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Nyugati Square, Flyover (overpass) - Budapest, Hungary
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Europe > Hungary > Western Hungary > Alpokalja > Kőszeg
 
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Kőszeg, Hungary

Kőszeg

The place where the bells

The place where the bells

always ring at eleven o’clock…

always ring at eleven o’clock…

The intimate town with its homogeneous Baroque architecture calls up bygone times. The settlement, surrounded by a ring of mountains, is situated at the south-east foot of Kőszeg Mountain range. Its history was shaped by constant struggles with feudalism and fights for independence. Its famous castle and the lovely small houses of the inner city make it a favourite destination among the visitors to West Hungary.

Kőszeg, Hungary

During excavations, 6000 year old finds came to the surface. Before the Hungarian conquest of the 9th century there already was a castle, a church and a settlement located here. Then in 1238 it became a free royal town. Its castle walls were rebuilt and fortified at this time. The famous Amber Road of the Roman Empire passed through Kőszeg, and due to this fact local trade was prospering as well.

In 1777 the castle and half of the city burnt down. After this unfortunate event, the houses of the citizens, the castle garden and St James Church were rebuilt in a homogeneous Baroque style.

Kőszeg, Hungary

The eclectic Heroic Gate was built in 1932. Through this gate you can reach Jurisics Square which is surrounded by fortress-like houses and Gothic churches. In the middle of the square a gurgling fountain can be seen.

Castle of Kőszeg

The castle, enclosed by walls and ditches, is in the north-west part of the city. There was even a moat around the outer castle, which in fact was a rarity in Hungary. The two-storied residential wing of the five-towered castle, the chapel and the building decorated with the Garai coat of arm were all built during Hungarian reign. Of its five towers now only two exist. Matthias Corvinus extended the fortress in Renaissance style in the 15th century, and later it became the property of the Habsburgs for 150 years.

Kőszeg, Hungary

In 1532 its most famous commander, Miklós Jurisics defended the castle with some hundred soldiers and seven hundred serfs against the Turkish army of a hundred thousand people marching towards Vienna. Because of this heroic deed King Ferdinand I made him the squire of the city. In honour of this event bells chime at eleven o’clock every day. After the siege the loggias of the castle garden, the façade walls and the neighbouring houses were rebuilt mainly in Renaissance style. The castle was owned by the Eszterházy family in the years between 1695 and 1931 when it became a military barracks. Nowadays it is the Jursics Miklós Museum.

Kőszeg, Hungary

St James Church

The church, being the foundation of the oldest sight in the city, was first mentioned by a chronicler as early as the year 1246. The three-aisled church, decorated with the Garai coat of arms, was built in the early 15th century in late Gothic style. In the frontal niche the 18th century statue of St James can be seen. Inside the Baroque main altarpiece, the pulpit and the carved benches can be admired.

St Imre Church

Kőszeg, Hungary

The church is a strange mixture of the desires of Hungarian believers and the ideas of the architect. The Gothic part of the church is the result of the believers’ needs, and the architect created the Renaissance closing windows of the aisles. The late Renaissance building, which shows Gothic features and holds one tower with an onion-shaped spire, was built in the beginning of the 17th century. Its main altarpiece was painted by István Dorfmeister Jr in 1805.

Sgraffitós House (house of sgraffitos)

The house got its name from its façade of 16th -17th century ornamentation. In the upper rooms the stuccoworks and the ceiling fresco, depicting biblical themes, are remarkable.

Kőszeg, Hungary

Town Hall

Originally it dates from the 15th century, but in the 16th century it was rebuilt in Renaissance style, and then after the great fire of 1710 in Baroque style. The frontal pictures of the Jurisics family were made at this period together with the coat of arm of Greater Hungary and that of the city. The patron Mother of Hungary with the child Jesus in her arms; plus the wall picture of St Stephen can also be seen here.

Patikaház (‘Chemist’s House’)

The chemist’s house was established in 1777 and now it serves as a museum with original furniture and equipment.

Characteristics, features, properties

Type:

Smaller town or townlet

Location:

Europe (Continent)  >  Hungary (Country)  >  Western Hungary (Tourist region)  >  Vas megye (county) (County or province)  >  Alpokalja (Geographical region / area / zone)

GPS coordinates: Latitude 47°22'54", Longitude 16°33'8" (N47 22.9 - E16 33.13) Map

Kőszeg - Panoramic images (1 photos)

Jurisics Square - Kőszeg, Hungary
Jurisics Square
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