Thursday, October 6, 2011

Eager for Eger

Busy morning for me as I did walking tour of some of the major sites of historic center of historic Eger, Hungary, including the beautiful Minorite Church in Dobó Square.

Eger is not that big and most of the sites are a very short walk from my hotel room. How short?

When I walked out of the annex building that I'm staying in, I looked up and I could see that I'm just about close enough to the castle to touch it. That's a castle rampart in the top right side of the picture.

My hotel, the Hotel Senator-Ház, is at the north end of Dobó Square. After breakfasting up at the hotel, I started my wanderings. This is the Minorite Church, dedicated to St. Anthony of Padua, with a statue of Mr. Dobó in the square that bears his name. I call him Mr. Dobó because I cannot recall his first name (which, ironically, is his second name because the Magyars, being a people of Central Asia, use the Asian convention of putting the family name first). Mr. Dobó, actually Dobó István (I googled him), is the hero of the Battle of Eger in 1552, where an Ottoman advance in Europe was thwarted. Here is seen doing what he did best. Slaying Ottomans:

Back to the Minorite Church. I think one of the reasons I like it so much is the color. Rum spice. Not pink. Who would paint something pink? But rum spice! Quite tasteful. Would make a nice house color.

This is Town Hall, with a statue of more Ottomans being slain. This time more anonymously.

This is Eger Creek, which, since it separates the castle from the rest of Eger, functions as a sort of moat.

Not particularly daunting, is it? Next up, the Minaret:

I know what you're thinking. You're thinking Minarets are associated with Islam. And I just told that in 1552, the men, women, children, and farm animals of Eger successfully repelled an Ottoman invasion. Alas, the victory was temporary and about 40 years later Eger fell to Radical Islam in the form of the Ottoman Empire. That's what you were thinking, wasn't it? Or were you thinking that the tower looks a bit crooked:

You can climb the 97 steps to the top of the Minaret. All's in takes is a few forints. I declined. I didn't note the crookedness of the tower at the time. Look how narrow it is:

Look closer:

A climb of97 steep, windy stairs in a dark confined space in order to look out from a high point. That is not my idea of a good time. But this is:

The Kopcsik Marzipan Museum! Where the great works of western civilization are reproduced ... in marzipan! So i'm walking from the Minaret and the Marzipan Museum toward the Cahtedral for the 11:30 a.m. organ concert. I'm in the general vicinity of my hotel (but, then again, Eger is small enough that I'm ALWAYS in the general vicinity of my hotel). And what do I see? Locked in a cage?

No! It can't be. But it is! The Mercedes! The cage is the private parking area for my hotel, so the Mercedes is where it should be. (I feel that what I should call it is the "Mercedes," as that is what sarcasm quotes are for.)

Anyway, off to the Cathedral. In front is a gentleman exuberantly knocking out the tunes on a zither-like musical instrument I cannot identify:

This is the cathedral:

Very impressive, ornate interior. I like the Minorite exterior better, but the Cathedral's got it going with the interior. The organ concert lasted about 15 minutes and really filled the room. Exiting the Cathedral, you face the Lyceum. It is best known for its camera obscura, which dates back to 1776.

I'm not quite sure what a camera obscura is. I know it is some sort of rudimentary projector of some sort. The Lyceum was being renovated so I did not tour it.

A good morning walk through Eger. I did not even ned to take the tourist train:

It goes to the Valley of Beautiful Women wineries. This time of year it does not run nearly late enough into the wine drinking hours, so maybe next time in Eger.

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