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The highest point of the town is at an altitude of 514 metres (1,686 ft). Eger is the oldest city in Hungary. It was founded in 1009 by King Stephen I who settled Hungarian refugees from the area around Lake Balaton there. Eger grew to become a significant religious and administrative centre within Hungary and its fortifications were strengthened to defend against Turkish invasion. In 1543, it was conquered by Turks but after a long siege with heavy casualties on both sides it was liberated again by Prince János Szapolyai on 2 September 1686 under whose rule Eger's development as a cultural center began; he had his seat here during his brief reign as King of Poland between 1670–1676. The Ottoman Empire returned for 90 years starting in 1687 when they captured Eger due to the Peace of Karlowitz (1699). During this period, many churches and monasteries were destroyed or damaged; some have been rebuilt since then.