Gyor Tourist Attractions
Gyor, 123km (76mi.) west of Budapest and 51km (32mi.) from the Austro-Hungarian border town of Hegyeshalom, lies at the confluence of the Mosoni-Duna (Danube), Rába and Rábca rivers, in the middle of the Little Hungarian Plain.
It is the administrative capital of the Gyor-Moson-Sopron region and a major industrial, transport and cultural center.The Old Town, with Cathedral Chapter Hill (Káptalan domb) and the Royal Town, is one of the most beautiful Renaissance and Baroque townscapes to be found anywhere in Hungary; 170 old buildings and other monuments are officially listed.HistoryFounded by the Celts and named Arrabona, the original settlement developed under the Romans to become one of the major towns in the province of Pannonia. It remained of importance during the Magyar period, and King Stephen made it a diocesan town. After a conflagration in 1566 it was rebuilt on Italian Renaissance lines. During the Turkish Wars its citizens held out until the castle governor betrayed them to the Turks in 1594, and for the next four years it remained in Turkish hands and was allowed to deteriorate. In the 17th C, the town blossomed once again; mainly because of its port on the Danube it was an ideal center for trade in cattle and corn between Hungary and the Austrian Empire. The beautiful Baroque buildings date from this period. From the mid-19th C, Gyor became the major industrial town in northern Transdanubia; the "Rába" engineering combine, which manufactures railroad engines and trams, is well known, and there are also some important textile and leather factories.
Vienna Gate Square is a lovely Baroque square, surrounded by well preserved 17th and 18th C homes, as well as the impressive Carmelite Church.
To the north of Bécsi kapu tér rises Káptalan Hill, surmounted by the Bishop's Castle (Püspökvár). Nothing remains of the first castle, built in the 11th C, during the reign of King Stephen; in the center of the present range of buildings stands the tower which was the 14th C residence of Bishop Kálmán, son of King Charles Robert of Anjou; the Bishop's coat-of-arms adorn the front of the tower. The Gothic chapel, near the tower, which bears the name of the Gyor Bishop Orbán Dóczy, forms part of additions built in 1481-86. After 1537 eight large bastions were added, on the lines of Renaissance fortresses; a part of the buildings was blown up by the French in 1809. Baroque and Historicist extensions were added in the 18th and 19th C.The Castle Museum and Lapidarium are to be found in the Sforza bastion (entrance in Káptalan domb). A Diocesan Museum with some valuable religious utensils from the 14th-19th C. is housed in a former seminary dating from 1765. Below the bastions, on the walkway, stands an equestrian statue of King Stephen by Ferenc Medgyessy (1940).
The Cathedral of the Virgin Mary was first constructed in the 11th C. It shows a mix of styles from additions and alterations throughout the centuries.
Ark of the Covenant Monument
This 8m (26ft) tall Baroque monument (Frigyláda emlékmi) to the east of the Cathedral was constructed in 1731, at the request of Emperor Charles III (1685-1740), by the Viennese court sculptor Antonio Corradini to a design by Joseph Emanuel Fischer. The monument shows two angels holding the Ark of the Covenant in their upstretched hands; legend has it that the Emperor ordered it to be made as an act of atonement for the violation of the Blessed Sacrament: during a Corpus Christi procession a soldier who was chasing a criminal is said to have knocked the Ark of the Covenant out of the hands of a priest and smashed it.
Miklós Borsos Exhibition
The figure standing on the bank of the Mosoni Danube is the town's emblem - an iron (Vaskakas) cockerel on a double cross with a crescent-moon base. There is also a legend attached to this: when Gyor fell into the hands of the Turks the victors are said to have erected a weather-cock on top of a pavilion here, saying that it would crow if the Hungarians ever succeeded in re-conquering the castle. The original cockerel is now in the János Xantus Museum.
Széchenyi tér has a long history and has been the center of town life since Roman times.
Hungarian Old People's Home
Old people still spend their twilight years here, where in 1666 György Széchenyi, Bishop of Gyor, had a number of old houses made into a hospice (Magyar ispita) for Hungarian citizens.The two arcaded courtyards with Tuscan pillars are suggestive of the Late Renaissance style. In the rear courtyard stands a decorative fountain by Miklós Borsos (1961). Adjoining the hospice is St Anne's Church, originally dating from 1730 and rebuilt in the second half of the 19th C. The painting by Stephan Schaller in the left side-altar is all that remains from the contents of the original building.
Map of Gyor Attractions