Székesfehérvár The Essential
Székesfehérvár is a royal seat, where most of Hungary's kings from Stephen I in 1038 to John I in 1540 were crowned and buried. However, the Turkish invasion in 1543 signalled the end of its royal role. On their departure, the Turks left behind a heap of ruins. Rebuilt in the 18C by Maria Theresa, Empress of Austria, the town was damaged once again during the Second World War; during the ensuing Communist period it became a large industrial centre. It is nonetheless full of unexpected charm.