Need a location that conveys small-town Central Europe while staying near to the film studios of Budapest? Then Szentendre is your next stop. The village lies just 20 kilometers from Budapest and is known for its quint, cobblestone streets and pristinely preserved city center. Not exactly a well-kept secret, Szentendre is routinely listed as the number one day trip in travel guides to Hungary.
Inhabited since the days of the Roman Empire, there is no shortage of historical sites and influences in the architecture. Though Hungarians currently make up over 90 percent of the population, Saxons, Slovakians, Greeks, Bulgarian, Turkish, and Serbians have all left their mark on the village, which remains somewhat multi-cultural. Named for Saint Andrew, there are any number of Orthodox (particularly Serbian) details to churches and public spaces alike. The prevailing Baroque architecture that characterizes the city center gives the town a universally European feeling, and would be an appropriate stand-in for towns from most European countries.
Don’t mistake the classic feeling for stodginess, though. Szentendre has long been a cultural center and arts hub. In past and present, it has been a location for artists’ retreats and home to a number of fine arts museums (including one dedicated to the beloved Hungarian sculptress Margit Kovács).
It is worth mentioning that Hungary’s largest film studios – Korda Studios, Raleigh Studios, and Origo Film Group – are all but a stone’s throw from Szentendre. The village has direct access from Budapest and its international airport.
With both wide streets and narrow cause-ways, classical churches, and scenic Danube views, Szentendre has been discovered by tourists, and it is only a matter of time before this unique location captures the attention of international film-makers.
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