Look beyond the famous sights of Budapest and Bratislava and explore the hidden gems of Hungary and Slovakia.
Die Welt, one of the most influential daily newspapers in Germany, has compiled a list of five beautiful cities that are ideal destinations for a short holiday. Let’s take a look at three of the most fascinating gems of Hungary.
“The Most Loyal Town” is located in Western Hungary, near the Austrian border. Sopron and its surrounding areas have been inhabited since prehistoric times, and the city’s long and intriguing history is perfectly reflected by the old buildings, façades, and stone walls which were built mainly in the early Middle Ages, but also display Renaissance, Rococo, and Gothic features. One of the city’s most iconic buildings and the symbol of Sopron is the Tűztorony (Fire Tower), the foundation of which was built between 1290 and 1340. Deák Square, the second-longest square in Central Europe, is also located in Sopron. With its beautiful monuments, this square is a central part of the city.
HERE are 5 things you did not know about Sopron
The article also draws parallels between Sopron and the German capital since both of them were frontline cities during the Cold War, and until 1989, the line of the Iron Curtain fell on the border of Sopron. Since the end of the Socialist rule, the city has been able to reconnect with its hinterland, the area of today’s Burgenland, and its “star is continuously rising”.
CLICK HERE for more photos and information about this lovely city on the Western border of Hungary
Located in the eastern part of the Kisalföld (Little Hungarian Plain), at the confluence of Moson-Danube, Rába, and Rábca, Győr can be considered the most important city of North-West Hungary. One of the most beautiful squares in the city is Bécsi Kapu Square. On the northern side, the square is bordered by the Sforza Bastion and Chapter Hill (Káptalandomb), which is the oldest part of the “City of Rivers”. According to Hellogyőr, the Roman Arrabona camp was located here, and this is where King Saint Stephen put the seat of the episcopate and the state count in the 11th century, as well as where the first Cathedral was built.
At the heart of Győr stands the Széchenyi Square − originally called Market Square in the 17-18th centuries − where the whole life of historical Győr took place, including markets, official functions, lawsuits, and even executions. One of the city’s most iconic buildings and the symbol of Győr is the City Hall, which is located on Városháza Square, which was once the site of the beef market. The Neo-Baroque palace was built between 1896 and 1898. Every hour, a folk song titled “Fújdogál a szél az öreg Duna felől” is played from the City Hall’s 59-metre-tall tower, which was modelled on the former fire tower above Fehérvári Gate.
Pécs is the fifth largest city in Hungary, and it is located in South-West Hungary. The diversity of ethnic groups that have been living together in the “Capital of Swabian Turkey“ (in the 17th century, the area was occupied by the Ottomans) for centuries is reflected by bilingual and sometimes even trilingual − Hungarian, German, and Croatian − signposts. This multicultural settlement has been the administrative, economic, and cultural hub of the region since Roman times, and in 2010, Pécs was the European Capital of Culture.
The Downtown Candlemas Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, one of the most important examples of Turkish-Islamic architecture in Hungary, is also located in Pécs. Today, the building functions as a Catholic church, but it was originally built as a mosque in the 16–17th century during the Ottoman occupation.
Pécs is one of the most popular domestic tourist destinations, but the natural and built heritage of the region, as well as the diverse programs, will likely attract more and more foreign tourists. For example, in September, the experts of the city will represent the Pécs-Villány area at a roadshow in Germany organised by the Hungarian Tourism Agency and Visit Hungary Nonprofit Zrt., writes Pécsma.
Featured image: Országalbum / MUKKSHOW