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St. James Church & The Old town, Kőszeg

The small town with nearly 12,000 residents, with sub-alpine climate, is situated at the foothills of the Alps. The settlement and its vicinity at the foot of the Kőszeg hills, in the valley of the brook Gyöngyös has been inhabited since the 6th-7th centuries. In the 14th century it was given the rank of free royal town. The castle built in the13th century was named after captain Miklós Jurisics, who managed to hold up the Turkish troops advancing towards Vienna in 1532 with the help of the inhabitants. Its guilds, trade, vine growing and wine making, schools have a long history. The mediaeval town centre was not affected by the historical events, so inside the one-time town walls, the remains of which can still be seen, the houses have been preserved in their original form in Jurisics square and in the neighbouring streets.

St. James Church

Palatine Miklós Garai built St. James Church between 1403and 1407 using the remnants of the minorita church that was demolished during the Austrian siege in 1289. He needed a parish church worthy of his status and wealth. The church has gothic marks, its sanctuary faces east and the heights of the main and side-aisles are the same. The tower once standing on the north side of the church may have been built into the church during the building of the Jesuit monastery. The church was burnt down four times in the 15th century and seriously damaged during the siege of Kőszeg. It was the parish church of the Catholic until 1554. Then, it was used by the Hungarian, later the German Protestants until 1671. The German Lutherans damaged the inner part of the church, too. The 15th century frescos were whitewashed and the gothic winged altarpieces were thrown away, in 1653 the stone pedestal was demolished, too. In 1671, Bishop György Széchenyi took the church back from the Catholics. The baroque gable of the western frontage and the small wooden bell-tower were built after that. The chapel next to the sanctuary was built in 1700. Later, in 1758, the provost of the Jesuit order completed it with two side niches. The major part of the furniture was made around the 17th and 18th century. The three- section main altar has been standing in the church since 1693, which was built on the order of palatine Pál Eszterházy.(Source-www.Koszeg.hu & hungary.com)

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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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