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Protected Treasures – A Very Special Land | Region Map | Events
Tiny Villages and Huge Appeal
Miraculous Infinity
A Unique Water-World

Hungarian Specialities
in the Land of the Körös

In the Sunniest Lands

Barren Earth and Sand Dunes

By the Side of the Biggest River
 
     

Szeged (E6) proudly boasts provincial Hungary’s most unified town centre, although it doesn’t contain buildings that are hundreds of years old. This is because the town lies on the River Tisza, which burst its banks in 1879 and destroyed almost five thousand buildings, leaving only 265 standing, the thirteenth century Saint Demetrius Tower (part of a church ruin) being one of them. Szeged was systematically rebuilt with international assistance, and foreign visitors today can see the name of the capital city of their country on sections of the Ring Road in acknowledgement of that help. Survivors of the flood, in thankfulness from deliverance from it, also built the massive neo-Romanesque Cathedral or Votive Church. It accommodates 5,000 people, possesses one of the largest organs in Europe, and has in one of its towers the second largest bell in Hungary (weighing in at 81 tons). The Reök Palace is a particularly fine example of “art nouveau” architecture, and the Synagogue is one of the most beautiful in Europe.
Szeged is one of the main centres of paprika production in Hungary. Here too is the place of manufacture of the famous and spicy Pick salami, still made to a secret recipe. Szeged slippers are also made here; they are a special type of hand-embroidered slipper with a hard heel, traditionally worn by girls and women.

Ópusztaszer (E6) the southern Tisza region is of interest for its cultural and historical assets as well as for its natural beauty. The Szeged Open-Air Theatre Festival features performances of classical music, opera and dance from world class artists and is internationally renowned. The outstanding Ópusztaszer National Historical Memorial Park charts a thousand and more years of Hungarian history. According to the chronicles, the leaders of the conquering Magyar tribes first sat in judgement here in the ninth century. They formalized the common laws by which their people, newly settled in the Carpathian Basin, were expected to abide. The events of the conquest are depicted today in the sensational cyclorama painting at the Memorial Park. This huge three-dimensionaleffect panorama painting dates from 1894 and is the work principally of the artist Árpád Feszty. It was an instant success, and has recently undergone careful restoration. With its surface area of 1,760 square metres and its two thousand depicted characters, it is the second largest cyclorama in the world. Elsewhere in the Park, the remains of one of the oldest churches in Hungary and its associated eleventh century Benedictine monastery have been uncovered. Archaologists have also discovered evidence of an old bell foundry, and have recast from thousands of fragments and put on display the Saint Gellért bronze bell, a feat unique in Europe. Nineteenth century peasant life is depicted in the Open Air Ethnographical Museum. There is a range of buildings – from a paprika-growing house to a farm school and fisherman’s hut – along with many different types of furniture, utensils, etc. A separate museum is dedicated to the Hungarian diaspora, and another, called “The Forest is Nature’s Church”, deals with the relationship between man and nature. There are equestrian and archery shows, and demonstrations of other aspects of traditional life throughout the year.

Csongrád (D5) this is a town built near the point where the River Körös flows into the Tisza, and is famed for the nineteenth century fishermen’s cottages in its old town centre. It is thought that the thirty thatched dwellings once also served a defensive purpose. Their little courtyards and gardens are hidden behind wooden fences, and many of the houses don’t even have windows on the street side. The whole is a protected area, but tourist accommodation is offered in some of the dwellings.

Mezőhegyes (F6) known throughout the equestrian world on account of the royal stud farm estate, founded in 1784. In just thirty years, the famous Hungarian Nóniusz breed was perfected here. Among the estate’s sixty baroque monuments, the covered riding school still fulfils its original function, and it is here also that the horses overwinter. One of the two barracks is now a hotel, complete with Empire and Biedermeier furnishings. The Manager’s building and the terrace of riders’ cottages sunk into the ground are of particular interest. The Coach Museum has a big collection and here also can be seen the country’s biggest threshing house. There is good hunting not far from the town.

Hódmezővásárhely (G6) in terms of its area this is Hungary’s largest provincial town. The town and the surrounding country, peppered with farmsteads, is famous for folk art. The floral linen table cloths, cushions and pillows decorated with dyed woollen threads are much sought after, as are the ceramics displayed in the market place. The finest of these are on show in the Csúcsi Pottery House. The Town History Museum has exhibits stretching back seven thousand years, and the Farm Museum at nearby Kopáncs (E6) contains a wide variety of artefacts and images illustrating traditional life on the Puszta.

Mezőhegyes
 
Szeged, Klauzál Square
 
Ópusztaszer, Feszty Cyclorama
   
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