Monday, 18 November 2019

The city of sunshine: Szeged (Hungary)

Hi Sign Hunters,

It has taken a some time for me to pull together this post and it is not only because we are now living in China, but also because life for us in general is just variable, but most importantly busy. Which is good. We do many different things, and we travel a lot of course, but I always prioritise things in different ways. Technically speaking, I do what I feel like doing. Anyway, it is here now, published and ready for you to check these photos out. 

So, this post is about Szeged and it is a photo documentation of our trip that happened on the 15th July 2019. We literally travelled to Szeged to spend there a full, solid day, a night, and went home via Budapest on the next day. Crazy to think that how many things we managed to squeeze into this day! First of all, the days before, we were in Pécs. We got up very early and got the bus to Szeged. The bus was full and there were even people who wanted to come with us, but could not come on-board due to no available seating. We got to Szeged around noon and went straight to eat something. I really wanted to eat lángos, but we could not find a place selling it anywhere. So annoying! Instead, we ended up in a Korean restaurant, which was actually very good. Then we spent most of the day outdoors, exploring the centre of the city and doing the compulsory sign project. We walked a lot, but it was worth it as we successfully found the sign and we saw so much of Szeged! When we returned to our accommodation, I managed to convince Katie to go to the nearest spa for an evening swim. And we did it! And it was awesome! That water was fantastic. This is something that makes Szeged rich: thermal water. We came out of the spa around 22 o'clock, but that was still not the end of the day! We had an evening walk in the town centre.

By the way, Szeged. It is situated near the southern border of Hungary, on both banks of the Tisza River. It is currently the third largest city in Hungary. It is the centre of the Southern Great Plain region and the seat of Csongrád county. The area that encompasses 280.84 square km consists of around 160,000 inhabitants. 

Szeged is known as the "City of Sunshine", because it has the highest number of annual sunny days in Hungary. The Encyclopaedia Britannica writes the following about Szeged's history: Szeged was a military stronghold and trade centre in the time of the Árpád kings (10th–15th century) and was sacked by the Tatars and the Turks. Flourishing as a centre of commerce, it was one of Hungary’s largest cities in the early 16th century, though it suffered under Turkish rule in the late 16th century and under Austrian rule from the late 17th century. Industry boosted the city’s fortunes in the 19th century. Szeged was replanned after the devastating flood of 1879, with concentric boulevards and radial avenues. It has since been protected by dikes. Újszeged (New Szeged) is on the left bank opposite the main Tisza bridge. The large principal square, Széchényitér, is flanked by the strikingly unusual Neo-Baroque town hall (1883) and by public buildings. The oldest relics are the remains of the 13th-century tower of St. Demetrius, discovered when an 18th-century church was demolished in 1924, and the Alsóvárosi Templom in Alsóváros (Lower Town). The city has a notable cathedral, the twin-spired Votive Church (1912–29). Since 1931 an open-air theatre and music festival have been held in front of the Votive Church. The city is home to Hungary’s arguably most prestigious institution of higher learning, the University of Szeged, which provides an educational base that has helped transform Szeged into one of the country’s most important centres for research and development, especially in the fields of life sciences, biotechnology, laser technology, and information technology. The Biological Research Center of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences is also located in Szeged. Opened in 1883, the Neo-Baroque Szeged National Theatre stages performances of drama, dance, and opera. Szeged is also famous for its paprika and salami.

I must admit, the photos you will find here below are not truly the most exciting shots; but I do not want to spoil the experience for you. They are not bad! I am just saying that from my photographic point of view, some of these things could have been captured in a different way. Maybe the light? Maybe my incompetence to use a full manual camera? Maybe the manual lens? Maybe my inability to capture awesome moments? I do not really know. Still. These are nice memories for us and, hopefully, they will be able to encourage you to visit this beautiful city. Enjoy the journey! 

~ Laszlo #thesignhunters

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© All photos were taken by Laszlo Bokor (2019). The Sign Hunters, all rights reserved.

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