2016. April 12.
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Visit of Szentendre

Szentendre is a riverside town in Pest county, Hungary, near the capital city Budapest. It is known for its museums, galleries, and artists. Due to its historic architecture and easy rail and river access, it has become a popular destination for tourists staying in Budapest. There are many facilities, including souvenir shops and restaurants, catering to these visitors.

 

The name of the town is ultimately based on the Medieval Latin form Sankt Andrae (St.Andrew). Because of the diverse mix of nations to have once settled in Szentendre, the settlement has a variety of names according to language. Its name (Sanctus Andreas) first appeared in a students will in 1146, which was confirmed by King Géza II. The twelfth-century city centre was situated around the still existing St. Andrews Church on the other side of the Bükkös Brook.

The area where Szentendre is today was uninhabited when the Magyars arrived. In the 9th century, Árpáds companion, the sacral prince Kurszán, settled here. He renovated the Roman fortress that had fallen into ruin and reestablished a settlement on the remains of the Roman buildings. Little is known about the history of Szentendre between the 9th and 10th centuries. The city was largely depopulated in the Ottoman era. According to a 17th-century census, only one family and their service staff remained here at that time. After the Ottomans were expelled from the area, foreign settlers moved to the settlement. 

Today evidence of the towns prosperity in this time can be seen in the baroque style of the houses, the Mediterranean atmosphere of the towns architecture, its beautiful churches, the cobblestoned streets, and its narrow alleys. During the Great Turkish War, Serbs were invited to emigrate to Hungary to evade the Ottoman Empire. Because of this invitation, there was a mass emigration of Serbs in 1690 to the Szentendre region. These Serbs left enduring traces on the townscape and its culture. The buildings in the city center have tried to preserve this Serbian influence in their architecture, but these buildings do not in fact date to the 17th century. Based on maps from the end of the century, the city center actually boasted other buildings at that time.

Although the Ottomans had decimated the population of the region, starting in the 1690s, the population slowly began to increase and in 1872 it reached a level when the town-like character began to dominate again instead of the village-like character. The public administration as well as the business establishments made it possible to practice all the privileges entailing a city. Szentendre was granted city-status in 1872. The calm provincial life of the city has attracted artists since the beginning of the 20th century. The Szentendre colony of artists came into existence in 1929. The so-called Szentendre School is connected with it. Today, more than two hundred fine and applied artists, authors, poets, musicians and actors live in the city. The city was a small town until the 1970s; its population hardly attained four thousand. The city at that time included only two parts: the downtown and Donkey Mountain, the latter of which became a living space at the beginning of the twentieth century. 

By the end of the 1970s, due to a large-scale inner-city merger, the populated zone of the town enlarged considerably. By the beginning of the 21st century these areas were completely populated and the earlier small town attained the population of 25 000 in 2010. This expansion of the city practically ended traditional fruit-growing and gardening in Szentendre. The Outdoor Museum of Ethnography, founded in 1967, shows the village and urban societies different layers, including the various groups interior furnishings and lifestyles from the end of the 18th to the middle of the 20th centuries. This museum includes Europes longest museum railway line, which was built in 2009.

Szentendre has been the home of many generations of Hungarian artists since the early 20th century. There are many museums and contemporary galleries representing the rich traditions of the visual art.

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