Eger is one of the most beautiful towns of Hungary with lots of historic buildings.

It lies in the valley of the Eger Stream, in the hill-country.
The basin of Eger and the hilly region around it have always been very suitable for human settlements, and there are many archaeological findings from the early ages of history, which support this fact.
According to these findings the first generation of the conquering Hungarians occupied the area of Eger at the beginning of the 10th century. 
Actually Eger's establishment coincides with the church - founding activity of Hungarian first king, Saint Stephen. He established here one of the ten bishoprics that were organized before 1009. 
This development was blocked for a short time by the Mongol invasion in 1241, when the town was ransacked and burned down during the episcopacy of Kilit the Second.
During the reign of King Matthias (1458-1490) Eger began to develop again. The gothic-styled Bishops Palace which can be seen at the present time was reconstructed by the order of Bishop János Bekensloer. Building operations continued during the bishoprics of Orbán Dóczy and Tamás Bakócz.

After the Mohács Disaster (1526) a sorrowful period began in the history of Eger. 
During the dual kingship the town changed hands almost every year and the Turkish army came closer as well. 
This circumstance provided the reason for reinforcing the fortress. 
In the autumn of 1552, Captain István Dobó and his handful of soldiers were successful in defending the fortress and northern Hungary from the expanding Turkish Empire.
Despite the fact that Dobó and his soldiers successfully defended the fortress, it was destroyed during the siege, so it was essential to wholly rebuild it. 
The reconstruction process of the fortress took place between 1553 and 1596 and Italian artificer officers planned the renovations.

While Dobó and his soldiers managed to defend the fortress in 1552, in 1596 the captain at that time and the foreign mercenaries under his rule handed it over. 
This was the beginning of the 91 year long Turkish rule in Eger. 
The graceful minaret which was built at the end of the 17th century preserves the memory of this period. 
Among all the buildings of this type, the minaret of Eger is found in the northern-most point of the former Ottoman Empire. 
During the Turkish occupation Eger became the seat of a vilayet which is a Turkish domain including several sanjaks.

Eger was relieved from Turkish rule in December, 1687. Although the reoccupation was effected by a siege (which starved out the defenders) and not by a bombardment, the town fell into a very poor state.
According to the ... records there were only 413 houses in the area within the town walls which were habitable and most of these were occupied by left over Turkish families.

In the history of Eger the 18th century was the period of development and prosperity. 
The bishops of Eger, out of special respect for Ferenc Barkóczy and Károly Eszterházy, created that baroque towns scape which has been characteristic of Eger since that time. 
The most spectacular ones among the baroque buildings are the "lyceum" (central building of Károly Eszterházy Teachers Training College), the Minority Church, the Small Provost's palace, the Great Provost's palace (the County Library), the County Hall with Henrik Fasola's two wonderful, wrought-iron gates in it and the Serbian Church.

In 1804 a significant change occurred in the organization of Eger's bishopric. 
The monarch made this town a center of archbishopric, but the bishoprics of Szatmár and Kassa separated from it.

At the beginning of the century, in 1904, the first independent theatre of stone was opened and the canalization and the provision of public utilities began as well. In 1933 Eger was one of those towns that first got the permission for opening a spa.
In the decades after 1945, industrialization of the town commenced because of the change of regime. As a consequence, Eger's former character of a cultural center began to fade, which diminished the patina of the settlement.
It was a great good fortune that in 1968 the baroque inner city was preserved. 
So it was saved from the deterioration. In 1978 the town was rewarded with a Hild-medal for its excellent work in protecting the local monuments. 
It was also in appreciation of the town's protection of its heritage that the Hungarian seat of the ICOMOS (International Council for Monuments and Sites) was located into Eger.

Eger - The Lyceum

Start your sightseeing walk on Eszterhazy tér, with the impressive building of the Lyceum, built in late Baroque style. Now a college , it was built at the end of the 18th century, by Count Eszterházy Károly, to serve as a university. The nationally famous diocesan library on the first floor, open to visitors, preserves old codices, manuscripts, and the only original letter by Mozart in Hungary. The library's ceiling fresco is also worth a look. The Astronomical Museum and the "Specula" periscope operating in the tower are also unique.

Eger - The Basilica

The Basilica is, the only Classicist building in Eger and the second largest church in Hungary. Ordered by Archbishop Pyrker, it was built between 1831-1837, following the plans of Hild József. The organ was supplied by the Salzburg Moser Company at the end of 19th century.

Eger - The Provost's Palace

Turning to Kossuth Lajos utca, opposite, you find the Eger street the richest in Baroque historical buildings. The exterior facades and the wrought iron decorative elements are worth admiring. The Provost's rococo Palace is at 4 Kossuth utca. If possible, walk as far as Hatvani kapu tér, to view the reconstructed building of the Gárdonyi Géza Theatre. Its main facade bears the coats of arms of the City of Eger and Heves County.

Eger - The Bishop's Park

Walk along Tárkányi utca to the entrance to Érsekkert. the 22-acre park dating from the era of Bishop Eszterházy preserves the traditions of French park-building art. Open to the public since 1919, the central fountain was dedicated in 2000. Football pitches, tennis courts, and the stadium are in its south-western corner.

Eger - The Thermal- and Adventure Baths

Walk back along the creek to Klapka utca, to Petőfi tér, and the Eger Thermal Bath and Adventure Bath with its six open-air and one partly covered swimmming pools of cold and hot water. In 1976 Eger was named a curative area of national importance. Several thousand cubic meters of water rise daily from the natural spring. The Turkish Bath located here which will open to visitors after the reconstruction. A bit further on, on Frank Tivadar utca, is the indoor swimming pool, named after Bitskey Aladár, Olympic champion, and designed by Makovecz Imre.

Eger - The Fazola Gate

Walk back along Egészségház utca to Kossuth Lajos utca. On the left observe the Franciscan Church, on the right the Grand Provost's Palace. The County Hall, 9. Kossuth Lajos utca, houses in its courtyard the uniquely beautiful wrought iron gates by Fazola Henrik. The former prison building houses a local history exhibition preserving the atmosphere of the 18th and 19th centuries, and the county sports history exhibition.

Eger - The Castle

Kossuth Lajos Street leads to Dózsa György Squere, from here the entrance of the Castle can be seen. Inside the Castle tunnelsHeroes'Hall, the Local History Museum (permanent and intermittent exhibition in the Gothic Palace), GalleryGarden of Ruins, tomb of Gárdonyi Géza, Ispotály Cellar, Waxworks and Mint offer students and adults various ways of enjoying their free time. When buying entry tickets, ask for guiding in several languages.

Eger - The Minaret

 The Minaret is the northernmost historical building from the Turkish aera in Europe. Its floor plan is a 14-angle geometrical shape; its height is 40 metres. The tower, of carved sandstone, has survived the centuries relatively well. Inside its tall trunk, 97 spiral steps lead to a round balcony embraced by an iron banister. The panorama makes the climb a worthwhile sacrifice. Now walk down to Gerl Mátyás utca to Dobó Square.

Eger - The Dobó Square

Dobó tér is the most uniform and closed square of Eger. The works of Kisfaludi Stróbl Zsigmond and Stróbl Alajos, on the main square, commemorate the 1552 glorious victory against the multiple superiority of the Turkish army: around 2.000 people defended the castle against the 40-50 thousand strong Turkish army. Dobó István and his handful army swore to defend the castle and fight to the end. Following the near 40-day siege, the Turkish army left. The Eger heroes, defenders of the castle - considered the gateway to the north - managed to stop the expansionist Ottoman army. The Turks managed to take the castle only in 1596, when it was defended by mercenaries. Before regulation, the Eger Creek, the former border between Heves and Borsod Counties, flooded the city several times. Many believe the city was named after the alder tree, still indigenous along the creek.

Eger - The Minorite Church

One of the most beautiful Baroque churches in Central Europe, the Minorite Church, with a unique church interior, is in Dobó square. Its bell chimes at 11:00, 15:00 and 18:00 every day. Facing the church, note the eclectic building of the Town Hall on the right. If you walk along Zalár street from the square, you reach the market.

Eger - The Rác Church

One of the most beautiful Baroque churches in Central Europe, the Minorite Church, with a unique church interior, is in Dobó square. Its bell chimes at 11:00, 15:00 and 18:00 every day. Facing the church, note the eclectic building of the Town Hall on the right. If you walk along Zalár street from the square, you reach the market.

Eger - The Cistercian Church

The church of the Cistercian Order is at 15 Széchenyi street. Along the main street, a pedestrian zone, note the beer-houses and confectioner's shops. Take a rest!

Eger - The Archbishop's Palace

The Archbishop's Palace, 5 Széchenyi street, has been the residence of the Archbishop of Eger since 1740. The Central Exhibition of the Archbishop's Collection, housing valuable treasures, can be found in this building. The items on display are masterpieces of 18th and 19th century goldsmiths and textile artists: monstrances, chalices, reliquaries, chasubles and robes. The artefacts related to Gábor Erdődy, the Bishop of Eger, which he received from Maria Theresa, are of special value. The robe, which was also the Queen's gift, is famous for having been worn by Maria Theresa when she crowned queen.

Eger - The Valley of the Beautiful Woman

Szépasszony-völgy, with some 200 cellars, has been connected with the fame of Eger wines for centuries. The name of the valley is lost to legend. According to Ferenc Bakó ethnographer, "Szépasszony" (Beautiful Woman) was a goddess of pre-historic religion, similar to Venus, the goddess of love. Sacrifices were offered to her at this location. Farmers speak of a famously beautiful woman who used to sell Eger wine in one of the cellars. According to others, the valley was named after one of the light-blooded, beautiful ladies of a noble villa. The origin of the name, as well as the time the first cellars were constructed, cannot be determined by archives. The cellars are carved into the several hundred meter thick rolite tufa found in the Eger area. This material can be formed perfectly, and it can maintain wine at the permanent temperature of 10-15°C. Furthermore, the mosses and noble mould to be found in the cellars establish a unique atmosphere. Their pleasant fragrance helps the mellowing of the wine and the formation of its aroma.

Eger - Town under the town - former archbishopric wine-cellar-system

György Fenessy, the bishop from Eger, as he returned in 1688 to Eger after the march out of the Turks, he didn't want to leave in the Castle. He buys in the town two building grounds and necessary the tuff-stone the extracted from the hillside behind the palace. So they achieved double result: the palace was finished and directly below it a wine-cellar-system, where they stored the 10% tithe of the wines what from Gyöngyös to Munkačevo (today Ukraine) grew, it was in year 11-12 milion liters. The wine-cellar-system run in 3 km (1,85 miles) from the Hatvani to the Rác Gate. Today is the nicest part the Column Hall. The cellar was not used after the nationalization in 1947, its condition sank and it became life-danger. They strengthened it with steel-concrete on the end of the 70-es, the very dangerous parts were closed up. But they made a great mistake: the concrete would not be water-proofed, so the water pans the lime from the tuff-stone and creates wonderful dripstone formations. Eger wanted utilize the cellar-system in the competition Europe's Cultural Capital 2010. Today it's a part of the National Development Plan, and we have the chance to realise to project. Tourists can get acquainted today on the surface with the town what was built after the Turks. The history of the town will be presented here from 1004 (establishment of the bishopric) till 1687 (the march out of the Turks).