Should you set out to visit Eger in mid-summer and to stay there for a weekend or for an extended holiday you will find a lot of impressive sights and places worth exploring. Besides the historical monuments and sights it is highly recommendable to include a visit to the rejuvenated Szépasszony Valley where you can sample local wines in one of the many cellars situated there.

The town

The Eger castle is a piece of history on its own.

The Archbishop’s Palace, the Cazametes and the Waxworks all provide insight into the lives of the defenders.

You can explore these sights on your own but you can certainly gain a better understanding of the lives and fates of Eger’s heroes if you enroll for a guided tour.

Photo: Attila Busák

A lot of relics of great historical value have survived the period of Ottoman rule. It’s worth visiting the 40 meter tall minaret and enjoy the breathtaking views from its top. Then one could sip a Turkish coffee at the Egri Pasa’s Tent. Spending a few hours at the still functioning Turkish Bath will surely recharge your batteries. The oldest pool of the spa was built in 1610 and the thermal water spring reaches the surface right below your feet through the stone floor plates. The ruins of the other spa Valide Sultana are also worth a visit.

The long list of sights continues with the museums.

The recently renovated Archbishop’s Palace was built in baroque style and offers several exhibitions. One of the highlights is the Bird Hall with its amazing frescoes of birds which for many years lay under more than 30 layers of paint which had to be carefully removed by experts.

The Archdiocese Library stores 170.000 volumes including the documents of Pope Leo IX and a copy of the Dante Codex of which there are only three surviving copies in the world.

The Magic Tower that you can find in one of the buildings of the Eszterházy Károly University houses a museum of astrology, an observatory and the Panoráma terrace which offers a wonderful view of the town and its surroundings. At the top of the Magic Tower you’ll find the oldest camera obscura in Europe.

The Eger Cathedral Basilica is the second largest church building in Hungary. The Cathedral was designed by József Hild and was consecrated in 1837. Because of the prolonged building process the inside of the Cathedral shows ornamentations of different styles. On weekdays at noon visitors can enjoy organ music in this cool and impressive interior.

The wines

Eger and the surrounding area has long been famous for its viticulture and winemaking. The moderate climate coupled with a wide selection of grape varieties allows winemakers to produce really fruity wines in many different styles. Beyond single varietal wines it is blends which are the most important especially the major brands of the region ’egri csillag’ and ’egri bikavér’. The white and red blends ranging from light, refreshing summer quaffers to ageworthy, serious and elegant wines offer drinking pleasure to many different tastes.

Szépasszony Valley Eger
Photo: Attila Busák

You can decide to arrange visits to local wineries and taste their wines in their own cellars or you can take a walk to Szépasszony Valley which is about 25 minutes on foot from the town center.

Originally it belonged to the Eger Archbishop who gave permission to local landlords to have their own cellars only from 1774. The soft tuff is highly suitable for carving out deep cellars which due to their constant temperature are ideal for storing wine.

Today there are more than 150 tasting cellars, restaurants, wine stores so you can discover your favourites by walking from one cellar to the next.

Recently there has been an influx of new quality oriented cellars which guarantees that wine lovers with more sophisticated taste can also find exciting wines to savour. Several wineries offer in their Szépasszony Valley cellars limited production items which are otherwise unavailable to customers. There are also festivals, concerts, culinary and wine events at Szépasszony Valley.

Szépasszony Valley Eger wine
Photo: Attila Busák

Source: Wineglass Communication

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