Castle Quarter, Veszprém Várnegyed
The walled castle quarter (Várnegyed) built on a narrow dolomite rock is an impressive work of art which through continual renovation of the individual buildings has retained its splendor. At the point where the slope becomes less steep stands the gate which is the entrance to the bishop's castle from the town. The medieval structure with only one road (Vár utca) in the middle of the castle hill still stands, the buildings themselves are from the 18th and 19th C.
Somewhat hidden between the Bishop's palace and the provost's palace is the most important historical monument in Veszprém, the Gisela Chapel. It was built in 1230 and served as a private chapel to the bishop as well as the queens who resided here (not, however, Queen Gisela, whom it is named after). The upper floor of the church was dismantled during the building of the bishop's palace and the ground floor disguised with Baroque features.The small harmonious interior contains fine cross-ribbed vaulting with the original paintings and notable keystones. On the north wall frescos from the time the church was built were exposed during its sensitive restoration. They depict six apostles arranged in pairs, incorporeal floating figures, which suggest Byzantine influence.
At the point where the narrow Vár utca opens out into a square the Bishops' Palace (1765/76) stands on the site of the medieval queens' palace, designed by the prolific architect Jakob Fellner. In keeping with the design of Baroque palaces it is U-shaped with two side wings embracing a courtyard with a drive leading up to the entrance gate. The façade facing the valley has a protruding central ressaut and loggia on the ground floor which give it the appearance of being the front face.
Piarist Grammar School
Just a few yards further on is the large group of buildings which used to be the Piarist grammar school on the east side of the road. Painted niches in the wall decorate the façade. The church built between 1828-36 in Classical style adjoins the grammar school which was built in the second half of the 18th C.
The canon's house built in 1751 is particularly charming. A basket arch spans the entrance to the house above which is a triangular gable with two angels. The rear of the house nestles against the castle wall where the only medieval round tower stands.
St Michael's Cathedral
To the north of the square is the cathedral. It stands on the foundations of a bishop's church founded by King Stephen, first documented in 1001, which was often destroyed and rebuilt (for example, 1723 in Baroque style). During the last rebuilding in 1907/10 it was redesigned in Neo- Romanesque style. Some evidence of earlier styles remains, such as the Late Gothic choir from 1380/1400, the Gothic vaulting in the crypt and the tombstones of the bishops and queens interred here.A stone balustrade surrounds the Baroque trinity column (1749/51) on the square in front of the cathedral.
St George's Chapel
To the north of the cathedral the remains of the walls of St George's Chapel, discovered in 1957/1959, can be seen (Szent György-kápolna romjai). Above a round chapel from the early 11th C an octagonal chapel was built in the second half of the 13th C, which was converted by Bishop Albert Vetési around 1450 into his tomb.
On the west side of the square stands the Franciscan church (Ferences templom). This church from around 1730 burnt down in 1909 and was replaced by a new building, its Neo-Romanesque façade reflects the style of the cathedral opposite. The adjacent order house of 1776 extends to the west wall of the castle hill. It houses the museum of the church art treasures belonging to the bishopric of Veszprém. There is fine carving and stucco in the refectory.
Connected to the bishop's palace by the Gisela Chapel is the Provost's Palace, also designed by Fellner, which has been recently restored to preserve the beautiful 18th C. plait style façade.
At the end of Vár utca there is a good view over Veszprém and its surroundings from the viewing platform (Kilátóbástya) with both the larger than life-size figures of St Stephen and his consort Gisela on the balustrade (1938).