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Visegrad and its Surroundings


VISEGRAD is located on the road number 11, 40km to the North of Budapest. On road it is accessible by car and coach, on the Danube by boat. At the MAHART pier there are regular and special boat services and there is a ferry service between Nagymaros and Visegrád for the river crossing passanger and car traffic.

Visegrad is arguably the most panoramic settlement of the Danube band. There are steep cliffs towering above the narrow steps, forming the characteristic andezit lava mass of the Castle hill. The Romans built a fortress on the Sibrik hill. After the big migration wave the Slavs gave this settlement its name. In the former Roman fortress king Salamon was kept prisoner. The castle was built after the Tatar invasion. King Róbert Károly after defeating the warlord Máté Csák made Visegrad the capital of the country. He built the great Royal Palace around 1320. During the Turkish occupation the 350-room Palace was destroyed by a landslide. The Castle was ruined by the Austrians during the period of the Rákóczi freedom fight.

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THE DANUBE BEND is located between Esztergom and Budapest. At this part the Danube flows between the Börzsöny and the Visegrád mountains and its direction changes from South-North to East-West. It is one of the most frequented places by tourists in Hungary. The Danube band is a candidate to become the part of the World Heritage sites.

This area is enourmosly rich in art and historic monuments and buildings. The Baroque style is represented by Budapest, Szentendre and Vác. Visegrád represents the Renaissance and Esztergom the Roman period in Hungary. These features with the medieval Royal Centre in Visegrad and the medieval Castle in Esztergom together represent major historic sites of Hungary in such a fascinating natural surroundings (and close proximity to the capital, Budapest) which multiplies the touristic attractiveness of the region.


At the site there was a fortified Roman settlement called Salva Mansio. King Károly the Great named it "Osterringun" (Eastern Ring) in the 6th century after the former circular defence rings, built by the Avars. The medieval name of the town, Strigonium was formed from this word. István I was born and crowned here in 1000. In the frist centuries of the Árpád-era Esztergom was the capital of Hungary. It is still the centre of the Hungarian Catholic Church. The greatest church of Hungary, the Basilika is also situated in Esztergom, together with the Bakócz-chapel, which is a beautiful Reneissance artifact where the greatest religious collection of treasures in Hungary is kept. Its basement has become a frequented pilgrimage destination since the remains of the archbishop József Mindszenty were reburried here in 1991. The Christian Museum is the greatest artcollection in Hungary outside the capital, where among others M.S.Meister's works are also kept. The country's greatest religious archive is also in Esztergom.


It is located to the North of Visegrád. It was here, where the ceiling of the thorne fell onto king Béla I in 1036, apparently as a result of a plot against the king. Around 1100 prince Álmos, the brother of Kálmán, the Knowlegable founded a medieval monastry here. It was also here, where Kálmán, the Knowlegable made Álmos and his son blind, because he wanted his son to be his heir on the throne. The hill of Prédikálószék towers above the settlement.


At the site there was a Roman settlement, its ruins can still be seen in this little village situated right beside the Danube. It is a quiet holiday area with a Classicist Protestant church and late Baroque chapels. There is an andezit mine in the nearby hills.


In the 19th century it was a holiday resort and later became an independent village. The first great holiday houses were built for famous Hungarian scientists, actors, writers, artists, etc. It features the Zsigmond Móricz Museum and the Vöröskő hill, which offers an excellent panoramic view of the Danube band. Leányfalu has a thermal bath and a swimming pool.


With its meandering little passage ways, narrow steps Szentendre has a unique atmosphere. King Endre I invited Greek settlers to the town. The population grew bigger when many Serbs arrived escaping from the Turkish occupation. In the 18th century new houses built in Baroque style blended into the town's architecture. It used to be one of the most important centre of the Ortodox Church in the region and also a flourishing winemaking, artisan, cultural and trading centre. The opening of the suburbian train service (HÉV) in 1887 made it a popular tourist destination and that is why the Skanzen i.e. the Open Air Folk Museum was located in its vicinity.


It has an ancient cemetery from the Bronze age and the oldest, about 4000-year-old European 4-wheel clay cart was found here. There is a Roman watch tower on the bank of the Danube. It also had some Serbian emmigrants settling down, and has beautiful churches.


The settlement is protected by an artificial stone bank from the flooding. It is the oldest settlement on the Szentendre-island. During the reing of Kálmán the Knowledgable Russian emmigrants came to the place which was named after them. There are some Roman watch towers around the village. There is a campsite for rowing enthusiasts. There is a ferry service between Kisoroszi and Visegrád.


This settlement is located on the broadest part of the Szentendre-island and there is a road connecting Tótfalu with the ferry to Vác and a bridge leading to Tahi. The two villages have been joined and got the name Tahitótfalu. There is a famous tomb of Mihály Polláck created by Miklós Ybl. On the bank of the Danube opposite Vác and beside the Pokolcsárda restaurant there are some ruins of Roman watch towers. There is a ferry service between Tótfalu and Vác.