Hungary, facts and history in brief Budapest, facts and history in brief
Székesfehérvár is one of the larger cities in Transdanubia, Hungary.
The city was the capital of Hungary in the early centuries of the last millennium.
Nestled in the Gaja brook valley between the Bakony, Velencei, Vértes mountains, the Great Plains of Hungary like flat land to the south and near the Lake Velence.
Excavations revealed thousands of years of settlement on the site.
During Roman times and until the middle 16th C. the city was known as Alba Regia.
The city is built on four islands in the marshes of the nearby Lake Velence.
The Hungarian Chieftain Árpád made his camp on Noé Hill near the present day city' after conquering the land.
Duke Géza also settled here and made it his capital.
His son King Stephen (Saint Stephen of Hungary) made the city his capital and established the first Bishopric in Hungary.
He built the Coronation Basilica, that was from 1027 till 1527 the coronation and burial place of Hungary's kings. (Half a Millennium.)
He's remains are buried here too.
The 1222 Parliament was held here, that passed the Golden Bull. (The Hungarian Magna Carta).
King Stephen built many Palaces, churches, monasteries a wall encircling the city and a road that led to Holy Land, around his Coronation Basilica.
The Basilica had his throne inside, hence the name "székes", the fehérvár refers to old established fortress, which was white (The colour of the local limestone).
Székesfehérvár has always been an important fortress town.
32 kings were crowned within the city's walls, and many royal wedding and funerals were held here.
The fortified city was a very important royal, commercial and cultural centre until the Turkish invasion and occupation (1543-1688) when the city was destroyed and abandoned until the 18th C.
During the 150 years of Turkish occupation the city was renamed Isztolni Belgrade, churches, palaces pillaged and the town rebuilt in eastern style with mosques, minarets and Turkish markets.
Although the Turks were driven from the town in 1688, Székesfehérvár didn't get it's old privileges as a duty, free, market town and city crest back until 1703 and by than it had to compete with Buda, Esztergom and Visegrád for the nation's capital title.
Maria Therese in 1777 made it a Bishopric and the Fejér regions administration centre.
Székesfehérvár was heavily bombed and badly damaged during WWII.
Today Székesfehérvár, Hungary's eight largest city and a busy transport (Road and rail), educational, cultural, administrative and commercial centre for the region.
The local industries producing radios, televisions, motorcycles, machine tools, and computer parts also a market centre for horses, wines, and farm produce.
Estimated population is about 120,100.
The city is very beautiful and interesting. There are many things to see and do here, including the ruins of the Coronation Basilica and fortress.
When Hui Chin I visited here again in 2001, we came from Budapest by train and I was more than surprised the prominence given to the Soviet graves on the way from the station to Downtown.
We visited the city again in 2003 and it is still worth a visit.
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