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The county seat of Csongrad County, Szeged is located where the Tisza and the Maros meet. Most of the city lies at the right side of the Tisza, but its suburbia, New Szeged is on the left side of the river.

Szeged, Hungary
The name of the city originates from the Hungarian word “szeg”, meaning “jut” in this context, and it refers to the geographical location of the city: it was built at the point where the Tisza makes a large turn. Inhabited area since ancient times, Szeged gained city status from Bela IV of Hungary, in the 13th century. By then, its stone fortress was erected, and the ruins of the same can still be seen downtown.

Its stock-raising and wine commerce gave the historic city a name in the 15th century, and its prosperity was enhanced by the privileges it received from Matthias Corvinus. However, following Matthias’s death, the city was devastated on repeated occasions: first the Turks, then the Black Death, then the Tartars, in 1596.

The 1715 diet declared Szeged to be a free royal city, and Karoly III sanctioned the decision on May 21, 1719, the official celebration day of the city to this date. A few years later the Piarist Fathers began their religious service and education in Szeged, and intellectual life began to flourish. However, the city still became known as the place of the 1728 witch-hunt, which lead to the burning of 13 “witches” and the former chief judge, “their master” on a peninsula of the Tisza, called Boszorkanysziget (Island of Witches) today.

The city started to flourish at the beginning of the 1800s, and in 1845 steamboats running on the Tisza, and in 1854 the railroad contributed to the economical boom of the region. However, on March 12, 1879 a tragic flood destroyed the city, leaving 265 homes of its 5723.

Reconstruction of the city was done with international help, and it was patterned after Paris and Vienna, with boulevards, avenues, and a uniform skyline. The new city gradually changed its chiefly agricultural profile to industry. The present-day city is famous for its Pick salami production and paprika processing.

An important administrative, cultural, and academic center, Szeged is the fourth largest city in Hungary, with a population of 175 thousand. Among its widely known annual cultural events such as the Wine Festival and the Open Air Theater (Szabadteri Jatekok), a wide array of events attract visitors to the “Sunshine Town": it gets more than 2,000 hrs of sunshine/year.

Oh, and one more thing that you may not find in the tourist guides!

Szeged is the seat of the Hungarian Party of the Two-Tailed Dog (Magyar Ketfarku Kutyapart). This is an open secret, given away by telltale signs as some of the following:

MKKP_Watch out, a banana peel!MKKP_Fishpond

       Watch out, a banana peel!                       Fish pond

MKKP_Guy steals blue

When you go for your morning stroll, or when you don't feel like doing the regular touristy things, find some of these. :-)


The Hungarian Party of the Two-Tailed Dog Online

      Guy steals blue  

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