of 20th-century Hungarian paintings of the Municipal Gallery (17 Király utca) is housed at the Esterházy Palace. The Rába Quelle Baths (1 Fürdő tér) were built at the confluence of the rivers in the city.

 

Győr
 
 
 
 

Pannonhalma (C2)
The 'most ancient Hungarian house', a treasure of Hungarian architecture, the Benedictine Abbey has stood for a thousand years on St. Martin Hill, called in the Middle Ages the Holy Mount of Pannonia. UNESCO declared the abbey a World Heritage site worthy of preservation.
The 13th-century basilica is now the scene of organ concerts. Its Gothic sanctuary with a star-studded ceiling, its chapels and its crypt (consecrated in 1001, with the only fully preserved medieval cloister in Hungary)l and the wonderful Renaissance wood carvings of its red-marble porta speciosa are all of special interest. The library, one of the oldest in the world, holds 360,000 volumes. Among its treasures is the charter of Tihany Abbey, dated 1055 and containing the first written record of the Hungarian language. The library's scientific and art collections represent a priceless value. Temporary exhibitions are staged at the Gallery of the Pannonhalma Abbey. A rich numismatic collection includes a number of Roman coins. The teaching order of Benedictines continues to pass on knowledge for the monastery still operates a boarding grammar school. The protected arboretum of the abbey opposite the entrance to the monastery contains a park called the Abbey Park and an expanse of parkland. The Monument of the Millennium was erected 100 years ago, celebrating the 1000th anniversary of the Magyar conquest.

 

Pannonhalma

Fertőd (B2) The largest and most exquisite Baroque chateau in Hungary, the Esterházy Palace (2 Joseph Haydn út) was built over a period of 46 years, starting in 1720. 'The Hungarian Versailles' with a magnificent Baroque-Rococo topiary was commissioned by the Esterházys, the richest family among the landed aristocracy in the country, in order to hold a sumptuous court. Joseph Haydn (1732- 1807) spent over a decade in this palace as a court composer. Today the palace is a museum housing Gobelin tapestry-upholstered, inlaid furniture and the valuable chinaware of 18th-century stately homes of the landed aristocracy. The Haydn Memorial Room at the Baroque House of Music (1 Madách Walk) commemorates the world-famous composer and musical director of the castle chamber orchestra.

 

Concert at Fertőd

Sopron (A-B2)
Surrounded by the pine-covered Lövérek (an old Hungarian word meaning 'archers') Mountain and hillside vineyards producing excellent wines, this city on the Austrian frontier with its sub-alpine climate is the country's richest city in terms of monuments. Called Scarbantia in Roman times, it was an important station along the Amber road crossing Europe from north to south. Remains of statues and stonework, once decorating its superb forum, are on display at an exhibition entitled the Scarbantia Forum. An exhibition on local history occupies the floors of the Tűztorony ('Fire Tower') (1 Fő tér), which is the well known symbol of the city. A Benedictine church with a Baroque interior and Gothic ceiling, often referred to as 'the goat church' in the local dialect, served as a venue for coronations and the Hungarian Diet in the 17th century. It dominates the charming Baroque Fő tér. The Baroque Storno House with a corner balcony (8 Fő tér) is one of the country's most frequented museums, housing the rich collection of the Storno family (famous collectors of the age) and a local history exhibition. The Tábornok ('General's') House (7 Fő tér) used to be the residence of the mayors and military commanders of the city in the 17th century. 300 years older, the Fabricius House (6 Fő tér) is one of the city's most valuable secular monuments. Its furnishings reflect the genteel tastes of the 17th and 18th centuries. Its medieval basement houses a collection of Roman stonework including a Trias ensemble of statues that once decorated the Capitolium of Rome. Another exquisite example of Gothic architecture is the Gambrinus House (3 Fő tér). The Pharmacy House (2 Fő tér) collects the finest furnishings and rare pharmaceutical books of the historical pharmacies in Sopron. The Ursulan Church (2 Orsolya tér) is one of the most splendid neo-Gothic buildings of the 19th century, with a collection, including wood carvings and goldsmith work of Roman Catholic Ecclesiastical Art in its oratory. In the middle of Orsolya tér stands an 18th-century well of the Virgin Mary. The arcaded late-Renaissance Lábasház ('House on Legs') (5 Orsolya tér) houses temporary exhibitions. A cosy wine shop was opened in the Caesar House (2 Hátsókapu utca), which can be recognised by the Renaissance balcony on the corner. Housing an exhibition showing the memorabilia of the Jewish community in Sopron, the medieval Old Synagogue (22 Új utca) was built in the late 13th century. The Eggenberg House (12 Szent György utca) was built in the late Renaissance of the 17th century style. Over its gate the coat of arms of the Brandenburgs and in its loggia courtyard that of Hohenzollerns can be seen. The 600 years old Gothic St. George Church (Szent György utca) was rebuilt in the Baroque style; the frescoes inside are from the 18th century. Templom ('Church') utca is the city's street of museums with valuable collections. The 13th-century medieval Káptalan ('Chapter') Hall (No 1), which used to belong first to the Franciscan, then to the Benedictine order, is a monument of exceptional value; its richly ornamented interior, statues and frescoes are unique in Hungary. The former Esterházy Palace (No 2) houses the Central Museum of Mining, detailing through working models, the history of mining and its manifestations in fine and the applied arts. The neighbouring 17th-centrury Esterházy Palace (No 4) holds a collection on the history of forestry, timber industry and geodesics. The National Lutheran Museum is housed in a pastor's home (No 12). The one-time merchant houses in Castle District surrounding the core of the town are now fashionable shops. The Szentlélek ('Holy Spirit') Church (Szentlélek utca), a Gothic masterpiece dating back to the turn of the 14th and 15th centuries, is one of the most valuable monuments in the city. The country's only Bakery Museum (5 Bécsi utca) contains a baker's and a pastry cook's workshop, a baker's apartment, a bakery and a pastry shop. The Zettl-Langer Collection (11 Balfi út) consists of valuable memorabilia, including pieces of furniture from the period, special firearms and fine paintings. Erected 300 years ago, the ornate Két Mór ház ('House of the two Moors') (9 Szent Mihály utca) with its gate of twisted columns and eaves held by the figures of two Moors, is an outstanding example of what is called the middle class Baroque style. The Gothic 15th-century Church of St. Michael was built on Romanesque foundations. The ethnographic exhibition at 1 Deák Ferenc tér offers visitors a glimpse of the folklore of the old Sopron County and 23 different handicrafts. An ideal hiking destination and a habitat of various species of cyclamen, the Lövérek Hills, rising above the city, are part of the Sopron Nature Protection Area. The highest point is the 398-m Károly ('Charles') Peak, with a 23-m lookout facility giving a full panoramic view of the area. The popular Tómalom Baths are accessible by bus.
The surrounding areas also offer a number of tourist attractions. The imposing building of the Carmelite church and a monastery, with its fine Baroque steps, stands on a hill in the garden town of Sopronbánfalva.
The Fertő Region has been listed as a World Heritage site due to its natural and cultural heritage. Lake Fertő is part of the Fertő-Hanság National Park. The only resort area on the lake that is in Hungarian territory is Fertőrákos, famous for its quarry which resembles Egyptian rock temples. This Roman quarry provided stone for the construction of a large number of buildings in Sopron and Vienna. Today it is the scene of Cave Theatre performances in the summer. A spiral staircase leads to the top offering a full view of the lake.

 

Sopron, Castle District
 
Sopron
 
 
 
 

Nagycenk (B2)
The Széchenyi Palace (3 Kiscenki út), remodelled in the 1840's, complete with gas lighting and bathrooms, was part of one of the family estates of Count István Széchenyi (1791-1860), an outstanding politician during the Age of Reform in Hungary and in the revolution and war of independence of 1848-1849. He built the Lánchíd ('Chain Bridge') in Budapest, the first permanent bridge over the Danube, founded the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and was a pioneer of steam shipping on the Danube and racehorse-breeding in Hungary. The István Széchenyi Memorial Museum details the varied career of the 'Greatest of Hungarians'. The Széchenyi Museum Railway runs to Fertőboz (B2), where the Classicist Gloriette gives an unparalleled view of Lake Fertő. In the Locomotive Museum steam engines as well as passenger carriages and freight and lumber wagons evoke the history of the narrow-gauge railway lines. A lane of 600 protected small-leafed linden trees, planted 250 years ago, leads from the palace to a small grove.

 

Nagycenk, Széchenyi Palace

Bük (B3)
This village near the Austrian border is famous all over Europe for its thermal baths. The balneological establishment (2 Termál körút) offers, in addition to medical examinations provided by rheumatologists and physiotherapists, remedial treatment for locomotor and circulatory disorders as well as diseases of the digestive system. The Birdland Golf & Country Club is one of the finest golfing centres in Hungary with its 18-hole course.

 

Bükfürdő

Kőszeg (B3)
Kőszeg is probably the only town in the world where the bells toll at 11 a.m. in celebration of a victory over the Turks, recalling the August of 1532, when - commanded by Captain Miklós Jurisics - Hungarian warriors, defending the Fortress of Kőszeg, withstood for 25 days the attacks of Turkish troops led by Sultan Suleiman, who was marching against Vienna.
The 13th-century fortress with four squat corner turrets (9 Rajnis József utca) emerged in its present shape after the fire of 1777. The largest bastion of the city wall is Öregtorony ('Old Tower') or Zwinger. The Fortress Museum displays the firearms used during the siege of the fortress, Kőszeg's historical memorabilia and 18th-19th-century interiors. Jurisich tér, one of Hungary's most beautiful town centres, is lined with exceptional architectural monuments. The Heroes' Gate, an impressive entrance to the square, was erected to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the Turkish siege of Kőszeg; on the right is Lábasház (No 2), and nearly every house surrounding the square is a listed historical building. Memorabilia of guilds and the paraphernalia of local artisans and tradesmen, including watchmakers, butchers, comb-makers, honey-cake makers, locksmiths, barbers, weavers and photographers, are on display in the late-Renaissance Tábornok ('General's') House (numbers 4-6). The Town Hall (No 8) with its dazzling variety of architectural features ranging from 15th-century Gothic to Baroque, has been here for over 500 years. The ornate Sgraffitos House (No 7) is a rarity in Hungary. The Golden Unicorn Pharmacy Museum (number 11) with an upper floor houses the best items from a number of other lavishly furnished pharmacies and a collection of herbs. The Church of St. Imre is a building with a mixture of architectural styles. St. James Church (Jurisich tér) is the town's oldest and finest monument, with a late-Gothic sanctuary and wooden statue of the Virgin Mary, a 15th-century masterpiece. The Heart of Jesus Parish Church (Várkör) is famous for its marvellous glass windows and wonderfully aspiring Gothic pillars.

 

Kőszeg, Pharmacy Museum

The Kőszeg Hills (B3)
Blessed with rare plants, the Kőszeg Nature Reserve offers a number of tourist destinations including Hétforrás ('Seven Springs') (its name is a reminder of the seven conquering Magyar tribes), the 18th-century Stájerházak (Styrian Houses) and the 883-m peak of Írott-kő, the highest point in Pannonia. The village of Cák (B3) is famous for a row of protected thatched cellars housing a temporary exhibition on viniculture. There is a beautiful view of the countryside from the 13th-century chapel of St. Vid which is on a 568-m hill over the resort village of Velem (A3). The village has a sub-alpine climate. Sibrik Castle, intended as a royal hunting lodge and a famous monument in the village of Bozsok (A-B3), stands in a protected park.

 

 

Szombathely (B3)
Residents of Savaria, founded in 43 A.D., enjoyed the same rights as citizens of Ancient Rome. They built a splendid city from the proceeds of the Amber road which passed through. The old splendour and glory of the city can be imagined from discoveries made during archaeological excavations and also from the Savaria Historical Carnival held every summer.
The remains of the forum in the ancient city are exhibited in the Garden of Ruins (1-3 Templom tér). The Savaria Museum (9 Kisfaludy Sándor utca) displays fragments of the largest contiguous mosaic of the procurator's palace (and in the whole of Pannonia), the foundation walls of the 9th-century fortress (built from Roman stones), a 50-m section of the 2,000-year-old Amber road as well as archaeological findings from the shrine of Mercury, the public baths and the customs house. The 2nd-century Isis shrine in the Iseum garden of ruins (1 Rákóczi utca) is also the setting for the Iseum Summer Open-Air Festival. The construction of the twin-spired Episcopal cathedral (Templom tér), Hungary's largest Baroque church, commenced in 1791; its vast interior is adorned with works including frescoes, paintings and statues of renowned artists of the age. Sala Terrena, the ceremonial hall of the rococo Episcopal palace (3 Berzsenyi tér), is one of the country's finest Baroque halls. The Diocesan Museum is worth visiting for its splendid collection of ecclesiastical art. The Dorfmeister Hall in the Diocesan Library and Archive (1 Szily János utca) displays the works of the famous painter. The Gothic parish church of St. Elisabeth (1 Aréna utca) is famous for its fine Baroque doors. Next to the church is the former Franciscan monastery. The former Dominican parish church of St. Martin, with Gothic frescoes in its sanctuary, was named after St. Martin of Tours, native of the city. To preserve some characteristic examples of folk architecture, 37 buildings from 27 villages have been relocated in the Village Museum of Vas County (30 Árpád utca) set up in a natural environment of lakes ideal for boating and fishing. The Kámon Arboretum (7 Szent Imre herceg utca) is the country's largest arboretum, its highlights being 50 different species of rhododendron which make a sea of blossoms in May.

 

Szombathely, Savaria historical games

Ják (B3)
Erected between 1214 and 1256, the imposing St. George Church, once a Benedictine abbey church, (a smaller-size replica of which can be seen in Vajdahunyad Castle in Budapest) is the most beautiful of the Romanesque churches of Hungary. Graceful statues embellish its beautiful gate. Huge clusters of pillars divide the interior of the church into three parts. The frescoes on the walls are 700 years old. Opposite the church, St. James chapel, of identical age, is also a monument of great importance.

 

Ják

Sárvár (B3)
A long stone bridge leads to the pentagonal building of Nádasdy Castle (1 Várkerület), once surrounded by a moat. The castle served as a fortress and a residence for an aristocratic family. The Nádasdy Ferenc Museum, displaying a rich collection of applied art and housing exhibitions that detail the life of Hungarian Hussars and the interwoven history of the city and the castle, is one of the country's most beautiful museums, due to its lavish interior décor and valuable furnishings. The saline water of the Thermal Baths (1 Vadkerti utca) is used to treat rheumatic diseases, post-fractural complaints and gynaecological disorders. It also facilitates general recuperation and improves overall physical condition. Its use is recommended either in the form of therapeutic treatment or self-cure in the home, using bath salt, called 'Sárvár thermal crystal', distilled from the water.

 

Sárvár, reception hall in the Nádasdy Castle

Őrség (A3)
Covered with forests, the gently sloping resort area played an important frontierguarding role from the 10th century. Its inhabitants settled on well-protected hilltops in colonies consisting of 5 to 10 houses. These 18 villages have preserved the settlement pattern of the age of the Magyar conquest: nearly every village has a number of old houses and a belfry. A fine example of the latter is the skirted belfry in Pankasz. Őriszentpéter is the centre of the Őrség. Its Romanesque church (15 Templomszer) is named after the Apostle St. Peter. The regional museum of the Őrség Exhibition House (55 Városszer) also deserves mention. Some fine examples of folk architecture, including a unique fenced thatched house and a pantry with an upstairs floor, are on display in an open-air ethnographic museum in the village of Szalafő, which is comprised of seven colonies. Velemér's 13th-century church offers some marvellous frescoes. There is also a medieval church in Hegyhátszentjakab. The nearby Lake Vadása is a popular recreational area.

 

Velemér, frescoes

Martonvásár (D3)
A Beethoven memorial town, where the great composer was a guest on two occasions. His close rapport with the Brunszvik family of Martonvásár and love for the 'immortal beloved' were sources of artistic inspiration for such superb pieces of music as the Apassionata and the Moonlight sonata and the final movement of the Fourth Symphony. His music books, the piano that he played and a lock of his hair, a cherished item in the estate of the family, evoke his memory in the Beethoven Museum, housed in the neo-Gothic Brunszvik Mansion. The castle park is a wonderful arboretum: a 40-hectare topiary with a small lake in the middle. On the island of the lake, accessible by an ambient wooden bridge, open-air Beethoven concerts are given in July and August.

 

Martonvásár, concert
 
Martonvásár, Brunszvik Mansion

Lake Velencei (D3)
Owing to its favourable geographical and natural characteristics, the lake is one of Hungary's most popular resorts. It is aptly named the 'lake of sunshine', for the sun is out an annual average of 2,050 hours. It has an area of 26 square km, an average depth of 1.2 m and is rich in minerals. Its silky water is refreshing and relaxing. Winds blowing from the Velence Hills make the lake ideal for sailing. Secluded sedge marshes are favourite spots for anglers. Gárdony is the centre of tourism along the lake. One of the oldest resorts here is Velence, where a yacht club was started 70 years ago. The sunlit slopes of Bence Hill are dotted with rows of protected cellars, press houses and wine cellars. The hilltop gives a superb view of the lake. The 55oC thermal water gushing into the thermal baths of Agárd is recommended mainly for the treatment of locomotor disorders and gynaecological complaints.
Occupying one-third of the lake, the bird reserve among the reeds, which are segmented with narrow waterways and inner bays, is home to rare waterfowl. Twenty-eight species hatch here regularly. The lake is also fun in the winter, offering skating and ice-sailing. In the summer, pleasure boats cruise the lake from the jetties of Agárd and Velence to Szúnyog-sziget ('Mosquito Island').
Of the two historical monuments in Pákozd, one commemorates victory, the other defeat; nevertheless, both are reminders of the heroism of Hungarian soldiers. Dedicated to the victorious Battle of Pákozd on 29 September 1848 during the 1848-1849 War of Independence waged against the Hapsburgs, a memorial exhibition offers a re-enactment of the battle on a plotting board. The obelisk was erected to commemorate the centenary of the battle. The other monument is an ecumenical chapel, built in memory of the Hungarian soldiers who perished in the massacre along the bend of the River Don in the winter of 1942. The granite stones of Pákozd in the shapes of a dog, lion, sphinx and bear are rare finds in Europe. The bird reserve at the foot of Mészeg Hill is an important ornithological farm. The Pákozd-Sukoró Arboretum is the habitat of nearly 250 trees and shrubs, where there is a nature trail and a hide for bird watchers, which also functions as a lookout point. The lookout gives a splendid panorama of Lake Velence and its patches of reeds.

 

Ice-sailing on Lake Velence

Székesfehérvár (D3)
Alba Regia, an ancient Hungarian city, with 'white', the colour of princes, in its name, was founded in 972 and was the first seat of the Hungarian monarchs. The country's main church, where 37 kings and 39 queens were crowned and 15 monarchs were buried, stood here for 500 years. The Holy Crown and the Archives were kept here and the Hungarian Diets were also held here. The outstanding role that the city played in the Middle Ages is witnessed by the main sights of Városház tér, including the orb and the Franciscan church built on the site of King St. Stephen's palace, where frescoes evoke the life of his son, St. Imre, who passed away at a young age. The Turks destroyed the coronation church in 1602.
Today only its foundations can be seen in the national memorial place, one of the most important groups of monuments in the country (Medieval Garden of Ruins, Koronázó tér), including the stone coffin of King St. Stephen (970?-1038) in a mausoleum decorated with frescoes depicting historical events. The ossuary keeps the remains of the Hungarian kings buried here. On what is today Géza fejedelem tér, a castle stood as early as 970 A.D., along with a small arched chapel, the floor plan of which, made of white stones, can be seen on the road. King Béla, who was king of Hungary at the time of the Mongol invasion in the 13th century, built the subsequent Episcopal cathedral as a royal palace before he moved his household to Buda. The cranium relic of St. Stephen is kept in the Baroque cathedral. The only surviving medieval building in the city is the net-vaulted St. Anna chapel from the 15th century. By prior arrangement, the Carmelite church and monastery (Petőfi utca), one of the city's most splendid monuments, can also be visited. The walls of the church with a superb interior are decorated with frescoes painted by F. A. Maulbertsch. Baroque is the dominant style of the exquisite mansions of the landed aristocracy and the houses that once belonged to the middle classes in the city, which became a bishopric in 1777. The first Hungarian-language theatre operated here in the Győri House (15 Kossuth Lajos utca). The Baroque-Rococo splendour of the 18th-century Hiemer House (1 Jókai utca) with its closed balcony on the corner is magnificent. The Romantic residences at the Classicistic Vörösmarty tér show the workmanship of the architect Miklós Ybl (1814-1891), the city's famous son. The flower clock (Fő utca), always decorated with flowers of the season, is a rare sight. The skanzen in Palotaváros (11 Rác utca), winner of the Europa Nostra Award for saving folk architecture, contains 12 cottages and a Serbian church with a splendid iconostasis. The House of Trades, in the museums in Rácváros (Serbian Quarter), detailing small crafts and the life of the guilds, offers interesting activities demonstrating the various craft techniques, at which visitors are invited to try their hand. The sculptor Jenő Bory (1879-1959) spent decades building a romantic Gothic (concrete) castle with his own hands. Blending various architectural styles, the Bory Castle (54 Máriavölgyi út) houses his own works and those of contemporary sculptors.

 

Székesfehérvár, Bory Castle
 
Székesfehérvár, Orb
 
Székesfehérvár, Pharmacy Museum

Tác-Gorsium (D3)
The 'Hungarian Pompei', a religious centre at Gorsium-Herculia, Lower Pannonia and the scene of the cult of emperors, had its best days in the 2nd to 4th centuries. Today it is the largest archaeological park in the country. In the course of excavations, ongoing since 1958, the walls, gates, forums, temples and sanctuaries of this former Roman city have been uncovered and explored. In 260 A.D. the town perished during an attack of Barbarians. In 290 a new city, Herculia was founded on the old ruins. Surviving memorabilia from this age include a large palace, a row of shops, two early-Christian basilicas, a public bath and the ruins of a cemetery outside the city walls. The ruins are in a large park creating a Mediterranean atmosphere. A few pieces of Roman burial memorials and tomb stones were relocated here. The park also provides premises for an exhibition displaying the most splendid findings and a Greco-Roman theatre seating 1,200 persons. The ancient festival of Floralia is held in late April and early May. The performances of the Ludi Romani, i.e. the Gorsium Summer Theatre are organised in August.

 

Tác-Gorsium

Veszprém (C3)
Called 'The city of queens' because it was the privilege of the bishops of Veszprém to crown Hungarian queens, this was the first bishopric in the country and it lies on the banks of the river Séd. In the castle district, where the royal palace stood between the 11th and 13th centuries, fine urban middle class houses along the 500-m long ridge of Castle Hill evoke the history of the region. The entrance of the Heroes' Gate is also here, while nearby is the fire tower (9 Vár utca) and Veszprém's Pantheon on the wall of the bastion. The collections of the Castle Gallery and the brick Museum are housed in the Dubniczay House (29 Vár utca). The beautiful Baroque Episcopal Palace (18 Vár utca) is open to the public. However, the halls and rooms of the Episcopal Archives and Library can be visited only by prior arrangement. The city is a unique ecclesiastical treasure chest: the oldest frescoes in the country can be seen in the early-Gothic Gizella Chapel (18 Vár utca) which was originally a two-storey structure. The Queen Gizella Museum houses an exhibition detailing ecclesiastical art and history. The sanctuary and crypt of the Episcopal cathedral, a basilica minor, can also be visited. The cathedral is the oldest Episcopal Church and was erected by Gizella of Bavaria, the first Hungarian queen in 1001 (18-20 Vár utca) The 15th century relic of Gizella is a gift from the German city of Passau. Erected in the 9th and 10th centuries, the St. George Chapel (20 Vár) is likely to have been the first church in the country. The Classicist Piarist high school (10-12 Vár utca), church and monastery (12/A Vár u.) are from the 18th century. The Hungarian nation erected here a monument in honour of its first king on the 900th anniversary of his death. The statues of St. Stephen and Queen Gizella stand on the lookout bastion overlooking the valley, offering a breath-taking panorama of the St. Stephen bridge over the stream. The Kálmán Kittenberger Botanical and Game Park (17 Kittenberger K. utca) is also among the finest of zoos.

 

Veszprém, Gizella Chapel
 
Veszprém

The Bakony Hills (C3)
The hiding place of outlaws, the picturesque Bakony was a continuous area of woodland until as late as 19th century. Today the area of high Bakony is a protected nature reserve with lovely beech forests, picturesque valleys and over 1,100 caves (the caves of the Likas and Csatár Hills, Kőlik and Szentgál, etc). Cutting through the hills, the gorges and ravines of the Gerence, Séd, Hódos, Gaja and Cuha streams are popular hiking destinations. Another magnet for tourists is Ördög-árok: there are iron ladders traversing the huge cliffs of Ördög-gát. 150 steps lead to the cave at Odvaskő once inhabited by prehistoric man.
The forests of the Bakony Mountains are a natural habitat for deer, fallow deer, mufflons, wild boar, wild cats and 104 highly protected species of birds. Its highest point is Kőris Hill (709 m) with a lookout tower at its top. The primordial pine forest of Fenyőfő is one of the country's most beautiful pine woods, with 20-m tall trees of more than a hundred years of age. Europe's second largest yew forest can also be found on the outskirts of Szentgál.

 

 

Zirc (C3)
400 m above sea level, the church of the Cistercian Abbey (1 Rákóczi tér) stood in the heartland of the Bakony Mountains as early as 1182. Elevated to the rank of basilica minor, its present-day successor is a twin-spired Baroque church, with frescoes by F. A. Maulbertsch.
The historical building of the 65,000 volume Reguly Antal Library boasts some treasures of cultural history. In addition to its 15,000 journals and some codices, its lavishly carved furniture, including an inlaid table made from wood of different colours, all characteristic of the trees in the Bakony, is also worthy of mention. The Bakony Natural History Museum, displaying the plants, insects and birds of the Bakony in terrariums, aquariums and dioramas, is housed in the former residential apartments of the High Abbot.
The Zirc Arboretum (9 Damjanich utca), a habitat for 600 types of trees and shrubs, including a 400- year-old oak tree, is bisected by the Cuha Stream. The Antal Reguly Museum and Workshop of Folk Arts (10 Rákóczi tér) details the life and career of the scholar Antal Reguly, who studied the origins of the Magyars.
One of the most beautiful settlements in the Bakony Mountains is Csesznek, with a Gothic church from 1263 on a hill on its outskirts. In the course of its history it was once a prison, then later a palace. An earthquake and a fire caused by lightning laid it to waste, reducing it to ruins. It is worth visiting for the picturesque panorama of the region that it gives.

 

Csesznek
 
Zirc, library

Herend (C3)
A favourite with British and Austrian royal households, Herend porcelain, the famous product of the town, has won 24 first prizes and gold medals at international fairs. The skills of painting this internationally renowned product are passed from father to son. The Porcelain Art Museum (140 Kossuth L utca) gives the history of the finest examples of Herend china, made entirely by hand, and of the china factory established in 1826. The Porcelanium, where the process of manufacturing china is presented in a mini-workshop is also worth visiting.

 

Herend, China painting

Pápa (C3)
This pleasant town, where prestigious schools educated a number of celebrities, including novelists and poets, is referred to as 'the Athens of Pannonia'. Standing in a protected park, the Esterházy Mansion (1 Fő tér) today houses the music school, the castle museum tracing the history of the town and the library. The 200-year-old working blue dye workshop, housed at the Blue Dye Museum (12 Március 15. tér), is an industrial rarity which offers a glimpse of the various stages of the process of printing white patterns on a blue background. The Gránátalma Pharmacy Museum (5-7 Jókai utca) continues to operate to this day as pharmacy. The town's most recent attraction is the Várkertfürdő, which may serve as a refreshing final stage of a long sightseeing tour.

 

Pápa, Blue Dye Museum

Sümeg (B-C3)
The 13th-century Sümeg Castle on top of the 270-m Castle Hill is one of Hungary's best preserved and largest castles. Its museum houses an exhibition on the history of the castle, a torture chamber and a waxworks. The courtyard provides a setting for the re-enactment of historical battles, reminders of the former chivalric tournaments. An 18th-century hub of Roman Catholicism, it boasts some fine examples of ecclesiastical architecture, including the Episcopal palace (10 Szent István tér), the Franciscan church, which has become a pilgrimage site (7 Szent István tér) and the Roman Catholic parish church (Bíró Márton utca), the walls of which are covered with frescoes painted by F. A. Maulbertsch.

 

Sümeg

Szekszárd (D4) Seven hills with vineyards producing historic, fiery wines encircle the atmospheric town of Szekszárd, where Ferenc Liszt composed some of his famous pieces of music (Augusz House, 36-40 Széchenyi utca, with a memorial plaque on one of its walls). The piano and bust of the world-famous Hungarianborn composer and accomplished pianist are on display at the Liszt Ferenc Memorial Exhibition (1 Béla tér) housed on the upper floor of the old Town Hall. The birth place of the poet and literary translator, Mihály Babits, is now a museum (13 Babits M. utca) dedicated to his memory. The Baroque church of St. Ladislaus, standing at Béla tér, the centre of the town in the Middle Ages, is Europe's largest single-naved church. One of Hungary's finest Classicist town halls, with the surviving remains of the church of an 11th-century Benedictine abbey also stands here. The local history and archaeological exhibition at the Mór Wosinsky County Museum (26 Mártírok tér) details the history of the town and its surroundings. The House of Arts at the former synagogue (20 Mártírok tere) stages temporary exhibitions. Szekszárd is also home to the Deutsche Bühne Ungarn, Hungary's only German-language theatre (Garay tér).
The bunch of grapes in the town's coat of arms symbolises the importance of the Szekszárd wine-growing region, famous for its red wines. A version of the coat of arms in an unusual and shape can be seen on top of Kálvária ('Calvary') Hill, from where you get a picturesque panoramic view of the region.

 

Szekszárd, Wine House
 
Szekszárd, Candy Museum

Gemenc (D4-5) The 50,000-hectare game reserve in Gemenc Forest is Hungary's most beautiful floodplain forest. Covered with a patchwork of backwaters and fens and blessed with numerous islands, the nature reserve has preserved the natural environment that existed before the regulation of the Danube. The attractive little islands are home to old willows, huge oaks and poplars, lilies of the valley, egrets, herons, bald eagles, black storks, waterfowl and stags sporting the finest antlers in the country. The nature reserve is only accessible by light boat or narrow-gauge train running between Bárányfok and Pörböly.

 

Gemenc

Mohács (D5)
A port on the Southern Danube, the town is the scene of Hungary's most spectacular folk tradition called 'busójárás', originally devised to frighten off the Turks, now a merry carnival during which participants dressed in rags and wearing grotesque masks say farewell to winter and welcome the spring.
Most Hungarians associate the name Mohács with the 1526 battle bearing its name, in which the Hungarian army suffered a devastating defeat at the hands of the Ottoman Turks. It was the decisive Battle of Mohács on 29 August 1526, the bleakest day in Hungarian history, in which 20,000 soldiers were killed including the 20 years-old Hungarian King Lajos II, which set the stage for 150 years of Ottoman rule over Hungary. Commemorating the 400th anniversary of the fateful battle, a Byzantine memorial church was erected on the main square of the town (Széchenyi tér) with proceeds from public donations. The memorial park established on Török ('Turkish') Hill along the road to Sátorhely is a reminder of the battle that was fought and lost nearby. The five mass graves explored so far have been marked with painted burial signs with imitation human figures and horses on them as well as wooden headboards.

 

Mohács, 'busójárás'
(Buso masquerade)

Villány (D5)
The Wine Museum (8 Bem utca) acquaints visitors with the wine culture along the Villány-Siklósi wine route, the first of its kind in Hungary, connecting 11 settlements in a protected wine-growing area. The October festival of red wines, held every two years, is geared towards publicising popular Villány wines, including blue Oporto, Merlot, Blue Franc and Cabernet. In the former lime pit on Templom ('Church') Hill the fossils of 240-year-old primordial animals, called ammonites, can be seen. Szársomlyó in Nagyharsány, 6 km away and featuring cliffs in striking shapes, is the protected habitat of indigenous flora and fauna unique to Hungary. Among them are the 'angry' water-snake (colubridae) and the secretary hawk as well as crocuses which bloom in January. There is an open-air collection comprising the statues of the past 30 years on the hillside, which doubles as an 'artists studio'.

 

Villány, Wine Museum
 
Villány, a village of wine-cellars

Siklós (D5)
Situated in the country's most westerly town, Siklós Castle is one of Hungary's medieval fortresses that has survived intact. Turkish cannons left its walls unharmed; nor did Emperor Leopold I blow it up, contrary to the way he treated the other medieval outposts of Hungary. It has valuable monuments from each era of its history dating back to 1294, including Romanesque windows, the most ornate Gothic balcony in Hungary, a 14th-15th-century castle chapel, a Renaissance gated bulwark with a drawbridge and a Baroque castle palace, all attesting to a high level of architectural sophistication in medieval Hungary. In the parish church restorers discovered some exquisite examples of 15th-century Gothic fresco paintings.
The town was granted the Europa Nostra Award in recognition of the quality of the restoration of the pentagonal building of the djami of Makolcs Bey (Vörösmarty utca),. The twin-spired Baroque Franciscan votive church in the neighbouring Máriagyűd is a famous shrine.

 

Siklós, fort

Harkány (C5)
Legend has it that the devil ploughed Szársomlyó Hill, and the furrows were filled with sulphuric water. Consisting of sulphur in the form of dissolved gas, this type of water is to be found nowhere else. Thanks to this natural asset, the town has been a health resort for 200 years. The waters of the Harkány thermal bath and spa (7 Kossuth L. utca) are used to treat all kinds of locomotor disorders, chronic gynaecological inflammations and dermatological diseases and in the follow-up treatment of accidents, fractures and arthritic inflammation of the joints. They are also used as a drinking cure for stomach complaints.

 

Harkány, spa

Pécs (D5) Mysterious burial chambers from Roman times, domed Turkish djamis, a slender minaret, exquisite Zsolnay chinaware, enigmatic paintings by Csontváry, highly decorative Vasarely patterns, almond trees blossoming in early spring and cosy restaurants and cafés - this is Pécs. Situated in the southern foothills of the Mecsek Hills, the 2,000-year-old city with a Mediterranean climate and ambience was made an episcopal see in 1009. The road leading to the hilltop is lined with atmospheric houses along the steep streets of Tettye, the old city of Pécs. The Misina hilltop at a height of 535 m offers a wonderful view of the city and its environs. Those walking along the signposted trails in Mecseki Parkerdő ('Park Forest') may want to taste the famous wines produced on the hill.
Sopianae, the ancient Roman predecessor of Pécs, was a major centre of early Christianity. An unparalleled 4th-century ensemble of monuments, listed by UNESCO in 2000 as a World Heritage site, is a necropolis comprised of 16 edifices. The two-storied mausoleum (Szent István tér) is Hungary's most important early Christian monument, with frescoes, monograms of Christ and the remains of three sarcophagi in its burial chamber. The Jug Chamber owes its name to one of the paintings on its walls and is accessible via Dóm tér. The 11th-century crypt of the four-spired Episcopal cathedral on Dóm tér (a basilica minor since 1993) is one of the country's first Christian churches. The side chapels and sacristies of the cathedral contain numerous art treasures. The Roman findings from the excavations in its vicinity are on display in its lapidary collection. From the balcony of the neo-Renaissance building of the Episcopal Palace (Dóm tér) a statue of Ferenc Liszt looks out onto the square. The 15th-century barbican, a massive rotund bastion nearby (2 Esze Tamás utca) served as a system of defence for the bishop's castle.
The green cupola of the djami of Khasim Pasha (Széchenyi tér), the most important relic of the 150 years of Ottoman rule, is a major contributor to the character of the city. With a mihrab alcove and ogee-arched windows, it is now a Roman Catholic church. The djami of Jakovali Hassan Pasha (2 Rákóczi út), which is today a house of prayer, is the most complete surviving masterpiece of Moslem architecture, its museum displaying Turkish artefacts of historic and artistic importance. The adjoining minaret is 23-m high. The türbe of Idris Baba squatting on Rókus Hill (8 Nyár utca) is a Turkish shrine. The unearthed remains of Memi Pasha's baths are also open to the public (33 Ferencesek utca).
The city boasts important Baroque monuments, including a Franciscan church and monastery (35 Ferencesek utcája), with furnishings made by Franciscan monks, the Lyceum church and the former monastery of the Pauline order (44 Király utca). There is a Carmelite nunnery next to the church of All Saints (Tettye utca). The chapel of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Havi Hill was built by the survivors of the plague in 1691. An interesting architectural feature of St. Augustine's church (Ágoston tér) is an ogeearched window from a Turkish mosque. The church of the Sisters of Charity (5 Széchenyi tér) has a façade in the Eclectic style and inlaid altars, each with an individual design.
Nearly every house along Káptalan utca is a museum. Number 2 is the Zsolnay Museum, which displays a collection of ceramics representing major milestones in the history of the world-famous Zsolnay porcelain and the artefacts that were awarded the golden Prize at the 1878 Paris World Expo. It also houses a memorial room dedicated to Vilmos Zsolnay, founder of the Zsolnay Porcelain Works. An exhibition displaying the works of the Hungarian-born sculptor, Amerigo Tot occupies the ground floor. Another wing of the building holds a lapidary collection of Renaissance stone monuments from Pécs and its surrounding area. Number 3 is the birth house of Victor Vasarely, world-famous inventor of abstract geometry or op-art. In addition to his opus major, works of 20th-century foreign artists are also on display in the Vasarely Museum. In the basement of the house the Mecsek Museum of Mining is an interesting exhibition. The Modern Hungarian Gallery at No 4 houses one of the richest collections of 19th-20th-century Hungarian fine art. Separate collections of the works of three 20th-century artists are on display at numbers 5 and 6. The neo-Renaissance building of the Csontváry Museum (11 Janus Pannonius utca) is a befitting location for displaying the oeuvre, combining romanticism, symbolism and expressionism, of Tivadar Csontváry Kosztka, an outstanding representative of Hungarian painting. Exhibitions at the Janus Pannonius Museum offer an insight into the rich heritage of multi-ethnic Baranya County. The ethnographic exhibition at 15 Rákóczi utca is dedicated to the diverse folklore of ethnic minorities (Germans and South Slavs). An archaeological exhibition at 12 Széchenyi tér traces the history of the region from pre-historic times to the age of the Great Migration. A natural sciences exhibition (2 Szabadság utca) acquaints the visitor with the flora and fauna of the Mecsek Hills and the surrounding region. The Urban History Museum (9 Felsőmalom utca) details the past 200 years of the history of Pécs in an easy to follow manner.

 

Pécs, Széchenyi square
 
Pécs, Basilica
 
Pécs, barbican
 
Pécs, Színház ('Theatre') square
 
Pécs, China painter

Pécsvárad (D5)
The Benedictine Abbey and Monastery in Pécsvárad was founded in 1000. Bishop Astrik, the first abbot of Pécsvárad, brought home the Crown of King St. Stephen, a gift from the Pope in Rome. He assisted the King with establishing the church and the state in 11thcentury Hungary. The Fortress of Pécsvárad, built in the 13th century upon the monastery, is one of the most important medieval monuments of Hungary. Its most intact parts are the old tower (currently a hotel) and the 15-m unearthed nave and frescoed sanctuary of the Benedictine abbey church. The Fortress Museum (45 Vár utca), housing an exhibition that displays the archaeological memorabilia of the fortress and the abbey, is located in the 18th-century castle.

 

Pécsvárad

Szigetvár (C5)
Szigetvár has been a symbol of self-sacrificing patriotism since the Turkish invasion of 1566. Following a 22-day siege of the fortress and having defended the fort against the Turks, 24 times superior in number, the soldiers, led by Captain Miklós Zrínyi, broke out of the fortress, sacrificing their lives in close combat. A lion statue, a memorial of their heroism, stands on the original battlefield, called the Park of Turkish-Hungarian Friendship, where 400 years after the battle the effigies of Miklós Zrínyi and Suleiman II are placed next to each other.
Architectural monuments of the Ottoman rule of the town include Ali Pasha's djami, built in 1589, today a Baroque Roman Catholic parish church (9 Zrínyi tér) and a dwelling house, the only one of its kind in Hungary. The latter, called the Turkish House (3 Bástya utca), holds an exhibition showing the Ottoman era. The visible parts of the fortress, the mosque and a minaret, (9 Vár utca) were also built by the Turks. Interestingly, the old turbe (tomb) built in Turbék-Puszta is currently a Baroque Roman Catholic church, and a holy pilgrimage place for Muslim Turks.
An exhibition staged at the Zrínyi Miklós Fortress Museum (19 Vár utca) provides an insight into the history of the fortress and displays related archaeological findings. Scenes depicting the siege of Szigetvár on the walls of the parish church of St. Rókus (Ali Pasha's djami) are worth looking at.

 

Szigetvár

The Mecsek Hills (D5)
The Mecsek Hills are an ideal place for excursions and a popular area for lovers of rural tourism. The air is fresh in the high hills, protected flowers are colourful and the food is delicious in the villages around Zengő Hill, the highest point in the range. The fantastic rock formations of Jakab Hill that display doll-like shapes, the Melegmányi Valley with its series of waterfalls, the ancient chestnut forest blooming in June, the European-chestnut orchard at Zengővárkony, the arboretums of Kisújbánya and Püspökszentlászló as well as the hiker's path among waterfalls of Óbánya Valley are favorite destinations for hikers.

 

Walk in the woods of the Mecsek Hills

Abaliget (C-D5)
Lakes ideal for boating and fishing add to the special ambience of this resort area famous for its stalactite cave, in which there is a pathway following the course of an underground stream. There are interesting rock and stalactite formations along the half-mile pathway and the cave is renowned also for its climatic healing properties.

 

 

Kaposvár (C4)
A walk in the town of Kaposvár, situated between Lake Balaton and the Mecsek Hills, take you past a charming variety of buildings, representing almost every style of architecture. The neo-Romanesque and neo-Gothic Church of the Blessed Virin Mary (Kossuth tér) was elevated to cathedral status in 1993, when the city was made an Episcopal see. The Hungarian Art Nouveau style Town Hall (Kossuth tér) with its colourful glass windows, the Zsolnay tiles of Hotel Erzsébet (Noszlopy utca) and the twin-turreted building of the Csiky Gergely Theatre are Kaposvár's main highlights. Dorottya House, an 18th-century late-Baroque steward's house (1 Fő utca) used to be scene of Dorottya Balls signalling the start of festivities during the the carnival season.
The beautiful classical building of the former County Hall (10 Fő utca) houses the Rippl-Rónai Museum detailing the history, ethnography and wildlife of the area. The only cinema museum in Hungary is also housed here. Major works of the best-known Hungarian Art Nouveau painter József Rippl-Rónai are on display at a memorial museum (Róma-hegy), named after him, which used to be his home. The Vaszary memorial House (9 Zárda utca) holds the works of János Vaszary, another great son of the town. The Vaszary Gallery (12 Fő utca) displays the works of contemporary artists on a continuous basis.
Riding schools and major equestrian events are a magnet for lovers of equestrian sports. Though in ruins, the Kaposszentjakab Benedictine abbey, founded in 1601, is worth the 4-km walk for the panorama view and the events associated with the St. James Summer Nights festivities.

 

Kaposvár, pedestrian zone
 
Kaposvár

Szenna (C5)
The museum village of Szenna, built in the very heart of this living village (2 Rákóczi utca), was awarded the Europa Nostra Prize. It is an outdoor collection of houses, displaying the characteristics of 19th-century architecture, first taken apart in numbered pieces at the place of their construction and then reconstructed in the museum. The museum looks as if it were a real village: next to wooden-porched houses with smokey kitchens are the timbered buildings of the cooper's, the distillery, the press house and stables.
The painted panelled ceiling of the Calvinist Church, built in 1787, is adorned with 117 unique flower patterns, with no two alike among them. A multitude of protected plants and animals inhabit the richly wooded Zselic Nature Reserve, an ideal place for hiking.

Szenna, church interior
 
Szenna, open-air village museum
   
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