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Official site of Szombathely: http://www.szombathely.hu

 

Szombathely is the oldest city in Hungary. It was founded in 45 AD by the name of Colonia Claudia Savariensum (Claudius' Colony of Savarians) and it was the capital of Pannonia Superior province of the Roman Empire. It lay close to the important trade route, the "Amber Road". The city also had an imperial residence, a public bath and an amphitheatre. Remains of a mithraeum were discovered in 2008.

 


Today, Szombathely is the cultural and the economic centre of a region extending across several borders. It has earned an international reputation primarily due to its musical and fine arts institutions and programs. It has a population of 80,000 inhabitants (in 2005).

 

Bartk Hall, formerly a Synagogue, is the venue of most of the musical events, including numerous concerts of the Bartk Festival and the Spring Festival, and it is also the home of the Savaria Symphonic Orchestra, which has been a professional orchestra for a quarter of a century. In addition to the city's various choirs and dance ensembles, the Capella Savaria chamber orchestra, which plays primarily Baroque music, is of eminent significance.

 

On the initiative of Szombathely's citizens, an art gallery was built which houses outstanding works of modern Hungarian fine art and frequently hosts musical events as well. Among the regular international events held there year after year the best known is the Textile Biennale.