|Giant lampshades strung across Szentendre town square.|
It is also what feels like the first Friday of Spring. Last week was the climax of Farsang, the Hungarian carnival-festival where people dress up and make lots of noise to scare away the Winter. It seems to have worked!
|Szentendre's Danube promenade|
There's a Mediterranean vibe to the cobbled streets of Szentendre. This probably stems from the diverse population. After the Ottoman occupation decimated the buildings and the people in the 15th and 16th century, the town welcomed foreign settlers, particularly Serbs and people from the Dalmation coast (present day Croatia). Churches and houses were rebuilt in a Baroque-Rococo style, topped with Orthodox spires. But every street also has startling Modernist structures, too.
|Striking Modernist architecture interspersed with the Baroque and Rococo.|
Since 1929, the town has attracted numerous artists, lending its name to a 'school' of painters, sculptors and ceramicists, whose work can be seen in the multitude of museums, but whose work is evident around the public spaces, too. The Margit Kovács Ceramic Museum has a particularly beautiful exterior, bright orange tiles with faces and figures emerging from the wall.
|Faces and figures emerge from the tiled walls of the Margit Kovács Ceramic Museum.|
We eat lunch at Aranysarkany Vendéglo in the sun-drenched town square. The peaceful atmosphere and good wine encourages us to abandon plans for anything too cultural. Instead we spend the afternoon basking in the spring rays, unable to leave our Vitamin D addled bliss until the sun moves behind one of the rooves. (Though: we do visit the Szamos Marzipan Museum before departing... but that deserves a post of its own).
|Baroque crucifix in the town centre, erected to celebrate the town being spared by the plague.|