Tata Tourist Attractions
Situated 70km (43mi.) west of Budapest on the slopes of the Gerecse Hills and on the banks of the Old Lake (Öreg tó), Tata is an important communication center and a popular recreational resort.HistoryThe lakes interconnected by channels which surround Tata were formed in the 18th C with the draining of the marshes; Tata therefore became known as the "town of lakes". It was inhabited as far back as the Roman period; the first official documents date from 1221. In the 13th and 14th C the town belonged to the crown; in the 16th C it was enlarged and fortified against the Turks and taken and stormed by both sides on several occasions. From 1727 Tata belonged to the Counts of Esterházy under whom it developed into an attractive residential town. Many of the 18th C Baroque buildings are the work of Jakob Fellner, the architect of the Eszterházys.
This complex of buildings on the west bank of the lake was built by Jakob Fellner for the Eszterházy family in the second half of the 18th C. There is a two-story main building completed in 1777 with an attic roof and two corner towers (now a hospital), the Small House built in 1751 for administrative purposes, the magnificent stables divided by red marble towers and the Turkish bath which existed in the Middle Ages and was renovated in simple Baroque style in 1733-38. - Emperor Franz I of Austria, fleeing from Napoleon, signed the peace treaty of Schönbrunn here at Tata and Emperor Charles I made a final attempt here to restore the Hungarian royalty to Habsburg rule.On the Hosök tere, opposite Eszterházy House, replicas of ancient sculpture can be seen in the former synagogue (Görög-római Másolatmúzeum).
On the banks of the Old Lake (Öreg tó), which is very popular with water sport enthusiasts, stands the castle which was built in the second half of the 14th C and reinforced with four corner towers around 1400. In the 15th C it was owned by the Hungarian kings who often stayed here. Under King Matthias it was extended to form a border fort against the Turks, by whom it was conquered more than once. In 1727 Count Eszterházy acquired the ruins and commissioned Jakob Fellner with its reconstruction, but only the bridge was built. During its rebuilding in Neo-Gothic style in 1893 it was attempted to restore it to its supposed original appearance - a move which was extensively undone in 1980.
Kuny Domokos Museum
Only the five-story tower and the southern wing remain of the once mighty castle which today houses the Domonkos-Kuny Museum with documents relating to local history, Roman and medieval decor and examples of the local faïence industry.
Church of the Holy Cross
Franz Anton Pilgram designed the Late Baroque church (Szent Keresztplébániatemplom), and the work was carried out by Jakob Fellner and after his death in 1780 his scholar Jószef Grossmann. The common model of the Baroque twin-towered façade with a false gable, under the influence of 18th C plait style, creates a rather austere and plain effect here. The interior of this single-naved church is of 18th C origin with a particularly attractive high altar by Grossmann with four columns and figures by Anton Schwaiger (1786).
The oldest building in Tata can be demonstrated to date from 1587. During the period of Turkish occupation it is said that the miller milled corn for the foreign rulers on even days and for Hungary on odd days. The windows of the single storied building are carved from red marble. The ceiling of the large hall on the ground floor is held up by vaulted wooden Baroque columns. In 1755 Jakob Fellner undertook some alteration work to the water mill.
There are fine views over the town from Calvary Hill (Kálvária domb) in the southwest of Tata with the Calvary chapel, built by Jakob Fellner in 1755 incorporating the choir of the medieval church of St Johannes. The crucifix in front of the church is by Anton Schwaiger, who lived in Tata from 1768 until his death and also made the figures for the high altar of the Church of the Holy Cross.
To the east of the lake is the 46ha (114 acre) park laid out in the second half of the 18th C around the Cseke lake (Cseke-tó). On the north bank of the lake are the artificial ruins of a medieval church (designed by Charles-Pierre de Moreau), which was built in 1801 from stones from the Benedictine church in Vértesszentkereszt and Roman tomb stones.
From 1734-46 the young Jakob Fellner worked alongside the master builder József Kuttner from Komárom on the Capucin church, which leads from the main square in a southwest direction. The interior of the triple-naved church is also of 18th C origin.
The original clock tower (Óratorony) in the center of modern Tata, on the Ország-gyülés tér, was built by a local carpenter in 1763 to plans by Jakob Fellner. The wooden bell cage with four clocks and sound openings sits on a brick octagonal base.