Geographical location Gyula town lies on the south-eastern part of the Hungarian Great Plain, in the vicinity of Transylvania, on the left bank of Fehér (White) Körös River and at the elevation of 87-88 m. Similar to the whole of the Great Plain, a moderate, continental climate has formed also in Gyula. The natural rivers near to the town, the Körös Rivers are the rivers of the cleanest water in Europe. Border crossing Romania became an EU member state on 1 January 2007, which made possible the... tovább he simplification of administration also at the border station of Gyula. It enabled us to visit the neighbouring country’s towns with any fundamental personal paper (identity card, passport). The frontier control continues in existence, since Romania does not belong to the Schengen countries. Population In Gyula of 32 000 inhabitants, people of Hungarian, German and Romanian nationalities have been living together in peacefulness for long decades. History of Gyula Fortress From the construction to its surrender for the Turks, Gyula Fortress can be linked significantly with the royal court either by relation right or by the way that the King himself or a member of royal family was the proprietor of the big manor. All this is worth of emphasizing since Buda and Vajdahunyad are the nearest two castles unequivocally having this kind of royal position. Compared to the latter, Gyula Fortress may be even more highlighted, since it can be connected also with foreign monarchical circles. The first factual mention of the fortress building is from 1445, although János Maróti began with its construction already in 1405. His life passed in uninterrupted fighting against the Turks, therefore the leader and terminator of the works in Gyula could be his son, László Maróti. In 1476, the fortress and the huge manor reverted to the crown. In 1482 King Matthias gave the territory to his son, János Corvinus (John Corvin), who made his mark on the fortress – in addition to other building operations – by erecting the present Corvin-bastion (so called ‘Rondella’ round bastion). From strategic point of view, the fortress advanced in fact after the Mohács Disaster. The adherents of János Szapolyai succeeded to seize it, and then for a short while it was in the hands of noblemen of Transylvanian interestedness. However, in 1552 it got again into king’s ownership in consequence of to an exchange. In the meanwhile, the Ottomans engaged in the destruction of the surroundings. Then they built palisades not far off from the fortress herewith hindering the food supply for the defenders. In summer of 1566, Pertaf pasha, nephew of Suleiman II (Suleiman the Magnificent) finally laid siege to the fortress. After a nine-week siege, they subscribed the fortress’ capitulation agreement, thus the town fell into the Turks’ hands. With the onset of a relative peace, the life of the city began to develop slowly, and then in 1695 the Christian troops reoccupied the territory. Thereafter the estate’s ancillary units were placed in the castle. The renovation of the fortress was started in the beginning of the 1960s. The Castle Theatre has operated within the walls since 1960, and the old permanent exhibition was opened also at this time. Following a long-standing renovation, the new Renaissance Castle Museum was finished in 2005, in which the visitors can go through the history of six centuries in 24 exhibition rooms. “In a new atmosphere” Owing to the project entitled “Rehabilitation of Gyula’s historical inner-town” the Kossuth square, the town’s ‘receiving’ gate was brought into use in September of 2006. Since then the local population and our visitors have taken possession this square, which is really likeable and liveable with its vegetation, nice street furniture and landscaped environment. The individual statue to be found here is the ‘Anamorphosis’ that represents Albrecht Dürer’s work entitled ‘Adam and Eva’. The disordered image on a horizontal surface is mirrored as an enjoyable normal image in the inoxidizable polished metal mirror of an inverse truncated cone form. On the occasion of the project entitled “Tourists’ purpose rehabilitation of Gyula’s inner-town”, the heart of the town was also restored. Due to new street and square pavements, fountains, garden seats and street lamps the inner-town has become remarkably attractive. The World Clock is a fresh dash of colour of our spa town, which was made through a non-series designing. From the emerald green glass ball of 3.5 tons, all time zones of our globe can be read off. In addition, Gyula has grown richer with further developments having made our spa town more attractive for the visitors. By the side of the Fehér (White) Körös River a landing stage and port was constructed, which – through Gyula’s geographical position – may be the starting point and the terminus of water tours leading across the river and connecting the settlements within both domestic and international ecotourism. Here a receiving and information building stands at the persons’ service arriving in the town on the Körös. The Csigakert (Snail Garden) is one of the most significant green surfaces in our town. This particular natural park was involved to the developments having kept in view the territory’s values. The former open-air stage was demolished, and in its place, a flowery lawn was planted. The missing shrubs were supplemented and steps were taken to replace the valuable stand of trees. As well, a habitat was formed for water- and waterside plants. For tourists a visitor centre was established in the Wenckheim-Almásy Mansion built in 18 Century and its park that is situated in Gyulavári quarter of Gyula town. In the first place, its aim is to exhibit the South Great Plain’s values in cultural, natural, environmental and economic fields In the course of beautifying the town, a big attention was paid to planting flowers and landscaping. As its result, Gyula town took 1 place in the “Virágos Magyarországért” (Hungary in bloom) environment embellishing competition of 2007. Consequently, Gyula is entitled to represent Hungary in the European Competition for Towns and Villages in Bloom (Entente Florale Europe). Owing to its 600-year old history, historical atmosphere, many historic monuments, sights, statues, fountains, parks, cultural institutions, colourful events, conferences and restored inner town, Gyula was awarded the Hungarian Town of Culture 2008 title.
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