Esztergom and the Mighty Basilica


City of Esztergom

Esztergom is the center of the Hungarian Roman Catholic church. The city has historical significance as St. Stephen, the first Hungarian king was crowned in Esztergom in 1001. The church, called the Esztergom Basilica, also contains a small treasury, where the actual skull of Saint Stephen himself can be seen. There is also a magnificent statue of King Stephen I, as one tourist described it “Pictures don’t do this statue justice. It was beautiful and the setting was perfect.”

Esztergom Basilica is the largest church in Hungary and third biggest in the world, so it is enormous, with the largest bell in it, weighing about 5800 kilograms (about the same weight as a female African elephant). The Basilica is not only famous for its majestic size, but also as burial place of famous cardinals, like Primate Jozsef Mindszenty, the martyr of Communist persecutions.

The Watertown in Esztergom is a beautiful old part of the town that sits underneath the Basilica providing nice views of the landscape from the small streets below. You can find the fascinating Danube Museum here with lots of interactive exhibits, ideal place with children.

The Turkish Mosque was built exactly where the Turks broke through the castle walls in 1543 starting a 150-year-long invasion of the Hungarian Kingdom. The mosque has a beautifully designed garden, definitely worth a visit if you are in Esztergom.

As Esztergom is the Northern gate of Hungary, it provides a glance across the river Danube, and more than a view over to Slovakia via the newly rebuilt Maria Valeria Bridge, connecting Hungary and Slovakia after nearly 50 years (the original bridge was destroyed in WWII). There is no visa needed for EU tourists to take a short visit from Hungary to Slovakia: you can easily walk or drive through the bridge, and end up in another country. Iconic and quirky experience.

Booking Danube Bend Tour

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