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Sights of Paks (Paks)

This town on the bank of the Danube offers several heritage sites. The river also provides the perfect opportunity for water trips and sports. Hungary's only atomic power station is located here, which operates a visitor centre.

The town was once a crown estate. In the Turkish era its population and the inhabitants of the early 15th-century Franciscan monastery abandoned the settlement.Paks

In the 18th century, German settlers arrived to Paks, mainly from the southwestern German principalities and also Jewish people from the north. The first Jewish community in the county was established in 1735. In Anna Street with its typical old-town feel, Classical houses preserve the memory of that period, demonstrating the civic prosperity of the age.

A beautiful view opens onto the Danube from numerous locations in the town. Its banks entice the visitor to take a pleasant and romantic stroll and maybe even to buy some fish from the famous Boat of Paks (Paksi Bárka).

 

In modern times, Paks has become known for Hungary's only nuclear power station. Its first unit was branched to the Hungarian electricity network in late 1982, followed by three more units by 1987.

There are several historic sights here. The Garden of Ruins on the site of the former Roman Military Camp of Lussonium evokes the Roman Age. The 18th-century Bottyán Castle stands erect on Redoubt Hill (Sánchegy).

The prime natural asset near Paks is Hungary's thickest loess wall layer, some 60 metre tall, which offers a picture-book illustration of the past 2 million years of geohistory.

Today Dunakömlőd also belongs to Paks.

 

SIGHTS

 

Visitor Centre of the Paks Atomic Power Station

Every year tens of thousands come to the Visitor Centre of the Paks Atomic Power Station. There is the chance to become better acquainted with nuclear energy, as well as with the ethnographic, local history and natural assets of the area.

The power station has a capacity of 1.84 million kilowatts. It functions as a base load power station, which means that it is operated continuously with the greatest possible efficiency and under strict safety regulations.

The first unit of the nuclear power station was connected to the Hungarian electricity grid at the end of 1982, and was expanded with three further blocks by 1987. In nuclear safety terms, the reactor blocks at Paks comply with ever-stricter international requirements.

Turning onto route 6 from the Tolna road and travelling southwards out of town, the blocks of the power station can be seen from a distance.

A site visit is possible with a three-week advance booking and for a group of at least 10 people. The Centre is not open to those below 16 years of age.

 

Loess wall

Similarly to limestone, loess terrain also gains its own particular aspect as a result of erosion.

The deepest in the country, this layer of loess some 60 metres thick can be seen well from route 6 to the north of the town. Representing a natural value this formation is indeed a picture book displaying the last 2 million years of geological history.

Can be visited at any time.

 

Lussonium - Garden of Roman Ruins

Established on the site of the former Roman military camp of Lussonium, the lapidarium gives an impression of Roman times. Excavations have so far managed to clarify the expansion of the late Roman fortress and its system of defences.

In the area of Dunakömlőd, now belonging to Paks, Bottyán Bank once rised above the old riverbed of the Danube. On top of the bank there are the remnants of the Roman military settlement of Lussonium. The relicts exhibited in the Town Museum suggest that an earlier auxiliary palisade camp had also stood on the site. The stone fortress had a north-south orientation extending for 249 metres, the width excavated thus far is 30-50 metres.

The northern redoubt defence system of the fortress and the foundation of the eastern one of the two southern towers were uncovered during the excavations. A row of buildings on the inner side of the fortress's northern wall in all likelyhood served as barracks. These buildings had rooms alongside the wall with a wooden-columned porticus supporting them from the south. A large tower, 10 by 9 metres, stood a few metres north of the southern gatehouse, which was built in the late Roman period when the fortress and its gatehouse were no longer in use.

An auxiliary vicus (a settlement in the vicinity of the camp) belonging to the military camp of Lussonium was systematically excavated. The remains of simple wooden and mud-walled buildings half dug into the ground were uncovered, they date from the second half of the 1st century AD. The remnants of stone buildings from the 3rd and 4th centuries also came to light. On the hillock west of the Bottyán Bank, remnants of a settlement that must have belonged to the vicus were discovered. Rubbish pits from the 3rd-4th century, cisterns, and a house with stone foundations and a porticus were uncovered. The southern gate of the Roman fortress, the barrack buildings to the north and a  late Roman small fortress were restored in 2003, the same year the garden of ruins was opened.

Can be visited at any time.

 

Town Museum

The museum maintains and displays the town's archaeological, historical, ethnographic and fine arts heritage. Particular emphasis is laid on the Roman remains of Lussonium.

Set up in the 18th-century cellar, the stonework exhibition invites visitors on a 'journey' from the Roman Age to the Baroque era, from the 3rd century to the 19th century. The history of Paks from prehistory to the early 20th century (Paks története az őskortól a XX. század elejéig) presents local history material. The archaeological finds from the Roman fortress of Lussonium (today's Dunakömlőd) are outstanding and a garden of ruins has been established on the site of the fortress. The object and written historic heritage of Paks are also displayed.

Following the death of Paks-born poet István Pákolitz a memorial room was furnished from donated objects, furniture, personal documents and books.

The museum is located in a former Franciscan monastery built in 1753 that was later the manor house of the Cseh-Vigyázó and the Mádi Kovács families. The exhibition of handicrafts (kismesterségek) is in a separate building, and includes an original blacksmith's workshop.

The main building regularly hosts temporary exhibitions.

There is disabled access.

 

 

Accommodation is Paks:

 http://www.hungaryrooms.com/hotels/Paks/

Map of Paks:

 http://www.hungaryrooms.com/map/Paks/