For most of the people, Budapest is the first thing that comes to their mind when they think about Hungary. This country is beautiful, and it has many other beautiful cities. We have already written about Győr, Szeged, Debrecen, Veszprém, Sopron, Pápa, Kecskemét, Szekszárd, Tatabánya, Salgótarján, Kaposvár, and many other cities. Now, let us take a look at Szombathely.
Szombathely is the county seat of Vas county and lies in Western Hungary, about 220 kilometres from Budapest. Its Latin name is Savaria or Sabaria that was the name for the Gyöngyös Stream, which flows through Szombathely. It is one of the oldest cities in Hungary and is also called the Queen of the West. It is situated by the Alpokalja Mountain (Feet of the Alps) on the Kisalföld (Little Hungarian Plain). According to the latest happiness survey, Szombathely is the happiest city in Hungary. It has about 80 thousand inhabitants.
Close to nature
Szombathely is a city that lies in a beautiful area where visitors can enjoy being close to nature.
The Parkerdő Zöld Utak (Forest Green Roads) is a forest that provides safe, well-maintained and lovely paths. These are suitable for walking, jogging, running, and biking as well. Path “A” is 2,3 kilometres long with gentle hills and downhills. It is perfect for small, relaxing walks, jogging and running. The 3.7 kilometres path “B” offers a great opportunity for a long walk in the woods, fitness training, and cycling. The length of path “C” is 2.6 kilometres, and it has gentle hills and downhills, just like path “A”.
The Kámoni Arboretum introduces the trees and bushes, 3000 species all in all. The 27-acre big park lies by the Gyöngyös Stream and can be visited all year long. There is an Ecotouristic Centre that entertains visitors with a colourful variety of programmes and exhibitions. It is in front of the arboretum’s entrance.
There is an artificial rowing and fishing lake in the city. It was formed by filling up the former clay mine’s hole. Its perimeter is 1500 meters that we can follow by walking on the nice pavement around it. Those who are not keen on fishing can also rent row- and paddle boats by the lake.
History and traditions
The Museum Village of Vas County (Vasi Múzeumfalu) opened in 1973, and it aims to preserve traditions. It has already settled many indigenous domestic animals, saved 43 traditional buildings and created an ethnobotanical garden. The village organises programmes to teach people about the Hungarian traditions and customs.
The Historical Theme Park (Történelmi Témapark) introduces the antique natural sciences. It reveals how inhabitants worked with ancient materials, shows the technological breakthroughs of those times, and teaches about philosophy in an interactive, experimental way. It is a perfect programme for children and adults as well.
The István Járdányi Paulovics Ruin Garden (Járdányi Paulovics István Romkert) displays the biggest contiguous part of the antic Savaria. It exhibits remains of a cesarean palace, ruins of a castle, a public bath, mosaic surfaces, and workshops from the 1-4th centuries. However, the most interesting piece is the former palace complex. It had a large hall with the biggest contiguous mosaic floor in Pannonia.
The Iseum Savariense Archeological Workshop and Repository (Iseum Savariense Műhely és Tárház) is one of the most important relics of the antic times. The sanctuary built for Isis Goddess has an unbelievably huge size and beautiful style. This serves as evidence for the fact that Szombathely was the centre of the Isis cult of the Danube area.
Szombathely offers a wide range of museums, especially when it comes to history.
The Savaria Legio Show-room (Savaria Legio Bemutatóraktár) lies right next to the Historical Theme Park in Szombathely. It exhibits the equipment, accessories, and possessions of the Appolinaris Legio from the 1st century. Furthermore, there are guided tours and special History classes if registered beforehand.
The Savaria Museum displays the characteristic of the Alpokalja’s (Feet of the Alps) geology, natural resources, and the most important points of history from the antique times. There are also colourful, high-quality maquettes on a small scale and sculptures.
The Schmidt Museum has an interesting variety of different exhibitions. Visitors can get to know Dr. Lajos Schmidt, a retired hospital director and head surgeon. He donated his private collection to Szombathely establishing the museum. First of all, there are poems, stories, and narratives from him. Visitors can also read the thank notes for his successful surgeries and the articles written about him. Additionally, there is a military and weapon history collection in the museum. Besides that, collections of works of art, medical devices, musical instruments, and many more make the exhibition even more colourful.
The Sala Terrena is the first Hungarian museum that displays inscribed Roman rocks. Fantastic frescos cover the walls of the building which eternalise the antique memories of that time.
The first location on the kid-friendly list must be the Adventure City Playground (Kalandváros Játszópark). It is one acre big and has a breathtaking amount and variety of toys such as a wooden castle, slides, and rope ladders. The biggest tower is seven metres tall, and the castle complex is 27 metres long. Additionally, there are tiny water parks, built-in slides on small hills, a swing park, and a cableway course besides the traditional, well-known toys. The park is also suitable for disabled kids and children of all ages.
Agora is a KRESZ (Rules of the Road) park for kids between the ages of 3 and 12. There is a traffic lights system on the tiny roads traffic signs so that the children can learn about the rules of the road. Additionally, bicycle and go-kart renting is available. The park is situated in a pleasant, green area with trees and benches.
Further sights and programmes
Featured image: www.facebook.com/Savaria-Múzeum