"Vác, a nice town on the Danube Bend" Vac by budapest8

Vac Travel Guide: 26 reviews and 106 photos

A perfect place to visit to get out of Budapest

Vác which is prounounced Vartz is situated 35 kms north
of Budapest on the left bank of the Danube river where
it bends to begin its southern route. It has a population
of about 35 thousand inhabitants and with new motorways
being built become an atractive place to live.
The town lies beneath the Naszály Mountain on
the outskirts of the Carpathians. The word for mountain
and hill is the same in Hungarian and would call the Naszály
more of a large hill. The train takes about 45 mins on a
stopping train and 25 mins on an express train from
Budapest Nyugati Station. The ticket will cost about 600 HUF,
but the train ticket prices have already risen twice to
about 50% more than 2006 prices.

A little history

The town is estimated to be almost a thousand years
old as records date back to about then, but there is
evidence of earlier settlements in the surround areas.
The town has always been one of my favourite places
to take a day trip to and avoid the hustle and bustle of Budapest.
the foundations of the Vác episcopate was laid by the
first Hungarian king, Saint Stephen but the deed of foundation
unfortunately did not survive and the earliest first written
record is the 1074 Annales of Yburg, where the town
is named as "Watzenburg". There are many theories
about where the name "Vác" originates from,
but there is no definite proof.

Vác's role as a main ecclesiastical center has had a
considerable influence on life in the city throughout
its history. Strolling around the town one can't help
but notice the architecture with a strong presence of
the episcopate and the court of the church dignitary.
This gave a boost to architecture, handicrafts and manufactures,
culture and local institutions. The medieval core of the city,
the Castle of Vác was a fortification built on an emerging
ground by the riverbank.

Alas In the spring of 1241 the Mongol invasion reached Vác,
and left the cathedral and the episcopal see burnt down,
destroyed, and the population that fled there to seek
refuge, massacred them.

It was ironical that here that King Béla IV drew the council
of his noblemen together to rebuild the country from its ruins.
Settlers started to arrive from
some overpopulated Western cities, mostly from
Southern Germany and they
made their homes and institutions around the main square,
and even built a church dedicated to St. Michael in their traditional way.

In the 14th and 15th centuries Vác was a prosperous and peaceful
town until the Turks invaded and occupied Hungary for about
150 years.
I find it funny how that Hungarian history teaches that most
buildings were destroyed and the local population fled or was
killed, but miraculously when the Turks are driven out the towns
are rebuilt and the populations returned to their towns.
Too much importance is put on the Turks as all bad when
Hungarians were fighting each other because of being Catholic,
Protestant or Calvinist!

  • Last visit to Vac: Aug 2006
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (1)

Comments (1)

  • JLBG's Profile Photo
    Nov 25, 2009 at 9:52 PM

    I will have to come back later as the webcam, at this early hour, does not show much life!

budapest8 Visits Here Frequently!


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