The picturesque town of Eger is located in the Western gate of the scenic Bükk Mountains. This thousand-year-old Episcopal seat, today an archiepiscopal center, is one of the most beautiful baroque towns of the country. Its inhabitants are proud of its illustrious historical past and the valuable heritage of monuments and buildings.
The city of Eger has an illustrious history dating back to the Romans, who called the town Agria, a name still in use, taking in the French who settled in the area in the 13th century, bringing with them their knowledge of viticulture, and the invading Turks, who came later.
The medieval castle – dating from the 13th century – on a small hill overlooking the town has been the site of numerous historical events and also played an important role in establishing Eger’s reputation. The name of Eger represents, for every Hungarian, the story of determined patriotism, when the outnumbered heroic defenders in the fortress, led by István Dobó, held out against the Turks (more than 100,000 Turks) in their initial attack in 1552. Later, the Turks returned to take and occupy the town from 1596 to 1687.
In the 18th century, after 100 years of Turkish occupation, Count Károly Eszterházy, the Bishop of Eger, launched an ambitious city planning effort resulting in the construction of new churches, monasteries, the Lyceum building, the little and big provostial palaces and the county hall; the outlines of the present Baroque city center were established as well.
Of all the wines made in the Eger region, Bull’s Blood remains the most famous, despite the fact that there are also some fine white wines, like Leányka, Tramini and Italian Riesling, which are produced in much larger quantities. There are several legends explaining the wine’s rather unusual name; the most famous is connected with the siege of Eger Castle in 1552. Bull’s Blood is a cuvée, a blend of wines made from several types of grape; it is a full-bodied red wine.
Eger is a colourful Baroque town known not only for its history, mellow charm and vineyards, but also for its thermal baths. Visitors looking for a bit of time-out can unwind in the peaceful Archbishop’s Garden, a leafy park enclosing swimming pools and hot thermal baths.