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Roman Catholic church of St John the Baptist (Keresztelo Sz. Janos), Szentendre

This church is Szentendre's oldest building and the town's first stone church. A number of details preserve its original 13th-century architecture and also the remains of a Gothic reconstruction carried out in the 14th and 15th centuries. It was restored again in the 18th century, this time in Baroque style.

Due to the reconstructions architectural styles mingle, yet the Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque elements harmonise. Side facades carry fragments of medieval wall paintings while the interior is completely Baroque. An interesting feature of the paintings in the sanctuary is that the background for the biblical scenes is the cityscape of Szentendre. These paintings were made in 1938 by members of the original Szentendre artists' colony.

Church Square (Templom tér) is the highest point of central Szentendre. A promenade surrounded by balustrades offers a spectacular panorama over the oft-painted roofs and small courtyards of Szentendre, the town itself, the Danube, and its island.

Szentendre

Szentendre is known as the town of living art due to its artist colony of international renown, and its museums and galleries. With its well preserved, distinctive 18th-century townscape, the town centre is a group of heritage buildings unique in Hungary.

In the beginning of the 2nd century the Romans built a defence system in and around Szentendre. Their reinforced military camp was called Ulcisa Castra, the first known name of the town. Later the town was called after the patron saint of the parish church, the apostle St Andrew (Szent Endre).

Recent decades have seen major changes in the life of Szentendre as a result of the rapidly growing tourism industry, thanks to the historical atmosphere of the town's streets, its art life, as well as the Hungarian Open-Air Museum (Szentendrei Szabadtéri Néprajzi Múzeum, Skanzen) which visualises rural life in Hungary.

Szentendre was awarded the Hild Medal in 1980 in recognition of its successes in town development and in preserving its traditions.

How to get there:
Szentendre lies to the north of Budapest and can be reached by suburban railway (HÉV), and by local Volán bus lines to Szentendre or through to Esztergom. By car take Route 11. (Source: Vendégváró)

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Additional Photos by George Rumpler (Budapestman) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 8900 W: 3 N: 20435] (82620)
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