lies in the middle of Hungary, in the region of the sandy
hills between the rivers Danube and Tisza, 86 kilometres south
of Budapest. The settlement was established at the crossroads
of ancient trading routes and its location and favourable
geographical characteristics brought the town into the lime-light
from among the neighbouring villages. The chapter of King
Nagy Lajos from 1368 mentions it as a market-town.
It preserved its market-town character for centuries and the
extensive farming, the trade of cattle and later on the special
vine-growing and fruit-growing culture resulted in the growth
of the town.
In the second half of the 19th century the immense development
of the town was possible due to the developed agriculture
and the industrial settling following the Compromise of 1867
when the market-place of the former market-town was established
to a splendid main square with palaces built in the style
of Art Nouveau.
Kecskemét is still the "capital" of Hungarian architecture
of Art Nouveau, the most splendid masterpieces of this style
decorate the town centre.
Kecskemét has been the centre of Bács-Kiskun county since
1950; it has got 110 thousand inhabitants and it is a dinamically
developing industrial, commercial and cultural centre. The
town hosts workshops and unique collections of music, fine
arts and animation of international fame and recognised scientific
institutions. Besides these Kecskemét expects visitors with
a whole range of recurring programs year by year.
the Main Square of Kecskemét you can find the Old
Catholic Church (1) which is the largest chatedral of
the Great Hungarian Plain built in the style of the age of
Louis 16 of France. Looking down from the 73 meter high tower
you can see the panorama of the town.
The neighbouring building is the Town Hall (2) built
by the plans of Ödön Lechner and Gyula Pártos; it is an outstanding
example of the Hungarian Art Nouveau architecture. The characteristics
of the outside walls are given by the harmony of the motives
taken from folk art and the majolica of Zsolnay. You can hear
the carillon of the works of Kodály, Erkel and Beethoven every
hour. The nicest part of the building is the Ceremonial Hall
decorated by Bertalan Székely's historical frescos.
Opposite the Town Hall you can find the most ancient architectural
relic of Kecskemét, the Franciscan Church built in the 14th
century; the locals call it the Church of Friars. Originally
it was built in Gothic style and after several reconstruction
it got its Baroque tone. From the point of view of history
of religion it is important that it was used both by the Catholic
and the Protestant until 1564.
Going on the Neo-Baroque building of the theatre (3),
built for the Millennium of the century, attracts our attention.
It got its name after the famous dramatist of the town, József
Katona, the writer of the first national drama.
In front of the theatre the Column of Holy Trinity (4) reminds
us of the epidemic of Black Death that took its tithe of the
people in the town. The Statue made of sandstone in 1742,
is decorated by the figures of Saint Sebastian, Saint Roch,
Saint Elisabeth and Saint Stephen.
Going on the round the boulevard we arrive at Kéttemplomköz
Street. On the left side of the street you can find the Zoltán
Kodály Pedagogical Institute of Music (5).
At the end of the street we find the Calvinist Church
(6) built in early Baroque style in the 1680's, the only church
built of stone in the territory during the Turkish occupation.
Opposite the Calvinist Church there is the New College
(7) built in 1912. The palace was built in the style of
Art Nouveau, decorated with Trasylvanian motives. The building
is used as the Primary and Secondary School of the Calvinist
College. In the building there are the library of the parish
and Ráday Museum, exhibiting the treasures of Calvinist religious
art collected from the region between the rivers Danube and
There are two famous buildings on the right of the New College,
one of them is the Cifrapalota (8) (Ornamented Palace),
a unique work of the architecture, known as the masterpiece
of Art Nouveau with its wonderful walls, shining roof tiles
and ceramic ornaments of plants and animals hosting Kecskemét
The other one is the onetime synagogue built in Moorish-romantic
style; it was reconstructed as a conference centre during1970's.
It is known as the House of Science and Technics (9)
exhibiting the plaster-cast of 15 Michelangelo statues.
About 100 metres right from the synagogue in Arany János Street
you can find the Lutheran Church (10) built in the
19th century. Until the end of 80's the masterpiece of Miklós
Ybl, decorated with Roman motives, was hidden by cheap stores;
today it can be seen in its original beauty.
Going on we can gaze at the most up-to-date library of the
county built in 1996. József Katona Library awaits visitors
on a 7000 m2 area.
The square in front of the library is the Piarist Square.
The Piarist convent started their educational activity in
the town at the beginning of the 18th century and they built
their convent and church later. The secondary grammar school
in the centre of the square was built next to the convent
in neo-classic style.
more about Kecskemét on the official website of the town.