Eger (Latin: Agria, German: Erlau, Slovak: Jáger, Turkish: Eğri) is a county town in the region of Northern Hungary, in the valley of the Eger stream, on the southwestern edge of the Bükk region; It is the seat of Heves county and the Eger district. According to the 2011 census, it is the second most populous city in Northern Hungary. Eger is a significant educational and cultural center, it is home to one of Hungary's largest basilicas, the Eger Cathedral, and has many other famous monuments and museums, of which the Eger Castle stands out. It was a town called Eger in the western part of present-day Czech Republic, now called Cheb, probably inhabited by the inhabitants of Egercsehi from the French conquest of Charles the Great.

It is one of the dynamically developing Hungarian cities. Roads have been built in recent decades, and in parallel, the importance of the industrial park has grown, with a number of shopping malls. As the center of the Eger wine region, it is one of the most important Hungarian wine cities, the Eger bull's blood is a well-known and recognized wine variety abroad.



The town is located on the southwestern edge of the Bükk region, in the valley of the Eger stream. The latter accepts the Almár stream at the Almár administrative area and the Tárkányi stream at the Felném. In the north-eastern part of Eger, the 532 m high Nagy-Eged and the 569 m high Bükk-ridc rise, and to the north of Berva the 590 m high Hosszú-galya.



The origin of his name
The origin of the name of the city is unknown; among others, it comes from the name “alder (tree)” (there are still many alder trees in the surrounding areas today). According to critics of this theory, the term Eger also appears in the names of settlements directly (for example, Zalaegerszeg) or in form (such as Grád, Győr). The name Eger comes from the Bulgarian (onogur) population that moved to the northeastern part of the Carpathian Basin around 670.

In the Middle Ages
The area has been inhabited since the Stone Age. In the early Middle Ages, Avar and Slavic tribes also lived here. The area was occupied by the first generation of the conquering Hungarians at the beginning of the 10th century. At the end of the 20th century, conquest finds were also found around the Szépasszony Valley.

St. Stephen made it the seat of one of the ten dioceses organized before 1009. The first cathedral, now destroyed, stood on Castle Hill, around which the historic core of the city developed. Remains of a circular church and a smaller palace from the 11th century have also been excavated. The episcopal seat built in the Bükk region quickly developed into a significant center, then in 1241, II. Under the bishopric of Kilit, the Tartars ravaged and burned the city. Learning from the experience of the Tartar invasion IV. In 1248, Béla gave permission to Bishop Lambert to build a stone castle. In the 14th and 15th centuries, forests that had previously expanded to the outskirts of the city were largely cleared to plant vines in its place. Routes to the castle and to the northern mining towns have been established, as well as the zigzag streets of the city center - the old riverbed of the Eger stream. Several nearby settlements (Almagyar, Czigléd, etc.) merged with Eger. In 1442, the Hussites ravaged the city and carried out a horrible massacre among its inhabitants. During the reign of King Matthias, Bishop John Bekensloer rebuilt the bishop's palace, which was still in the castle, in Gothic style; the building can still be seen today. The construction was continued by Bishop Orbán Dóczy and completed by Tamás Bakócz. They even began the late Gothic reconstruction of the castle cathedral. After the death of King Matthias, the Hippolyt Gate, named after him and recently renovated, was built during the time of Bishop Hippolit of Evening. During the peasant uprising in 1514, one of György Dózsa's leaders, Barnabas, burned the city to dust.

During the division of Hungary into three parts, Eger became an important border fortress. Under the command of Captain István Dobó, less than 2,100 defenders of the castle (including women and children) repulsed the attack of a large Turkish army in 1552. Géza Gárdonyi estimated the number of Turks at 200,000, of course with some exaggeration. Later historians described the Turkish army at 80,000, which, according to today’s historians, could have ranged from 35 to 40,000. The history of the siege is best known to today's readers from Gárdonyi's popular novel The Stars of Eger. During the siege, the castle was completely dilapidated, completely rebuilt between 1553 and 1596 according to the plans of excellent Italian military engineers. From April 1578, Bálint Balassi also served as a soldier here for a few years. In 1596, the Turks again besieged the castle of Eger, which the defensive army of about seven thousand gave up after about three weeks of resistance - mainly because of the III. Austrian Archduke Miksa refused to go to the aid of the defenders. The city was part of the Ottoman Empire for 91 years, until 1687, as the seat of a vilajet that included several Sandzaks. The most spectacular memory of this is the northernmost minaret of the former empire. At the foot of Castle Hill, not far from the entrance to the castle, the remains of a Turkish bath have been excavated.


In the new age

Christian troops recaptured the city on December 17, 1687, after they managed to starve the defenders of the castle. During the siege, the city completely collapsed, with only 413 houses left to live in the walled area, and these were also inhabited mainly by Turkish families. About 600 Turks returned to Eger, were baptized, and became the first inhabitants of the destroyed city. The liberated city was considered a treasury estate by the Habsburgs, and in 1688 Leopold I was declared a free royal city (i.e., exempted from ecclesiastical and landlord burdens). However, this state lasted only until 1695, when the ruler, at the request of the returning Bishop George Fenessy, re-declared it a bishop's city and the mosques were converted into Christian churches. In 1705 the II. Bishop István Telekessy, who supported Ferenc Rákóczi, founded a priestly institute.

During the Rákóczi War of Independence, from 1703 to 1711, Eger was the center of the liberated part of the country. Here was the prince's headquarters, which he also visited regularly. In 1705, the first Hungarian newspaper, Mercurius Veridicus, was dated in Eger (although it was printed elsewhere in the absence of a printing house). In 1709, in Eger, the prince met with Ukraincew, the ambassador of Tsar Peter I. The ambassador died in Eger and was buried somewhere around the Rác church.

The 18th century was a period of prosperity and prosperity. The baroque cityscape that can still be seen today was created by the bishops of Eger, especially Ferenc Barkóczy and Károly Eszterházy. The constructions attracted many craftsmen, craftsmen, tradesmen and artists to the city, including János Lukács Kracker, Franz Anton Maulbertsch, Franz Sigrist, Josef Gerl, Jakab Fellner and Henrik Fazola. The population increased exponentially, by 1,200 in 1688 and then by more than 17,000 in 1787, making Eger the sixth most populous city in the country. Following the example of Ferenc Barkóczy and then Bishop Károly Eszterházy on the example of the Universities of Trnava and Vienna, he tried to build a university in Eger, ie a university. It was based on the existing educational institutions, the institute of priestly education, the law school (founded in 1740 by the canons György Foglár) and the philosophical school (founded in 1754 by Bishop Barkóczy), and the first medical academy in Hungary, which in 1769 opened on November 5. Károly Eszterházy wanted to place the university in the Lyceum built for this purpose, but Queen Maria Theresa did not allow the establishment of the institution. In 1769, the first medical school in the country was opened in Eger under the direction of Ferenc Markhot. In 1772, Maria Theresa refused the school the right to issue a doctorate, so it was abolished in 1775.

The 19th century began with disasters. In 1800, half of the downtown area was destroyed in a fire, and in 1801, the southern wall of the castle collapsed and damaged several residential houses. The ruler elevated it to the office of archbishop in 1804, but at the same time removed the dioceses of Košice and Szatmár from its archdiocese. The city bourgeoisie wanted to get rid of ecclesiastical authority and applied to parliament to declare Eger a free royal city, but to no avail. In 1827, much of downtown was burned again, and four years later, more than 200 people were taken by the cholera epidemic. During the Reformation, Archbishop László Pyrker established a gallery and donated it to the Hungarian National Museum in 1844, as Eger did not provide him with a suitable place. In essence, Pyrker’s gift became the basis for the material of the Museum of Fine Arts, which opened in 1900. Pyrker established the first Hungarian-language teacher training center in Eger in 1828, and he built the neoclassical-style basilica, the second largest church in Hungary, according to the plans of József Hild. In 1837, drawing teacher János Joó launched the first technical magazine in the country under the title Héti Lapok. In 1854, the archbishop relinquished his right as a landlord for 50,000 forints (taking the ninth and the taxi), and with this Eger was freed from the economic power of the church. However, civic development did not accelerate, as Eger was left out of the main railway line connecting Miskolc with Budapest, the junction became Füzesabony. The city’s industry consisted of a mill, a tobacco factory, and a sheet metal factory.

On August 30 and 31, 1878, after a huge downpour in the beech countryside, the Eger stream exited the riverbed and a devastating flood flooded the city center. Ten people died, 35 houses collapsed, 136 buildings were badly damaged, hundreds of pets drowned in the water. The maximum height of the flood was 463 centimeters. The level of flooding was indicated by 17 signs on various buildings, most of which can still be seen today.

From the 20th century to the present day

After the turn of the century, the character of the school town dominated in Eger, and due to its schools and other cultural institutions it was also called "Hungarian Athens". The first stone theater of Eger was opened in 1904, and sewerage and the construction of other utilities began. After the First World War, economic life slowly resumed. From 1925, large constructions began again. The popularity of the Eger stars was also an incentive to start archeological excavations at the castle. In 1933, Eger was one of the first in the country to receive a permit to build a spa.

During the Second World War, in the autumn of 1944, the retreating German troops dismantled factories and plants, drove away the animals, damaged the railway station, and blew up all the bridges of the Eger stream. Soviet troops marched into the city on November 30th. On December 12, German planes bombed and shot down the inner city with machine guns, 20 houses collapsed, 33 people were killed and 87 were injured. After World War II, many buildings were erected throughout the city.1961, Felném was annexed to the city. From the 70's, the panel houses of today's Felsőváros, Maklári and Hatvani Hóstya, and Lajosváros grew out of the ground one after the other. In the city center, a department store was built in Dobó tér, which was alien to the Baroque image, and the Gárdonyi Theater was given a new look (it has since been rebuilt again). By the 80's, the section of the main road 25 bypassing the city center was completed, then public traffic was banned from the southern section of Széchenyi út and most of the streets of the city center.

In 1968, the Baroque downtown was declared protected, thus, unlike several other cities, spared the incorporation of additional, unsuitable buildings. In 1978, the settlement was awarded the János Hild Prize for the protection of local monuments. In recognition of the city protection activity, the Hungarian headquarters of ICOMOS (International Commission of Historic Towns and Villages) moved to Eger. Since the 1990s, they have been built primarily in the suburbs. New residential parks were created, on Felnémet-Pásztorvölgyi and Napsugár streets. The Bitskey Aladár Swimming Pool was designed by Imre Makovecz. A shopping district was built between Felném and Eger with several large department stores. The southern bypass was completed, and in parallel, the Eger Industrial Park also developed a lot. In March 2008, the plaza wave also reached Eger, and one of the largest shopping centers in Northern Hungary, Agria Park, was opened.

Eger was once a military town. Until the closure of the Dobó István Barracks in 2007, it housed many units. The first unit moved to Eger in 1853. The Imperial and Royal 60th Infantry Regiment, which was stationed here until 1918. After the First World War, the 14th Infantry Regiment of István Dobó of the Royal Hungarian Army was stationed in the barracks.

After the war, the 6th Automobile and then the Mechanized Rifle Regiment of the Hungarian People's Army could call themselves the barracks. In 1963, the 24th Reconnaissance Battalion moved from Hatvan-Nagygombos to Eger, which was a reconnaissance unit of the Gyöngyös Automotive Shooting Division. The 6th Mechanized Rifle Regiment was first converted into a Tank Regiment, then merged with the 35th Tank Regiment in Verpelét, and it moved to Kalocsa in 1991.

In 2007, the 24th Bornemissza Gergely Reconnaissance Battalion of the Hungarian Armed Forces was transferred to Debrecen, where it became the reconnaissance subunit of the 5th Bocskai István Rifle Brigade of the Hungarian Armed Forces. During the redeployment, nearly 50% of the corps did not undertake the move. After the departure of the battalion, the 116-year-old István Dobó Barracks was closed.