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Kecskemet

Country
Hungary
State
Kecskemet
City
Kecskemet
Type of Location
Multiple
About Location

Kecskemet is a city in the central part of Hungary.It is the 8th largest city of the country, and the county seat of Bacs-Kiskun.Kecskemet lies halfway between the capital Budapest and the country's third-largest city, Szeged, 86 kilometres from both of them and almost equal distance from the two big rivers of the country, the Danube and the Tisza.It is the northern of two centres of the Hungarian Southern Great Plain (Hungarian: Del-Alfold) region (comprising the three counties Bacs-Kiskun, Bekes and Csongrad); the southern centre is Szeged, the seat of Csongrad county.The name of the city stems from the Hungarian word kecske, meaning "goat".

Kecskemet was formed at the meeting point of a large sandy region and a sandy yellow soil, its height is 120 meters above sea level.The territory west of the city is covered by wind-blown sand, characterized by the almost parallel northern-southern sand dunes and the plain lands among them.At the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th centuries, the pastures had become impoverished.Overgrazing by cattle had destroyed the natural vegetation cover; the movement of sand seriously endangered the town, too.Concentrated afforestation and planting of fruit and vines was carried out to stabilize the soil again.Kecskemet is in the center of Kiskunsag, one of Hungary's famous regions.The Kiskunsag National Park was established in 1975 to preserve the many different regional species of plants and animals.It is a "mosaic"-type national park, consisting of units that are not close to each other. This is rare internationally as well.

The characteristic feature of weather in the Kecskemet region of Kiskunsag is extremism.The characteristic weather of the Kecskemet region is continental warm, dry, sometimes extreme.The amount of sunlight makes it possible for the region to produce agricultural products such as wheat, apricots, red peppers or tomatoes.The warmest month in Kecskemet is July, with an average temperature of 20.9 degrees Celsius; the coldest is January, with −1.9°C.Early spring and late autumn frosts are frequent in the Great Hungarian Plain.The tendency of frost usually disappears only from the middle of April.After the third week of October, the temperature is frequently below 0°C.On June 18, 2008, German car manufacturer Daimler announced that it would locate a Mercedes-Benz manufacturing plant in Kecskemet, planning to invest €800 million (US$1.24 billion). The plant, one of the biggest if not the biggest-ever in the region, will provide work for 2500 people.

The first archeological trace of a human in the area is about five thousand years old.The Sarmatian invaded the area in the first century B.C.; since then the area has been continuously inhabited by a variety of cultures. Janos Hornyik, the first town historian, believed that the settlement known as Partiskum of the Sarmatian Jazygian was here.Contemporary consensus among historians is that it is more likely permanent settlement occurred only after the Hungarian conquest.At the beginning of the 13th century, there were seven villages in the area, each with a population of 200-300 formed near the village church, a typical rural pattern.They were all destroyed by the Mongol Invasion.Some of the villages revived at the time of the Cumanian's colonization.The Hungarian Association of Photographers formed the Hungarian Photography Foundation in 1990.It helped raise funds for the restoration of an 18th-century building in Kecskemet last used as an Orthodox synagogue.It was adapted for the Hungarian Museum of Photography (Magyar Fotografiai Muzeum), which opened in 1991.The museum holds work by Hungarian and other photographers of international and national reputations.It especially collects Hungarian photographers who successfully worked abroad.



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How to Reach

By Air

From Budapest's Ferihegy Airport, Kecskemet can be reached in 58 minutes by train from the recently opened Ferihegy train station near Terminal 1 (from Terminal 2, you can catch a bus (12 mins., 300 ft (ca. 1.20 € or 1.85 $USD) to the train station).The trains from Budapest usually stop at Ferihegy at twelve minutes past the hour and reach Kecskemet at ten minutes past the next hour.A ticket for this train is 1350 ft (ca. 5.30 € or 8.30 USD$).

By Train

Direct service from Budapest leaves from Budapest Nyugati station hourly, always ten before the hour. Prices currently are 1460 ft (5.75 € or 9 USD $) one way and a reservation can be purchased for an additional 520 ft (2.05 € or 3.20 USD$).The entire journey takes an hour and twenty minutes.Trains also leave from Szeged every hour, always on 42 minutes past the hour.The trip is an hour and four minutes and costs 1350 ft (5.30 € or 8.30 USD$).

By Bus

Direct service leaves from Budapest's Nepliget bus station.Travel time varies between an hour and twenty minutes and two hours.

Key places to visit
Ornamental Palace, Kecskemet Gallery, Kecskemet City Hall, Jozsef Katona Theatre, Hungarian Museum of Photography


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Places to Visit

Ornamental Palace

On the East side of Szabadsag square.One of the finest examples of Hungarian secessionist architecture, the building was completed in 1902 based on the designs of Hungarian architect Geza Markus.Formerly an apartment building, it now houses the Kecskemet Gallery.

Kecskemet Gallery

Housed in the magnificent Cifra Palota the gallery hosts a history of the city (though with no explanations in English) and several modern paintings from Hungarian masters.Also of note is one exhibition room that is decorated similar to the exterior of the palace.

Kecskemet City Hall

Is the house of the main administration of the city of Kecskemet, Bacs-Kiskun County, Hungary.It was built in 1893.The building itself is more of a mixture between renaissance and baroque styles, for which it has been criticized by National Romanticists like Karoly Kos.Bertalan Szekely, who also decorated the interior of the Matthias Church in Budapest, painted gilded murals on the interior of the Grand Hall.The building was designed by Odon Lechner and Gyula Partos.The decoration of the building, which consists of Zsolnay tile patterns inspired by old Magyar and Turkic folk art, was the start of the National Romanticism movement, which culminated in the Museum of Applied Arts in Budapest.

Jozsef Katona Theatre

The building decorated with Baroque-style motifs was designed by Ferdinand Fellner and Arpad Helmer.Construction began in 1896.The 900 seat theatre was completed in 16 months.Beloved actress Mari Jaszai opened the theatre with her guest performance on 16th October 1896.The famous drama by Jozsef Katona, Ban Bank, was first performed in Kecskemet on 14th October 1847 by Ede Gots' theatre company.Hungary's greatest national drama has been performed over 200 times in the city since then.

Hungarian Museum of Photography

It collects, restores, expertly assembles and exhibits the above materials.In addition it publishes books, adding to Hungarian professional literature by four or five monographs.It assists scientific researchers, it is a practical arena for college students, aids other museums, collections, private collectors seeking its assistance with its accumulated wisdom.It also does basic research and creates databases.Annually it organizes 8-10 exhibitions at the museum and an equal number at other locations, abroad.It is presently working on making its entire collection and services available on the Internet as well.

Right Time to Visit

January - May
September - December

Temperature

Information not available


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