Veszprem, Hungary

A short drive North from Balaton Lake brings you to the City of Queens.  Sadly this is not a city of cross-dressing fun-loving people, or one of constant tributes to a legendary band.  The name refers to the towns history of crowning Hungarian queens, as in royalty.

The center of this town is called Castle Hill, and there truly is a castle upon a hill.  Be prepared for an ascent whichever direction you decide the approach from.  One end has a steep winding road that ends in a row of restaurants and the business district.  The other end has a long series of steps that takes you to the statue of King Stephen I and Queen Gisela, and residential neighborhoods.  IMG_1587.JPG

Castle Hill should be your first stop.  It contains fantastic museums, government buildings, churches, and views over the town.  If the town would just buy some buckets of paint and maintain these historic buildings, Castle Hill would be beautiful.  Instead it suffers a somewhat drab and dilapidated appearance.  Behind the aesthetics though there is much to do.  The many museums can take up a large portion of your time.  One even has a bone of Queen Gisela encased in glass, though it truly could be the bone of anyone as I have no way to verify.  IMG_1585.JPG

Outside of the museums there are the usual church’s to admire and also a well kept and attractive fire-watch tower.  When bored with Castle Hill make your way down the steps the the statues of King Stephen I and Queen Gisela.  This area is on a barren hill somewhat lower than Castle Hill but higher than the rest of the city.  It offers an excellent panorama of this green town.  Walking to the edges are for the brave and stupid only, as it is a cliff face on all sides.  IMG_1584.JPG

Continue down more stairs to the bottom of Castle Hill and you arrive in a residential neighborhood with a few hotels, restaurants, and the mighty Sed Creek.  Walk along the Sed Creek(of which Little John from Robin Hood-Men in Tights would be proud to guard), and you will walk under the town’s iconic high flying bridge and end up at the fantastic zoo and one of Veszprem’s many beautiful parks.  IMG_1580.JPG

Veszprem is a fantastic place to stop and visit for a day while traveling between Lake Balaton and Budapest.  A beautiful area(notwithstanding the Communist buildings), with a rich history.  It was good enough for the Hungarian queens, and it is good enough for us commoners.  IMG_1590.JPG


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