Székesfehérvár

Székesfehérvár is one of the oldest Hungarian cities, it was built on the hills of swampy plain, as a vantage point easy to defend, in the junction of natural roads.

It was at this excellent strategic point that Prince Géza set up his imperial seat and built the first stone church of the Hungarians around 997, which later served as his burial place as well.

The city became a really important centre under Hungary’s state-founding king St. Stephen, who built a private church here, the future coronation church. It was from the king that Székesfehérvár received its free city title and privileges that distinguished it from the other neighbouring settlements. St. Stephen’s only son, Prince Imre was born here. St. Stephen himself was buried in Székesfehérvár.

This was the home of the royal throne, the coronation regalia, the treasury, and later the country’s archives. Forty-three of our kings were crowned here, furthermore eight kings from the Árpád house and seven from mixed houses chose the coronation church of Székesfehérvár as their final resting place.

Today, only the ruins remain of this once magnificent building, which used to be considered outstanding by European standard too. The Ruin Garden in the heart of the city takes us back to the middle ages, heralding the magnificence of the one-time coronation town.

The Bishop’s Palace, located near the Medieval Ruin Garden, was built from the stones of the former coronation church.

The inscription on the Orb, in the middle of Városház square, reads: Fehérvár, free city by the grace of St. Stephen.

King Béla IV. built the magnificent towers of the Episcopal Cathedral. Later the silver herm containing the head of St. Stephen, was kept here. Today, together with the other treasures of the church, it is on display in the Székesfehérvár Diocesan Museum.

The also medieval crypt of the cathedral holds the tomb of Béla III and his wife.

Those who like the late Baroque, should not miss the Seminary and Cistercian church.

After the devastating rule of the Turks, Székesfehérvár enjoyed a new golden era in the 18th and 19th centuries. The Inner City retained its medieval street structure, its ornaments being primarily the Baroque churches, the Rococo and Zopf style buildings and palaces. Education, cultural and intellectual life thrived inside its walls. The country’s first stone theatre building, the Vörösmarty Theatre, was built up here in this era.

Thanks to this rich heritage, Székesfehérvár is uniquely rich in museum relics, art creations and rarities. Visitors can explore Roman-time stone relics, sarcophaguses, bricks with initials imprinted on them in the King Saint Stephen Museum, works of art in the City Gallery, István Csók Gallery and New Hungarian Gallery, as well as fascinating porcelain dolls in the Hetedhét Toy Museum.

Our cultural programs will entertain audiences of all tastes all year round.

The recently completed reconstruction of two monuments in the City recalls the world of civic Fehérvár. One of them is the Hiemer-Font-Caraffa house in Városház square, a Baroque building of outstanding value consisting of three blocks, the renovation of which was fully completed in 2011. The other one is the art nouveau Árpád Bath, built in 1905, a real gem of Székesfehérvár with its special ambiance.

Clocks play a distinguished role in the life of the city: the Flower Clock tells time on a face clad in colourful flowers. The Animated Clock Tower parades prominent and symbolic figures of Hungarian history to wonderful tunes every two hours.

The cool and shady groves and lakes around the Inner City hold many more attractions. In Zichy-liget (Zichy-grove) you will find the Millennium Music Pavilion, and not far from here the music well that yields medicinal water and also the boating lake. In the city greens the Mine lake caters for those out of the ordinary.

Not far from it you will see the Gold Bull Memorial, also a lookout point of the city, which marks the place of the proclamation of the Bull in 1222.

Perhaps the most strange edifice of the city is the Bory Castle. This 20th century romantic knight’s castle was built by architect and sculptor Jenő Bory. A memorial to his love for his wife, the castle was designed and built by the artist himself with 36 years of unrelenting effort. Besides the numerous works of the artist couple, their valuable art collection can also be seen in the gallery.

Székesfehérvár has outstanding qualities in the area of sport as well – after the Second World War the city grew into one of the most significant sport cities of the country. The city is represented in the top leagues of four team sports: football, ice hockey, men’s basketball, women’s handball.

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