Idea #256 – Visiting the Hungarian city of Eger
Eger is one of the oldest cities of Hungary. It is situated in the North of the country, east of mounts Mátra. The city is both considered as its vineyard of the “blood of ox” (Egri bikavér) and for its architectural quality. The site would have been occupied from the prehistoric period. The Magyar began to settle down there in the Xth century. Saint-Etienne, first king of Hungary, makes of the city a bishop’s palace.
The city was, from its foundation, an important Hungarian religious center. Eger developed around the first cathedral, built on the site of the current castle. In 1241, Eger was totally destroyed by the Mongols and most of inhabitants were killed. Of the XIVth in the XVIth century, the city knew the prosperity, and during Matthias Corvin’s reign, at the end of the XVth century, the city knew a revival inspired by the Renaissance.
During the Ottoman occupation of central Hungary, the city became an important fortress, opposed to the Ottomans. During the war for independence of Hungary in front of Hapsburg, at the beginning of the XVIIIth century, Eger lined up beside François II Rákóczi. The Hungarians were however overcome by the imperial army. A short time later, the city was ravaged by the plague. Eger found nevertheless again the prosperity. The city was marked by the Soviet occupation, but knows at present an important movement of restoration.
Where is it ?