During the Magyar period it became a bishopric. During the Turkish Wars the city was damaged. In 1529, the defenders set the town on fire, because they knew they could not defeat the Turkish army. When the Turks arrived they found nothing but piles of ashes, which is why they called the place ‚Janik Kala’ (Burnt City).
Győr was then rebuilt in Renaissance style with the help of Italian architects. The Turks came back and managed to occupy the city, but they only stayed for 4 years, while in other parts of Hungary they ruled for 150 years. After they left, the new artistic era begin. The beautiful Baroque buildings date from this period. In 1743, Queen Maria Theresa gave Győr the status of ‘Free Royal Town’. The last siege of Győr took place in 1809, when Napoleon won the battle against the Habsburgs and occupied the castle. The house where he stayed during the battle functions today as the City Art Museum.
After its military role diminished, Györ became the major industrial town in northern Transdanubia. It is still often referred to as the City of Meetings as it is an important economic and industrial centre.
The Old Town, with the Chapter Hill crowned by a Cathedral and The Royal Town are full of splendid Renaissance and Baroque monuments. The well preserved Baroque city centre with its churches, palaces, museums, characteristic corner-balconies and narrow lanes was granted the Europa Nostra Award for monument protection in 1989.
Győr is particularly rich in sacral heritage. The Chapter Hill is home to the Bishop’s Cathedral, where the reliquary of king Ladislaus I, the patron saint of Hungary is kept, and the Episcopal Palace.
The Vienna Gate Square is one of the most beautiful Baroque squares in Hungary. On its southern edge stands the Carmelite Church, modeled on the Carmelite church in Rome.
The most notable sights on The Main Square (Széchenyi tér) are the Benedictine church of St. Ignatius of Loyola and the monastery.
In the downtown area changed to pedestrian zone The Town Gallery in the former Esterhazy Palace can be found. The Town Hall is the symbol of the city. From its distinctive tall central tower (59m)you can enjoy the view of the city center.