AUG 02,2011 - AUG 02,2011 (1 DAYS)
Main Attractions: Main Square (Fő tér), Blagovesztenszka Church, the Lángos shop, Szentendre Keresztelő Szent János templom, Belgrade Szekesegyhaz Nagyboldogasszony Templom, Szerb Egyházi Múzeum, The House of Prisoner Ráby (Rab Ráby Ház), Dobos Chocolate Museum, Ferenczy Museum, Margit Kovács Museum, Szabó Marzipan Museum, Duna korzó promenade along the Danube, Skanzen open-air museum (Tip 2).
Szentendre (St Andrew): Szentendre is a small romantic riverside town 15 km from Budapest with picturesque cobbled streets, pastel-colored houses and tall Orthodox churches. Many artists fall in love with the small town's atmosphere and settled down during the 20th century years. Many museums and galleries attest this migration. It is a quaint town which boasts an abundance of excellent stores all selling local arts and crafts. The prices are reasonable.
Duration: The Szentendre town has some small galleries/museums/souvenir shops and restaurants so a full day if you want to do all of those, half a day if you just want to wander around the streets. Visiting Skanzen (recommended !) in Szentendre - will make it a BUSY, TIGHT, FULL day.
Transportation: Szentendre is easily reached (it is 25 kilometers from downtown Budapest) on the Budapest HÉV (HEV 5) suburban railway line from Batthyány tér (the M2 Metro RED line). Trains leave every 10-30 minutes and take 40 minutes to reach the small town of Szentendre. Szentendre is not on the state railway lines. You should buy a special ticket, as it's just outside the Budapest zones and so isn't covered by your day pass-tickets. List of stops: Batthyány tér M, Margit híd, budai hídfő,
Szépvölgyi út, Tímár utca, Szentlélek tér (formerly: Árpád híd), Filatorigát, Kaszásdűlő, Aquincum, Rómaifürdő (Roman Bath), Csillaghegy, Békásmegyer, Budakalász, Budakalász, Lenfonó, Szentistvántelep (Saint Stephen Estate), Pomáz, Pannóniatelep (Pannonia Estate), Szentendre.
Buses leave daily from Budapest's Újpest-Városkapu bus station (on the M3 Metro BLUE line) (east to Árpád Bridge) and take about 25-30 minutes to arrive. Yes, buses are quicker than trains in Hungary.
From May to September you can reach Szentendre by riverboat (along the Danube) every day from Budapest, Vigadó square (tér) or Batthyány square (tér). In April and October boats are operated only in Saturdays and Sundays. You can catch the boat at 10.00 at Vigado Square, at 10.10 it stops at Batthyany Ter and then after a long journey you will be in Szentendre at 11.30. You can catch a boat ride back which is recommended, as the sights coming back into Budapest are very nice, especially later in the day as lights begin to sparkle across the water. From Szentendre the boat departs at 17.00.
Szentendere was part of the the Eastern frontier of the Roman Empire under the name Ulcisia Castra from the 2nd century AD. The Mongols in the 13th century than the Turks in the 15-16th century destroyed the town. It was rebuilt in Baroque style in the 17th century and has preserved the townscape since than. After the Turks left mainly Serbian refugees settled down than Hungarians, Slovaks, Germans, Greeks and Romanians. Each ethnic group had establsihed its own town part adding a versatility to the townscape.
In Szentendre you'll experience a Mediterranean atmosphere that few other Hungarian settlements can offer you. No wander that lots of artists come to find inspiration and work here.
Tip: It is quite interesting in Skanzen (the open-air museum). Lots of walking – so go early and first to Skanzen - before visiting Szentendr. Then catch the bus back to Szentendre for lunch and tour the town itself. The times (back from Skanzen to Szentendr) are posted at the bus stop across from the entrance to the museum. Make suren you know them so you'll avoid a long wait to return.
In Szentendre: The HÉV and bus stations are located next to each other, about a ten minute walk (800 m.) from/to Fő tér, the main square in the middle of town. A few metres from the stations - there is a SPAR supermarket. There is also a WC.
From the train station just walk under the main highway.
and walk straight for about 15 minutes and you will be in the center (which is just north of the train/bus station). From there, walk east to Dózsa György út/ Dunakanyar körút (Danube Bend avenue), walk along this road northward, turn right at Római Sánc köz, and immediately LEFT onto Kossuth Lajos utca and continue NORTHWARD along it, turn right to Jókai Mór utca and, immediately, LEFT to Dumtsa Jenő utca which leads, northward to Fő tér.
Start your exploration in the quint, charming Main Square (Fő tér) where the Baroque cross was erected in 1763 to commemorate the lucky fact that plague avoided the town:
Old but well-kept merchant houses encircle Main Square like the block on the eastern side of the square (2-5. Fő tér) that was rebuilt under the same roof after a fire. On the ground floor the Szentendre Gallery (open: Tue-Sun: 10.00-18.00) provide exhibition opportunities for artists working in the town:
Winding streets lead off from the Main Square packed with architectural masterpieces, museums, restaurants, cafes and souvenir shops.
We head northward from the Fő tér/square, taking the road leading to Bogdányi út. Immediately, on our right (east) is the Blagovesztenszka Church - towered facade, Baroque and Rococo church. The church is open daily (except Mondays) during the tourist season. Opening hours: March: FRI-SUN 10.00 - 16.00, APR - OCT: TUE - SUN: 10.00 - 17.00, NOV: FRI - SUN: 10.00 - 16.00. Prices: 300 HUF. The name of the church means "Angelous Regards". 1690s wooden church stood on this site. The present church was built between 1752-1754 designed by architect Andreas Mayerhoffer. Out of the 9 churches of Szentendre the Baroque-Rococo Greek-Orthodox Blagovestenska church is the best known, built in the mid 18th century by settlers living in the Greek quarter next to the church. Above its wooden gate frescoes of St Helene and St Constantine greet you while inside you can admire the remarkable iconostase:
The last supper:
Now, turn west to Váralja lépcső and take a stroll/climb along the steep road that lead upwards towards the hill overlooking the town. Insider Tip: within internal courtyard, halfway along a steep and narrow alley leading up to the church on the top of the hill, is one of the best Lángos vendors in Hungary. How to find it: from the main square locate and face the church on the top of the hill and look for the narrow alley leading up to it. There is a small sign on the wall pointing to the entrance of the alley with ‘Lángos’ written on it:
The hill was the site of a fortress in the Middle Ages. All that's left of it today is the walled early-Gothic Church of St John the Baptist (Szentendre Keresztelő Szent János templom), from where you get splendid views of the town. For the best views of the town climb the hill to the church. There is small viewing area overlooking the red-slate rooftops and if you look carefully you may even see the strange blue angel perched atop one of the nearby church roofs. Inside, note the frescoes painted by members of the artists' colony in the 1930s. Admission free, 10.00 - 16.00, TUE - SUN, APR - OCT:
Nearby (north-west corner of the hill) is the Czóbel Museum ("Czóbel" is written on the old-yellow front wall of the house), which contains the works of the impressionist Béla Czóbel (1883–1976), a friend of Pablo Picasso and student of Henri Matisse. Béla Czóbel lived in Paris and Szentendre alternately from the 1940s. He belonged to the group of painters following the Post-Impressionist movement. His style reflects the principles of the Nagybánya School of Painting. He met painters of the Fauves group in 1905, and incorporated strong colors in his works. Open: TUE - SUN 09.00 - 17.00 from March 15 to September 30:
Continue from the hilltop or from the Czóbel Museum northward to Alkotmány St arriving to the Serbian Ortodox Church - Belgrade Szekesegyhaz Nagyboldogasszony Templom. 1760s. Late Baroque, Rococo style. The church was constructed from 1741 till 1746. Some Greek, Serbian, Dalmatian and Bosnian fugitives, who were fleeing from the Turks, settled down in Szentendre. From the 1521 fall of Belgrade ("Nándorfehérvár") there were several Serbians coming to Szentendre but a significant number of settlers only arrived around 1690. In 1696 Csarnojevics Arszenije patriarch presented a request for the Administration Chamber of Buda for an accommodation in Pest. He did not obtain it, therefore the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Buda was founded with a centre of Szentendre (Izbég). A medieval church used to stand at the location of the current bishopric cathedral. The Belgrade settlers built their church of stone, therefore the church is still called Belgrade Cathedral. This is the only Church with a regular service. In 1980 the church appeared on a Hungarian postal stamp. Opening hours - applying to the church and the museum (below): from: January 01
till December 31: Mondays - closed. TUE - SUN: 10.00 - 16.00. But only in January- February: SAT - SUN - 10.00-16.00. Prices: 600 HUF for adults, 300 HUF for students and pensioners. Don't lose your ticket so you can get into the church (see the spectacular iconostasis) and the museum (rare artifacts) together on the same ticket:
Time to step inside, and this is a real experience. The church has a stunning interior (32 metres long, 14 metres wide and 15 metres high). To the left is massive icon, made between 1777 and 1781 by the famous painter of Syrmia, Ösztovics Vazul. The gilded pulpit and the Episcopal throne with the Baldachin are all worth a look. The church is divided into three sections, the "women church", the "men church" situated one step lower, and the sanctuary. The nave is capped by four sections of Czech vaults, which are divided by crosspieces. The elliptical arched area in front of the sanctuary is capped by a vaulted, flattered quarter-dome. The arched choir construction projecting in the centre settles on two Doric marble pillars. Here lies the body of the composer Vujicsics Tihamér. Walking in the church's garden by the stone wall, several stone and marble gravestones can be seen:
Take Alkotmány St to its most western end and turn right (north !) to the Serbian Ecclesiastical Art Collection in Pátriárka utca 5 - Szerb Egyházi Múzeum. The museum collection includes artwork from the 14th to the 19th centuries. The Serbian Ecclesiastical Art Collection is a treasure trove of icons, vestments and other sacred objects in precious metals. A 14th-century glass painting of the crucifixion is the oldest item on display; a ‘cotton icon’ of the life of Christ from the 18th century is unusual. Take a look at the defaced portrait of Christ on the wall upstairs – the story goes that a drunken kuruc (anti-Habsburg) mercenary slashed it and, when told the next morning what he had done, drowned himself in the Danube:
You can stroll around the narrow roads south to the Serb church and museum - they are charming:
You can make a shrt detour to the House of Prisoner Ráby. Head north on Pásztor köz toward Martinovics utca, 60 m. Turn right onto Martinovics u., 60 m. Turn right onto Rab Ráby tér (Restricted usage road), 20 m. The House of Prisoner Ráby (Rab Ráby Ház) stands on the Rab Ráby Square a centre of the former Dalmatian quarter. The Austrian Emperor sent Mátyás Ráby to look into local corruption issues. He lived in this modest Baroque house built in 1768. He found out tax evasions and other unlawful acts commited by the local noble men who tried to bribe Ráby. After refuring bribery he was imprisoned. The famous Hungarian writer, Mór Jókai wrote an epic about his story:
We head back to the main square. Head south on Pátriarka u. toward Alkotmány u., 45 m. Turn left onto Alkotmány u. (Partial restricted usage road), 190 m:
Alkotmány u. turns slightly right and becomes Fő tér.Before hitting the Fő tér - you see on your right the Dobos Chocolate Museum, Bogdányi utca 2. Dobos Chocolate Museum in Bogdányi utca introduces the work of the famous confectioner József Dobos who created the famous Dobos cake (Dobos torta), (rich chocolate cream between layers of sponge topped with crunchy caramel) which you can try in the museum's Nosztalgia cafe (attention: later, we'll meet another sweet attraction...). József Dobos endeavored and pioneered to create a cake which would last longer than other cakes (back in the 19th century, when cooling techniques were quite primitive). The delicacy can be tasted at the museum's café. Open ONLY SAT - SUN 10.00 - 18.00, MON - FRI on prior notice, Admission: 300 HUF/adult, 200 HUF for kids under 10:
In the eastern (or north-east) side of the square, at Fő tér 6 resides the Ferenczy Museum. Károly Ferenczy (1862-1917) was a Hungarian Impressionist, one of the leading painters of the famous Nagybánya School of Painting. He studied in Paris, and lived in Szentendre, Munich and Nagybánya. In 1906, he moved to Budapest and became the professor of the College of Fine Arts. His children, Valér Ferenczy (1885-1954), painter, Noémi Ferenczy (1890-1957), tapestry weaver, and Béni Ferenczy (1890-1967), sculptor, were famous representatives of Hungarian art. The museum is a tribute to the Ferenczy family. (Fő tér 6, open: 10.00 to 18.00, WED - SUN:
Return to Fő tér. Descend EAST onto Görög utca, 35 m. Turn right onto Vastagh György u. and the Margit Kovács Museum, Vastagh György utca 1, will be on your left after 20m. Margit Kovács Ceramic Collection Museum displays the works of one of Hungary's best ceramic artists. THe museum resides in an 18th-century salt house and dedicated to the work of Szentendre’s most famous artist. Margit Kovács (1902–1977). She was a ceramicist who combined Hungarian folk, religious and modern themes to create Gothic-like figures. Some of her works are overly sentimental, but many others are very powerful, especially the later ones in which mortality is a central theme. Margit Kovács (1902-1977) was a famous ceramic sculptor well-known through out Hungary. Her main themes were folk art and religious art, especially Bible stories. She donated the majority of her work, such as statues, pots, plates and plaques, to Szentendre. You can find several famous statues of her in Berlin. Open: 09.00 to 17.00, TUE - SUN. in June-July-August: 9.00 - 19.00 Prices: 700 HUF/adult, 350 HUF/students and pensioners:
From the Margit Kovács Museum you have 2 options: descending to the Danube promenade or visiting, first, the Szamos Marcipán Múzeum.
In case you continue to the Marcipán Múzeum: head south on Vastagh György u. toward Futó u., 20 m. Turn right onto Futó u., 25 m. Turn left onto Dumtsa Jenő u. for 100 m. and the Szabó Marzipan Museum, Dumtsa Jenő utca 12, will be on the left. Marzipan Museum, is a colorful exhibit made entirely out of marzipan. This museum is dedicated to the life and work of two outstanding Hungarian confectioners: Mátyás Szamos and Károly Szabó. The exhibition displays the art of marzipan making along with some of their masterpieces, such as a marzipan version of the Parliament building. Open daily: 10.00 - 18.00). On the 1st floor, the Marzipan Museum awaits its visitors with its rich exhibition. On the ground floor pastries, Hungarian wines, Paprika, salami, goose liver and ice-cream can be purchased. The store has many interesting candy likenesses of famous celebrities: Michael Jackson and Disney characters' like Little Mermaid, are the most popular or other artifacts (amazing cactus plants). Price: 450 HUF:
In case you continue from Margit Kovács Museum to the Danube - return to Görög utca and walk along it lined with apartments of Greek families:
and you'll reach the peaceful promenade on the the Danube bank (Duna korzó). A concrete pathway and some garden seats situated along the way. Strolling along this path will provide great views of the river, making this an enjoyable walk:
Stroll the fine boulevard along the river front with nice views of the town and Szentendre Island. The best section for walk or cycling is 900 m. long from Jókai Mór utca (in the south) to the Waterfront Hotel (in the north).
If you didn't visit Skanzen yet - head back to the bus station. From the southern end of the promenade - it is, approx., 1 km. walk. Here are the instruction from the southern point: head south on Duna korzó toward Futó u., 190 m. Turn right onto Jókai Mór utca, 170 m. Turn left onto Szabadság tér, 45 m. Continue onto Kossuth Lajos utca, 400 m. Take the pedestrian tunnel, 130 m and turn right onto Dunakanyar krt., 50 m, turn right.
Skanzen: Do not miss the Hungarian Open Air Museum (Skanzen). Be prepared for a unique experience in this outstanding Skanzen, which doesn't have the atmosphere of real (sometimes boring) museums but rather an island introducing Hungarian village life. Szentendre gives home to an Open Air Ethnography Museum (Skanzen) that features how Hungarians lived between the 18th century and WWI. Several cafés and restaurants with street side terraces offer an excellent place to relax and enjoy Skanzen surroundings. If you're planning on visiting the Skanzen the bus leaves roughly every hour from stop/bay/platform 7 in Szentendre Bus Station. Buy your tickets in advance, or from the driver with an extra fee. It is open Apr 1 - Oct 30, TUE - SUN, 09.00 - 17.00. Admission: 1400 HUF. Take the bus to Tegez utca stop. Local bus schedule: On weekdays: Szentendre, from local train/bus station to the Skanzen: 5.45, 6.25, 7.10, 8.00, 10.35, 13.05, 14.05, 15.05, 16.05, 17.05, 18.05, 20.25, 22.10. From Skanzen to Szentendre: 5.57, 6.37, 7.22, 8.22, 10.47, 13.28, 14.28, 15.28, 16.28, 17.28, 18.28, 20.58, 22.43. At weekends:
Szentendre, from local train/bus station to the Skanzen: 6.50, 8.05, 10.35, 12.30, 14.25, 16.25, 18.25, 20.25, 22.10. From Skanzen to Szentendre: 7.02, 8.17, 10.47, 12.42, 14.48, 16.48, 18.48, 20.58, 22.43.
This is a huge tract of land to which ancient buildings have been moved from all parts of the country. Small farm villages, mostly with thatched roofs, now dot the landscape, along with barns, outbuildings and even churches. Many are furnished inside. Buy the English guide book. Some of the attendants are very knowledgeable and some not so. Few speak English. You could spend a whole day there (even several) and still have things left to see. There are many ongoing events offered, especially for families with children. Time your visit to the museum to some of the interesting programs the organised there every year. Egg painting and other traditions are revived at Easter or you can taste wines on one of the wine festivals (8th-9th Sept, 2007) taking place in autumn. Every week colorful programs introduce you to folk crafts and traditions. Children can be kept busy by trying their hands on crafts and preparing tools or decorations used in everyday lives of village people. Here you can discover treasures of every Hungarian region, village life, folk traditions and architecture at one place. You'll be transported back in time and experience the atmosphere of 19-20th century country life.
Opening times: Summer - 31 March 2015 - 31 October 2015 - TUE - SUN: 09.00 - 17.00. Winter - SAT - SUN: 10.00 - 16.00. Prices: adults: 1000 HUF, 1200 HUF for festivals, students: 500 HUF, 600 HUF for festivals: