The other day me and my husband combined a mandatory – not definitely pleasant – program with a few hours of amazing sightseeing in Győr, the center of the county we live in. My husband had a medical check-up at the hospital which luckily did not last too long so we had time for a much better amusement. We decided to spend the rest of the day strolling on the streets of the baroque style old town, having ice cream, taking lots of photos and doing nothing but having fun.
Our first stop the Széchenyi square is basically the main square of the city, being spacious enough for open air events, especially in summer or during the winter holidays. At the time of our visit the fountains were not working yet, they are slowly waking up from their winter sleep. It is a pity as they add a lot to the atmosphere.
The square is framed by the Benedictine church, a school building and palaces from the 17th and 18th century. There are enough benches to spend some time sitting and admiring this colorful baroque architecture. The square saw some historic events like the last witch burning of the town in 1688 and the controversial case of Julianna Géczy ended here by her execution in 1714. The poor woman was beheaded publicly right there at the age of 33-34.
Closed balconies at the corner of the streets were typical of baroque architecture. They enabled a great view of all the crossing streets including people passing by. Ladies really loved this function of their homes and were standing or sitting in the window gathering as much information as they could for their gossips.
Walking to the north you get to the bank of the River Danube. On the way there you can see more baroque buildings from the 17th and 18th century, some of them were reconstructed in the 19th century.
The street leading to the Danube was named after the inventor Ányos Jedlik (1800-1895) who we can thank – among many – the electric engine and the dynamo. A fountain in front of the Kreszta House commemorates one of his inventions, the soda-water.
In the Kenyér köz, behind the Kreszta House you can find the Margit Kovács (1902-1977) Museum. She was an extraordinary ceramist and sculptor using folklore themes in her art. You can also observe that most of the shops have trade signs at the front.
As the city is a major catholic center there are many religious buildings and lots of churches, especially those of the Benedictine Order. Around the Káptalandomb, which is a little hill in the old town, you can check out the Bishop Palace and the basilica.
Strolling further on the Király (King) street we walk by the Probst House, which is originally a merge from two buildings from the 16th century, the Esterházy Palace, which hosts the Museum of Arts, the former Black Eagle Inn and many other built in baroque, classicist, eclectic, romantic and copf style.
Do not miss the Baross street – especially its section between Király and Árpád street. It always has a rich life in sunny weather. You can step in the Visitor Center (Tourinform) for some more information about tourist attractions, you can exchange money at several places in this street if you run out of the local currency (Hungarian Forint – no Euros yet), have a coffee or ice cream in one of the cafes or just take a seat on a bench checking the passers-by.
We end our walk at the City Hall, in front of which there is a heavy main road. It is really shocking that at that point you step into high traffic from the pedestrian zone but the view of this huge building is amazing. Opposite the city hall there is a wonderful fountain which was not working during our visit either. It is a pity again, as I was looking forward to take some photos of it. Maybe next time, as I am sure I am going to return soon.