1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Eger (Hungary)

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

EGER (Ger. Erlau, Med. Lat. Agria), a town of Hungary, capital of the county of Heves, 90 m. E.N.E. of Budapest by rail. Pop. (1900) 24,650. It is beautifully situated in the valley of the river Eger, an affluent of the Theiss, and on the eastern outskirts of the Mátra mountains. Eger is the see of an archbishopric, and owing to its numerous ecclesiastical buildings has received the name of "the Hungarian Rome." Amongst the principal buildings are the beautiful cathedral in the Italian style, with a handsome dome 130 ft. high, erected in 1831–1834 by the archbishop Ladislaus Pyrker (1772–1847); the church of the Brothers of Mercy, opposite which is a handsome minaret, 115 ft. high, the remains of a mosque dating from the Turkish occupation, other Roman Catholic churches, and an imposing Greek church. The archiepiscopal palace; the lyceum, with a good library and an astronomical observatory; the seminary for Roman priests; and the town-hall are all noteworthy. On an eminence N .E. of the town, laid out as a park, are the ruins of the old fortress, and a monument of Stephen Dobó, the heroic defender of the town against the assaults of the Turks in 1552. The chief occupation of the inhabitants is the cultivation of the vineyards of the surrounding hills, which produce the red Erlauer wine, one of the best in Hungary. To the S.W. of Eger, in the same county of Heves, is situated the town of Gyöngyös (pop. 15,878). It lies on the south-western outskirts of the Matrá mountains, and carries on a brisk trade in the Erlauer wine, which is produced throughout the district. The Hungarians defeated the Austrians at Gyöngyös on the 3rd of April 1849. To the S.W. of Gyöngyös is situated the old town of Hatvan (pop. 9698), which is now a busy railway junction, and possesses several industrial establishments.

Eger is an old town, and owes its importance to the bishopric created by King Stephen in 1010, which was one of the richest in the whole of Hungary. In 1552 Eger resisted the repeated assaults of a large Turkish force; in 1596, however, it was given up to the Turks by the Austrian party in the garrison, and remained in their possession until 1687. It was created an archbishopric in 1814. During the revolution of 1848–1849, Eger was remarkable for the patriotic spirit displayed by its inhabitants; and it was here that the principal campaigns against the Austrians were organized.