Zalaegerszeg lies in the southwestern part of Hungary, on the edge of Zala Hills. Due to its clean and fresh air and beautiful environment Zalaegerszeg became the target-place of excursions and tourists. A little bit farther from the downtown, in a special milieu lies the Göcseji Village Museum opened in 1968. Suggested walking tours: 1 Suggested walking tour: Let us start our walk at the Tourist Information Office in the town centre. To the south-east of the town centre, in the square in front... tovább own centre, in the square in front of the Sándor Hevesi Theatre, founded in 1982, a real speciality can be found, a ‘tower-clock going on the ground’. The erection works of the tower-clock of Mary Magdalen Church finishedinSeptember2005. The nearly 200-year-old clockwork is displayed in operation under a glass cover, which makes it unique in the whole of Europe.
After a short walk we arrive at Dísz Square surrounded by Csipkeházak (Lace Houses). The centre of the square is decorated by the Fountain featuring a Göcseji Tulip.
In the western part of the town centre, in the first parallel street to the main street, you can find the Town Concert and Exhibition Hall – a former synagogue – which was built in 1904. The eclectic building, the towers of which are decorated by spherical domes and various rosettes, stood empty for years following World War II and lost its religious function. Since its modernisation in 1983 the building has been serving the public as a concert and exhibition hall. As one of the major venues of local events, it hosts shows, art-exhibitions, high-standard modern and classical concerts and wedding ceremonies.
Still going towards north on the right side we can see the Quarter-House, erected in 1765, which was built by Maria Theresa for her military officersintransit. In the summer months an open-air theatre operates in its quadrangle
Next to the Quarter-House stands a two-storey neo-renaissance building that was built in 1891 to accommodate the officeofthevicecomes and the local archives. In its back section a new hall was designed, which is today the ceremonial hall of the General Assembly of Zalaegerszeg town. The other parts of the building are utilised as the Zala County Archives.
At the corner, it is worth glancing at the eclectic corner building of the more than 100 years old Hotel Arany Bárány. In the place of the three-storey building built in 1894 there operated an inn and restaurant bearing the same name as early as the 18th century.
Mary Magdalen Church, with its two steeples, is projecting in the centre of the town opposite the Hotel. It was erected between 1750-60. The frescoes and the high altar piece of the baroque parish-church depicting the town’s patron saint, Mary Magdalen, who is also present in the arms of Zalaegerszeg, were made by the Austrian painter Johann Cymbal. Next to the church a memorial plaque and a statue keep the memory of József Mindszenty, Prince-Primate and Archbishop of Esztergom. The square in front of the church is ornamented by the Statue of the Holy Trinity erected in 1810 and restored in 2006.
The building of the Göcseji Museum stands on the other side of Mary Magdelen Church, which was built as the Savings Bank in 1890. Zsigmond Kisfaludi-Strobl, the sculptor born in Zala County, bequeathed his works-of-art to the town and they are on display in this building. The museum’s standing exhibition on the history of the county entitled ”Centres along the River Zala” guides its visitors through the history of Salla (Zalalövô) of the Roman Times, Mosaburg (Zalavár) of the Middle Ages and Zalaegerszeg. In the separate exhibition hall of the Museum temporary exhibitions are held several times a year.
Next to the Museum you can find Deák Square. It was the place where the fortress of Egerszeg used to stand. Today the baroque building of the Zala County Court stands here, which was built to serve as a County Hall between 1730-32. The square is decorated by the statue of Ferenc Deák, the native of the county. This statue was the first to be erected in the country in 1879 in honour of the ‘country’s wise man’.
Passsing by the church and the hotel we can reach Tourist Information Office.
2. suggested walking tour: (Open-air museum)
Let us start our walk at the Tourist Information Office in the town centre. Go by the Hotel Arany Bárány and turn left at the corner. Going further down this road, in the Ola quarter, we can find a group of buildings consisting of the Jesus’s Heart Parish-Church and the neo-baroque two-storey Franciscan Monastery. The church was built in 1925-26 by József Mindszenty abbot-priest in memory of the last Hungarian king, blessed Charles IV. Its lavishly ornamented tower rises on the right side of the façade. The wife of King Charles IV, Queen Zita also participated in the encaenia and donated a stately pulpit to the church on this occasion. Passing the church on the right side, at the end of the second little street lies the Göcseji Village Museum opened in 1968. The country’s first outdoor folkmuseum was arranged around a historic water mill and along the backwaters of Zala, the river crossing the town. The collection of buildings was moved to the site from 22 settlements in the Zala region and a typical Göcseji settlement from the 19th century was reconstructed in the area of the village museum, where visitors can also get to know the everyday articles for personal use that are typical of the region. On the upper floor of the reception building of the museum, which building resembles historic halls typically owned by members of the lower nobility, you can see the standing exhibition entitled ‘The national costumes of the Carpathian Basin on dolls’. The outdoor museum adjoins the Finno-Ugric Ethnographical Park, which displays the architecture, interior decoration and life of people belonging to the Finn-Ugric language family with the help of their typical houses, original fixtures and articles for personal use. Next to Göcseji Village Museum we can find the Hungarian Oil Industry Museum. Zala County used to be the cradle of the Hungarian oil industry and for this reason the country’s only thematic museum exhibiting the history of the oil industry was created here. The relics, machines, equipment and instruments of domestic oil prospecting and production and of the natural gas industry are also part of the exhibition. Besides the temporary exhibitions we can observe a mineral and stone collection, a collection of statues as well as hydro mining instruments in the area of the museum. Along the Rákóczi street, we arrive back to the Tourinform Office.
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