Network of Places of Peace
In February 2012 Vasvár, as a famous venue of the historical peace treaty, submitted an application to the Network of Places of Peace which was accepted last June: the town became a member of the international association.
The mission of the international network is to promote cooperation between cities and places in Europe where Peace Treaties and Conventions were signed. The admission of Vasvár to the network is of great importance also because our town is the only settlement in Hungary today where an international peace treaty was signed.
One of the objectives of the European Network of Places of Peace is to create a common route connecting European places of peace, where Vasvár will be a stage. Each member delegates a representative into the Council of the Network. Dr. Hende Csaba, Minister of Defence of Hungary was asked for the representation.
Next meeting of the delegates of the European places of peace is scheduled in Vasvár for the 350th anniversary of the Peace Treaty of Vasvár, in 2014.
Vasvár was the centre of Vas County in the ages of foundation of the Hungarian State. Its Dominican Monastery was built in the middle of the 13th century; it is a unique building of the country. Exhibitions presenting the history of the Dominican Order, the istory of Vas County, and the legacy of the young-died sculptor Richárd Török can be seen here.
The Vasvár Peace Treaty, which followed the Battle of Szentgotthárd, was signed in 1664 in a building that we still call as the
Peace House nowadays.
From the middle of the 19th century, the town became more widely known about the Virgin Mary Pilgrimage. Pilgrims
come in August to the Feast of the Assumption, and to the Feast of Mary’s Name Day in September. There is a chapel near the
beautiful natural surroundings of the ancient pilgrimage place Szentkút (literally “Holy Well”), with a so-called Lourdes Cave
and crystal-clear spring water – which has got a legend connected to its healing power.
Nowadays Vasvár attracts attention mainly by its historical monuments and natural values. The most significant one among
these is ”Vasvár Trench” located on the confines of the town, which is the reconstructed section of the building used for
frontier defence in the 10-11th centuries.
150 km long painted footpaths cross the surroundings around the city and the region, offering many beautiful tourist
attractions for the hikers. Regular tours: Nagy Gáspár Memorial Tour on 1st May, which leads 20 km along form the Cultural
Centre named after him up to the poet’s grave. Cardinal Mindszenty Memorial Tour on the second Saturday of May, this
route passes through the wonderfully splendid rhododendrons in the forestry botanical garden called “Jeli Arboretum”. Jeli
Arboretum is as close to the city that it can be reached even on foot. Hiking tours around the city in distances of 10, 20, 30 and
50 km are organised on 10th September by the community called “Hegyhát”, which pass through vineyards, therefore offering
also other experiences then walking.
The program-series called “Hegyhát Days” are held annually, between 10th and 20th August. Those, who are interested, as
well as the visitors can choose from Strudel Festival, fairs, numerous exhibitions, concerts, theatre and dance performances.
>From May to September the thermal spa waits for the guests with its waveless swimming pool and a camping with capacity
of 200 persons. Besides the caravans and tents, wooden cottages are also available for the tourists. Other possibilities of
accommodation: there is a forest school and rest house, and in the city centre - in the monastery - there is one other wellequipped tourist hostel with 40 beds, which can be recommended to families, groups and pilgrims.
In case of the recreation-type sports, over and above hiking or swimming there is also possibility to play tennis in two ellequipped tennis courts of the town populated by 4,700 people.
Also the sport-lovers can play football on the sports ground that has electric lighting; moreover they can row, or paddle a kayak on River Raba on the confines of the town. There are possibilities for sport fishing on Raba and Csörnöc rivers, as well as in the fishing lakes nearby the ancient beech forest of Szentkút.
Dominican Monastery and Museum in Vasvár
It was built in the 13th century; it is one of the oldest still-existing Mendicant Monastery in Hungary. The museum can be found in this building with the exhibition displaying the medieval history of Vas County and the history of the Dominican Order in Hungary, and with the commemorative exhibition of the sculptor Richárd Török.
Well of Kings
A musical fountain (a well playing music), which represents the history of the town, was made in the year of the Millennium. It
welcomes the guests with its beauty, its water and one of the songs of Mary, which is the song of the pilgrims.
The Peace House
Originally, this building was the official residence of the chapter of Vasvár’s collegiate church. According to the history, this was the place where the Vasvár Peace Treaty was signed in 1664 after the Battle of Szentgotthárd. Katalin Makrai, the Olympic bronze medal winner gymnast, was born in this house.
Vasvár Trench, Iron Gate
The Iron Gate on the confines of the town is a recently reconstructed building that used to be made for frontier defence in the 10-11th centuries; today it has got a nature trail and a picnic area.
It is the oldest church of the town from the Middle Ages; it was built in honour of Our Lady. It has got a red marble high
altar of classical style.
The Place of Pilgrimage at Szentkút (Holy Well),
This place in the beautiful natural surroundings of the ancient beech forest of Szentkút welcomes the visitors with a
chapel, with a so-called Lourdes Cave, with the Stations of the Cross made by artistic wood carving and with the water of
a crystal-clear spring, which has got a legend, too. Thousands of pilgrims visit this holy place on the occasion of the Feast
of the Assumption in August, or come for the Feast of Mary’s Name Day in he beginning of September.
Boating Lake, Serpent King
The Boating Lake is in the neighbourhood of the ancient beech forest of Szentkút; it provides pleasant recreational
facilities mainly for the anglers and those who simple wish to walk. A statue called The Serpent King, made by the naive
sculptor Imre Szanto, can be found here. The Iron Castle sank down into the Bottomless Lake, and its key is brought to
the surface by the Serpent King at midnight of every New Year’s Eve. Whoever takes it away from him will relieve the
castle of the curse forever.
Szentkút Thermal Spa
Between May and September, a pool with thermal water of adjustable temperature coming from the depth of 2100 m, and
a waveless swimming pool wait for those who want to relax and bathe.
It used to be a “Liberation Monument”, but it has been reconstructed as a Lookout Tower with the help of the townspeople’s
contribution. When the weather is good enough, even the Alps and River Raba can be seen from here. We can take
pleasure in the sight of the unique panorama from its top.
The recently renovated interior of the monastery, also planted with herbs, welcomes the visitors.