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Gellért Bath ("Gellért fürdő"), Thermal and medicinal spa - Budapest, Hungary
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Downtown, main square - Vác, Hungary

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GPS coordinates: Latitude 47°46'41", Longitude 19°7'39" (N47 46.68 - E19 7.65) Map

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Park decorated with roses in the main square with the former Dominican Church ("Church of the Whites", Fehérek temploma), and in the distance the double steeples of the Piarist Church - Vác, Hungary Park decorated with roses in the main square with the former Dominican Church ("Church of the Whites", Fehérek temploma), and in the distance the double steeples of the Piarist Church

The "Március 15. tér" ("March 15 Square") in Vác is one of the most beautiful baroque town square in Hungary today. The square received its current form in 2006 by the plans of Frigyes Pogány and Miklós Horler, but its typical triangular shape was developed by German settlers who arrived here after the Mongol Invasion in the 13th century.

Wedding is very common in the magnificent sceneries of the Church of the Whites (Fehérek temploma) - Vác, Hungary Wedding is very common in the magnificent sceneries of the Church of the Whites (Fehérek temploma)

This church in Vác initially belonged to the Dominican religious order, the construction was begun in 1699 but it was completed only in 1755, led by Márton Kalcher. The rococo style interior of the church was created around 1770. The altarpiece on the columned high altar represents Pope Pius V who is begging for the success of the battle against the Turks.

The building received its "Church of the Whites" (or the "Whites' Church", in Hungarian "Fehérek temploma") name after the white religious habit of the Dominican monks that they wear under their black cloak (aka "cappa"). Surprisingly while the Dominicans were called for example in Hungary as the "White Monks", in England and other countries they are called "Black Friars" due to their black cloak. By the way, the name "White Monks" usually refers to the Cistercian friars, but sometimes it is used in relation with other religious orders as well.

It is worth to mention the statues on the facade of the church, on the two sides of the lyre-shaped window there are statues of St. Dominic and St. Emeric, as well as above it a statue of the Immaculate Conception (of Virgin Mary) can be seen. Interestingly the steeple (tower) of the Whites' Church is not on that side which has the main entrance and faces the main square, but placed on the other side of the building.

Church of the Whites (Fehérek temploma) with the ruin garden in the main square - Vác, Hungary Church of the Whites (Fehérek temploma) with the ruin garden in the main square

The ruin garden in the middle of the town square of Vác contains the wall remains of the medieval St. Michael's Church (in Hungarian "Szent Mihály-templom") and the cemetery garden. The part that is covered with the modern glass roof is a 18th-century crypt (undercroft or "lower church"), inside it today there is an exhibition of the history of the former religious building. The St. Michael's Church stood on this place until 1761, for approximately five hundred years. The building played a dominant role in forming the surrounding cityscape, at a time there were attempts to extend it and convert into a cathedral, but it was unsuccessful. In the Turkish era Calvinists occupied the ruined church for themselves, but in 1761 it was finally demolished.

Statue of Saint Hedwig (Jadwiga of Poland) in the side of the Church of the Whites (Fehérek temploma) - Vác, Hungary Statue of Saint Hedwig (Jadwiga of Poland) in the side of the Church of the Whites (Fehérek temploma)

Queen Jadwiga of Poland was born in 1373 as the daughter of King Louis I of Hungary and Elizabeth of Bosnia. Just like St. Elizabeth of Hungary she was the patron of the poor people and the orphans. She distributed her assets among the poors and set up a foundation for the University of Kraków (aka Kraków Academy, today Jagiellonian University or in Polish "Uniwersytet Jagielloński"). She died in Kraków, Poland in 1399 at a young age (she was only 26), during the birth of her first child.

Statue of Saint Hedwig (Jadwiga of Poland) in the side of the Church of the Whites (Fehérek temploma), with a babbling fountain - Vác, Hungary Statue of Saint Hedwig (Jadwiga of Poland) in the side of the Church of the Whites (Fehérek temploma), with a babbling fountain

The body of St. Hedwig (in Polish Jadwiga) was buried in Kraków, Poland, below the altar of the Wawel Cathedral. Not in the royal crypt because everybody was sure she will be canonized soon. But this happened only in 1997, thanks to Pope John Paul II (born as Karol Józef Wojtyła) the first Polish Bishop of Rome. Independently from this she was venerated as a saint already after her death, and she was always represented according to this.

Since 2006 St. Hedwig is the patron saint of the Danube Bend (in Hungarian "Dunakanyar"), the region where Vác is located. The statue in Vác beside the Church of the Whites ("Fehérek temploma") was created by Tibor Horváth and László Sáros in 2006, in the year when the town square was renovated.

Main square, baroque statue near the Town Hall and the Provost Major's Palace (in Hungarian "Nagypréposti palota") in the background - Vác, Hungary Main square, baroque statue near the Town Hall and the Provost Major's Palace (in Hungarian "Nagypréposti palota") in the background

The Provost's Palace (in Hungaran "Nagypréposti palota") was built in the mid-18th century, it is the residence of the great provost (or high provost, provost major). The provost is a high-rank senior official in many Christian Churches, he is the head of the chapter and the adviser of the bishop. The renovated building is the home of the Diocesan Collection of Vác.

Municipal House (Tow Hall) of Vác - Vác, Hungary Municipal House (Tow Hall) of Vác

The Town Hall is considered the most significant baroque secular building of Vác. According to a map from 1680 formerly there was a Turkish bath building on its site, but a source from 1718 already shows a town hall here. The present-day building was built from 1730 until the visit of Empress Maria Theresa in 1764.

The central figure on the facade of the building is the statue of Justitia (or Iustitia, Lady Justice), the goddess of justice. There are two other female figures on both sides with coat of arms, one is of Hungary and the other one is of Bishop Kristóf Migazzi who financed the construction.

Church of the Whites (in Hungarian "Fehérek temploma"), also known as Upper Town Parish Church, it is the former Dominican Church - Vác, Hungary Church of the Whites (in Hungarian "Fehérek temploma"), also known as Upper Town Parish Church, it is the former Dominican Church

During the renovations of the church of the 1990s, more precisely in 1994 the workers found a forgotten entrance, a way down behind a bricked-up door. This way led to a vaulted crypt where there were a lot of (total of 265) 170 to 270-year-old highly decorated coffins stacked almost to the ceiling. Instead of skeletons there were naturally formed mummies in the coffins, dressed in funeral clothes.

With the permission of the Bishopric of Vác scientific studies have been performed on the "Mummies of Vác" and the site as well. Today the funerary objects are kept in the Tragor Ignác Museum that conducted the exploration, and the bodies (except a baby mummy) are within the Anthropological Collection of the Hungarian Natural History Museum ("Magyar Természettudományi Múzeum"). The finds give an insight into the everyday life, habits and beliefs of the people of different origins, ages and social backgrounds, who lived here about 200 years ago. Moreover, even their facial features can be discovered thanks to the scientists.

A sensational discovery related to the finds that some of the found mummified people were probably fully resistant against more deadly diseases when they lived. The cause of it is still under investigation, but the resistance was probably due to genetic mutations. In the near future this research could be a great help to the medical science.

Main page of Vác

You may also be interested in (Related pages):

Destinations, locations in the travel guide:
Vác (232 photos + 2 panoramic images) Danube Bend (Dunakanyar) (1,769 photos + 6 panoramic images) Pest megye (county) (15,122 photos + 50 panoramic images) Budapest and surrounding (Central-Hungary) (15,989 photos + 52 panoramic images) Hungary (27,287 photos + 163 panoramic images)
and in addition:
(within here: Pest megye and Danube Bend)

Pilis Mountains (Pilis hegység) (335 photos) Buda Hills (Budai-hegység) (8,632 photos + 21 panoramic images) Gödöllő Hills (Gödöllői-dombság) (4,203 photos + 21 panoramic images) Visegrád Mountains (Visegrádi-hegység) (116 photos + 1 panoramic images) Cegléd (125 photos + 2 panoramic images) Ráckeve (92 photos) Dunakeszi (259 photos) Göd (23 photos) Nagykőrös (250 photos + 2 panoramic images) Nagymaros (31 photos) Pilisvörösvár (88 photos) Szentendre (597 photos + 1 panoramic images) Visegrád (220 photos + 1 panoramic images) Esztergom (110 photos + 1 panoramic images) Dunakeszi (259 photos) Göd (23 photos) Nagymaros (31 photos) Szentendre (597 photos + 1 panoramic images) Visegrád (220 photos + 1 panoramic images) Csővár (105 photos) Kóspallag (53 photos) Márianosztra (37 photos) Nagybörzsöny (4 photos) Pilisszentkereszt (122 photos) Nógrád (181 photos) Zsámbék

Every panorama photo here:
Vác (2 photos) Danube Bend (Dunakanyar) (6 photos) Pest megye (county) (50 photos) Budapest and surrounding (Central-Hungary) (52 photos) Hungary (163 photos) Europe (165 photos)

Every regular photo here:
Vác (232 photos / 4 galleries) Danube Bend (Dunakanyar) (1,769 photos / 31 galleries) Pest megye (county) (15,122 photos / 221 galleries) Budapest and surrounding (Central-Hungary) (15,989 photos / 234 galleries) Hungary (27,287 photos / 462 galleries) Europe (30,494 photos / 523 galleries)

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