The city of Szentendre dates back to Roman times but its appearance today has mainly been influenced by Serbian refugees since the end of the 17th century. The character of the city has been shaped by the influence of the cross-border political and cultural connections. It has experienced a culture-led urban development in which cultural heritage played a major role and enabled the city to function as a bridge between different European cultural areas from East and West, the Balkan and the Carpathian Basin, and Catholic and Orthodox Christianity. The proximity to Budapest has posed a constant challenge to the city.
Szentendre is characterised by the spirit of multi-ethnic and religious tolerance, urban resilience and creativity since the end of the 17th century, deriving from its cross-border location. The connections along the Danube river and the prolific cohabitation of its Hungarian and Serbian population and other cultures resulted in a place of peaceful coexistence, integration and productive exchange, shaping a unique architectural design. The blending of Eastern and Western cultures in an emblematic locality of artistic freedom during totalitarian regimes determines the spirit of the town and the living heritage can still be experienced today.