by arianambrand

So I spent a good part of my weekend in the lovely northern town of Eger, where the Ottoman invasion of Europe was halted (for 44 years!) by Dobó Istvan and his band of villagers.

This is the castle where the siege occurred. Even the women got to help–they threw burning pitch over the walls onto the attackers.

It’s a lovely little town, the seat of an archbishop and home to dozens of wineries.

16th century Ottoman cannon. The inscription talks about the year the invasion succeeded.

The pretty (and large) Minorite church on the central square. It rings the hour, every hour, all night long. But it’s amazing how fast you can get used to something like that. I didn’t mind too much.

On Sunday afternoon, we took a long walk up to Siren’s Valley (or Nice Woman Valley, as it is unpoetically named by this sign), where wine is sold out of limestone caves to passers-by. We tried the Egri Bikáver–‘bulls blood’ wine, and it was very good. It was actually hot out, so it was nice to sit down in the shade and watch the Hungarians buying liters of wine in big plastic jugs–most of these wineries are so small they don’t bother with glass bottles and sell the wine directly out of barrels.

Lunch was real old-time Hungarian pizza: sour cream, trappista cheese, and purple onions on a nice crust. Most Italians would not approve, but we were hungry.

Stealing wireless internet from the hotel across the street by buying coffee. It worked remarkably well.

Evening in Dobó square. You can see the statue of the man himself, shaking his sword at the unseen foe, in the center of the square.

The minaret, formerly attached to a mosque, now topped with a cross and a tourist attraction.

The stream that runs through town. It was very pretty.

More Eger photos here.