Western Transdanubia Region, Hungary Attractions
Visitors to the Western Transdanubia region can explore the culture and history of the region, through the medieval castles, baroque palaces and churches. Hiking through the Pannon, Kõszegi or Soproni Hills, or the untouched lands of Fertõ-Hanság, Írottkõ or Szigetköz is popular and relaxing in thermal baths.
Eszterhaza Palace, Fertod, Hungary
Eszterháza Palace is the largest mansion in Hungary. It was completed in 1767 in Rococo style with a garden balcony that overlooks the grounds and rooms that feature Rococo furniture.
Visitors come to Pannonhalma mainly in order to see the famous abbey of St Martin (Szent Márton hegy), the parent abbey and focal point of the Benedictine order in Hungary. Monks have lived here right up to the present day, apart from a short interruption between 1786 and 1802, when the building was secularized. The grammar school run by monks as a boarding school is recognized by the state and enjoys an excellent reputation. Since 1997 the monastery, together with the Lady Chapel, the Calvary and the surrounding cultural region is on the list of World Cultural Heritage Sites.
Benedictine Abbey of St Martin
The Benedictine Abbey of St Martin is a huge complex which resides on a high point of land, known as St Martin's Mount. The roots of the abbey date back to the 10th C, although it has been rebuilt several times.
The village of Ják, 12km (71/2mi.) south of Szombathely, is a treat in store for all those interested in art and church architecture, as the massive edifice standing on a hill above the village is one of Hungary's outstanding Romanesque churches.
This town at the confluence of the Rába and Güns is an economic and cultural center in the west of Transdanubia, situated just 30km (19mi.) east of Szombathely, and also has the tourist attraction of a well preserved castle.
Nádasdy Castle and Museum
The Nádasdy Castle was finally completed in 1650, however the well preserved Renaissance tower dates to 1598.
In Nagycenk (14km (9mi.) southeast of Sopron) is the ancestral home of the important Hungarian family of counts, the Széchenyi, whose name appears in many street names. The castle was built in 1750-58 and was rebuilt and extended around 1800 in Early Classical style; István Széchenyi had the west wing added in 1834-40 with gas lighting and sanitary installations, an innovation for Hungary. The castle houses the István Széchenyi Museum (open: Tue.-Sun. 10am-6pm) and a hotel. In addition the Budapest Transport Museum has as part of an exhibition on Hungarian transport (on the upper floor) a display of old locomotives and carriages; a narrow gauge museum railroad links the castle with Fertoboz. An avenue of lime trees 2.6km (1 1/2mi.) long planted in 1754 leads north from the castle to a monument. In the actual Széchenyi mausoleum in the village cemetery of Nagycenk lies the most famous son of the Counts, István Széchenyi (1791 to 1860), statesman during the Hungarian Reformed period and the struggle for independence against the House of Habsburg 1848/49; in 1860 he shot himself in a Viennese mental hospital. Széchenyi was responsible for such important initiatives as the building of the Budapest Chain Bridge and the regulation of the Danube and the Tisza rivers.He commissioned the building of St Stephan's Church in the main square (Széchenyi tér) in 1861-64 by Miklós Ybi in Neo-Romanesque style; the tympanum of the former Romanesque building has been preserved (at the entrance to the tower). In front of the church is a monument to the Count by Alajos Stróbl (1897).
The varied, hilly wooded countryside in the triangle between Körmend in the north, Zalaegerszeg in the east and the Hungarian-Austrian border in the west has an interesting ethnographic and cultural history. Part of this region, the so-called Upper Wart, fell to Austria after the treaty of Versailles in 1920; on the Hungarian side the population of this border region carried out watch duties for the Hungarian rulers as far back as the 10th and 11th C, from where the name "Wart" (5 watch) is probably derived. They were rewarded for these voluntary duties with privileges and greater autonomy. Typical of the Wart (Orség) are tiny settlements or hamlets, known as "szer" in Hungarian, which form a chain of border posts.The houses, mainly of wood with wide overhanging roofs, are grouped with the stables around a courtyard to give protection against robbers and wolves.
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