Sunday, March 27, 2011

Győr, Hungary

Claudia and I were were supposed to go to Győr this weekend but she got the flu and was unable to go. It was too late to cancel the bus ticket and the hotel was already paid for so I called Pavel to see if he was up for a free, last-minute trip to Hungary. Luckily he was and we were off. It's almost four hours by Student Agency bus from Brno to Győr (pronounced jyeur).

Győr is Hungary's 6th largest city and is half way between Vienna and Budapest. The town sits where the Mosoni-Danube, Rába and Rábca rivers meet up. Győr is small enough that you can walk the entire city in a day but not feel too worn out afterwards. There are lots of historic buildings and a wonderful thermal spa that is a must do.

The city hall is easily the town's most recognizable building. It looks like a palace or something. The building has been used as the town hall since the 16th century.

Bésci Kapu Tér is one of the town's main historical squares. The primary attraction here is the 18th century Carmelite church, built between 1713 and 1725. It was modeled after the Carmelite church in Rome making it one of the few Italian Baroque examples found in Hungary.

Széchenyi Square is the old town square and the only intact Baroque one in Eastern Europe. It's been home to the Saint Ignatius of Loyola Benedictine Church since the 1640's. The Bishop of Győr unveiled the Mary Column in 1686 to commemorate recapturing Buda (½ of Budapest) from the Turks.

The minor basilica is at Káptalan Domb (Chapter Hill) and is a mix of Gothic, Neo-classical and Romanesque elements. It was restored between 1968 and 1972.

The neo-Romanesque synagogue was built between 1868 and 1870. It is no longer a functioning synagogue. Today it is used as a municipal gallery.

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