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Triumphal Arch, Vác

The only triumphal arch in Hungary was built by Kristóf Migazzi in 1764 to honour of the visit of Maria Theresa. The Queen arrived on a boat on the Danube from the national assembly in Bratislava, and members of the nobility were waiting for her on their horses, dressed in celebratory Hungarian costumes. The arrival of the boat was signaled by a cannon shot. According to tradition, when the Queen learnt that the arch was completed in only 5 months she did not want to ride through it and rather got off the carriage and walked past the gate.

The Triumphal Arch
The Triumphal Arch Photo: funiQ

The monument, called simply Stone Gate by the locals, is 20 meters tall, 12 meters wide and 4 meters thick. It was designed by the Austrian architect Isidore Canevale. Above the gate, there are statues of eagles holding flowers and on the top there are reliefs of members of the royal house. On the side of the arch looking to Kisvác are the reliefs of Maria Theresa and Emperor Francis I, on the other side looking to the city Ferdinand, Archduke Maximilian Francis, Joseph II and Leopold II can be seen.

There are two additional legends about the stone gate. According to one, a year after the construction of the arch, on the day when Emperor Francis died in Innsbruck, a lightning struck his relief on the arch which fell off. The other legend tells, that on the same day in Vienna, a cross fell on the head of Migazzi when he was holding mass in the St. Stephen's Cathedral.

Today, during the festival called Váci Világi Vigalom, there is a historical reenactment of the visit of Maria Theresa.

Top of the the Triumphal Arch
Top of the the Triumphal Arch Photo: funiQ