City history

History of Vác - Váci main square

History of Vác

Do you usually skip the description of the history of a town because you find it dry and boring? Do not do it this time, since the history of Vác has so many interesting facts that it is guaranteed that while reading the stories, you will feel you would like to get acquainted more closely with this picturesque town with an adventurous past.

Vác lies in the heart of the Danube Bend, on the left bank of the river and it dates back for nearly a thousand years. Are you aware of the fact that numerous legends are connect to the history of the town? Do you know that Vác has become one of the most exciting towns of the Danube Bend courtesy of the past centuries?

Vác is one of the oldest inhabited settlements in our county, and the image of the town you can experience today has been created by sacral and secular lives having been interwoven over the centuries. The town can thank a hermit called Wach and king Géza I for its name. If you visit the town, you must know that king Géza was buried in the heart of the cathedral in 1077. The cathedral was substantially reconstructed several times over the course of centuries, but the grave of the founding king has always been respected. During the latest archaeological excavations, no remains of bones connected to Géza I was found in the unearthed grave. The statue of Géza I stands on the castle wall on the Danube bank.  

Postcards: From Peter Cservenák’s collection

History of Vác - Váci main square
History of Vác - Váci main square, former market

Later times and the bishops of Vác brought progress to the town, which was renewed by the time of Maria Theresia’s visit in 1764. The buildings of the main square improved in beauty, the St, Michael Church that had been found here was demolished and its stones were used for the cathedral existing today. Opposite, the still existing Episcopal Palace was constructed. And in honour of Maria Theresia, a triumphal arch was set up.  

The Danube-bank has been significant from commercial and economic aspects, but the riverside has also been used for recreation. Maria Theresia herself liked taking long walks here, the promenade was named after her for a long time. The town survived several sieges later, the battle of April 1849 is commemorated by the Kőszentes Bridge (Bridge with Stone Saints).

History of Vác - Danube corso today

The town was surrounded by a stone wall in the Middle Ages, one of the corner bastions, the Peak Tower can be seen today. Moreover, you can also come across the Bécsi Gate and Hatvani Gate if you walk in the town. King Mathias was also glad to stay in the settlement, Vác was flourishing then. The town was one of the most significant architectural, scientific and social Renaissance centres that time.  

The Turkish era brought huge difficulties, the Turks destroyed the town almost completely when they marched out. The castle of Vác was destroyed for good in 1684. After that an inferno and waves of epidemics decimated the residents, so the public statutes mostly depict patron saints that were made by the citizens of the town as a gratitude for defeating hard times.


History of Vác - Váci korzó a long time ago

Walking along the streets of Vác today, the buildings tell us about the colourful history of Vác.

Walking past mementos passed onto us, you will feel that you are at home in the town, which is an important diocesan centre and a legendary educational town as well. Jászai Mari-award winning actress and Merited Artist of Hungary, Márta Fónay was born here, and Levente Szörényi, Gyula Juhász, Imre Madách and Péter Rudolf all studied here.

We proudly present you with our town. Explore our historic treasures, walk along the buildings where once Maria Theresia, Kristóf Migazzi or Sándor Petőfi strolled.