Little Danube Promenade

The Little Danube promenade runs north-south through the Royal district of Esztergom. The promenade connects the main tourist areas of the city, the historic Esztergom with the Széchenyi Square, the Water Town with the Basilica and the Castle Hill. The promenade can be seen on maps from 1769. Its two banks are connected by four bridges: Bottyán bridge, Kolos bridge, Szent Miklós bridge and the Saint Elizabeth bridge. The plan to transform it into a promenade was accepted by the Promenade Beautification Association on September 15, 1913, when the “iconic” visible from the promenade row of sycamores was planted. Chronicles from the turn of the century call it cooler in summer than the hot city center, a rare beautiful place to walk.

The promenade gives home to the country’s first indoor swimming pool, the Saint Stephen Artesian Spa, which was built in 1912, using the possibilities of the modern technology of the time, made of prestressed reinforced concrete with a removable roof.

András Kertész – later world-famous photographer, spent 2 years recovering from his World War I injuries in Esztergom and took many photos not only in the city, but also in the swimming pool. The world-famous “Underwater Swimmer” made in 1917 adorns Sir Elton John’s collection. As he tells, this is his favorite picture in his collection of 8,000 pieces, he is almost in love with this photo. According to the artist, he had a great impact on many later photographers and inspired many others.

The monumental beach spa next to the swimming pool was built in the Art Nouveau style in 1927-29, and from its sun terrace the dome of the Basilica, the chapel of Saint Thomas Hill and the classicist Spa Hotel can be seen, where, among others, István Széchenyi, Lujza Blaha, Ferenc Liszt and Kossuth stayed.

Great Hungarian 20th-century poet – Mihály Babits – also liked to beach here at the Saint Stephen Artesian Spa, numerous family photos prove this. The Mala spring, which is still 29 degrees today, nourish both the standard competitive swimming pool and the small pool of the indoor swimming pool.


Walking along the embankment of the Little Danube, we arrive at the Water Town, where you can enjoy a wonderful view of the Castle Hill. This Esztergom skyline can be seen on the back of Hungarian ten thousand banknote. The inspiration is provided by Huber Sattler’s original oil painting from 1883, which is currently in the Primate’s Palace.

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