The Eger Museum of Fire Fighting was opened at No. 5 in Tűzoltó Square in the building of the former fire station in September 1999, on the 125th anniversary of the establishment of the fire service in Eger. In 2012, the building, restored with the support of the EU and the Hungarian state, and an extended exhibition was re-opened to visitors under the name of Egri Tűzoltó Múzeum (Eger Museum of Fire Fighting).
The Museum is a unique institution in Hungary, affording great pleasure for children and grown-ups alike with its attractions of trade history, culture and tourism, presenting the historical values of the past in combination with the technical elements of our age.
The building erected in 1929 for 3 fire engines is a typical example of the tool house of a provincial town. In the archaic exhibition hall, the visitors can see the municipal fire fighting vehicles of historic value and learn about their assembly and use through a short fictional film.
The Signalling Room presents the technical equipment used in the signalling stations of the 1940-50s, including the telephone exchange as their most important apparatus. These stations can be regarded as the predecessors of today’s modern signalling/call centres. The pictures placed on the walls of this room show the films made by Sándor Hevesi in the 1930s and the catalogues of Hungarian manufacturers of fire fighting tools.
The permanent exhibition presents the historical materials of the fire services of Eger and Heves County. Eleven display cabinets show the change of fire fighting tools and equipment from the beginning until now. The objects are exceptional in that some of them have been collected from owners who are still living and their story is known. The helmet from the beginning of the 20th century, presented by the private collector Sándor Tóth, is special for being damaged during its use in the fire of Gyöngyös in 1917. Visitors can watch report films with the employees of professional fire services working in the county on wall-mounted digital displays, and get acquainted with the location of the fire services of Heves County on an interactive board placed in the museum.
In the Visual Treasury room, the devices used by volunteer and professional firemen can be viewed. This modern method of storage means that the objects are not closed in glass cabinets. Walking around the objects placed on pedestals, a visitor feels like being in the storage room of a museum. The function of visual treasury is completed with video films that illustrate the operation of the appliances. Report films about the volunteer and municipal fire services can also be viewed here.
Several devices can be found in the Restorer’s Workshop for demonstration purposes, including the Żuk pickup truck frequently used by volunteers and the fire engine used by traditionalist groups. The RollDepo paternoster lift provides an opportunity for the presentation of several collections of objects. Badges of honour as well as objects demonstrating pre-restoration conditions can be found here. By means of video films, visitors can get acquainted with the functioning of the fire engines still in use.
In the exhibition halls, the iVoiceSys audio systems make the exhibited objects sound: the noise of fire engines reflects the atmosphere of the first half of the 1900s, and the characteristic wailing of the sirens of today’s vehicles can also be heard here. In addition to that, you can get an inside view of the acoustic world of volunteer firemen.
The Eger Museum of Fire Fighting offers complex and complete amusement for ordinary visitors as well as for those who are interested in the profession. In the Tűzfészek Souvenir Shop, collectors, children and tourists can find their favourite among the souvenirs fulfilling all needs.
The restaurant in the Museum Garden provides refreshment. The fire-fighting atmosphere of the restaurant affords unforgettable amusement in addition to the gastronomic specialties.
The playground in the backyard of the Museum offers fun for the children, while the nearby benches provide an excellent opportunity for rest or picnicking. In the workshops of the Play House the children can participate in handicraft activities, or even try themselves as firemen in a playful way.
The Researcher’s Room is available to anyone interested in the profession, researchers and university students for gathering information and studying materials related to fire-fighting and disaster prevention. The Conference Room can be used for conducting professional, historical and career-orientation presentations and for organising club meetings and conferences. The room also gives an opportunity for hosting film clubs, temporary exhibitions and travelling collections.
With concerts and theatre performances, the mobile stage that can be installed in the Museum Garden makes the offer of the Museum complete for people who are interested in culture and seek entertainment.