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Esztergom (German: Gran, Slovak: Ostrihom, Turkish: Estergon) is a developed industry, school and port city in Komárom-Esztergom county, on the right bank of the Danube. Due to its location, it is also called the highest city on the Danube Bend. The city in today's sense was established in 1895 by merging the free royal city of Esztergom and the neighboring Archbishop's Water City, Szenttamás and Szentgyörgymező. From the change of regime until 2012, the Constitutional Court, from 1997 the Danube-Ipoly National Park, from 2018 the seat of the Supreme Administrative Court. As the capital of the Archbishop of Esztergom, the city is the Hungarian center of the Roman Catholic Church.

Esztergom is a popular tourist destination, in 2014 it was chosen as a destination by one and a half million tourists. Its cathedral is one of the largest basilicas in Europe, and contains the only intact Renaissance building in Hungary, the Bakócz Chapel. Here you will find the richest ecclesiastical treasury in the country, with outstanding collections worldwide. The Christian Museum is the richest ecclesiastical museum in the country and the third richest diocesan museum in the world. The Hungarian Red Cross was founded in the city in 1881. Esztergom is also one of the cradles of Hungarian aviation, Ernő Rubik, a senior aviation engineer, has been working in the aircraft factory operating in the city since 1936.


The origin of his name
There are several ideas about the origin of the name Esztergom. Some say it originates from Istrom (Istrian means Danube and Gam means nearby Garam River). Since Esztergom was built in the Danube Bend, the suffix of the gom can be the bend, curvature (for example: button, sphere, tuber). According to another idea, the oldest form of the name is Iszterograd, which may refer to the Garam River, which flows into the Danube at Esztergom (üsztü means a tributary). In yet another, the Bulgarian-Turkish estrogen may be derived from the nouns küpe (i.e., leather armor) and strgun (i.e., tanner) and may refer to the residence of former leather armor makers. Also related to the origin of its name, the word Slavic stregomj (who is being looked after) may come into play. In any case, the first written mention of the word Esztergom dates from 1079.

Numerous variations of its name refer to the significance of the city throughout history. German: Gran, derived from the nearby Garam river name, Turkish: Estergon, Spanish: Estrigonia, Italian: Strigonia, Slavic languages ​​only Strihom, (Slovak: Ostrihom, Polish: Ostrzyhom, Czech: Ostřihom, Croatian: Ostrogon, Serbian: Serbian Romanian: Strigoniu, Greek: Έστεργκομ. In Roman Latin: Solva, in medieval Latin: Strigonium. In the local vernacular, only Egom. It is also called the city of St. Stephen, the Hungarian Zion or the Hungarian Rome.

Esztergom is located in Transdanubia at the foot of the Pilis Mountains, west of the Visegrád Mountains, in the northeastern part of Komárom-Esztergom County, on the right bank of the Danube, opposite the Slovak Sturovo, with which it is almost intertwined. It is the northernmost settlement of the county and the Central Transdanubia region. It is also called the top city of the Danube Bend. According to the territorial division in line with the European Union norm, it belongs to the Central Transdanubia Region, and from the tourist point of view to the Budapest-Central Danube region tourist region. The Danube surrounds the city in a semicircle and breaks into two branches to form the Primate Island with the Little Danube. The castle hill of Esztergom is surrounded by the river to the west and the Iron Gate to the east, so it is characterized by its north-south extension. Esztergom-Kertváros is located on a plain 5 km south of the Old Town, where almost a fifth of the city's population lives. Esztergom has been the seat of the Danube-Ipoly National Park since 2005, although the board still operates in Budapest.

The highest point of the Esztergom castle hill is 157 meters, it is a castle hill made of dolomite. Adjacent to this is St. Thomas Hill, a member of the hills surrounding the city. The surface of this hilly area rises stepwise in the eastern part, its parts are the Elő-hegy (176 m), the St. John's Well (175 m), the Orbán Chapel (179 m), the Kusztus (237 m), the Sípoló-hegy (318 m), the Little Mansion Hill (317 m), the Eagle Hill (322 m) and the Iron Gate (406 m) which is also the highest point in the city. The thermal springs of Esztergom erupt between Szent Tamás Hill, Várhegy and the Kis-Danube branch. Karst water mixed with thermal water bursts from all of them, their temperature is around 29 ° C. These springs feed the city’s beach, and the city’s thermal and adventure baths were built on it. The former St. George's Hill opposite the castle hill was carried away during the construction of the basilica.

In Esztergom, the Danube is 18 km long. Other rivers within the city limits, the Little Danube, the Csenke stream, the Kincses stream, the Szent János or Szentléleki stream, the Diósvölgyi stream, the Kenyérmezői stream, the Fári well, the Gypsy and the Triple Fountain. On the left bank of the Danube, opposite the city, the Garam flows into the Danube. At the mouth of the Garam is the Great Island, heading east on Mount Burda and not far from it is the Ipoly. There are several islands within the administrative boundaries of the city. These are, according to the Danube, the Körtvélyesi Island, the Nyáros Island, the Táti Island (part number 0947), the Csitri Island, the Prímás Island, the Helemba Island, the Dédai Island and the Dwarf -island. The island with the topographical number 0956, which was above the island of Helemba, is now completely washed away by the Danube. During the exchange of administrative territories with the municipality of Tát in November 2008, each island was transferred to the municipality to which most of it belonged. Primas Island originally consisted of two islands, Primas and Water City. These were very close to each other, so when a ship carrying cement sank on the river back at the turn of the century, the canal between the two islands was filled with cement on behalf of the town of Víziváros. This part of the island is today called Dog Clamp. Among the most important stagnant waters of the city are the Halas Lake, the Mini Lake, the Bath Lake, the Round Lake, the Dédai Lake, the Bíróréti Lake, the Palatinus Lake ) and Lake Bottyán (You can read more about the name of Lake Bottyán in the article History of Esztergom).


Middle Ages
The area of ​​the city was already inhabited in prehistoric times. In Roman times, a settlement called Salvio Mansio was found on the site of today’s town, where the Romans built a castrum called Solva, which became part of the limes. After the arrival of the Hungarians in the 900s, in 972, Géza chose Esztergom as his new seat, where he also had a stone castle built on Roman foundations. According to the legend of St. Stephen, his son, Vajk, was later born here, the later King St. Stephen, who was baptized here and then crowned king here. The event of the coronation is immortalized in the sculpture of Stephen, inaugurated in 2001 by the sculptor Miklós Melocco, on the northern rondelle of the castle. During the reign of Stephen, the city became the archbishop's center of the Kingdom of Hungary. The first cathedral in the country was built on the Castle Hill in Esztergom, which was named St. Adalbert's Church after István's educator. Medieval Esztergom was organized into several independent units, the royal city was surrounded by several suburbs. Until the beginning of the 13th century, one of Hungary's mints operated here.

In the 12th century, the city turned II. German Emperor Conrad, VII. King Louis of France and Frederick Barbarossa were also German-Roman emperors. By the end of the 1100s, due to the rise of ecclesiastical influence, the urban development of Esztergom came to a halt, and in 1198 King Imre gave the city to the archbishop. After the 1200s IV. As a result of Béla's measures affecting Esztergom, urban development resumed, thanks to which one of the largest Armenian communities in the country lived here, which also had its own colony, called Armenia. In the winter of 1242, the Tartars almost completely destroyed the city, [6] but could not occupy the citadel. In 1301, Charles Robert was first crowned in Esztergom, invalid, and then during the interregnum the city changed hands several times.

Esztergom grew into a cultural center in the 15th century, especially during the archdiocese of János Vitéz, thanks to the rich court of the high priest. It was often visited by royal guests, scholars and artists from all over Europe. The only intact Renaissance building in the country, the Bakócz Chapel, has remained with us since the beginning of the 16th century. The city was occupied by the Turks in 1543 and made the border castle of the Ottoman Empire, the center of the Sandzak in Esztergom. At that time, several minarets, mosques and Turkish baths were built, which are now preserved in the water city district. During the Fifteen Years' War, after the fall of Győr, Károly Mansfeld became the chief. On September 3, 1595, the troops of Miklós Pálffy recaptured him with the help of the Hungarian hussars of Count Mátyás Cseszneky, but in 1605 the castle fell into Turkish hands again. Its final liberation took place in 1683 with the victory of the King of Poland, John Sobieski, on the ledge.

17th and 19th centuries
The town was finally recaptured from the Turks by the Polish king John Sobieski, a memorial in Elizabeth Park, on September 12, 1683, during the Battle of Párkány. On September 16, 1706, after a six-week siege of the Kurucs, II. The castle was occupied under the leadership of Ferenc Rákóczi. After the Kurucs were pushed back and the town fell into the hands of the Habsburgs, in 1708 Esztergom regained its free royal city rank. The archdiocese, which had fled during the Turkish conquest, did not return until 1820, and then, two years later, in 1822, construction began on the basilica, which was consecrated in 1856. The event was also attended by Ferenc József and Liszt Ferenc, the latter composing for this occasion his work entitled Esztergom Mass, which he conducted during its presentation.

During the War of Independence in 1848–49, Lajos Kossuth and István Széchenyi also occupied the city, and on April 16, 1849, the Hungarian army fought a victorious battle with the Austrians. In 1876, the city rights of Esztergom with the right of legislative authority were abolished, and as an organized council city, it was incorporated into the organization of Esztergom County with the title of a free royal city. This was justified by the fact that its population did not reach 15,000 and its economy was not strong enough. In 1891 the Esztergom – Almásfüzitő railway line was handed over, and in 1895 the Esztergom-Óbuda railway line. In the same year, on September 28, the Mária Valéria bridge between Esztergom and Sturovo on the other side of the Danube was opened, and this year Esztergom was permanently united with the three neighboring settlements, the Archbishop's Water City, Szenttamás and Szentgyörgymező.


From the 20th century
As a result of the Treaty of Trianon, the city lost much of its catchment area. In 1919, Czech Legionnaires demolished the Maria Valéria Bridge, which was only rebuilt by 1927. Komárom and Esztergom, established in 1923, Esztergom became the seat of the county. In the 1930s, the underground castle was discovered, and attempts were made to boost tourism based on artesian baths. The town was a prominent place for the 1938 St. Stephen's Memorial Year.

In World War II, retreating German troops blew up the three central openings of the Maria Valeria Bridge. The Soviets occupied the city on December 26, 1944, and on January 7, 1945, it was recaptured by German and Hungarian troops. The fighting ended in March 1945. The city officially remained the county seat until the 1950 county settlement, but in fact until 1952, as only then was the executive committee of the county council able to move to Tatabánya. However, several county institutions, such as the county land office, the archives, the county prison and the county court, remained in Esztergom until the late 1980s. It was referred to as a military city in the 1950s. From its half-century-old wreck, the Mária Valéria Bridge was rebuilt again in 2001, thus connecting the city again with its historically formed catchment area. Its regional leadership is further strengthened by the establishment of the Ister-Granum Euroregion in 2003, which roughly covers the old Esztergom County and some areas of Hont County.