With a population of 7,423 Zirc, halfway between Lake Balaton and Győr, in the heart of Bakony, is the one that lies the highest (400 m) of all small towns. After the Turkish rule the Cistercians from the Silesian Heinrichau rebuilt Zirc and in 1712 they founded an intellectual and economic centre known all over Europe. The most valuable parts of the baroque abbey church built between 1732 and 1752 are the altarpiece by Maulbertsch, showing the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the frescoes by Wagenmeister, the organ and the carved statues and furnishings. The Reguly Library, a listed monument with its 65,000 volumes, including priceless rarities of incunabula, books and periodicals collected by the Cistercians are housed in the neoclassical monastery (1726-1727). Zirc is called the heart of the Bakony Mountains. The collections of the Natural History Museum with permanent exhibitions like "The Minerals of the Carpathian Basin" are also displayed in the monastery. Rare species of trees and plants are kept in the Arboretum of international renown, also founded by the Cistercians. In the Bakony Pantheon there are memorial plaques to cherish the memories of eminent scholars studying the Bakony region and those of famous people born in Zirc. (At present it is not open to the public.) The museum in the birthplace of Antal Reguly, the famous linguist and historian of the original home of the Hungarians, bears his name, and has exhibitions of his life and of local history on display. Unique rarities are shown in the agro-mechanical collection of the Museum of Agricultural Machines, next to national highway No. 82. Those who wish to make excursions can get to the beauty spots of the High-Bakony Mountains following the blue-red-green-yellow signs from the "0 km boots". Major annual events organized in the town include the High-Bakony Mountains Days, the Spring Days, the International Children´s Games Festival called United Games (in June), the Days of Ethnic Germans of Hungary and the Students´ Day.

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Hungary - Zirc

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