Located at the southeastern foot of Gerecse Mountains, Zsámbék is a city with a population of 4200. The cityscape is easily recognizable due the sight of the ruins of the monastery church which is an important monument and a stunning place of Zsámbék.
Ruins of the Premontre monastery church The ruins of the Premontre monastery church are a real historical treasure of Hungarian medieval architecture. The late Romanesque, early Gothic church was built in the first half of the 12the century. Its current, ruined state is a result of an earthquake in 1763.
Lamp Museum The Guinness World Record holder museum exhibits more than 1000 lamps, candle holders, lanterns, of which the earliest is from the 1750's.
Nativity of St John the Baptist Church The Baroque church built between 1749-1754 is decorated by the beautiful Rococo pulpit carved by the sculptor of the Zichy family, Károly Bebó. The organ is from the 18th century and the main altarpiece depicts the Baptism of Christ.
Zichy Palace The palace of the Zichy family was built on the spot of a medieval castle in the 1690's. Today, it houses the Vilmos Apor Catholic School.
Turkish Well The well was long believed to have been built during the Ottoman occupation but recent research showed that is was actually built in the 19th century. It was the source of the settlement's drinking water up until the 1960's.
Maria Immaculata Statue The Baroque Maria Immaculata Statue was probably erected by Miklós Zichy as a memorial for the casaulties of the bubonic plague in 1739.
Other sights: Plague Chapel, ruins of a water mill, folk building
The area has been inhabited since the Paleolithic period. Among the archaeological findings in the border of the city, there was an obsidian axe, an antler hat, and a stone pot. There were findings also from the early Iron Age and coins from the Roman Age. The most important finding from the perspective of music history is the 2nd century bronze trombone, the oldest musical object found in Hungary.
One theory about the name of the city is that is comes from the Hungarian word for swampy, 'zsombék'. Others believe that the name comes from the Latin word Sambucus, meaning elderberry. The settlement formed at the crossroads Fehérvár, Esztergom and Buda, it's founder was probably a knight names Aynard, who was given a land here by the king.
Sometime before 1234, the Premontre provost was relocated from Váradhegyfok to Zsámbék. There is a document from 1258 about the Aynard family giving a donation to the provost.
The area was taken from the family by King Sigismund who gave it to János Maróthi. Zsámbék received the rank of market town from King Matthias in 1467 and the monastery was given to the Pauline order in 1475. During the Ottoman wars, the forte of the town was part of the border castle system, which resulted in constant attacks on the population.
The castle has many owners in the following years (including the Ottoman armies who rebuilt it). Zsámbék later became a land of the Zichy family who brought German settlers to the town between 1710-1720. Today, due to the forced relocation of Germans after World War II, only a small percentage of the population of Zsámbék is of German origin.