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Gödöllõ Town


Gödöllõ (roughly pronounced “GOOD-duh-ler”) is less than 20 miles north-east of the capital Budapest. With a population of over 30,000 it has grown as a popular place to live, especially as it has good transport links with Budapest. It can be easily reached from Budapest with both the green painted trains on the suburban railway (HÉV) and also on the normal railway. The M3 Hungary’s main motorway to the North East allows access to the centre of Budapest in less than 20 minutes, (if the traffic is good!)


Although the town itself does have a few high raised towers blocks, it is also full of lovely Baroque buildings and monuments. It remains today a fairly affluent and friendly place by Hungarian standards. With the people having a high respect for culture and the arts, with even amateur dramas a constant sell out. This interest in all things cultural is helped by the fact that Gödöllõ had close links to one Hungary’s most famous poets and freedom fighters, Petõfi Sándor. The poet stayed in Gödöllõ for some time in 1843 while he translated ’Robin Hood. The house where he stayed is number 16 Petõfi tér and is marked with a memorial tablet. See if you can find if you have time.

Gödöllõ is a university town, the ‘Szent István Egyetem’ (Saint Stephen University), is the main education institute of agriculture in Hungary. But the town’s real gem is its Royal Palace. Not only is it the largest baroque palace in Hungary but it is the second largest in the world after Versailles in France. It is famous for its unique history and its architecture that set out a trend to follow. For this reason it is a popular day trip for tourists visiting Budapest and is particularly favourite with the Austrians. For it was the ruling Austrian Habsburg family that made the Palace a popular summer retreat for themselves. It was through the building of Royal Palace in the 18th century that the town itself really started to grow.


The Palace was a favourite of Queen Elizabeth who enjoyed ridding in the vast wood land that surrounds the town. Today the forest has mainly been built on but there is still the Elizabeth Park, a small reminder of the once great woodland. The Royal Forest was the site of the 4th World Scout Jamboree in 1933 in which 26,000 Scouts from 54 nations camped together.After the World War II the Royal palace was used as barracks for the Soviet Army. It was only after the retreat of the Soviets when reconstruction work started on the palace. In 1994 the central part of the Palace was opened up once again as the Royal Palace Museum. The renovated 26 rooms of the palace provide a view on the days of the Royal Family spent in Gödöllö.Due to closeness to Budapest, Gödöllõ is not as big a shopping venue as it could be. Most of the shops are centred around the main town square Szabadság tér. Its has a daily outdoor market which is mainly made up of stalls selling locally grown fruit and veg. As well as the smaller high street style supermarkets Gödöllo does have one large supermarket, a 24 hour Tesco that is just on the edge of town. Just next to the Tesco and the Shell Petrol Station is the newly built Gödöllõ Baptist church.





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