Győr. Note that the name is pronounced [ Djeir ] (at least it's close to the real pronunciation, for the proper pronunciation of 'gy' and 'ő' see
→ Hungarian language). Since some computers may not display the special character
'ő' correctly, it is often written Gyõr, Györ or simply Gyor. Once there was a Roman settlement nearby, which was called
Arrabona. And of course there's a German name, too: Raab (because of the river with the same name).
Győr is a large town in Western Transdanubia and only a few kilometres south of the border to →Slovakia.
To Bratislava in the north-west it's only around 70 km, to →Budapest in the east
about 100 km. Near Győr, the two rivers Rábca and Rába (Raab)
flow into the Mosoni-Danube, which again is an arm of the main river. The main arm of the Danube river flows further to the north.
Population: around 130,000.
The old town centre of Győr
Győr is the third largest industrial centre of Hungary, which is hard to believe for visitors.
The old town centre
stretches along the river Rába - a tributary of the Danube - in the north and in the west.
The Bishop's Castle towers above the river on the top of a spur. Southeast of the castle, the
rather small old town stretches all the way to the railway tracks in the south. The castle and the train station are
connected by a long pedestrian zone called Baross Gábor utca. The tourist information can
be found in that street not far from the train station. Right behind the train station there's the
bus terminal - accessible from the train station by a dark tunnel. As in many other Hungarian cities, the
main square is called Széchenyi tér. Many lanes in the area between main square and Bishop's Palace
are particularly beautiful, with most of them being closed to traffic. The homogeneity of the centre is very nice - there are almost no
newer buildings at all.
Almost two thousand years ago, the small settlement Arrabona marked the northern border of the Roman province
Transdanubia. In the 11th century, the first Hungarian king, Stephen I, made the town the residence of the bishop -
remainings from that time can still be seen inside the Bishop's castle.
In the middle of the 16th century, the town was transformed into a fortress to protect it from the gradually advancing Ottoman empire.
But the Ottomans never reached Győr - and so, in contradiction to Hungarian towns like →Pécs -
there are no Turkish remainings in the town. Today, Győr is an important industrial town.
Győr lies between Vienna and Budapest, which can be said about railway connections as well. Several daily
local as well as express trains running between →Budapest and Vienna stop
in Győr (most trains depart from Déli und Keleti pu., in Vienna they mostly arrive at the Südbahnhof = South terminal).
Even the international express train from and to →Belgrade stop in Győr.
The ride to Budapest takes around 1½ hrs, the local train to Vienna needs two hours. The fare to Vienna is 4,000 Ft.
There are only two direct trains a day to Bratislava. Some local trains run southwards as far as
Veszprém near Lake Balaton.
Of course there are also many bus connections. Buses are the better option when heading for destinations around Lake Balaton.
The bus station is right behind the train station.