Photographer's Note

Perspective & Lights – Kőszeg old town and the Calvary Church in the background

Having visited the places of interest in the town we recommend to take some trips around Kőszeg to complete your impression about the town. During our walk in the town we could see the Kálvária (Calvary) Church standing on the Calvary Hill, from almost every point of the town.

The church built at an elevation of 393 m, can only be reached on foot. At the beginning of the serpentine road towards the church a bombproof underground shelter can be seen in which the Holy Crown was kept by the Szálasi Government during the air raids, between December 1944 and March 1945. Along the road leading to the church there is a row of stations. Georg Schweitzer, a stone-carver of Sopron, built the first ones in 1763. They were demolished in 1890 and 14 new ones and a chapel were built according to the plans of Ludwifg Schöne, an architect of Vienna. On the top of Calvary Hill in 1686, the Jesuits erected the first cross, made of wood, in the place of which, later a chapel was built in 1715. On the proposal of the Jesuits the town started to build the church in 1729 from the money survivors donated after the sever plague epidemic in 1712. According to the traditions, in expiation, the Kőszeg citizens carried the some 40,000 bricks used for the building by hand to the site. The church, completed by 1734, with its baroque decorations and construction is a unique, impressive building. Especially remarkable is the harmony of the church and the landscape. At the frontage of the church there are two round and a rectangular towers. the façade is decorated with beautiful baroque statues. in the middle we can see the crucified Jesus, on the right and left, the two thieves. At the foot of the crucifix there are the figures of Mary Magdalene, the Holy Virgin and John the Baptist. The single nave of the church was extended on both sides with a chapel.


The birth of the only free royal city of historical Vas county dates back to the third quarter of the 13th century. Its foundation is due to the Volfer branch of the Héder clan that settled in Hungary in 1157. Two members of the founding Kőszegi family, Henry II and his son Ivan, relocated the centre of the family from Németújvár to Kőszeg before 1274. Charles of Anjou ended the Kőszegi family’s rule in 1327. One year later, in 1328 he promoted Kőszeg to the rank of the royal town. During the time of the Anjou rulers, between 1347-1381, the boundaries of the town were also established. In 1392 the king’s town became a manorial town. It was redeemed by palatine Miklós Garai from the Ellerbach family of Monyorókerék, who had taken it as a pledge from Sigismund of Luxemburg 5 years earlier. The Garai-era came to an end in 1441.

Kőszeg became the main scene for the events of the 1532 campaign in the third wave of the 16th century’s Turkish menace. Between 5-30 August, 1532, the Commander-in-Chief Ibrahim led nineteen sharp attacks against Kőszeg, the defence of which was organised by Miklós Jurisich, the mutual captain of the town and the castle, which had been mortgaged to him in 1529. After the last abortive attack a revolt among the janissaries made the Turkish supreme command withdraw. The last contingent of the disengaging Turkish troops left the outskirts – as tradition has it – at 11 o’clock on 30th August, 1532. In memory of this event, the church bells have been tolled at 11 o’clock since 1777.
The free royal city had its longest peaceful period during the 18th century. The town – for the first time in its history – tried to compensate its losses by establishing a settlement of Schwabendorf (Kőszegfalva) in 1712.
Kőszeg lost its primary situation in Vas county in the first half of the 19th century. During the reform period only a few craftsmanship sections could survive the production crisis of guild industry. The establishment of share companies, society-establishments and the first banking institution in the county are all signs of early civil development in Kőszeg.

Kőszeg was granted the Hild-award in 1978 for preserving its architectural heritage. From 1990 the town has been operating in a local government and market setting and has been looking for ways of renewal by means of capital input again.(Source –

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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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