Győr is not only a city of water, but also a city of culture and active recreation. The Győr National Theatre is highly acclaimed and the Győr Ballet is internationally renowned. Numerous museums, exhibitions and cultural festivals offer year-round entertainment. Here are some of the sights of Győr.
City Hall (Városház tér 1): the dominant building on Szent István út is the neo-baroque City Hall, built at the turn of the 19th century, one of Győr’s most famous buildings and a symbol of the city.
Baross út: a marble plaque on the wall of the building at number 18, on the pedestrian street of the town, and a row of red bricks on the pavement of the street, recall the former Fehérvári-Kapu (1792) and the fire tower built over it to protect the town.
Széchenyi Square: Cafés, restaurants and ice-cream parlours await their guests.
Mária-obelisk: Bishop Lipót Kollonich of Győr erected this monument in the centre of the square in 1686 to commemorate the recapture of Buda from the Turks.
Benedictine complex: the Benedictine church of St Ignatius of Loyola, the monastery and the gymnasium were built by Jesuits in the 17th century. After the dissolution of the order, the Benedictines became the owners of the complex. The Benedictine monastery on the south side of the square is still part of the original Apothecary Museum, with its early Baroque decoration.
Lloyd (Széchenyi tér 7): the multi-storey building, which combines Baroque and Neoclassical features on its main façade and was built as a guest inn at the end of the 15th century, was renovated in 2010 to its modern form.
The Abbot House, which houses the János Xántus Museum (5 Széchenyi Square), was built in 1741-1742 by Benedek Sajghó, Archpriest of Pannonhalma. The magnificent baroque palace has been the home of the local history museum since 1949.
Vastuskós House (Széchenyi tér 4): according to tradition, it takes its name from the wooden stump under its corner balustrade, into which the industrialists who used to visit Győr hammered a nail. In fact, the iron bar is a reference to the surviving company of the spice merchant who worked here in the 1830s.
Esterházy Palace (Király u. 17.): the building was built in the 18th century, when small houses of medieval origin were joined together to form the present-day palace. The builder’s initials, C(omes) G(abriel) E(sterházy) and his gilded wrought-iron coat of arms can be seen on the balcony above the gate. It is now the seat of the Municipal Museum of Art, the Radnai Collection and a venue for temporary exhibitions.
Kreszta-ház: the 17th century building houses an exhibition of the life’s work of Margit Kovács, Győr-born ceramic artist (1902-1977).
Dunakapu Square: the large square is home to Győr’s busy market. On the 3rd Sunday of every month, an antique fair is held on the square. In the middle of the round drinking fountain, the iron rooster, a wind marker, preserves the Turkish legend of the city. The original iron cock, the symbol of Győr, can be seen in the János Xántus Museum.
The Schwarzenberg-Pálffy statue: erected to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the recapture of Győr from the Turks, the statue depicts two generals – Adolf Schwarzenberg and Miklós Pálffy – who led the successful recapture of the castle from the Turks.
Basilica: the cathedral was founded by King St Stephen. It was first built in the Romanesque style in the 11th century, and rebuilt in the Gothic style after the Tatar invasion. After the Turkish invasion, the church was badly damaged, one of its towers collapsed and the other was destroyed by lightning. The cathedral, which was completely destroyed, was rebuilt in early Baroque style, the present tasseled spire was built in the 1680s. The final interior was completed in the 1780s, when the frescoes on the walls and ceiling, still visible today, were painted. The cathedral was elevated to the rank of basilica by Pope John Paul II in 1996. The northern side aisle is the site of the image of the Virgin Mary in tears, brought from Ireland in 1655, which was sweating blood on the feast of St Patrick on 17 March 1697.
Bishop’s Castle: one of the most important buildings on the Cathedral Hill is the Bishop’s Palace, also known as the Bishop’s Castle, the seat of the millennial bishopric of Győr, the jewel of which is the 13th century residential tower and the 15th century Dóczy Chapel. The cellars of the Püspökvár house an exhibition on the life and work of Vilmos Apor.
The Carmelite church and the adjoining monastery were built between 1721 and 1725 to the design of the Carmelite monk Márton Athanasius Wittwer. The main altarpiece depicts King St Stephen and Prince Imre paying homage to the Virgin Mary. In a small niche next to the church stands the baroque Hab statue of Mary.
Castle (Bécsi kapu tér): the 13th-century Bishop’s Castle, built in the 14th and 15th centuries, is the oldest building in the city. Its fortification system (castle bastion, Sforza bastion) was built in the 16th and 17th centuries.
Radó Island is connected by two branches of the Rába between the districts of Belváros, Újváros and Sziget. The island is a popular place for walking and relaxing in a historic environment.
Synagogue: the neologue synagogue was built between 1868 and 1870 and completely renovated in 2006. Today it is a multicultural institution. It is a permanent site of the synagogue of Id. The synagogue is now a modern-day synagogue.