Without a doubt is the most quaint and picturesque Hungarian villages that is easily accessible from Budapest. Because of war Hungary has lost many of its medieval and Baroque builings, but there’re exceptions, Szentendre is one of them. Idyllically located on a bend of the Danube river the village is one of the most sort after places for locals wishing to escape the hustle and bustle of Hungary’s capital, Budapest.
This wonderful village, although small has been populated for more than 1000 years with the Romans referring to as Ulicisia Castra (Wolf Camp) as the eastern border of the Roman Empire stretched along the Danube. The Magyars, present day Hungarians, arrived in the valley at the end of the 9th century and it was they who gave it the name Szentendre (St. Andrew) when the bishop had a palace built in 1146. The city walls followed an attack by the Tartars, surrounding the town using the church as its focal point. After a period of almost constant warfare between Austrian Hapsburgs, Ottoman Turks and Serbia, the 18th century brought peace and prosperity with new agricultural techniques as the Serbians, unable to return home, and the Hungarians settle down to live together In peace.
The most dominate product at the time was the wine, brought to Hungary by the Serbians using the Kadarka grape. One of their specialities was a dessert wine called “Aszú”, often referred to as the “Wine of Kings” as the wines where created by pouring old wine over crushed aszú berries.
The arrival of the artists
After WWI, Szentendre became a popular place for students studying at the College of Arts in Budapest, spending their summers there. Later, saw an association of painters founded in 1928 which later became a School for Painters. This is still evident today with numerous artists stores, workshops, galleries and antiques shops dominating the town.
The colourful heart of Szentendre, surrounded by 18th and 19th century merchants houses built after the fire of 1720. The centre of the square is the Memorial Cross, built to commemorate those who died in the plague of 1763. Many people will say that there are bodies buried upside down beneath it.
Peter and Paul Church
Began life as an Orthodox church in 1753 but was later taken over by Dalmatian Catholics.
A small museum containing the works of Jenő Barcsay, one of the founders of Szentendre’s art movement.
Dedicated in 1763, today is an Orthodox church with a lovely 1742 iconostasis inside, oldest in Szentendre.
A wonderful chance to see a piece of “Old Hungary”
A chance to visit the wonderful Szentendre along with a lunch in included on:
BUD 01A: Excursion to Szentendre including Lunch