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The city of the Sun - Szeged

The city of the Sun - Szeged
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Szeged lies in southern Hungary, on the banks of the river Tisza. According to the legends Attila, king of the Huns had his seat nearby and was buried here. Despite its rich history, the layout of today's Szeged was mostly shaped by the great flood of 1879, which literally wiped away the whole town, leaving only 265 of the 5,700 houses. During the following years, a new and modern Szeged with palaces and wide avenues - emerged from the ruins. Szeged has the most sunny days in Hungary, which is perfect for growing the famous „paprika”, and grants the city its nickname, „City of Sunshine”.

Szeged’s inner city is a city of neighbouring squares. We start the tour on Széchenyi square, one of the largest square in Europe, a beautifully landscaped green park with trees and benches and the neo-baroque style City Hall, built in 1799. The original building was destroyed during the Big Flood of 1879, the present one is the work of Ödön Lechner from 1883. Beside the building is the „Bridge of Sighs” of Szeged. Through Klauzál square we go to Kárász street, (Szeged's Váci street) to check out the famous Virág Cukrászda (founded in 1922) for a delicious coffee. We continue to Dugonics square, which locates the Attila József Science University, named after its most famous alumnus, the much loved Hungarian poet. The University of Szeged, one of the most distinguished universities in Hungary, was also established after the great flood. Among its teachers was Albert Szent-Györgyi, one of the founders of the Faculty of Science. He received the Nobel Prize in 1937 for his discoveries in connection with Vitamin C. Through Aradi Vértanúk square (Bolyai Institute) and Heroes' Gate (erected in 1936 in honour of Horthy's White Guards, who were responsible for 'cleansing' the nation of 'Reds' after the ill-fated Republic of Councils in 1919) we reach the most notable square in Szeged's inner city, where the symbol of the town, the gigantic Neo-Romanesque, brown-brick Votive Church, and the oldest monument of Szeged, the St. Demetrius Tower stands. The twin-towered Votive Church was pledged after the flood in 1879, but not completed until 1930. The church gives home to the biggest organ (11 500 pipes). The Serbian Orthodox church in Dom square, dating from 1778, has a fantastic iconostasis: a central gold 'tree', with 60 icons hanging from its 'branches'. Dom square also contains the National Pantheon, which consists of statues and reliefs of 80 notables running along an arcade around three sides of the square - a crash course in Hungarian art, literature, culture and history. Even the Scotsman Adam Clark, who supervised the building of Budapest's Chain Bridge, won the accolade to be here. On Dom square we hear the enchating tune of the Music Clock, made in 1936, displaying figures of notable professors and students in every hour.

Every summer in July and August, Dóm tér gives home to the famous Open Air Theatre Festival of Szeged, a celebration of opera and theatre. Ask for actual date and progam!

No trip to Szeged is complete without tasting the famous Szeged Fisherman's Soup, made of carp and catfish, so the tour inlcudes a lunch in an atmospheric restaurant at the riverbank to enjoy it!

Szeged's Fishsoup Feast is held every year in summer, ask for date and actual programs!

After lunch we visit Pick and Paprika Museum, to know more - from hoof to shrink-wrap - about the making of Szeged's famed salami. Salami first came to Hungary from Italy in the 19th century and Szeged has since been at the forefront of salami production. The museum at the Pick factory, which began operating in 1896, highlights the history of salami in Hungary and the salami-making process. It also features information about the factory's paprika mill.

Optional (depending on time left): visit of the Ferenc Móra Museum. The museum's strength lies in its colourful collection of folk art from Csongrád County, and the unique exhibit of 7th-century Avar tribes’s delicate gold works. Visit of the famous Feszty Panorama (Arrival of Hungarians)  in Ópusztaszer is also optional.

Included in the tour:  tour, guidance, lunch of Hungarian fishsoup

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