According to our ancestors, Veszprém was built on seven hills and archaeological finds also prove that this area was inhabited thousands of years ago. The legend passed on through generations, which is dearest to our hearts claims that the city was a favourite for the Hungarian Ruler Géza and his son, who became the country’s first King István (Stephen) I. as well as his wife Gizella, and the city had its heydays around the year 1000, during the reign of the first royal couple. They had established the bishopric, supported the building of St Michael’s Cathedral and the Veszprém Valley Nunnery, where the robe used for crowning ceremonies is said to have been woven. Gizella donated the embroidered robe to the church of the city which had made it the “city of queens” in the interpretation of future ages. The right of the Veszprém bishops to crown the queens from 1216 onwards was also confirmed by a law. The cult of the beatified queen is still kept alive and strengthened by her relics kept in the Cathedral and the Gizella Days Festival recalling the historic era.
The heritage of István and Gizella offers direction to the people of today. Their personalities, lives and the true stories and spirit of their actions are still entangled into our everyday lives; these still live in the culture, buzzing through every breath of the city.
The following centuries have brought destruction and refurbishment; fire, earthquakes and epidemics damaged the city, which has been damaged by the Hungarian nobilities fighting for power, not sparing the first higher educational institution in the country, the Prebendal High School of the 13th century. The mid 16th century brought almost total destruction due to the Turkish attacks, which makes the St George and Gizella Chapels even in their current condition remarkable architectural treasures.
Refurbishment started at the beginning of the 18th century, in the Baroque style. Bishop Márton Padányi Bíró removed the outline of the castle, characterised by small houses and narrow streets and established the Holy Trinity Square surrounded by the prebendal palaces, creating one of the largest historic castle areas in Hungary with established residences. Bishop Albert Vetési had the cathedral decorated in the late Gothic style, while Bishop Péter Beriszló, a Croatian viceroy, modernised the fortification of the Castle. The atmosphere of the thousand-year-old city invites visitors for cosy walks. Do not resist the temptation...
The history of Veszprém:
5th MILLENNIUM B.C.: Neolithic-Chalcolithic settlement where the present-day Jutasi housing estate (Jutasi lakótelep) is.
2nd MILLENNIUM B.C.: Fortified seat of a tribal chieftain on the Castle Hill (Várhegy) in the middle of the Bronze Age.
ROMANS IN PANNONIA
AD 2-4th CENTURY: Roman Villa at Baláca (Villa Romana) – Caesariana.
END OF THE 6th CENTURY – BEGINNING OF THE 10th CENTURY: Avar findings in the territory of present-day Veszprém.
HUNGARIAN CONQUEST OF THE CARPATHIAN BASIN
895-896: The Hungarian tribes settle in the Carpathian Basin.
Hungarian Conquest: In the beginning of the 10th century, Veszprém and its region is taken into possession by “Prince” Géza’s family.
VESZPRÉM IN THE ÁRPÁD ERA DURING THE REIGN OF KING STEPHEN AND QUEEN GISELLA
END OF THE 10th CENTURY: Development of the princely and royal seat.
997: Stephen defeats Koppány in a battle near Veszprém.
1001-1002: Establishment of the bishopric of Veszprém and of the first cathedral of the country, the St. Michael Cathedral (Szent Mihály Bazilika).
1018: Establishment of a Greek nunnery in the Veszprém Valley (Veszprémvölgy). Presumably the chasuble which became the coronation mantle of the Hungarian kings was made here.
VESZPRÉM DURING THE REIGN OF THE ÁRPÁD HOUSE
1216: The pope affirms by law that the bishops of Veszprém have the right to crown queens – Veszprém becomes the town of queens.
1239: The Dominican Saint Catherine Nunnery (Szent Katalin zárda) is established. Daughter of King Béla IV, Saint Margaret of the Árpád House lives here for a while.
1276: Péter Csák attacks the castle of Veszprém, ransacks the cathedral and sets fire to the country’s first school of higher education.
FROM THE ANJOU ERA TO THE BATTLE OF MOHÁCS
1458-1486: The town of Veszprém becomes a cultural centre during the time that Albert Vetési is its bishop. He crowns Queen Beatrix in 1476.
FROM THE TURKISH-HUNGARIAN WARS TO THE RÁKÓCZI WAR OF INDEPENDENCE
1527-1683: The Castle changes hands eleven times.
1683: The town gets rid of the Turks permanently.
1701: Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor blows up Veszprém’s so-called végvár (Hungarian castles along the border built as defense against the Ottoman Empire).
RE-BUILDING VESZPRÉM IN THE 18th CENTURY
1745-1762: Márton Biró Padányi is the bishop of Veszprém. During his time, the Castle Hill district (Várnegyed) begins to change into what will become its present-day image.
1762-1773: Ignác Koller is the last bishop főispán (a high-ranking officer appointed by the king). He builds the baroque style Bishop’s Palace (Püspöki Palota) between 1776 and 1778.
1767: György Tummler’s water conduit device is being built.
VESZPRÉM IN THE FIRST HALF OF THE 19TH CENTURY
1813: Számmer Press publishes Mondolat, a significant document of the Hungarian neology.
1814: Veszprém’s theatre company, the Stadt Theater, is formed.
3rd OF NOVEMBER, 1842 AND 5th OF MARCH, 1848:
Sándor Petőfi visits Veszprém.
17th OF MARCH, 1848: The citizens of Veszprém join the Hungarian Revolution.
FROM THE SURRENDER AT VILÁGOS TO THE TURN OF THE CENTURY
SECOND HALF OF THE 19TH CENTURY: The town-structure changes; new streets and buildings are built, the town’s water and sewer system is finished, the manufacturing industry is established and small businesses are founded.
1887: The construction of the county hall is finished.
VESZPRÉM AT THE BEGINNING OF THE 20TH CENTURY – PEACETIME AND WORLD WAR I
1903: Establishment of the “Museum Society of Veszprém County” (Veszprémvármegyei Múzeumi Egyesület).
1908: Opening of the theatre, development of the electricity network.
31ST of DECEMBER, 1916: Baron Károly Hornig, bishop of Veszprém crowns Zita, the last Hungarian queen.
VESZPRÉM BETWEEN THE WORLD WARS AND DURING WWII
1925: The “County Museum” (Vármegyei Múzeum) is completed.
1935: Building of “Bakonyi House” (Bakonyi Ház).
1936: The Heroes’ Gate (Hősök Kapuja) is built to commemorate the victims of WWI.
1938: To honor the 900th anniversary of King Stephen’s death, several monuments are restored and the stone statue of King Stephen and Queen Gisella is inaugurated on the Castle Hill. The Viaduct, built in 1937, receives the name St. Stephen Viaduct (Szent István völgyhíd).
IN 1944, FROM THE END OF OCTOBER TO THE 6TH of DECEMBER,
the Holy Crown of Hungary is kept in Veszprém.
1ST OF FEBRUARY, 1946: Hungary becomes a republic.
1949: The “University of Chemical Industry” (Veszprémi Vegyipari Egyetem) – today University Pannonia (Pannon Egyetem) - is established.
23RD of OCTOBER, 1956: The citizens of Veszprém join the Hungarian Revolution.
4TH OF NOVEMBER, 1956: Soviet troops invade the town.
FROM 1957 ON: Public institutions and housing estates are built.
1958: The Kittenberger Kálmán Plants and Wildlife Park opens.
1967-1968: The new image of the town’s centre starts to form.
1975: The restoration of valuable monuments in the town centre and in the castle area.
FROM 1989: Due to Hungary’s political transition, the Soviet troops (present since 1945) leave the country. Veszprém receives new privileges as it becomes a town with county level authority and function. The bishopric receives the rank of archbishopric. The streets’ former names are restored.
2010: The full renewal of the Veszprém Valley and the town centre begins.
Source: Bőszéné Szatmári-Nagy Anikó: Veszprém város története a kezdetektől napjainkig,
Balassa László - Kralovánszky Alán: Veszprém, Panoráma - Magyar városok sorozat