Szekszard Tourist Attractions
This pretty little town, surrounded by hills, 145km (90mi.) south from Budapest, provincial center of Tolna, is famous as the main town in this region. The surrounding area is agricultural (cereal-growing); alongside the traditional furniture industry and a dairy, there is an important chemical industry. Szekszárd is situated in Sárköz country where folk art still thrives.HistoryThe Romans, who settled in the Celtic settlement which existed here, called it Alisca. The Benedictines built a monastery in 1061. In the 18th C, Germans settled in this region which was heavily depopulated after the Turkish rule. Dates back to the time of the Romans; Szekszárd was the home town of the "Hungarian Münchhausen" János Háry, whose glorious deeds were described by the writer, born in Szekszárd, János Garay: Zoltán Kodály wrote a lyrical drama on the story, the music of which has become famous as the "Háry János Suite".
The residence of Baron Antal Augusz, built in 1820, is a very colorful sight: the white central part is Classical, the pink-colored right wing resembles the Castello Miramare in Trieste, the gray left wing is German Baroque. Franz Liszt was often a guest here giving concerts. At the baron's request Liszt composed a mass for the consecration of the church in the new town; however, this "Szekszárd Mass" was not performed until later. Nowadays the building is used as a music school, tourist office and a Liszt museum. In the garden behind the house is a bust of Liszt by Borsos.The Hotel Garay opposite Augusz House is the former Grand Hotel, built around the turn of the century.
Mihály Babits Memorial House
A house in 18th C plait style dating from 1780 is the birthplace of Mihály Babits.Muhme Cenci was the grandmother of Mihály Babits, one of whose novels was a tribute to her. The courtyard on Bartina Hill above the town, 25 minutes' walk from Kadarka utca (north of Babits' birthplace), was built in 1826 and belonged to the Babits family. There is a fine view over the Sárköz countryside down to the Danube. The Baroque crucifix above the farmhouse was erected in 1827.
Adám Béri Balogh Museum
Ádám Béri Balogh, a general under Prince Rákóczi in the liberation struggle, was born in Szekszárd. The museum, a neo-classical building from 1895, contains a good archaeological collection from local excavations; there is a fine specimen of a bronze statue of Pallas Athene. The ethnographic collection consists chiefly of folk art from Sárköz.
Mihály Babits House
The Babits Mihály Mu"velodési Központ is a modern building by András Máté and Erno Tillai. Mihály Babits (1883-1941), a great Hungarian poet of the 20th C, came from Szekszárd; the house contains memorabilia and manuscripts with a monument to him in front of the entrance.
Béla tér is the sight of the old county hall, known as Regional House and the Inner City Catholic Church.
Szejszárd - Regional House
The design for this beautiful classical building with Doric columns and a central ressaut (1828-33) on Béla ter is by Mihály Pollack (1773-1855). In the courtyard the ruins of a Romanesque Benedictine monastery church, built by King Béla I in 1061, were discovered in the Seventies. Numerous medieval documents together with letters from Liszt are stored in the archives.
The church on Béla tér, one of the largest single-naved churches in Hungary, was built by Johann Joseph Thalherr (architect of the Eszterházy Palace in Bratislava), in 1802-05 in Rococo style. The ceiling paintings are by G. Darlach.
The neo-classical Romantic town hall dates from the middle of the last century; during renovation work in 1904 art nouveau elements were added.
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