The City of Debrecen
Debrecen is the second largest city in Hungary –measured by population. Due to its role during the Reformation, it received the name “the Calvinist Rome” in the 16th century. Ever since the Middle Ages, it has been also a student city, and one of the capitals of the revolution and the fight for freedom in 1848-49.
The symbol of the city is the Reformed Great Church, built in a classicist style with more than 3,000 seats. The interior is simply decorated. It is also the biggest reformed church in Hungary. Debrecen lies in the east of Hungary and some 30 km as the crow flies (also some 30 km on the national road 48) to the west of the Romanian border. The city is a centre for culture, economy, trade, and industry which has played a major role in the history of the Hungarian people. In the field of sports, the city has become famous thanks to several top sportsmen and stories of success. The theatre and musical scenes of the city are based in meaningful traditions. The theatre ensemble plays its productions in the beautiful Csokonai Theatre.
For many tourists from the whole world, the best known Hungarian cities are those found in the western part of the country. Budapest, Sopron and Pécs are examples of these cities and are widely known. However, the eastern part of Hungary is full of beautiful, interesting cities. One of these cities is Debrecen. Historically, this city originated in the middle of the Puzsta and soon became the most booming city in the region. An interesting story, culinary possibilities and beautiful sights are some of the aspects that distinguish Debrecen.
Although Debrecen is the second largest city in Hungary, it is not so well known as Budapest. A reason for that may be its geographical location in eastern Hungary, but that does not mean that Debrecen is not worth seeing. The city is a centre for Hungarian culture, as many artists have decided to stay in Debrecen, after looking for a place to settle. Apart form the cultural aspects, the city is also called the “Rome of the Calvinists”, since Debrecen played a major role during the Reformation. In addition, the big shopping centres offer the possibility of a pleasant shopping tour.
The history of Debrecen is interesting and exciting. Although there were almost no resources around when the city was founded in the Middle Ages, the inhabitants were able to finance the construction of the town thanks to the trade with the region Hortobágy, in the Hungarian Puszta. Fortunately, during the Turkish rule, Debrecen was situated directly on the border of the great power, which allowed the city to maintain a status of city-state. In total, Debrecen has been twice the capital of Hungary.
The reason for Debrecen’s big popularity among Hungarians are the many attractions of Debrecen. In the centre there is not only a marvellous, beautiful Old Town, but also the Piac utca. The Reformed Great Church is found in this pedestrian zone, the most important monument of Debrecen. The Reformed College, the memorial column and the Déri Museum are also located in the centre. In the pedestrian zone, enjoying an ice-cream in one of the cafés is a must. The ice-cream is made after their own recipes, so it has a special flavour.
Shortly after leaving the centre of Debrecen, you will find two important places in the city. One is the Aquaticum Thermal, the other the Aquaticum Wellness Hotel. This big complex offers families a day full of new experiences. In case of sickness, the clinic will help to fight pain with medicinal water. Beside the Aquaticum there is the Big Forest of Debrecen, a beautiful park decorated with many objects, paths and little lakes. It is highly recommendable to take a walk through the forest. For the younger ones, there are also a zoo and a theme park which will provide an unforgettable day in Debrecen.
Debrecen is also an important university city. The University of Debrecen is internationally considered an excellent place for medical or economy studies, among others. More than 20,000 students benefit from the courses and study facilities every year, and the number of foreign students is constantly increasing. Some of the most renowned doctors and economy experts have been awarded a doctorate at this University. Apart from the task of disseminating knowledge, the University of Debrecen is also a famous attraction of the city. If you walk through the individual faculties, you will discover beautiful gardens, interesting buildings, as well as different sculptures and artwork. It is not without reason that many students spend their study time in the open air, in order to study in this idyllic environment.