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Daytrips from Budapest - Debrecen
Daytrips from Budapest
Budapest is ten times bigger then any other Hungarian city. Sleepy and charming, the towns and villages around Budapest are ideal for day and overnight trips. Coaches and trains are cheap and reliable. Esztergom, Viségrad and Szentendre to the north of the city can all be reached by boats, which run throughout the summer along this beautiful stretch of the Danube. More of the beaten track, the towns and villages to the south offer a fascinating glimpse of traditional life.
Esztergom near Budapest
St István, Hungary's first Christian King, was baptized in Esztergom and crowned here on Christmas Day 1000 AD. Almost completely destroyed by the Mongol invasion 250 years later, the city was gradually rebuilt in the 18th and 19th centuries. Esztergom today is still the country's most secred city, the seat of the archbishop of Hungary. Dominating the skyline is the huge Catholic cathedral, built in the early 19th century. By the southern entrance, built by 16th century Florentine craftsmen, is the red marble Bakócz burial chapel.On the northern side is the treasury containing a collection of ecclesiastical treasures rescued from the ruins of the 12th-century church that existed on the cathedral site. Below the cathedral are the remains of the 10th-century castle, rebuilt several times. The picturesque old town is also well worth exploring. At its heart is the town square, home to several cafés.
Visegrád near Budapest
Set on the narrowest stretch of the Danube, the village of Visegrád is a popular tourist destination, thanks to its spectacular ruined castle. A 25-minute walk, or a short bus or taxi ride will take you up to the castle from Visegrád. Built in the 13th century by King Béla IV, this was once one of the finest royal palaces ever built in Hungary. The massive outer walls are still intact, and offer stunning views over the surrounding countryside. Halfway down the hill, in the Salamon Tower, is the Mátyás Museum, a collection of items excavated from the ruins of the Visegrád Palace. Built by King Béla IV at the same time as the castle, the palace was renovated two centuries later, in magnificent Renaissance style, by King Mátyás Corvinus. Destroyed in the 16th century after the Turkish invasion, then buried in a mud slide, the ruins were not rediscovered until 1934, when the excavations took place here.
Szentendre outside Budapest
Szentendre near Budapest
25 km (16 miles) outside Budapest, Szentendre is a town built and inhabited by a succession of Serbian refugees. Most of Szentendre's older buildings date from the 18th century. Orthodox religious tradition lies at the heart of the town, which contains many Othodox churches. The western European facades hide Slavic interiors filled with incense, icons and candlelight.
Blagovestenska Church on Fo ter is just one example. Look out for the magnificent iconostasis that separates the sanctuary from the nave. Also of interest is Sunday mass at Belgrade Cathedral. Next door is a Museum of Serbian Art, full of icons and other religious artifacts. Since the 1920s, Szentendre has been home to an ever increasing number of artists and the town contains many galleries exhibiting the work of local artists.
Margit Kovacs Museum shows the work of Hungary's best-known ceramic artists. Margit Kovacs (1902-1977) drew inspiration from Hungarian mythology and folk traditions. To the west of town is the Hungarian Open Air Museum, an ethnographic museum, illustrating the different Hungarian regions and their rural architecture and culture across the social groups, from the 18th to the 20th century. The museum is set in a pleasant park.
Debrecen is the second city of Hungary, one of those many hidden gems in the east of the country. Situated on the west side of the city lies Hartobagy, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Debrecen celebrates the Goose Feast on St. Martin's Day. From 7-9 November the streets of the city are brought to life with an outdoor festival, which takes place largely in the Kossuth Square.