Eger / Komitat Heves - Ungarn
The medieval castle that has stood firm against countless assaults, and which today shelters many treasures behind its walls, is the city’s main attraction.
The city boasts a large number of wine bars and traditional, partly-subterranean wine cellars. The cityscape is also characterized by baroque buildings, the minaret dating from the era of Ottoman rule and the Basilica, which is the second largest in Hungary after the one in Esztergom. Out of the narrow streets emerges Eger’s treasured jewel, the Dobó István square. The Minorite Church, one the city’s most beautiful baroque buildings, can be found here. A glockenspiel rings out three times a day from the church’s tower.
The first people settled in the Eger area during the 10th and 11th centuries. King Saint Stephen (Stephen I) declared the city a diocese in 1009. In 1241, Eger was completely destroyed by the Tartars. After that, Bishop Lampert had fortifications built around the city for its protection. Eger was one of the wealthiest dioceses in Europe. Entire districts and a great many churches were constructed around this time. The Captain of Eger Castle, Istvan Dobó was able to repel an Ottoman invasion in 1552 with only a small force at his disposal. In 1596, however, the Ottoman army could not be held back. Eger was captured and remained under occupation for the next 91 years. Mosques and baths were built during this period, and the minaret that still exists today is the most northerly historical structure built by the Ottomans. In 1687, Eger and Hungary were reconquered by the Hapsburgs. In 1804, the city was proclaimed an archdiocese. Eger’s heyday came in the middle of the 18th century, when many of the baroque buildings were erected.
Education and culture
Eger is one of Hungary’s traditional university cities. Alongside the Eszterházy Károly University, with its focus on pedagogy, there is also the Theological College of Eger.
Numerous cultural events on a national and international scale have made Eger’s name as a city of festivals. Its museums and galleries also offer plenty of interest. Trace the history of the Ottoman offensives in the Castle Museum, or head down to the castle’s vaults to find the torture chamber with its murderous punishment equipment. Eger’s festivals even draw in an international audience. At the Castle Festival, spectators are transported to the Medieval Orient with historical siege games, tournaments and Turkish belly dancing. Wine-lovers and connoisseurs can enjoy the Egri Bikavér Festival, which is celebrated in July on Saint Donatus Day, while the Eger Wine Salon held each August is a true highlight.
Economy and tourism
Eger is an important trade center in northern Hungary for industry, services and finance. After the opening of the new stretch of the M3 motorway, a considerable amount of investment in job creation materialized. The banking industry gained in strength, and the structure of the economy altered. The most important branches of industry in the city and its surroundings are machinery, foodstuffs, furniture, pneumatics and cars. The forestry sector also plays an important role.
The attractive baroque architecture, the wine and the internationally-renowned spas draw many tourists to the city. Every year, tens of thousands of guests visit the spas to alleviate their joint pains or rheumatism in the mineral springs.