veszprém
photo: Fortepan and Jassek Balázs

Veszprém, the county’s capital with the same name, is one of the most important cities in Transdanubia.

Its proximity to Lake Balaton and the good motorway connection to other parts of the country are only two aspects that make Veszprém an essential and popular city.

It is one of the oldest urban areas with one of the oldest standing castles in the country.

For this reason, the city was a significant place already a thousand years ago to the first Hungarian king, Stephen I. Moreover, Veszprém played a vital role in the life of his wife and Hungary’s first queen consort, Queen Gisela. It is thanks to her that Veszprém is called “the City of Queens” since their reign.

Find out a bit more about Veszprém and its history here.

Of course, Veszprém is an important city for us, Hungarians, for all the reasons mentioned in the article above. Moreover, Europe and the whole world also appreciate the beauty and culture the city offers, as Veszprém gained the UNESCO City of Music title in 2019.

Maybe an even more significant recognition is the fact that

Veszprém will be the European Capital of Culture in 2023.

Naturally, the city has changed a lot since the time of the first Hungarian king. But going through the past 1000 years would not only take a lot of time, but it would also be quite impossible. So instead, we will only go back around 100 years to see how differently the City of Queens used to shine. 

We start our tour in 1900, over 100 years ago. Óváros tér (Old City Square) is one of the most important squares of the city. It received its current name after the regime change at the beginning of the 90s. The picture you see below is from the first year of the 20th century when the square was still called Market Square, referring to the big market operating here at that time.

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Óváros tér -1900 – Fortepan/Kiss László 
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Óváros tér – Facebook

Staying in the same year, below you can see one of the most important buildings, not only of Veszprém but of the whole county. This is the County House, where all the important officials worked and held their sessions. It was built little before this photo was taken and inaugurated only in 1887. Today, one of the best confectionaries in the city is situated on the opposite side of the street.

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County House – 1900 – Fortepan/Kiss László
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Veszprém Megyei Önkormányzat – Facebook

The Benedek Hill is not only a beautiful place under the castle with a mesmerising panorama of half of the city, the castle and the so-called “island of love”, but it is also the perfect place to meet friends, have a drink or a snack and spend the perfect sunny afternoon before taking a walk in the oldest part of the city right below the hill.

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Benedek Hill -1930 – Fortepan/Haui Balázs
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Facebook – veszprem.hu

The Veszprém Castle, as mentioned above, played a crucial role not only in the life of its city but in that of the whole country. It is still standing strong and beautiful today, attracting many tourists every year, especially in summer, during all the exciting and cool events the city organises. It gives place to concerts of the Street Music Festival or the Rozé, Rizling and Jazz Festival in summer, among others.

 

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Castle of Veszprém – 1936 – Fortepan
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Veszprém Castle – Jassek Balázs

The Saint Stephen Viaduct connecting the two parts of the city is Hungary’s first viaducts. It is one of Veszprém’s symbols up until today. The area changed quite a bit since its inauguration in 1937. Today, the streets running under it are much more crowded, mainly thanks to the city’s zoo, which opened in 1958. Again, Veszprém is a leader in this respect, as the Veszprém zoo is the third one built in the country. Today the park has everything a big European zoo could present you with.

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Saint Stephen Viaduct – 1937 – Fortepan/Haui Balázs
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Facebook – veszprem.hu

And finally, the main street of the city, Kossuth street. Actually, today’s street might not be the most important one in Veszprém, at least not when it comes to transportation. The long street starting from the city centre is more like a walking avenue today. Nevertheless, its big clock standing right at the start of the street from where the avenue continues downhill is still an important meeting point for those of Veszprém.

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Kossuth street – 1937 – Fortepan/Haui Balázs

Source: fortepan, facebook, veszprem.hu

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