fbpx

Catholics only as tenants, please

I was in Rome once. And visited St Peter’s. Jammed, elbow to elbow, with the other tourists eager to have a look at Michelangelo’s great work of art, I couldn’t help but wish for a bench I could lie down on and from that horizontal position, have just five minutes to look at the ceiling above me. I had the same feeling in Vác cathedral lately. Mind you, I suppose I could have stretched out on one of the pews, but somehow it didn’t seem quite appropriate.

Modelled on St Peter’s Basilica in Rome, the cathedral in Vác dates back to 1777. Deceptively plain from the outside, its ceilings and walls are something to behold. I’m not a huge fan of ornate churches but I could spend time in this one.

By the time Vác was liberated from Turkish occupation in 1686, it was practically deserted and in ruins. Dogged by bad luck, a fire in 1731 burned down 198 of the 229 houses but by the 1770s, a baroque city built on medieval remains was taking shape. The bishops (the city’s landlords) made a huge effort to repopulate the city (with Catholics, naturally) offering various benefits such as free building sites, materials or tax breaks (and some present-day governments think they thought this stuff up!)  Most of the  newcomers were Germans, with some Czech, Slovak, Croatian, Serbian, Morvian, and even a number of French and Italian settlers taking up residence. Even today, the city has a very multicultural and arty feel to it.

If you fancy a day out from Budapest, you could do a lot worse. Hidden somewhere in the city is an amazing antique barn owned by a Dutch guy – I was there once and have never found it since. And another, Hungarian-owned antique building up a side road is chock full of great stuff. Couldn’t find that one, either. Damn breadcrumbs…  will pay more attention in future.

Share:

Never miss a post

Sign up here to get an email whenever I post something new.

More Posts

Bázakerettye: the Dallas of Hungary and so much more

Rumour has it that how you spend the first day of a new year is how you’ll spend the rest of that same year. To

József Nádor Tér, Budapest

In the spring of 2016, József Nádor Tér made the news in Hungary. The square was being renovated in the name of urban planning. The

Csónakázó-tó, Nagykanizsa, Hungary

I was sure I’d seen all there was to see in Nagykanizsa and had dutifully written it up to share with others who might find

Keszthely, Hungary

The signpost welcoming visitors to Keszthely, one of the largest towns on Lake Balaton, says that it’s 775 years old. And indeed, it does have

7 Responses

  1. Looks good……….another ‘hidden’ gem that you have discovered for us. The tourist description for the place refers to the Vac Mummies……….did you see these?

    I’m sure that I’m not alone in being curious about the ‘bread crumbs’……….?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

7 Responses

  1. Looks good……….another ‘hidden’ gem that you have discovered for us. The tourist description for the place refers to the Vac Mummies……….did you see these?

    I’m sure that I’m not alone in being curious about the ‘bread crumbs’……….?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: