St Martin Historical Walking Trail

The St Martin Historical Walking Trail starts from the local Calvary Church and leads all the way to St Martin Church. It has been designed to revisit the venues related to Szombathely's Early Christian traditions. The works of art presented at each of the stations along the route help us remember particular episodes from St Martin's or St Quirinus' life.

1. Calvary Church, Martineum Adult Education Centre

This section of the Saint Martin of Tours Route, designed for walking pilgrims, comes from all the way from Slovenia and reaches Szombathely at the Calvary Church. The first calvary church is likely to have been built atop a hill near the western periphery of the town in the early 18th century. The baroque building was restructured in 1901 an the convent of the Carmelite nuns had an adjacent building added in 1906. The building complex received another extension in 1992 when the Catholic Further Education Institute (today refered to as the Martineum Adult Education Centre) was erected. The area stretching nearby once served as the vineyard for the towvn but is major part has been residential area. The thematic part built in the courtyard of Martineum puts Roman traditions and relics excavated in the neighbourhood on display. Up until 1908 there had also been a hermit's residence nearby. The legendary hermit is said to have been reminiscent of St Leonianus, a native of Savaria from the 6th century AD, who earned fame by founding monasteries near Autun and Vienne in Gaul

"Martin the catechumen dresses me"

- by sculptor Tamás Somogyi

The two bronze reliefs on the wall of the former Carmelite chapel depict when Martin sheres his cloak and a dream had by St Martin.

2. The location of the ancient theatre

The theatre was already here, on the western periphery of the town, as early as the 3rd century AD and it also served as a key centre of the imperial cult of ancient Rome. It was on this spot where that Quirinus, the Bishop of Siscia, was sentenced to death by a secular court. The hearing was recorded in tetails in the so-called Quirinus Passion. The ruins of the ancient Roman theatre survived up until the late 19th century; and even the 1880a saw extensive "stone mining", bout the were eventually moved to other construction sites. The semicicular pit on the venue still reminds us of the theatre, while some of the old stones can still be spotted in the sidewall of the deep path leading to the nearby water tower.

The road leading from the one-time theatre to the Perint Bridge bears special significance. Legend has it that Quirinus was transported along the same route from he venue of his trial to the bridge over the Sibaris, where he was executed. In the Middle Ages this route was regarted as a "holy trail" as it had several stations of the Cross along the road to the Calvary Church up until the 1800s. 

The other slate depicts the story of Martin's flogging and expuslsion. On his return to the land of his parents, Martin baptised his mother. At that time, the majority of the locals were Arian Christians. Martin got involved in a debate with the teachers of these false doctrines and he was expelled from the town.

"Martin the heretic is flogged in public and driven from the town"

- by sculptor László  Koller

The two arched steel plates engraved with figures commemorate two major events: Qiurinus' dying a martyr's death and the flogging and subsequent expulsion of St Martin, respectively.


3. St Quirinus Memorial, Perint Brudge

4. Cathedral, Seminary and Bishop's Palace

5. The Main Square, the place of the former town tower

6. Savaria Square


7. Savaria Museum

8. St Martin Church, St Martin Visitor Centre, St Martin Cemetery

Migratory route recommendation
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The St George Abbey of Ják was founded by Marthinus Magnus de Jaak in cca. 1220, and it was consecrated in 1256. Its magnificent recessed doorway is the finest example of Hungary’s Romanesque architecture. The monastery, built adjacent to the church but destroyed in the late 16th century, was the home of Benedictine monks.   .....



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