We have been to Szeged before but did not have too much time to look around then. This time we arrived on Friday afternoon, November 15, 2013, and we investigated Szeged for a couple of hours before the mini-conference started.
Szeged is the third largest city in Hungary and its University of Szeged is one of the most distinguished in Hungary. The name Szeged was first mentioned in 1183, in a document of King Béla III. Szeged is known as the home of paprika (a spice made from dried, powdered peppers), a type of goulash, a fish soup made of carp and catfish and Pick salami. (In most large grocery stores in Hungary you can see large fish tanks with large fish to buy fresh!) The downtown section is not too old, having been rebuilt after the great flood of 1879, which literally wiped away the whole town (only 265 of the 5723 houses remained). All this information comes from Wikipedia…
One of the missionaries told us not to miss the Votive Church.http://www.1hungary.com/info/szeged/ So we started there.
However parking was an issue. There were no central parking meters that we could find. Finally, after driving around for a while looking for these meters, I said I would go into a nearby restaurant and ask how do we get a parking permit? The man told me to go across the street to a camera store!? So I did that and bought an expensive all day permit and we dutifully put it in on the dashboard, so it could be seen…… and went on our way to sight see… (I did try to ask the man how did they know which day it was used; but he did not understand my question, so I left.)
This Dömötör tower is adjacent to the Votive Church, which is on the right..
I kept taking pictures of this beautiful building every time we went near it. After doing some research I found it was designed by a famous architect Ede Magyar and built in 1907. It had to be renovated after WW II. It is in downtown Szeged.
We found a walking street in downtown Szeged. These walking streets are very popular all over Hungary.
After this brief tour, we went back to the car to find this on it! OH! NO! a parking ticket in Szeged….. How could this be, when we were so careful to find the parking permit?
Back to the church building to be a part of the mini-conference. After the mini-conference was over, on Saturday afternoon, Brother H took us on a little tour with Sister W, who came down from Debrecsen. We saw some other interesting things…
Towns built on rivers often have to deal with floods. After the great flood of 1879, flood walls were built to help protect Szeged. We have also seen that in Budapest, which I reported on in an earlier post about the flooding here.
This building was built over a road. And there is some beautiful artwork in the arches. During the Soviet occupation, these were covered up with plaster! But fortunately, they survived and were later uncovered and restored.
Another reminder of the Soviet past: “10 stories” – your basic concrete apartment buildings. Some are being painted to help in their street appeal.
Another interesting little unknown is why they plant these acreage in trees? We have seen these plots of trees all over Hungary. Are they cash crops or for winter heating of the homes? Hopefully I can find out before we leave.
And we probably will not return to Szeged again before we leave our mission. So it was good to have a better look at this important third largest city in Hungary.