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Esztergom Cruises

About Esztergom

Esztergom Basilica, Esztergom, Hungary

Esztergom has played a crucial role in the history of Hungary. With its location on the Danube in the region’s rich Pannonian Basin and across the river from Slovakia, it served as a border town of the Roman Empire. In the 10th century, it rose to prominence as the Hungarian capital, with Magyar Prince Géza as its ruler, a status it maintained until the mid-13th century. But the city is most beloved as the birthplace of St. Stephen, Géza’s son and the last of the grand princes. Indeed, Esztergom has a holy air from the moment you lay eyes upon its green-domed basilica, keeping watch over the currents of the Danube. This classical masterpiece is the largest church in Hungary, standing 234 feet tall at its peak. The nation’s great composer Franz Liszt famously wrote a mass for the church’s opening. You can summon the spirit of Liszt during a stroll through Víziváros, or Watertown, an inviting cluster of red-roofed medieval buildings that drape along the river from the basilica and adjacent castle. This district was named for the hot springs that still feed spas and baths. Further along the Danube, Slovakia’s Transdanubian Range and Hungary’s North Hungarian Mountains rise up to guide the river into a dramatic curve south toward Budapest. This Danube Bend, as it is known, is one of the river’s most scenic and fertile stretches. Perhaps you’ll pause during your Esztergom visit for a slice of Dobos Torte, a decadent sponge cake with chocolate buttercream filling.