Eger View. Hungary
Eger, an episcopal see since the beginning of eleventh century, and one of the centres of Hungarian Catholicism nowadays, is a wonderful small city on the north of Hungary, not so easy to approach. Though the present outlook of its downtown was formed mainly during the 18-19th centuries, and it contains a plenty of Baroque architectural elements, the most well known moment in its history was the siege of Eger in 1552 when a poorly armed population of 2.000 (including professional soldiers, citizens, women and children) defended the Castle against an 80.000 Ottoman Army.
The story of the siege and the glorious triumph of the defenders (a rather rare occasion in the long history of Hungary) is told minutely in "Egri csillagok" (The Stars of Eger) a highly popular romantic novel published from 1899 as a literary series by Géza Gárdonyi (1863-1922), a citizen of Eger from 1897 on. The writer has been buried in the Castle whose fame he had significantly contributed to: the novel is a kind of an obligate curricular reading for pupils of elementary schools in the last five decades, so Eger and the main characters of the novel (either fictitious or real historical persons) are names ringing bells for every Hungarians over 10. The most important figure amongst them is actually István Dobó, captain of the castle at that time, leader of the obviously hopeless and desolate defence. One of the bastions of the heavily transformed, then reconstructed fortress was named after him.
However, the city and the castle was eventually occupied by the Turkish 44 years later, in 1596, and they were staying in Eger for almost a century. Some minor architectural details and a complete minaret are telling of their presence, the latter is a unique one of its kind: this is the northernmost remaining minaret in Europe, serving not as a place of worship, but as a museum and an observatory tower today.
This merged picture has been photographed from the Castle, now a museum, consisting of an art gallery; or the former episcopal palace transformed completely accomodates an exhibition of local history. The closer tower belongs to Minorite Church (1758-1767; as a matter of fact it is a double-towered building), standing on Dobó Square, where the monument of the famous captain is erected. On the left of the church there are the upper floors of Lyceum (1765-1785), now the main building of Eszterházy Károly College of Education. Only one side tower of the Cathedral (1831-1837) can be seen here, the rest including the main dome is covered (some different views are to come, here is the first, this is the next, this is the final); and you can also get a back view of the Cathedral.
On the right of this picture there is the double-towered yellow church of the Cistercians. Between Lyceum and this building there is Széchenyi Street, the central road, a popular walking path for tourists and citizens of Eger, as well.
From each links you can get back to this one.