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Hungary, facts and history in brief           Budapest, facts and history in brief



Esztergom is a very beautiful and ancient city of Hungary, on the Danube river.

On top of the hill is the famous Basilica of Esztergom.
A very large and beautiful building.
Esztergom has a very colourful, adversity filled and stormy history.
Recent archaeological excavations confirmed over 2000 years of continuous settlement.
Esztergom's name can be traced back to the Western European Celtic people, who lived here 350 B.C.
They built the first fortifications on the 'Fort-Hill'.
During the Roman Empire Esztergom was known as Solva and was the northern frontier of the Empire and was a developed expanding flourishing city.
Many discoveries date back to the Hungarian conquest and settlement.
From 960 the Hungarian sovereign Géza, made Esztergom his capital.
His son Vajk later king István I, Saint Stephen (Szent István) of Hungary was born here.
Géza built the first church on 'Fort Hill".
King Stephen built the first Basilica, where the present one is today, where he was crowned with The Holy Crown in 1000 A.D.
Since than the Archbishop of Esztergom is the head of Hungarian Catholic church.
The Royal Palace of Esztergom was the royal residence until the Tartar Invasion in 1241.
Esztergom was the national as well the religious capital of Hungary as well the most important Danube port.
King Béla IV, rebuilds a magnificent Basilica (Where he and his family is buried) and moves his capital to Buda.
In 1304 Wenceslas, Chech king, storms and pillages the town.
Esztergom changes hands many times after that.
In 1327 Esztergom becomes the nation's capital again and a number of kings and famous people leave their mark on Esztergom and its history.
The Turkish invasion in 1526 destroyed the town and will change owners many times until 1930, when it falls into Habsburg hands and they shift the Archbishopric to Nagyszombat and to Pozsony (Bratislava) later.
In 1543 the Turkish forces retake and destroy the town.
The city will change hands again many times.
Although many attempts were made to rebuild the city it was again razed and destroyed during Rákóczi Ferenc II's War of Independence in 1706.
The following years see many different, German, and Slovak people settling in the devastated city.
In 1725 Esztergom becomes a Free Royal City again and rebuilding starts in earnest many of today's beautiful and fine buildings date back to this time.
In 1761 the Archbishopry returns and the rebuilding of the Archbishopric and Basilica begins.
Today the magnificent Basilica can be seen from far afield, and view from the Bell Towers are also magnificent.
The Basilica and the Treasury are a treasure trove of priceless artifacts.
Beneath the Basilica the remains of the old fortress walls and Royal Palaces are popular tourist attractions as are the many attractive, fine churches, museums, schools, high schools, teachers colleges, seminaries and other buildings in Esztergom.

There's also a Crypt and Chapel dedicated to the late Cardinal Joseph Mindszenty of Hungary in the Basilica.


You can click on these photos for an enlargement.

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