Saturday, 30 March 2019

The place where I was born: Szombathely (Hungary)

Hi Sign Hunters,

I have been planning to put this post together for a long time! Making a blog of Szombathely (Hungary), however, is a tricky one. The reason is very simple though: it is the place where I was born, which means that I am either flooded with resources, or completely lacking of them. I would say, the actual reason is, therefore, a bit of both. Every time I go 'home', I take pictures of it. But then I end up taking photos of the same things over and over again. I have, however, been doing this 'every time I take photos' thing only for about five-six years now. This is how long I have had my current photo camera. I, of course, have photos from the times before, but my camera back then was not taking as good quality images as my current one does and I was also not as a good photographer as I think about myself now. No, I am not at all a good photographer, in fact, I am not even a photographer! I am just a lad who likes taking photos of random things for his own amusement and records. But my style has definitely matured over the years, so nowadays I can say that I take better photos.

Szombathely is my birth place and I love it to bits. In Hungarian standards, it is a relatively large town (city in fact) which is the seat of Vas county and it is located in Western Hungary near the Austrian border. The population is currently fewer than 80,000, but I can recall more people living here from the times when I was a kid. So, the population is probably declining which is quite a Hungarian standard too. 

I remember as a kid hearing a lot about Szombathely as being one of the oldest settlements in Hungary. This is actually true, in fact it is the oldest recorded city in Hungary, because it was founded by the Romans in 45 AD, about 850 years before the Hungarians settled in the Carpathian Basin. In the Roman Empire it was the capital city of Pannonia Superior and it was known as Colonia Claudia Savariensum. As a kid I saw Roman names here and there (mostly on buildings) reflecting Szombathely's noble past such as Domus (shopping centre), Claudia (confectionery), Claudius (hotel), Pannonia (restaurant), Isis (garden), but certainly the most known is Savaria or Sabaria (shoe factory, former sports club, hotel, cinema, and lots of other things) that actually comes from Sibaris which is one of Szombathely's major rivers. For us, Savaria equals Szombathely.   

If you visit Szombathely, you will see lots of Christian churches so it should not hit you with a surprise that it is quite a religious place. It is a suffragan diocese in the Ecclesiastical province of the Metropolitan Veszprém, so the city has a beautiful Cathedral. The diocese was founded by Maria Theresa in 1777. Szombathely (Savaria) is also known as the birthplace of St Martin of Tours who he is the patron saint of the diocese and the city.   

I have decided that this blog post would be an on-going project and according to this, I have also dug up photos from years ago and I will be keeping it up-to-date. Enjoy these ones now, but make sure you return time to time and check out what is new here.

~ Laszlo #thesignhunters

30 March 2019

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© All photos were taken by Laszlo Bokor (2007, 2008, 2009, 2014, 2015, 2018, 2019). The Sign Hunters, all rights reserved.

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