National and historical symbols of Hungary

In this section you can find the crests of almost 2400 settlements of Hungary with notes. Find the starting letter of the settlement in the list and click if you want to see it.

The Coat-of-Arms of the Town of Eger
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(The County of Heves)

Eger is one of the most beautiful towns of Hungary with lots of historic buildings. It lies in the valley of the Eger Stream, in the hill-country, which extends over the western foot of the Bükk Mountains.

The basin of Eger and the hilly region around it have always been very suitable for human settlements, and there are many archaeological findings from the early ages of history, which support this fact.

According to these findings the first generation of the conquering Hungarians occupied the area of Eger at the beginning of the 10th century. Graves at the city limits (Almagyar, Répásteto) of armed men with Arabian coins serve a good proof of this.

Actually Eger's establishment coincides with the church - founding activity of our first king, Saint Stephen. He established here one of the ten bishoprics that were organised before 1009.

This settlement, as a cathedral town, took up an important place among the Hungarian towns even in the early Middle Ages. The natural fundamentals of the surroundings (meeting of plain and hills) made it possible to establish economic and cultural relations between the different parts of the country.

This development was blocked for a short time by the Mongol invasion in 1241, when the town was ransacked and burned down during the episcopacy of Kilit the Second.

After the withdrawal of the Mongols Eger began to flourish all over again. Lambert, the bishop of Eger, received a permit from Béla the Fourth for the building a stone fortress. So the nearly destroyed town revived and reached the peak of its medieval development in the l4th and 15th centuries. During this period the forests which spread to the limits of the town were cleared for the most part, and vines were planted in their place.

After the Mohács Disaster (1526) a sorrowful period began in the history of Eger. During the dual kingship the town changed hands almost every year and the Turkish army came closer as well. This circumstance provided the reason for reinforcing the fortress. In the autumn of 1552, Captain István Dobó and his handful of soldiers were successful in defending the fortress and northern Hungary from the expanding Turkish Empire. Géza Gárdonyi wrote his book, "the Eclipse of the Crescent Moon" in remembrance of this battle, and his work has been translated into numerous languages.

Despite the fact that Dobó and his soldiers successfully defended the fortress, it was destroyed during the siege, so it was essential to wholly rebuild it.

While Dobó and his soldiers managed to defend the fortress in 1552, in 1596 the captain at that time and the foreign mercenaries under his rule handed it over.

Eger was relieved from Turkish rule in December, 1687.

After the expelling of the Turks, the town was considered by the imperial regiment as a demesne of the Crown. Leopold the First established Eger as a free royal borough in 1688, which meant that it was relieved from the ecclesiastic manorial burdens.

This state lasted until 1695, when György Finesse, the returning bishop, had the former legal status of a bishopric town restored by the monarch.

During the era of Rákóczi's insurrection (1703-1711) the town was the centre of the liberated part of Hungary.

In the history of Eger the 18th century was the period of development and prosperity. The bishops of Eger, out of special respect for Ferenc Barkóczy and Károly Eszterházy, created that baroque townscape which has been characteristic of Eger since that time.

The town population grew suddenly. While in 1688 it was only 1200, in 1787 more than 17 000 people lived here. At this time Eger was the 6th town of Hungary (based on the number of its inhabitants). Viniculture also reached its brightest period in these days. The wine-growing area was twelve-times larger than it had been earlier.

In 1804 a significant change occurred in the organisation of Eger's bishopric. The monarch made this town a centre of archbisphoric, but the bishoprics of Szatmár and Kassa separated from it.

As an achievement of the 1848-49 War of Independence in 1854 Eger was liberated from the economic authority of the church whom the town obtained agreement to commute the paying of the novenary and the charge for 50 000 forints.

Unfortunately (unlike other towns) Eger's civil development didn't become faster, as distinguished from other towns, after 1849 and the Compromise of 1867. Industrial development was represented only by the mill, the tobacco factory and the sheet-iron works which were founded in the Reform Age.

In the decades after 1945, industrialisation of the town commenced because of the change of regime. As a consequence, Eger's former character of a cultural centre began to fade, which diminished the patina of the settlement.

It was a great good fortune that in 1968 the baroque inner city was preserved. So it was saved from the deterioration (and from the construction of unsuitable, modern buildings), that adversely affected other towns.

In 1978 the town was rewarded with a Hild-medal for its excellent work in protecting the local monuments. It was also in appreciation of the town's protection of its heritage that the Hungarian seat of the ICOMOS (International Council for Monuments and Sites) was located into Eger.

In connection with the outlining of Eger's history some of the local features must be mentioned. Such as the "Egri Bikavér" (Bull's Blood of Eger), which is an excellent wine, the "Egri Víz" (a type of brandy with alcoholic content) made from the middle of the 18th century and the "bujavászon" (a special Turkish tissue).

It is also important to note that in Eger thermal waters can be found with radioactive content which created the basis for a spa and later for the swimming sport.

Regarding the future, after the change of regime it became clearer and clearer that connections to the town's ancient past should be found. These are the further development of tourism, vine culture and cultural life.