Erlau (Hung. Eger), a town of Hungary, capital of the county of Heves, in a deep and charming valley, on the river Erlau, an affluent of the Theiss, 66 m. N. E. of Pesth; pop. in 1870, 19,150, chiefly Roman Catholics and Magyars. It has weekly fairs, linen and cloth manufactories, and an important trade in wine, Erlau wine being the best red wine of Hungary. There are two warm springs here, much resorted to for diseases of the skin. The town has four suburbs and many stately public buildings. The cathedral, the archiepiscopal palace, several churches, and the hospital founded by Komaromy, are the most notable edifices; the lyceum (formerly the university), a gymnasium, the episcopal seminary, a normal school, and a school of design are the principal learned institutions. Erlau, important as a bishopric from the time of St. Stephen, became the seat of an archbishop in 1804. In former times, though it possessed strong fortifications, it suffered much from Tartar and Turkish invasions, especially in 1552, when it repulsed under Stephen Dobo the repeated assaults of an immense Turkish army, and in 1596, when it was given up to the Turks by the foreign part of the Austrian garrison. Among the remnants of the old fortress the tomb of Dobo is still shown to visitors.
Erlau was conspicuous during the revolution of 1848-'9 for the patriotic spirit of its inhabitants, and as the place whence Dembinski and Gorgey started for their chief campaigns against the Austrians under Windischgratz.