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Europe > Hungary > Northern Great Plain > Debrecen
 
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Debrecen, Hungary

Debrecen

The Calvinist Rome

The Calvinist Rome

The city has played a significant part both in the religious and secular history. Debrecen is often called ‘the Calvinist Rome’ after its dominant role in the life of the Protestant religion. There were precedents for the city being the interim capital of Hungary. It was the centre of education for a long period. It is worth visiting the city not only for those who would like to glimpse into Hungary’s history. The city offers curiosities such as cultural events, festivals, scores of sights and the health spa. Tourists surely will think the city worth being visited again and again.

Debrecen, Hungary

The city was created with the fusion of several villages. It began to prosper during the 13th century, after the years of the Tartar invasion, owing to the fact that its squire was the confidant of the King Charles Robert.

In the area of the city no single spring, river, building material, fuel, or a hill suitable for the construction of a castle can be found. The settlement lies on relatively high land surrounded by flood plains, which is a fortunate from the commercial point of view. The trade route linking Transylvania, the Great Plain and the Upland used to pass through the city, which meant regular revenue.

The area was a triple border in more than one sense. On the one hand it is the meeting point of Nyírség, Hajdúság and Hortobágy; on the other hand the frontiers of the Principality of Transylvania, the Habsburg Monarchy and the Turkish Empire met here.

Debrecen, Hungary

Debrecen never used to have a castle, nor town walls. This way the only possible defence policy left to the city was a good sense of diplomacy, by manoeuvring among power interests. So it became the ally of the Turks, the Habsburgs and even Prince Francis II Rákóczi fighting against the Habsburgs. Due to this policy of the leaders, the city has always been able to retain its independence which enabled it to sustain its centuries-long internal development.

Debrecen, Hungary

Probably the above mentioned factors are responsible for the open-mindness of the wealthy citizens, which made it possible for the Reformation to spread at such a fast speed. As the result of this process almost the entire population became Calvinist. A uniquely advanced education system was built up here. This was the time when the widely known well-to-do craftsmen mentality evolved, incorporating the local pragmatic puritan life style and the morals of the Calvinist Church.

In 1849, during the Hungarian war of independence against the Habsburgs, the government evacuated Pest-Buda and fled to Debrecen. The then current regent-president, Lajos Kossuth announced the dethronement of the Habsburg Dynasty together with the independence of Hungary. Debrecen also witnessed the end of the war of independence. Yet it is true that the Habsburgs were only able to defeat the Hungarians with the assistance of Russia, and the decisive battle was fought at the limits of the city itself.

Debrecen, Hungary

The Protestant College

This educational institution made Debrecen a University City centuries ago. Scholars from all the forty counties of Hungary used to choose this city, and Hungary’s greatest poets and scientists attended this university as well. All in all it had a huge impact on the whole Hungarian education system and the university is still highly popular among students.

Protestant Great Church

Debrecen, Hungary

This is both the most significant church of the Protestant population of Hungary and the most important sight of the city. The St. Andrew Church used to stand here but it burnt down in 1802. This new church was built on its ruins using the plans of a former student of the University. It is a dominant sight with its massive structure and the 61-metre-high towers.

Grand Hotel Aranybika

This established hotel is situated in the city centre, and its reputation has developed together with that of the city itself. It is worth visiting together with the numerous other sights in the city.

Characteristics, features, properties

Type:

City or big town

Location:

Europe (Continent)  >  Hungary (Country)  >  Northern Great Plain (Észak-Alföld) (Tourist region)  >  Hajdú-Bihar megye (county) (County or province)

GPS coordinates: Latitude 47°31'48", Longitude 21°38'22" (N47 31.8 - E21 38.37) Map

Debrecen - Panoramic images (1 photos)

Kálvin tér (Kálvin Square) - Debrecen, Hungary
Kálvin tér (Kálvin Square)
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