Kecskemet, the County seat of Bacs-Kiskun County
, is located between the rivers Danube and Tisza, midway between Budapest and Szeged. At 100 km from Budapest (Hungary), 300 km north of Belgrade (Serbia) and 250 km North-West of Timisoara (Romania), the city offers good connection to the rest of Eastern Europe
Some believe the city’s name came about by the combination of the words 'Kecske' (meaning ‘goat’) and 'Met'. For example, Jozsef Katona, and later Janos Hornyik and Dezso Paizs were among those who thought that two villages united, Kecske and Met, and were called thereafter Kecskemet. Before that, the place was first called Kecskemeta, and later Kecskehatar, since the flocks of the royal court used to graze in this area. (Meta, Mega = ‘county’, but also ‘met' means ‘walking’ in Slavonic languages.)
After the establishment of the Kingdom of Hungary, this area became a manor to the Queen
, and, as mentioned above, the cattle of the royal court were grazing herein. Having changed proprietors several times, this land suffered significantly from invaders under the reign of the Ottoman Empire and later in the so-called Kuruc times. In these perilous times, people took refuge in the neighboring swamps and marshlands, and were forced to pay taxes to various powers.
Despite these trials and tribulations, in the dawn of the 18th century, soon after the Freedom fight led by Francis Rakoczi II, the city experienced quick recovery in the agricultural, stockbreeder, and industrial life. Thanks to this progression, by the middle of the 19th century, Kecskemet became the most populated Scarborough in the country
Numerous Kecskemet citizens joined the Revolution in 1848-49
, and the area continued its progression after the Conciliation. Newly built railways helped to export the goods -- meat, crops, and fruits -- of this region abroad.
World War I and “the red- and white terror” decimated the population of Kecskemet
, and a slower recovery came only after the 1950s: homesteads were built, electricity reached the small villages, and many people moved into the city.
Today's Kecskemet, the „Hírös” (famous) city, is the land of historical traditions and new opportunities, characterized by a developed infrastructure, progressive business, tourism, and a colorful cultural life
. It is a strategically located city in Hungary, offering good connection to the rest of Eastern Europe through the M5 highway that links Hungary with Serbia and Romania. Take a virtual tour with us in historic downtown, and work up an appetite for a personal discovery of the city and the surrounding area.
Photo: Balint Dekor
Kecskemet by foreigners' eyes
DAY IN THE PUSZTA
: The apricot brandy of Kecskemet, the art nouveau buildings decorated with /Zsolnay
/ ceramics, the "Kodaly Institute” are its must-sees and make it a famous town, the "Hiros Varos
" (Known Town). The Decorated Palace, covered with flower motifs in various colors, is a significant Hungarian art nouveau creation. The Town Hall, with its painted porcelain roof and its flower decorations, is one of the most beautiful town halls in the country.
: Also called the Great Plain, in the 19th century, this vast prairie was the Wild West of Hungary, and immense herds of livestock grazed here under the watchful eye of the cowboys.
Trip in a horse-drawn wagon
: Equestrian displays are regularly given on the farms, their most spectacular element being the horse race and the presentation of the "five-horse wagons"
* CORRECTION by the editor:
One of the most spectacular sights on the Hungarian Great Plains is the so-called “Puszta-Five”. It actually does NOT involve a wagon!
A horseman drives five galloping horses, tied together in a Hungarian style, standing with one leg on the back of each of the two rear horses.
The production is also called the Koch Five
or the Hungarian Post
. For a long time, this bravado was believed to have been dreamt up by the Austrian painter Ludwig Koch in 1923, but an outstanding Hungarian horseman called Bela Lenard brought Koch’s painting to life, driving not only five, but seven, eight, nine, and even eleven horses in his lifetime.
Croisi Europe Excursions on the Danube
Main Square Kecskemet
The Main Square is a green island of serenity in downtown Kecskemet. Locals and tourists alike enjoy sitting on the benches
, watching the kids at play, the teenagers showing off their bicycle and skateboard skills, or just enjoying the sunshine and waiting for the 37, famous bells of the Mayor’s Hall to start playing
Kecskemet Hungary Webcam
Kodaly Institute Kecskemet
A short introduction to Kecskemet, Hungary's Zoltan Kodaly Pedagogical Institute of Music, an integral part of the Ferenc Liszt Academy of Music, Budapest
Ornamented Palace Kecskemet
One of the most prominent buildings of Kecskemet Main Square, the Ornamented Palace (Cifra Palota)
was originally designed for stores, apartments, and a casino, but is now housing the paintings of the Kecskemet Gallery. Its roof tiles and Pyrogranite ornaments were made by the renowned Zsolnay factory
House of Science and Technique Kecskemet
After centuries in persecution, the Jews were finally given asylum in Kecskemét in 1820
. The congregation quickly outgrew the original synagogue, and through numerous additions between 1864 and 1871, they built the one we can now find downtown. In 1811 an earthquake destroyed the onion dome, which was rebuilt into lotus shape afterward.