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Last updated : Nov 2009
Danube
Danube - TravelPuppy.com
The Danube Bend upstream from Budapest has long been a favourite summer retreat from the heat and humidity of the capital. Three historic towns draw most visitors. A few miles further up river, Szentendre is an old market town originally inhabited by Serbian refugees fleeing from the Turks. Churches had to face east regardless of their position on the streets, producing unusual layouts, and the Serbian house styles added greatly to the charm. Due to trade restrictions and floods, the town was abandoned, only to be rediscovered and settled by Hungarian artists during the 1920s.

The Margit Kovács Museum has a remarkable display of the work of Hungary’s greatest ceramicist. The Béla Czóbel Museum shows paintings from the 1890s and the Károly Ferenczy Museum contains historical, archaeological and ethnographic collections as well as many paintings. The Serbian Museum for Ecclesiastical History contains many fine examples of ecclesiastical art from the 14th to the 18th centuries. The Ethnographic Museum (skanzen) is a large open-air addition from the 1960s, still being added to, of reconstructed folk villages from all over Hungary.

Visegrad

A few miles further upriver, Visegrád was once a royal stronghold, but is now a rather sleepy tourist town with spectacular views over the Danube. The 15th-century summer palace has been excavated and restored, and the Mátyás Museum in the Salamon Tower displays many archaeological discoveries.

Esztergom

Originally a Roman outpost, Esztergom later became the country’s capital from the 11th to the 14th centuries and remains at the heart of the country’s Catholicism. Hungary’s largest Basilica, the Palace ruins, the Museum of the Stronghold of Esztergom and the Christian Museum of Esztergom, containing some of Hungary’s finest art collections, are all important tourist attractions.