Vác (Slovak: Vacov, German: Waitzen, Latin: Vacium, Italian: Vaccia, Serbian: Вац) is a city in the Budapest agglomeration, Pest county, on the left bank of the Danube; is the seat of the Vác district. Known as the center of the Danube Bend, the settlement is the fifth most populous city in Pest County, and at the same time an attractive tourist destination - on the one hand due to its millennial history and on the other hand due to its rich cultural life. Catholic episcopal seat, center of the diocese of Vác.



In historical Hungary, the city, which is the border of the Highlands, lies in the Danube Bend, on the left bank of the Danube River, at the foot of the Naszály.

The Danube greatly influences the atmosphere of the city. In the downtown area, a landscaped area has been created on the shore, and the suburban shore, despite the ban, is filled with hundreds of beachgoers on warm days.

While on the opposite shore the extensions of Pilis continue all the way to the Buda Hills, Naszály is the closing member of the last ranges of the Carpathians across Hungary, so to the north of Vác there are mountains and to the south a flat landscape.

Historic districts
Due to the city’s nearly 1,000-year history, it can be divided into several parts of the city and there are also areas within them that have been named separately.
Lower town: Luxembourg, Burgundy
Downtown: Tabán
Kisvác: Kraków, Limbus, School City (Szérűskert), Stone Bridge, Buki
Deákvár: Bed, Garden city, Törökhegy, Bácska, Papvölgy, Old Town, Lajostelep, Altány, Brick house, Szentmihály
Derecske: Liget, Csatamező, Kisderecske
Mária-liget/ Mary's grove



The origin of his name
Today, most linguists consider the city name to be a place name derived from a personal name. According to the legend described in the Vienna Picture Chronicle, in 1074, when Prince Géza and László visited here before the battle to determine the Hungarian order of succession, the area was covered with forest, in which a hermit named Vác lived, and the city would have been named after him. . The word “vac” also emerged as a Slavic term meaning a more important settlement and center.

Middle Ages
Due to its favorable conditions, the area has been inhabited for thousands of years. Even during the conquest, it was a settlement on the site of today's Vác. The first written mention of Vác dates back to 1074, when the yearbook of the town of Yburg in Lower Saxony speaks of the town as Watzenburg. The founding letter of the Garamszentbenedek abbey dates from 1075, in which the town is named Wac civitas.

The foundations of the bishopric of Vác were laid by King Stephen I, yet the bishopric is considered to be the foundation of Géza I. From then on, the church played a significant role in the life of the city. The bishop of all time was the landlord of the city, and through the present high priestly court, the city was considered architecturally and culturally important from the beginning.

In the Middle Ages, next to the waterfront, the castle of Vác was built on a prominent part. It was also needed, as the city was at the center of historical Hungary, so it was often affected by important military events. This was also the case during the Tartar invasion in 1241, when the Mongols, together with the people seeking security there, burned down the castle church and the buildings of the episcopal court. After the departure of the Tartars IV. Béla invited settlers from the southern German countryside to the depopulated ruins, who settled north of the former center, around today's main square of the city and built a parish church, institutions and dwellings dedicated to St. Michael according to their own traditions.

A 14–15. In the 16th century, the famous humanist bishop Miklós Báthory brought peace to the city: he invited sculptors, painters and architects to Vác. The peaceful prosperity came to an end with the Turkish invasion: the city was besieged several times by both parties, but eventually fell into Turkish hands, although between 1595 and 1620 Vác was in Christian hands, it was not liberated permanently until 1686. The army of the castle in Ottoman hands was mostly Bosnian, and the population of the town was Hungarian-majority and Reformed throughout. Pál Bolgár, a lawyer from Buda Bornemissza, a lawyer of the distant bishops, played a significant role in the survival of the Hungarian population.

New Age
Reconstruction was also hindered during the Rákóczi War of Independence by the Labanc-Rác devastation and the fire of 1731, so today's Baroque town could only develop in the second half of the 18th century. As a result of the proliferation of violent counter-Reformation, in the 18th century the bishop banned the free practice of religion by non-Catholics, which led to the expulsion of the Reformed population: the Reformed settlers established a serf settlement called Kisvác, now part of the city. The bishops settled a Roman Catholic German population, a Slavic clergy, in their place.

Meanwhile, the city began to develop vigorously: the dominant bishops of the second half of the 18th century (Antal Kristóf Migazzi and Mihály Althann) continuously developed the city. The Chapel of St. Roch was erected to stop the devastating plague in the early 1940s, the construction of the Piarist Church was completed by 1745, and the Church of the Dominican Order was built by 1755, which the people named the White Church after its users. . In 1764, Maria Theresa personally visited Vác, in whose honor Vác was the only triumphal arch in the country. However, the queen accepted the gift with suspicion, so when she visited, she did not dare to drive under the Stone Gate, she avoided it with her carriage. The Franciscan Church, also known as the Treasury of Vác, was built in 1766, and the construction of today's bishop's palace was completed by 1772, and anyone can find the name of Kristóf Migazzi by researching the sanctuary of the Vác Cathedral.


In the 19th century, the city began to industrialize, with guilds being replaced by manufactories and then factories. In 1846, the first Hungarian railway line connecting Vác with Pest was opened, but the merchants of Vác were not as enthusiastic as Petőfi, for example, because the fast connection with the big city brought about a reduction in local trade.

The two great battles of the War of Independence of 1848-49 took place in Vác, which are commemorated at the southern gate of the city, near the Seven Chapels. Following the compromise, by the turn of the century, bourgeoisification had begun, with sports clubs, self-education circles, and a thriving local press.

In 1939, after the occupation of Poland, more than a hundred thousand Polish refugees arrived in Hungary, many of them in Vác. There was a Polish orphanage in the town, and many Polish Jewish adults and children took refuge here. At the end of World War II, Vác suffered severe damage and was occupied by the Soviet army on December 8, 1944.

After the two world wars of the 20th century, by the 1950s, the structure of the city had changed: the ecclesiastical institutional system, which had been the backbone of the city until then, was forcibly pushed into the background by the state, taking control of the main institutions. Housing estates were built to serve the swelling population (workers arrived at the newly founded mine). Vác was part of Pest-Pilis-Solt-Kiskun county until 1950, when the counties were transformed into counties.

After the regime change
Since the change of regime, the role of the church has grown again. Jobs lost due to the downsizing of the industry provided an opportunity for the city to regenerate. Through the church, higher education reappeared and the properties returned to church ownership were also renovated.

In the early 1990s, a priest found 18th-century mummies and beautifully painted coffins in a forgotten cellar under the White Church. The find is unique in the world, the corpses have been preserved in an incredibly good condition in the environment created in the crypt. Studies have shown that some of the dead were resistant to various fatal diseases in their lifetime (presumably through a gene mutation).

In 2006, the rebuilt, beautified March 15 square was handed over.