XI. - Veszprém during the baroque era
Stabilizing the power of the returning bishop and the chapter was a major turning point in the life of Veszprém, a city with an estimated number of 3000 inhabitants at the end of the 17th century despite heavy losses during the Ottoman wars. While the role of a border fortress (or with a contemporary expression: "far end") also guaranteed certain freedoms for the citizens of the city, the bishop and the landlord's rights sought to limit these. The bishopric acting as a proprietor as well as the Lord Lieutenant, had influence on every aspect of commerce, settling in, jurisdiction, practice of religion. With the burdens becoming heavier on the city, the citizens of Veszprém started their fight for a free imperial city title, which lasted for decades but did not meet with success: Veszprém remained a cathedral market town.
The 18th century marked a turning point in the history of the city's sectarian division as well. The largely Protestant population by the end of the Ottoman rule, was, in nearly 70%, reconverted to Catholicism in a century. The Protestant institutions were excluded from the castle, the district of Jerusalem Hill took form, with a Protestant majority at the beginning (but later an increasingly mixed population), and with the reformed church still standing at its heart.
Compared to the composition of the community of Veszprém during the Ottoman rule, a change was taking place with the appearance of the Jewish middle class and the settling in of German people, mainly craftsmen. The Jews settled down near the grain market (called Market stand or "Vásárállás") and the cattle market square (the vicinity of present-day Hotel), while the Germans settled down on Cemetery Hill.
Like in other Hungarian market towns, the number of those engaged in trade was high in Veszprém. Some of them used to belong to the castle garrison during the last decades of the Ottoman wars and were looking for a more peaceful occupation, while others emerged from the immigrating Germans. Among the craftsmen, following more than sixty different types of trades, we can find the representatives of the clothing industry (i.e. bootmakers, tailors, weavers), the woodworking and metal industry (blacksmiths, wheelwrights), but millers, occupying the waters of Séd Brook, fullers, tanners and leatherworkers were also present. We can meet a craft already present in the 18th century, specially characteristic of Veszprém, practised by canteen makers. The houses and workshops of artisans stood mostly in the Séd valley and in the sloping streets leading down to it. Those following the same trade often made their homes in the same street: Csutorás (Canteen maker) street, Csapó (Fuller) street. Representatives of the construction industry also lived in large numbers in Veszprém (carpenters, masons), as the city was rebuilding at the double.
The inhabitants, doubling their numbers during the 18th century, slowly resettled into the settlement parts, which had already been inhabited but partially destroyed in the Middle Ages, and which, by the 19th century, became almost adjacent to one another (Cserhát, Cemetery Hill, Market stand, Jerusalem Hill). The buildings of Castle Hill, deprived of its defensive role, also mushroomed. In 1723 the cathedral was rebuilt in Baroque style, and then opposite to it so was the Franciscan church in 1730. The grand provost palace (Nagypréposti Palota) was in palace by 1741 and the statue of the Holy Trinity by 1750. By the end of the century the still standing prebendal houses, the Piarist boarding school, the large seminary and the episcopal palace had been completed. The latter was famous for that special engineering solution, with which the spring water of the well Úrkút was lifted with a mill-wheel from a 40 meters depth under the castle into the palace.
The baroque style was spreading in constructions outside Castle Hill as well: Its memory is remembered by former farm buildings and churches all over the city. One of the driving forces of the city's renewal was bishop Márton Padányi Bíró.