The Danube Bend, where Europe's longest river turns down towards the south offers the winning combination of spectacular river vistas and small towns steeped in history. Their picturesque squares, the scenes of many a significant event in the middle ages, have been preserved to this day as important historical and cultural monuments.

Szentendre in Ungarn


The town of Szentendre was shaped by its rich artistic legacy. In the 1920s, it was settled by scores of painters, a tradition that was passed down through the generations and spawned the dozen or so museums and galleries we see today in Szentendre. What is more, thanks to the influence of the Serbs who settled here after fleeing the Turks in the 14th and 17th centuries, a Mediterranean flair can be felt throughout Szentendre. The blend of orthodox church motifs and Christian art only makes this pleasant small town even more charming.

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Visegrád in Ungarn


On a visit to the Palace of the renaissance King Matthias (1458-1490), an envoy of the pope, no stranger to pomp and glitter, once signed off a letter with the words, “From Visegrád, paradise on Earth”. With good reason, this was undoubtedly one of the most lavish royal seats of the day, a vast complex of 350 rooms, two stories and fountains carved from red marble. The upper castle was built between 1245 and 1255 and provided a venue for Central Europe's first “summit meeting” in 1335, at which the kings of Bohemia, Poland and Hungary signed their economic agreement. The reconstructed rooms of the castle not only contain some fascinating relics of the ages, the windows also open onto wonderful vistas of the spectacular Danube Bend.

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Esztergom in Ungarn


This city on the banks of the Danube is the seat of the cardinal of Hungary's Roman Catholic church. Built around 970, the castle on the location of today's cathedral was the birthplace of St. Stephen, Hungary's first king and founder of the Hungarian state. Today, the hill is the site of the Esztergom Basilica, the country's largest church. The enormous building was rebuilt in the classicist style in the first half of the 19th century to include the perfectly preserved Bakócz Chapel, which dates back to the 16th century. The basilica treasury contains a wealth of religious relics from the 16th century and later.

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