Zalalövő was inhabited even back in the Roman times serving as a major transport hub. It was granted a free town status by Emperor Hadrian in 124 AD; then it was called Municipum Aelium Salla. The ancient commercial trail—the Amber Road—that also passed through Savaria was in the community’s vicinity. It is safe to assume that Martin of Tours made his way to Italy along this trail in the 4th century. The 5th century saw a period of depopulation in Salla; the village of Lövő was founded in place of the ancient town following the foundation of Hungary. In the age of the Árpád dynasty its inhabitants were archers, hence the name – Lövő (meaning ‘shooter’).
Zalalövő reacquired its town status in 2000.

Zalalövő is a station located along Via Sancti Martini, which leads to Tours, France. This pilgrimage road pays tribute to a major saint in European Christianity, St Martin, who was born in Savaria, today’s Szombathely, in either 316 or 317 AD. Martin was passing through this area when he left his hometown to visit first Italy then Gallia. As a soldier he met a beggar at the gates to the city of Amiens, and he tore his cloak in two and gave one half to the beggar to express his sympathy with the poor and the needy. Later he left the army and set out on a route of pilgrimage; he organised Christian communities and founded a monastery. On his return to Savaria he converted his mother to Christianity. In 371 he was elected bishop of Tours. Because of his great kindness, his benevolence to people and the miracles attributed to him he enjoyed a special esteem and respect. He died in 397.

The St. Martin's stations within walking trail following distances:
Zalalövő - Pacsa-hill (2.5 km) - Felső-Csöde (6 km) - Szatta (13 km)
Zalalövő - Zalaháshágy (9 km) - Velence (12 km) - Pusztacsatár (14 km) - Vaspör (17 km)

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The St George Abbey of Ják was founded by Marthinus Magnus de Jaak in cca. 1220, and it was consecrated in 1256. Its magnificent recessed doorway is the finest example of Hungary’s Romanesque architecture. The monastery, built adjacent to the church but destroyed in the late 16th century, was the home of Benedictine monks.   .....



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