Photographer's Note

The city where I live.

The past of Vrpalota goes back to ancient times. Its links to the Roman and Avar periods are verified by the burial mounds, tombstones and the Roman artifacts in the outskirts of the town, some of which can be found in the lapidary of Thuri Castle. "Good reputation of captain Turi will remain" wrote Mikls Zrnyi, the poet and general in his epic work, "Siege of Sziget".

The castle standing in the heart of the town, in Main Square is the number one symbol and sight of Vrpalota even today. The castle announces in his name the memory of Gyrgy Thuri, the most famous commander of the castle. In the present Thuri Castle you can find the Museum of Chemistry, which is unique in Europe, and the collection of the memories of coal mining, which provided livelihood for the people for a long time. The Castle court used to be noisy of the warriors in old days, but today concerts and theatre performances are held there every summer.

The Hungarian Museum of Chemistry, run by a foundation, is a treasury for researchers. Thuri Castle is part of the national heritage. People in Vrpalota think that it is no worth stopping as a through-passenger in the town for only one or two hours. It is not enough to leaf through the information of the guide books, the traveller should spend the time visiting the famous sights of the town and taking a nice walk. Arriving from Szkesfehrvr, on main road 8, stopping at Inota we can find working watermills.

The old Catholic church can be seen from the crest of the hill, from a great distance. Inside of it there are Romanesque and early-Gothic frescos in a particularly good condition. One of the World War I memorials erected in those days and destroyed in the tempests of the history can be found here. On arriving in the centre of Vrpalota, the robust building of the J Szerencst (Good Luck) Community Centre comes into sight, in which there are four large-sized Gobelin works of Nomi Ferenczy. The one-man exhibition of Frigyes Matzon, one of the significant representatives of constructivism can be visited in the nearby Nagy Gyula Gallery, which was converted from a famous synagogue known all over the country. The visitor can view the frescos of a Maulbertschfollower artist in the Evangelic church; the Cracovian Heart of Jesus altar-piece, the crowned reproduction of Virgin Mary of Fatima's statue and the wooden statue of Archbishop Jzsef Mindszenty, the martyr cardinal in the Catholic church.

The peasant Baroque Reformed church with its irregularly arched western faade stands in Jkai Street (formerly County Hall Street). The church was built on the walls of the formerly Hussar Castle. In the church, the memorial plaque of Mria Molnr, the innocently murdered missionary woman, who was born in Vrpalota, announces one of the wellknown people of the town to the posterity.

Zichy Castle, in Castle Hill next to the Catholic Church, reminds us of the honour of the former lords of Vrpalota. The library-room with its special wooden cover and its frescos recalling mythological ages is regular place of cultural events even today. It is worth visiting Zichy-Chapel and the precious altar carved from sandstone in the Catholic cemetery. Among the graves the traveller may stop at the memorial of militiaman martyrs of the Hungarian Revolution and War of Independence belonging to the earl's family.

In the town centre, in the square behind Thuri Castle stand the memorials of the Hungarian Revolution and War of Independence in 1848-49, of the World War heroes and victims, of the heroes of Revolution in 1956. Beside these the traveller can come across the sculptures and works of fine arts of well-known artists at several points of the town. Those who arrive in Vrpalota from Szkesfehrvr enter through the Gate of Balaton. From anywhere they come the humming Bakony Hill starts here. Trail marking leads from Thuri Castle through the Castle Valley to the Castle of Btorkő, the hunting-seat of King Matthias. Hills and mountains invite those who choose another way. The lakes in the outskirts of the town are popular meeting places of the fishermen. From the hills hanggliders, sailplanes fly with the soft Bakony wind, offering beautiful panorama high up in the air.

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Additional Photos by boy tom (Kerengo) Silver Star Critiquer [C: 13 W: 8 N: 7] (110)
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