Church of Jesus’ Heart
The square where the church is situated is younger than the inner town. The markets were transferred here from the inner town in the 19th century. The square developed its present form when the Church of Jesus’ Heart was built in 1894.
Ludwig Schöne designed the parish church. His plane started to be carried out in 1892 in the place of the former Korona Hotel. From the 57-m high bell tower of the church, which defines Kőszeg’s appearance, a section of Händel’s opera, Saul can be heard. The church with its captivating dimension – 49x19x17 metres – is one of the largest buildings in the town even today.
At the end of the main square there is the lion fountain, symbolizing the friendship between the two cities of Vaihingen and Kőszeg.
At the main square of the city (Jurisics square) were built up the Tower of the Heroes, the protestant Saint Emeric Church, the church of Saint Jakab apostle and the Holy Trinity statue (in memory for those people who died in plague).
The Town Hall
The atmosphere of Jurisics square is determined by the building of the Town Hall that has been functioning as a Town Hall since the 14th – 15th century up to the present.
On the façade of the building the first of the five paintings is the quadrilateral shaped baronial coat-of-arms of Miklós Jurisich, while in the middle there is Hungary’s historical small coat-of-arms.
The Heroes’ Tower / General House
The Heroes’ Tower or Heroes’ Gate was built in 1932 in eclectic style. It was completed by the 400-year anniversary of the Turkish siege. Currently it is one of Kőszeg’s symbol.
It was designed by Flóris Opaterny. In the place of Heroes’s Tower there stood the southern Lower Gate-tower, demolished in 1880 that was one of the most important defensive points in the town since the 13th century.
On the right of the Heroes’ gate there stands the so-called General House. The machicolation, the arched cellar and the double arched loggia all refer to the medieval renaissance style.
City magistrate announced here their decisions and sentences. As far as we know, no similar loggia has been found in Hungary yet.
Since 1977 there’s an exhibition presenting the craftsmanship of Kőszeg. You can reach the panorama balcony of Heroes’ Tower from here where you can admire the wonderful view of Kőszeg.
One of the most beautiful gable decorated houses of the town is the Sgrafitto house (=Jurisich Square). The cradle of the decoration method is Italy.
We can see it in several places in Kőszeg, which seems to prove the connection among craftsmen from Italy and Kőszeg. (The word “sgrafitto” means scratched in English) This itself explain the essence of this technique. In this case, two or more layers of plaster were put on the frontage of the building.
The layers have different colours. The upper layer was usually lighter, which was scratched down until the figure had appeared on the darker one. The main motif of the decoration of this house is a large tulip vase on the painted balustrade balcony.
Golden Unicorn Pharmacy Museum
The furniture masterpieces of this Baroque Jesuit Pharmacy were made by lay craftsmen between 1735 and 1744.
Today these pieces as well as those from other local pharmacies are exhibited along with a collection on pharmaceutic history. Exigent Baroque paintings adorn the front of furnishings made from oak, walnut and linden.
In 1777 the Jesuit pharmacy was purchased together with all furnishings by Mátyás Svalla, himself a pharmacist.
St. James’ Church & St. Imre Church
St. James’ church, with Gothic and Baroque elements, might have been built at the turn of the 14th and 15th centuries.
During the Reformation, the church was used by the German and Hungarian congregations as a parish church; later it was only used by the German. When the Jesuits settled down, the church was given to their order. They were followed by the Piarists, and then by the Benedictines, as owners.
St. Imre church is the result of the 17th century fight between the different nationalities. After 1558, the citizens of Kőszeg were divided into smaller groups depending upon their religions and nationalities.
This fact influenced the life of the local government and also, the local church. The German Lutherans, after having played an important role in the City’s life, felt themselves strong enough to expel the Hungarian Protestants from St. James Church, upon the request of whom, the town started to build a new church in 1615.
Old Tower (Zwinger)
The oldest and largest bastion in the town is the Old Tower or the ‘Zwinger’.
Originally built in the 11th century as the southwestern corner bastion of the former city wall, it was remodelled into a Gothic-style tower in the 15th century.
Its present shape was developed during the great constructions of the Anjou Period (1301-1386). Today, the Old Tower provides an exhibition space.
This building was built at the end of the 16th century in the Renaissance style utilizing elements that originated in the Middle Ages.
Later, in the 18th century, the building was converted to the Baroque style. The façade that faces the courtyard has sgraffito ornamentation and dates from the 1570’s.
The Esterházy family owned tha castle for 236 years and it became the property of the National Treasury only in 1931. It has been called Jurisich Castle since 1932.
The former fortress – so-called Lower Castle – got its current appearance after the great fire in 1777. Present visitors can also distinguish the two architectural units, the outer castle and the inner one.
The remains of the extremely thick walls prove that the outer castle must have served an outer defensive function. We cab reach the entrance of the outer castle on the brick-set bridge built over the moat. The holes above the gate prove the former existence of a drawbridge.
The north and south wings of the buildings near the outer castle were built in the 17th and the 18th century, respectively. The guard and the staff of the castle was housed here. In the yard the statue of Miklós Jurisich can be seen (made by Sándor Mikus in 1963)