Szeged, Hungary – Art Nouveau at its Finest

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We have Andrea from Rear View Mirror to thank for our unique visit to the Hungarian city of Szeged today. She was lucky enough to enjoy it with both snow and sunshine! In 1879, the town was flooded and only 300 out of 5,500 houses remained. Most of the European countries contributed to its reconstruction resulting in one of the first examples of total town planning. Practically every style from the end of the 19th century is represented.

The town hall is the first building we see in Szedeg

The town hall is the first building we see in Szedeg

We arrived around midday and left at 3 pm with two parking tickets on our windscreen! The very nice girl in the excessively difficult-to-find tourist office said they she has been told that foreigners are not pursued for parking fines. Let’s hope so! There are different zones and you need to buy a parking permit from a newsagency. One day costs around 7 euro and you can park in any zone. That was the only negative point about Szeged!

Unger-Mayer house - you can just make out the dancing ladies on the cupola

Unger-Mayer house – you can just make out the dancing ladies on the cupola

Another attractive art nouveau building

Another attractive art nouveau building

The university building

The university building

We had an excellent “business lunch” in a restaurant called Alabardos Etterem es Borozo just near the Cathedral. We had a three-course meal, a glass of wine and coffee for 4000 florints for 13 euros for the two of us. I don’t think we have ever paid so little for a meal anywhere in the world!

The tourist office is hidden away in a courtyard

The tourist office is hidden away in a courtyard

The Reok Palace commissioned by hydraulic engineer Ivzn Reok, which explains its many water motifs. It reminds me of one of Gaudi's creations in Barcelona

The Reok Palace commissioned by hydraulic engineer Ivzn Reok, which explains its many water motifs. It reminds me of one of Gaudi’s creations in Barcelona

The corner of the Reok Palace, my favourite

The corner of the Reok Palace, my favourite

One of the town’s main attractions – the mosaics in the New Synogogue was not open due to a special ceremony so we were not able to see them.

The war memorial with its  vaulted fresques

The war memorial with its vaulted fresques

The cathedral, whose construction started in 1913, to commemorate the great flood, was finally consacrated in 1930

The cathedral, whose construction started in 1913, to commemorate the great flood, was finally consacrated in 1930

The inside of the cathedral

The inside of the cathedral

Another thing we noticed is that Szeged is a cyclist’s paradise. There are bike paths everywhere and bikes – along with horse-drawn carriages – are not allowed on many large streets. Unfortunately we weren’t able to try them out due to the low temperature – 11°C – and overcast sky. It even started to rain just as we got to the end of our visit. However, you can see lots of cyclists in the photos.

A musical clock built in 1936. Colourful figures representing students and academics come out at 12.15 and 5.45 pm every day.

A musical clock built in 1936. Colourful figures representing students and academics come out at 12.15 and 5.45 pm every day.

A palatial-like building near the cathedral

A palatial-like building near the cathedral

One of the buildings along the riverbank

One of the buildings along the riverbank

Along the Tizsa River

Along the Tizsa River

I did wonder why none of the main buildings are along the Tesza River but I guess it’s still subject to flooding.

The neoclassic culture museum built in 1896

The neoclassic culture museum built in 1896

The neo-baroque opera house built in 1893

The neo-baroque opera house built in 1893

An oriel window on a decorative façade

An oriel window on a decorative façade

Grof Palace built in 1912-1913

Grof Palace built in 1912-1913

I don’t know whether we’ll ever come back to this part of the world, but if we do, I hope we’ll catch Szeged on a warm sunny day so we can appreciate it even more. But despite the overcast sky, light and open spaces are synonymous with Szeged.

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12 Responses to Szeged, Hungary – Art Nouveau at its Finest

  1. Exquisite architecture… what a beautiful place!
    William Kendall recently posted…Crossing The River And The BridgeMy Profile

  2. Andrea says:

    So glad you liked it! The architecture there blows my mind. So amazing. The Reok Palace was my favourite too. We were there just after Christmas where we had a heavy downfall of snow and then clear sunny skies. It was incredibly beautiful. If you don’t mind me sharing, I wrote about it here: http://www.rearviewmirror.tv/szeged-hungary/
    Andrea recently posted…September Travel Plans: Anywhere But BudapestMy Profile

    • Rosemary Kneipp says:

      We really did love it. Snow and sun – what a lovely combination! And no, I don’t mind your sharing. I’ll add the link to the post.

      And can you tell me about tipping here?

      • Andrea says:

        I think most Hungarians don’t tip much, max 10% in restaurants or they just round up the bill. Leave a few coins in a cafe. Similar to France I guess. Do check that service isn’t included as sometimes the sneak that into the bill.
        Andrea recently posted…September Travel Plans: Anywhere But BudapestMy Profile

        • Rosemary Kneipp says:

          Thanks Andrea. That’s what we’ve been doing. In fact, the restaurant in Szeged included it in the bill but the waiter was so helpful translating the business menu that we left a little extra anyway.

  3. Except, possibly for Hungary – we’ll wait and see – your interesting travels confirm pretty much that Eastern Europe need not be on the list of missed places
    stephen brody recently posted…IX HOLLYWOOD LUSITANIAMy Profile

    • Rosemary Kneipp says:

      I would put Plovdiv in Bulgaria which we went to on a previous occasion on the list of places not to be missed as well as Lubljana in Slovenia. And I definitely want to go back to Romania and discover more. We also enjoyed Budapest and Santender two years ago. I have to say that Serbia is a big disappointment though.

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  5. Susan Walter says:

    Szeged looks charming.
    Susan Walter recently posted…The Medieval Month of OctoberMy Profile

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  7. nikita yadav says:

    Its such a nice post.
    nikita yadav recently posted…NEWS AND EVENTSMy Profile

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