The beauty of this city is that you can see quite a bit for very little money at all. Starting with the main square at Március 15 tér, the center promenade was completely renovated in 2006 according to the design of architect László Sáros, an Ybl Miklós (architectural) Award winner. The huge square is a pleasant area with places to sit and relax by the peaceful fountain, and glass flooring. The square was an important commerce center way back to the Middle Ages. The dominant building on the square now is White Friar's Church at Március 15 tér 24. It was built in the 18th century by the Dominican order of priests. Decorated in baroque-rococo style, the inside is highly ornate in bright colors. However, the statues are white, reflecting the white habits that Dominicans wear. What makes this church extra special is what was found underneath it. In 1995, when doing reconstruction work, workers found a secret crypt with several mummies inside. Final excavations found that walling up the entrance created an ideal climate to maintain the integrity of 262 coffins and their inhabitants. The exhibition is available to view at the Memento Mori (tel. 27/500-750) in the cellar of the house at Március 15 tér 19. The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday 10am to 6pm, but closed in winter. Admission is 1,000 Ft, 500 Ft for students. On the side of the church is a statue of St. Hedwig with a three-stage fountain at her feet. St. Hedwig is the patron saint of the Danube and Vác is at the heart of it. St. Hedwig was born in 1373, the third and youngest daughter of the Hungarian-Polish king Louis the Great. She had a passion for helping the poor, the ill, the orphaned, and the widowed.
As you approach Március 15 tér 20, you will see the medieval building was once a private residence, renovated in baroque style and from 1170 operated as a hotel. The front is an eclectic style and the Wine Museum was established here in September 2006. It is open 10am to 5pm Monday through Friday. But what caught my attention was the Chocloteria in the same building. Operating as a cafe, it has a large selection of chocolates, pastries, coffees, and teas. It is open Monday through Thursday 9am to 8:30pm, Friday through Saturday 9am to 9:30pm, and Sunday 10am to 8:30pm. The building also houses a public gallery free to the public. Outside is the Bell Pavilion with a glockenspiel that plays every hour.
Walking down the square first you will come to City Hall located at Március 15 tér 11, considered the best baroque building in Vác. Above the front door is a wrought-iron balcony. On the frontage is a coat of arms of the town. Three statues sit above this with the Greek goddess of Justice in the center with two reclining women on either side; one holds the nation while the other holds the family crest of an important family. Strolling farther you will see the Hospital of Mercy and the Greek Catholic Chapel at Március 15 tér 7-9. The small chapel is worth a peek; although you cannot enter it, you can view it through the glass windows. Next at Március 15 tér 6, you will find the András Chazár Education Institute for Deaf-Mutes. This was the first school of its kind in Hungary, established in 1802. Before that, the building housed a bishopric palace, a school for religious orders, a cloister, and then a girls' school. Across from this you will find the former Palace of the Great Provost at Március 15 tér 4, a medieval house that was rebuilt in baroque style in the second half of the 18th century. The front is decorated with ionic offsets, and a triangular frontal piece at the top. It houses the clerical art collection of the former owner. If you continue down the square you will come to the Vienna Town Gate, a modern stone structure closing off the square.
Leave the square to find other treasures in this small town. The Triumphal Arch, the oldest baroque arch in Europe outside of France, sits at Köztáraság utca.
The Cathedral of the Assumption on Konstantin tér has an elegant facade designed by Isidore Canevale. It is the only building in Hungary that was inspired by Parisian revolutionary architecture. The interior is decorated with the paintings of F. A. Maulbertsch. At Géza Király tér is the Franciscan or "Brown" Church next to the castle, the oldest building in Vác, which faces the Danube waterfront park. The synagogue on Eötvös utca is a special building in the town. It was built by Abbis Cacciari, an Italian architect, in 1864 in romantic style. It was renovated in 2006.
A walk along the Danube will be a delightful peaceful time. The entire riverside is lined with trees and an extremely wide promenade; it boasts separate winding walking paths intertwined with resting areas, all along the side of sidewalks next to the street for a different stroll under the chestnut trees. Garden patches are dotted here and there where the flowers add color and beauty to the large boulevard. For children, there are a number of play areas that include swings and playhouses, where they can work off extra energy.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.