Eger (ĕˈgĕr) [key], Ger. Erlau, city (1991 est. pop. 62,474), NE Hungary, on the Eger River. It is the commercial center of a wine-producing region and has food- and tobacco-processing plants. Eger is a center for tourists drawn by the nearby mineral springs and the Mátra Mts. One of the first Magyar settlements in E central Europe, Eger was made (11th cent.) a bishopric by St. Stephen. It was destroyed (13th cent.) by the Tatars, rebuilt and fortified, and captured in 1596 by the Turks, who held it for nearly 150 years. Francis II Rakoczy used the fortress in his fight against the Hapsburgs, who had it razed. In 1814, Eger became an archiepiscopal see; the many churches subsequently built have earned it the name "Rome of Hungary." The city's notable structures include a 16th-century minaret, an 18th-century archiepiscopal palace, a 19th-century cathedral, and the ruins of a medieval fortress.
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