Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Esztergom, the perfect choice for a day trip

Esztergom is a lovely small town located in the North of Hungary. The town has border with Slovakia, therefore Sturovo (SK) can easily be accessed by walking through a recently rebuilt bridge (Mária Valéria bridge). Esztergom gained substantial popularity over the last decade and it has become one of the most visited Hungarian destinations alongside Budapest and the Balaton region. The main tourist attraction is an amusing church, called The Basilica of Esztergom.

The Basilica:
The full name of the church is The Primatial Basilica of the Blessed Virgin Mary Assumed Into Heaven and St Adalbert which is also the mother church of the Archdiocese of Esztergom-Budapest, and the seat of the Catholic Church in Hungary. The church has very exceptional parameters and characteristics that all contribute to its increased popularity. It is the tallest building in Hungary, the 18th biggest church in the world and the 2nd biggest basilica in Europe. Furthermore it accommodates an altarpiece (13.5 × 6.6 meters, depicting the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, by Michelangelo Grigoletti) which is the largest painting in the world painted on a single piece of canvas. The predecessor of Esztergom Basilica is a chapel called Bakócz Chapel, which was built in 1506-1507 at the same place. The foundation-stone of the Basilica was laid in 1822. The Bakócz Chapel was carefully disassembled (into about 1,600 pieces) and was moved 20 metres away from its original location and attached to the new church. Now the chapel can be accessed from the inside area of the Basilica. Tourists also have the option to go up to the hemi-sphere-shaped cupola and have a 360 degree view on the entire town as well as Slovakia. The surrounding area of The Basilica is the loveliest place in Esztergom and it is really worth organising a day trip in this historical city. Walking around in the city centre area is also nice and relaxing on a day out.

How to get there:
 By coach or train: Coaches and trains from Budapest go to Esztergom twice in every hour during the week and once an hour during the weekend
By car: The town can be easily accessed by car following road 10 or 11 from Budapest
By boat: Boats from Budapest go to Esztergom several times a day and the journey by boat is also a wonderful experience travelling through amazing landscapes 

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