The town of Kecskemét
It is believed that this ancient market town was founded in antiquity but we do know that it dates back at least to medieval times, as it was mentioned in the King Louis the Great's royal charter in 1368. Its location between the food-producing heart of the great plains, and Budapest made it an important hub. Kecskemét also houses the main visitor's centre of the neighbouring Kiskunság National Park. Find out all about the flora and fauna of the area declared a biosphere reserve by the UNESCO.
Begin your sightseeing tour anywhere around the main square and you're in for a surprise: the buildings spread out around this impressive city centre practically offer a crash-course in Art Nouveau architecture and churches of almost every religion present in the country.
Városháza (City Hall)
Every hour, on the hour, all ears will turn to the city hall to hear the carillon above the entrance chime familiar tunes by Zoltán Kodály, (born in Kecskemét) and classical composers like Beethoven and Mozart. The sandy-pink building is a unique combination of Art Nouveau and Romantic style architecture with a touch of oriental ornamentation, decorated with Zsolnay ceramic tiles much like Matthias Church in Budapest. A magnificent building with beautiful interiors and a market offering local products and delicacies every Thursday.
Nagytemplom (Great Church)
Experience the compelling effect of this monumental Catholic Church – the largest in the region – right next door to the City Hall, but built a hundred years earlier in late Baroque style. Large tablets on the front wall honour the many citizens of Kecskemét, who died in battle to defend their beloved city.
Szent Miklós Templom (Franciscan church)
The oldest building on the square was named after St. Nicholas and part of it dates back to the 14th century. Having been reconstructed throughout the centuries, it features Roman, Gothic and Baroque style architecture. Having a mutual enemy on their backs, Catholics and Protestants shared the church during the Turkish occupation of the town in the 16th century. Behind the church, the monastery building is today the Zoltán Kodály Institute of Music Pedagogy with a small exhibition depicting the life of the famous composer and music educator.
Cifra Palota (Ornamental Palace)
Walk across Szabadság tér to catch a glimpse of probably the most famous construction: the building that looks like a huge gingerbread house dates from 1902 and houses the Kecskemét Gallery. The „wavy" walls and colourful rooftop tiles are all very characteristic of Secession style architecture.
House of Science and Technology
Cross the street for another remarkable structure: the mid-19th century synagogue built in a Moorish-Romantic style. Nowadays, it offers a fairly limited exhibition of 15 plaster replicas of Michelangelo statues, but there's a cafe open all day if you need to catch your breath.
For some serious wine & dine local style:try Kecskeméti Csárda in the city centre for a traditionalspread, huge portions and an authentic „csárda" atmosphere. Besides recommending seasonal and regional specialities, Rozmaring Restaurant offers an international cuisine and is also in the vicinity of the main square.