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Székesfehérvár
Missing image
Coat_of_Arms_of_Székesfehérvár.jpg
Coat of Arms of Székesfehérvár

County: Fejér
Area 170.89 km²
Population
  • 106,346
  • 622.3/km²
Postal code8000
Area Code22

Székesfehérvár Template:Audio (in Latin: Alba Regia; in colloquial speech Fehérvár) is a city in central Hungary, located around 65 km southwest of Budapest. It is inhabited by 106,346 people (2001), with 138,995 in the direct vicinity, and is the centre of Fejér county. In the Middle Ages the city was a royal residence and the most important city of Hungary. 37 kings and 39 queen consorts were crowned, 15 rulers have been buried here, the diets were held and the crown jewels were kept here.


Contents

Etymology of the name

The city's name means "white castle with the chair/seat", and its translation to other related languages (German Stuhlweißenburg, Croatian Stolni Biograd, Turkish Istolni Belgrád) means "white castle of/with the chair/table".

The word szék meaning seat is related to its important role in the first centuries of Hungary: székhely means a (royal) residence. The first kings of Hungary were crowned and buried here, so Székesfehérvár was a capital city of the country. The other capital was Esztergom.

History

The place was inhabited since Roman times, the settlements were called Gorsium and Herculia. In the Middle Ages its Latin name was Alba Regalis/Alba Regia.

The Hungarian city was founded in 972 by High Prince Géza. It was first mentioned in a document by the Bishopric of Veszprém, 1009, as Alba Civitas.

Géza's son, St. Stephen surrounded the settlement with a plank wall, had a provostery, a cathedral and a school built. The settlement had about 3500 inhabitants at this time. In the 12th century the city prospered, churches, monasteries and houses were built. In the 14th century Székesfehérvár was surrounded by city walls.

The Ottomans occupied the city after a long siege in 1543. The city was under Ottoman ocupation for 145 years. The Ottomans destroyed most of it, they demolished the cathedral and the royal palace, and they pillaged the graves of kings in the cathedral. They named the city Belgrad ("white castle") and built mosques. In the 16th17th centuries it looked like a Muslim city.


Tourist sights

  • Downtown with historical (Baroque, Classical) buildings
  • St. Stephen Cathedral (burial place of several mediaeval kings incl. St. Stephen and Béla III)
  • St. Anna Chapel (Gothic, built around 1470)
  • Ruins of mediaeval church founded by St. Stephen
  • Episcopal Palace (Zopf style)
  • City Hall
  • Zichy Palace (Zopf style manorhouse, 1781)
  • King Stephen Museum
  • Doll Museum
  • Apothecary Museum
  • City Museum
  • City Gallery
  • Csitáry source (mineral water source)
  • Serbian skanzen (12 thatched peasant houses and a Byzantian-style church, won the Europa Nostra award in 1990)
  • Golden Bull memorial (the Golden Bull was an important charta by King Andrew II, it was released here; the memorial is from 1972.)
  • Bory manor (20th century)

Twin towns

Since 1991 it has been twinned with Chorley, which is in Lancashire, England.

Source

External link

Template:Hungarian countiesde:Székesfehérvár eo:Székesfehérvár ja:セーケシュフェヘールヴァール hu:Székesfehérvár pl:Székesfehérvár ro:Székesfehérvár

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