The easterly parts of the Central Carpathians can be reached by the Budapest--Kassa Railway line. It follows as far as Hatvan the route we have already described, and then turns towards Miskolcz. The train runs parallel with the Matra Mountains, but at a certain distance from them, so that, branch lines have had to be constructed to reach the little towns Gyongyos and Eger, lying at their foot. Gyongyos, which may be considered as the centre of the Matra district, lies amidst rich vineyards: the mountains, which overlook the town are provided with look-out towers and shelters.
Eger, a much more interesting and important town than the preceding one, lies at the foot of the Bukk Mountains. Here, St. Stephen founded a bishopric and built a magnificent cathedral. In the year 1552 the Turks besieged the fortress. For 38 days the famous hero, Stephen Dobo, resisted with hardly 2000 soldiers, the Turkish army of 100,000, which after 13 attacks retired unsuccessful, although the fortress lay almost entirely in ruins. During the siege the Eger women manifested an heroic bravery, which has secured them imperishable fame. 44 years later, however, owing to treason on the part of the Imperial troops, Eger fell into the hands of the Turks, who destroyed the magnificent Cathedral of St. Stephen (today only a fragment of one single column remains) and held the town until 1687. A well preserved Minaret recalls this period.
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Eger, the Cathedral
Adapted from Illustrated Description of Hungary and its Capital