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Information about Szeged
Located on the shores of the Tisza river, Szeged is a city with deep historical and cultural roots. After the establishment of the Kingdom of Hungary in the year 1001 a.D., Szeged became an important trade centre, obtaining the status of city thanks to the king Béla IV in the year 1246. Although cultural and economic growth was slowed down during the Ottoman-Turkish rule between 1526 and 1686, the city carried on growing and thriving until they were granted their rights again in 1719.
In the 19th century, the city Szeged quickly developed. Szeged played an important role during the War of Independence (1848-49), as this is the city where Lajos Kossuth gave his famous recruiting speech. Furthermore, it was the last headquarters of the revolutionary government in 1849.
A great part of the city was destroyed in 1879, when the river Tisza overflowed, flooding the surrounding areas. Although the city was devastated, it was entirely rebuilt thanks to the financial support and the help of foreign countries. This way, the present street layout was structured around a three-ring design, which gives the town an orderly, modern look. After World War II and especially since the ’60s, numerous skyscrapers have been built, which provide better housing. Szeged is a leader in the food processing industry: its salami and paprika have brought fame and importance to the city.
The city of Szeged, with a population of 200,000 inhabitants, is also known as the “City of Sunshine”. It is situated in the southern border of the Great Hungarian Plains. It is also well-known for its hot climate, with very sunny summers reaching temperatures between 20 °C and 35 °C, whereas winters are usually mild, with occasional cold waves.
Szeged is characterised by the excellence of its cultural institutions. The city has a Museum of History, art galleries, theatres, dance clubs, discos and a recently redesigned theatre, which runs outstanding shows. The Ballet and Opera Company of Szeged and the Symphonic Orchestra operate during the entire season. In summertime, wonderful dance and opera festivals are organised in front of the Votiva Church, in the open air, attracting visitors from all over Europe.
There are two main libraries in the city.
Nowadays, the Main University Library and the 52 institutional libraries hold more than 1.5 million items in books, periodicals, manuscripts, microfilms and a huge variety of other documents. The six reading lecture halls are equipped with open access to a collection of 40,000 volumes. Nowadays, the Library’s IT system is entirely networked. It is also available for the students to perform searches in digital formats in the catalogues of the University Library or to surf the Internet. The Medical Library has 138,000 books and publications. The new building for the Main Library, with 16,000 square meters, is equipped with 600-700 computers: the lecture halls have 100 available seats. It is the largest library in all of Central and Eastern Europe.
The Somogy Library is the central city library. Although the medical books here are not in English (there are only novels in this language), it is a good place to study and relax.
There are good restaurants all over the city, including international gastronomy: Greek, Chinese, Italian, Arab…
Although most of the population in Szeged is Catholic, there many other religious communities: Protestant, Orthodox, Presbyterian…
Area: 280 km2
Population: 170.000 inhabitants
Official language: Hungarian
Currency: Forint (HUF)
Country Code: +36