"A Church with a Town Attached" Top 5 Page for this destination Esztergom by antistar
Esztergom Travel Guide: 72 reviews and 233 photos
You'd be forgiven for thinking that Esztergom is a church and not a place. Its enormity is such that it would stand out in a big city, and it dominates the town like no other building I have ever seen. When you look at the town from across the Danube, all you can see is the church and a few small buildings scattered beneath. It would seem that you could sqeeze the entire town inside the church and the fortress that it sits in.
Backed by the forested hills of the Duna-Ipoly national park, and with the wide dreamlike waters of the Danube passing slowly in front, the town of Esztergom has more to offer than just the Basilica. It has a number of beautiful buildings, especially in Vizvaros (Watertown), that when set against the backdrop of the Basilica and the town's environment, can produce plenty of amazing views.
Apart from the Basilica and the views, one of the main reasons for me visiting the city was to get a glimpse of real Hungarian life, something that is difficult to find in the capital of Budapest, with its thousands of English speaking tourists. Here I hoped to find the badly dressed, strange looking people that make up the real people of any country. Except for the many tour groups that make the easy, short trip from Budapest, I got plenty of that.
Historically the town is important, and is the former capital of the country. The Basilica is here for a reason: it's the religious heartland of the country. Now the town is home to a new phenomenon: globalisation. The impressive bridge across the Danube now connects the two countries of Hungary and Slovakia, and was funded by the EU which Hungary is now a part of.
The bridge is also a conduit for the dozens of buses which travel back and forth to Slovakia at the beginning and end of every shift at the giant Suzuki plant on the outskirts of town, making use of Slovakia's lower wages. The tired faces looked out at me from the dirty windows of the rusty Slovakian buses as they passed by on the way to Sturovo across the river.
The town can easily be reached by train on a day trip from Budapest. It takes about one and a half hours from the... more travel advice
This pretty, bright yellow little church is an island of Orthodoxy in a sea of the Hungarian Catholic heartland. You can... more travel advice
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Latest: Oct 23, 2012