The charming city of Eger in Northern Hungary is famous for successfully holding off a Turkish invasion in 1552. It’s also famous for its wines and baths. The city is easily walkable and it’s a fun place with a lot of history!
The Eger castle stands over the city and it’s worth visiting for the views alone. It is said that around 60,000 Turks arrived in Eger and 2,000 residents held off the invaders from inside the castle walls. After a 38 day siege, the Turks retreated. Later on the Turks were successful and ruled Eger for almost a century.
The small museum inside the castle walls is quite interesting and we were amazed at some of the weaponry on display. Some of the weapons from the 10th-15th century were beautifully decorated. The painted wooden coffered ceiling is gorgeous.
Another very interesting thing about Eger is that it has a ‘city under the city’. The Archbishop Cellars were used to store wine from the 1700’s up to WWII. There was no shortage of wine in Eger because the residents could pay their taxes to the church with wine instead of money. We tasted some fantastic wines while in the cellars!
The old town is very pretty and lined with pastel Baroque buildings. We enjoyed meandering up and down the little streets.
The Eger Minaret is a relic from the Ottoman period. They built 10 minarets in the city and this is the only one left.
Just outside of town is the ‘Valley of the Beautiful Woman’. Eger residents dug caves into the hillside when they fled the Turkish invasion and now these caves are wine cellars. It’s the best area to go wine tasting and try Eger’s famous wine – Egri Bikavér (Bull’s Blood). The name of the wine comes from the Ottoman siege in 1552. The Turks believed that the strength of the town’s defenders came from mixing bull’s blood with their wine. There are so many wine cellars here!
Eger also has a very fun and lively Christmas market. They had live music every night and we really enjoyed having a glass of wine and listening to some great bands. See more about the Christmas markets in this post Christmas Markets in Hungary – December, 2021
We really like Eger and found it to be a fun and lively city. We would love to return, with all the delicious wine and food why wouldn’t we?