Danube Bend excursion

Saturday, 29 June 2013

To begin this tour, a bus will pick up registered participants at the Hotel Gellert at 08:30 and return participants to the hotel approximately at 18:30.  Participants on this tour are limited to the CAETS/Symposium group.  You may sign up and pay for this tour on the CAETS Meeting Registration form.

The Danube, Europe’s second longest river rises in the Black Forest in Germany and flows eastward until it reaches a point about 40 kilometres north of Budapest. Here the Börzsöny and Pilis Hills force it to bend sharply southward through the rest of the country. We shall visit Szentendre, Visegrád and Esztergom,the 3 most beautiful cities in the Danube Bend.

The first stop of our Danube Bend excursion is Szentendre, a picturesque Baroque town near Budapest known nowadays for its museums, galleries and artists. The originally medieval town enjoyed a rebirth with Mediterranean leanings in the 18th century, as after the liberation from the Turks Serbian, Croatian and Greek newcomers moved in and lived alongside the Magyar inhabitants. After exploring its cobbled streets, Orthodox and Christian churches we enjoy a cup of coffee/tea and cake, before going to see one of the best known Hungarian ceramic artists, Margit Kovács’ collection.

Following the Danube further north we reach Visegrád, royal seat and diplomatic centre for over 200 years, reaching its real golden age during Hungary’s short-lived Renaissance period in the 15th century. The ruins of the medievel hilltop citadel and the wonderful view over the most beautiful section of the Danube make this town the very symbol of the Bend.

Our journey takes us to the Northern border of the country, to Esztergom, Hungary’s most historical and sacred city. For more than 1000 years it has been the seat of Roman Catholicism – the archbishop of Esztergom is the primate of the country. Hungary’s first king, St. Stephen was born here in 975, and the town became the first royal seat of the country. After a late lunch in the primate’s cellar, we visit the largest and most important church of Hungary. We take a look at Slovakia on the other side of the Danube and return through the countryside to Budapest in the evening.