Szeged is the third largest city of Hungary, the largest city and regional centre of the Southern Great Plain and the county town of Csongrád county. The University of Szeged is one of the most distinguished universities in Hungary.
The famous Open Air Festival of Szeged (first held in 1931) is one of the main attraction in July-August each year; furthermore, in late spring the Day of the City is celebrated on May 21.
Cathedral "Votive Church"
Following the original plans of Frigyes Schulek, the construction works started in 1913 by Ernst Foerk. At its current location once stood the St. Demeterius Church. The foundation-stone ceremony took place on June 21, 1914. The Church was formally dedicated on October 24, 1930.
It is the fourth largest church in Hungary. The dome is 54m outside (33m above the inside floor) and the towers are both 91m high. The "Heroes' bell" in the tower on the Tisza side weighs 8600 kg.
St. Demetrius Tower
Outside the Votive church stands the Saint Demetrius Tower, the oldest architectural relic of the city. The remain of the church erected in honour of Saint Demetrius of Thessaloniki living in the 4th century is called the Dömötör Tower by the people of Szeged.
The tunes of this unique piece of art by watchmaker Ferenc Csúri could be first heard at the Open Air Festival in 1936. The music clock on the upper level of the building, opposite the main entrance of the Votive Church is a symbol of medieval universities. Twice a day, at 12.15 and 17.45 it shows the walk of the graduating students at the end of the academic year.
Móra Ferenc Museum
You can find works by Hungarian painters like Munkacsy, Csok, Rudnay or Rippl-Ronai, a natural history exhibition, one on local folklore, and some temporary ones.
- The History of Paprika
- Painting Collection of Lucs
- "We have only one Earth..."
- Memorial Room of Ferenc Móra
- Local history exhibition: "Szöged hírös város"
- Ethnographic Spectacle
The building standing at the corner of Somogyi and Kelemen Street is unique in its style, appearance and location. It was built in English romantic style in 1857 on the base of the designs by Károly Gerster. The name of the house, originally a commercial townhouse, then a casino, comes from the dark grey-black colour used on the exterior earlier. Black House has been providing permanent exhibit rooms for the historical department of Ferenc Móra Museum, regularly accommodating temporary exhibitions related to the past of the city.
The "new" synagogue and the head office of the Jewish community was planned by Lipót Baumhorn after winning the contest of design. The building operations began in August of 1900 and ended by October 1902. We can recognise nearly all architectural styles in this monumental 48,5 meter (158,5 feet) tall building. The basic overall appearance is moorish-art nouveau. The insertion by sprandrels, the rib-like wall above the organ is Gothic, the columns holding the galleries are Roman. The most beautiful part of the synagogue is the interior of the dome, which symbolizes the world.
Serbian Orthodox Church
The building was erected in honour of Saint Nicholas in 1778 in Baroque style to serve the local Serbian community. The interior is typical to Orthodox Christian churches.
Reformed Church – Honvéd tér
The history of the congregation is short as it was created no longer than half a century ago. During the first half of the twentieth century the only Reformed church of the town was that of "Kálvin tér" built in 1884. The number of devotees significantly grew after the resettlement of the University of Kolozsvár to Szeged; the Calvinist refugees of Transylvania and Banat and the high number of university students further increasing the congregation following the border modifications resulted from the Trianon peace treaty. That was why the Presbiteriat made the decision of building a new Calvinist church in 1928.
REÖK – Regional Art Center
On the corner of Lajos Tisza boulevard and Kölcsey street stands one of the most unique works of Hungarian Art Nouveau. Built in the style that foreign literature labels "Hungarian Jugendstil”, the house was designed by Ede Magyar, and completed in 1907. The hundred-year-old Art Nouveau palace opened its doors in August 2007. The Reök palace – Regional Arts Centre try to fulfill multifunctional cultural purposes, such as hosting the city’s art gallery.
The Water Tower of Szeged was constrcuted in art nouveau style (called secessionist in Hungary) in 1903/04 by the plans by Szilárd Zielinski. The decorations are due to Flóris Korb. The Tower is open to the public. In addition to enjoying the beauty of the building, visitors can take a look at the exhibition with paintings, drawings, photos and photo-drawings introducing soda water production and the history of physics. From the tower's top floor you can enjoy the amazing view of the city.
Szeged Zoo was opened as part of the amusement park in 1985. At that time there were only a few animals in the park: 3 monkies, 1 python, some deers and boars. The expansion started with the establishment of the Southern America section and continued with the monkies' house, the parrots' house, Asia-house and a typical Hungarian farm etc. The newest part is the penguins' home and the management is planning to build a raja covey where the kids can even touch the animals.
Szeged Zoo also cares about nature conservation and education: there is a Rescue Center and a ZooSchool. On the International Earth, Water and Animal Day, the zoo-staff organizes special events for kids, where they can learn about the animals and nature having fun at the same time. The Zoo is very successful at reproduction of endangered animals: there are some little cuties every year.
The two specialities of the Garden are Metasequoia, a pine species from South China, and Indian Lotus. The blooming of the lotus – in July – is a very busy period of the garden: in addition to tourists, even the local people are interested in it. The coworkers of the university are expecting families and children with programmes all over the year. The garden is a perfect place for a romantic picnic. We suggest to take a mosquito spray with yourself in the summer.
The observatory located in Újszeged was built by the Szeged Observatory Foundation more than twenty years ago. The observatory recently renewed a 40 cm Newtonian telescope (adjustable cupola, electrical control, SBIG ST-7 CCD camera) serves the purpose of scientific research, while amateur astronomers can study the secrets of the sky by using smaller, lens telescopes. It is open to public every Friday evening. Until dark astronomy and space research lessons illustrated by computer pictures and animations await visitors. On clear-sky days the observatory offers telescope shows and laser stick constellation presentations.
Pick Salami and Paprika Museum
The unique museum on the bank of the River Tisza is part of the salami factory founded in 1869, exhibiting two special products of Szeged. In the room downstairs visitors can learn about the history of the factory owned by the Pick family and the production of Winter salami. The exhibition upstairs presents the traditions and tools of paprika production, as well as the findings of the studies on paprika. The photos show the bustling life of the paprika market in Szeged at the beginning of the 20th century and the stages of paprika production. The museum also offers tasting and discount shopping opportunities, and a free delivery of the complimentary postcard to any countries in the world.
Anna Bath is in the centre of Szeged. The beautiful building has spa, wellness and health department and offers health services and programmes like night bathing.
In the four-season „water-town” a new indoor adventure pool area awaits its guests with streaming passages, waterfalls, effervescent beds and other fun elements.
The indoor pool is adjoined to the outdoor adventure pool. On the southern side of the fun spa a glazed wall offers the visual connection to the outdoor pools and facilities.
Inside the bath a complex new exclusive silent wellness area awaits guests and offers a perfect relaxation and recreation for everyone! This unique relaxation area serves undisturbed and quiescent recreation of our guests over 16 years of age.
The present City Hall is the third building in the same place with the same function. The first building of a modest design was raised in 1728. It was followed by the second one with the same area as the present hall, designed by István Vedres at the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries. After the flood devastating almost the entire city (1879), the square was filled up, so the building became too low and awkward. Ödön Lechner and Gyula Pártos designed another floor and a slender central spire on the original foundation. The neo-baroque City Hall was inaugurated by Emperor Franz Joseph in 1883, the middle window of the staircase is decorated with his renowned saying: 'Szeged will be more beautiful than it used to be'. The phoenix in the middle of the pediment symbolizes the revival of Szeged. The Bridge of Sighs, originally built for the Emperor and his escort visiting the reconstructed city, deserves attention, as well. In the court with a unique atmosphere prose and music performances await the audience each summer.
Szeged National Theatre
The theatre opened in 1883 is one of the most beautiful eclectic neo-baroque buildings of the town rebuilt from its ruins. Its splendid elegance was given to it by Ferdinand Felner and Hermann Helmer, two theatre architects from Vienna.
The Franciscan church dedicated to Our Lady of the Snows and the cloister nearby are precious architectural heritages of Szeged. The church was erected in several steps in neo-gothic style, probably using the remains of the first building from the 12th century. It was consecrated in 1503. Its baroque interior dates from the beginning of the 18th century. There are two icons of Blessed Virgin Mary in it, the one carved by a monk called Antal Graff decorating the main altar, the other one named Black Mary having its original in Czestochowa, Poland. The church and the monastery next to it is the second biggest religious complex in Hungary, keeping its original function. The Franciscan visiting centre presenting the monks' life awaits visitors offering multi-lingual guiding and programmes rich in content.
The education and congress centre of the University of Szeged, opened to the public in 2004, in service of learning and teaching on an area of 25,000 m2. In the first green congress centre in Hungary continuous efforts are made to achieve the best energy efficiency and minimise waste. Congresses, business and university events for 50-1300 persons can be professionally organised here. The lecture and seminar rooms of the centre provide an excellent venue for university tuition from Monday to Wednesday. The lecture rooms, of which the largest can take up to 700 persons, are equipped with high quality audiovisual devices. The building accommodates one of Hungary's most modern libraries with a collection comprising almost two million documents. In the multilevel study hall equipped with 300 computers as many as a thousand students can work at the same time, which makes the complex known as TIK one of the most important aspects of university life.
Fehértói Fisherman’s Restaurant
The restaurant, opened in 1938, is located at the Szeged-Észak exit of M5 motorway. It is one of the places of pilgrimage for fish soup lovers and suitable for all forms of catering, and organising family and business events. Its kitchen uses fresh fish caught on the same day in the neighbouring lakes. The most popular meals are naturally fish soup and other fish dishes, but those who prefer other foods can choose from a great variety of the characteristic tastes of Hungarian cuisine.
Roosevelt tér Fish Restaurant
The concept of fish soup has almost become inseparable from the fish restaurant in Roosevelt square, more popularly known as "Sótartó" (Saltcellar), which is one of the most popular restaurants in the city, situated on the bank of the Tisza river, near the Old bridge. Besides serving delicious food, the recently refurbished restaurant provides an opportunity to study Hungarian ethnography, as the interior is decorated with numerous old objects. In summer guests can sit on a comfortable terrace, or have their meals in Belvárosi Fish Garden under the bridge, listening to live music.
Franciscan Visitor Centre in Alsóváros
Situated in Alsóváros, Szeged, the monastery and the church together form Hungary's second largest church complex, keeping its original function. The observant branch of the Franciscans settled down in the city in 1444. To build the present late gothic style church, built between 1480 and 1503, they used the material of the 12th century Saint Peter hospital church. The baroque tower over the chancel was erected in 1730. The construction of the monastery took place in three major stages: the western wing is the oldest, the northern part of the building was completed at the same time as the church, while the eastern wing was built in the 18th century. The Visitor Centre, accommodated in the monastery, was opened in 2012. Taking a walk inside the church visitors can learn about the history of the medieval building complex, while at the exhibition displaying the centuries-old masterpieces of religious art they can admire such unique pieces as the 15th century gothic chair, which is the longest preserved chair made in Hungary. In addition, visitors can gain insight into monks' everyday life, which is still based on the regulation of the founder, St. Francis of Assisi. In the garden of the monastery there is an exhibition of the old stones of the church and a herb garden resembling the farming of the Franciscan friars in Alsóváros. This old monastery farm was the starting point of the paprika production in Szeged in the 16th century, so the garden today can't be complete without the bright red colour paprika spice either.