Situated in the Mid-Transdanubia Region, at the foot of the Bakony Mountain Range, Veszprém is the seat of Veszprém County.
King István, Hungary’s first king, and his wife Gizella established Hungary’s first bishopric based on Veszprém, and founded its cathedral – St. Michael’s. Originally built in the Romanesque style, St. Michael’s Cathedral was first rebuilt in the Gothic style - before acquiring its final Neo-Romanesque façade at the beginning of the 20th century. Its Romanesque foundations, and its Gothic sanctuary and crypt can still be seen today; the sanctuary contains a relic of Queen Gizella.
Because the Bishop of Veszprém had the prerogative of crowning Hungary’s queens,
Veszprém also became known as the “Queens’ City”.
The Baroque style Bishop’s Palace was erected in the second half of the 18th century, over remnants of the medieval Queen’s Palace. The 13th century Gizella Chapel – incorporated into the Bishop’s Palace – contains life-size Gothic frescos which are amongst the oldest in the country.
The majority of the city’s sights are concentrated in the castle-quarter, which developed along the 500m long castle-hill. Most of the castle’s buildings now have a Baroque façade; of the fortification built between the 10th-11th centuries, only the protective wall surrounding the castle-quarter has survived.
The fire-tower – the symbol of Veszprém – was originally erected as a guard-tower; its lower section dates from the 15th century, while its upper section was added at the beginning of the 19th century. Veszprém castle provides a wonderful view over the city and the nearby mountains.