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The Old Town - Kőszeg, Hungria

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The baroque facade of the yellow St. James' Church - Kőszeg, Hungria The baroque facade of the yellow St. James' Church

One of the oldest building of Kőszeg town is the Roman Catholic St. James's Church (in Hungarian "Szent Jakab-templom"), which has baroque style exterior combined with mostly gothic interior. It was built probably on the site of the former Minorite church, which was built in 1246 and destroyed in 1289. It is almost sure that the present-day church was built around 1403-1407 by Nicholas II Garay (Garai Miklós II) Palatine of Hungary and Ban of Croatia, Dalmatia and Slavonia, after the battered old church was demolished. Initially the three-nave gothic hall church probably had a tower as well, but not much resources preserved about it. The main feature of the hall churches is that their nave and the aisles (so the interior spaces) are in the same high, in contrast with the basilical layout where the nave is always higher than the aisles.

There are marks of religious conflicts, skirmishes and also conflagrations on many part of the building. For example a lot of beautiful furnitures were destroyed in the course of time.

Town Hall (in Hungarian "Városháza") - Kőszeg, Hungria Town Hall (in Hungarian "Városháza")

The Town Hall of Kőszeg is the only such building in Hungary, which public office function didn't change in the last 600 years (so it means it is Town Hall since 600 years ago).

The Heroes' Tower or Heroes' Gate, today it is the Town Museum - Kőszeg, Hungria The Heroes' Tower or Heroes' Gate, today it is the Town Museum

It was built in 1932

The Heroes' Gate or Heroes' Tower of Kőszeg (in Hungarian "Hősök kapuja" or "Hősök tornya") was built on the site of the former southern town gate in 1932, for exactly the 400th anniversary of the siege of the Ottoman troops of 1532. The southern gate (the so-called Lower Gate) of the town was demolished in 1880, because it was in very bad condition.

Medieval suldier figure on the Mihály Hörmann's stone memorial sculpture close to the castle walls - Kőszeg, Hungria Medieval suldier figure on the Mihály Hörmann's stone memorial sculpture close to the castle walls

Sculpted by András Kiss Nagy in 1972

Mihály Hörmann was a Hungarian historical figure, but there are several explanations for his real identity. One explanation is that Hörmann or Hermann was a councilor and a minor character in the siege of Kőszeg in 1532. According to the legend he proposed to punish the betrayers of the town more strictly (namely to flay them alive), but he himself became a traitor instead. The councilor entered into collusion with the Ottomans, and due to this he was executed close to the spring that was later named after him and in the manner as he suggested earlier.

The other explanation puts Mihály Hörmann in later times and into completely different context. According to this in the early-1620s he was the captain of the Kőszeg Castle by the commission of Prince Gábor Bethlen. But at the Hörmann Spring the commander was captured by Habsburg soldiers, who then skinned him alive. Allegedly his skin was shown in the Town Hall for centuries.

Of course the statue commemorates the positive person of the latter legend. One way or another, both stories are really brutal and morbid, hopefully once it turns out that none of them was true (albeit there are many similar examples of such human cruelty in the history of mankind).

Marian Column - Kőszeg, Hungria Marian Column

Created by Lorenz Eisenköbel master sculptor from Sopron in 1739.

The Marian Column in the medieval main square of Kőszeg was erected by the town in 1739 with a high degree of cynicism. In fact, the Protestant believers protested against the Marian cult of the Roman Catholics. Despite it, or rather exactly that's why the work of the sculptor was paid from the fines collected from the Protestants.

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