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Countryinfo » Tourism » Attractions » Northern Great Plain
Northern Great Plain

The flat region, incorporating three counties next to the borders with Ukraine and Romania includes Hortobágy National Park, which was first among the places declared part of our World Heritage. Built on a precious reservoir of thermal water and medicinal baths and with villages rife with hidden resources like Berekfürdő, Cserkeszőlő, the region offers a good opportunity for tourists wishing to explore new territories.


The church (Kossuth u.) with its noble shape is more than 700 years old. In 1640 its walls were whitewashed and then decorated with flower motifs by the new Calvinist owners. Restoration at the beginning of the 20th century uncovered the original frescoes, depicting the saints and apostles. The turreted, hexagonal bell-tower was built in the 18th century.


The country's second largest city received the title "Calvinist Rome" in the 16th century because of its pivotal role in the Hungarian Reformation. It has been a town of learning since the Middle Ages and was the "capital" of the War of Independence in 1848-49. Highlights from the city's cultural offerings: the colorful flower carnival on August 20th, Jazz Days, and the very popular Summer University for those who wish to learn Hungarian.

The classic style Calvinist Great Church has become the symbol of the city. With its puritan interior, seating for 3,000 makes it the country's largest Calvinist church. An important relic is the armchair of Lajos Kossuth (1802-1894) who declared the dethronement of the House of Habsburg in 14 April 1849. The renovated Main Square is the scene of numerous programs. The prestige of the Calvinist College (Kálvin Square 16), an institute with a great past has been founded by its famous students, and due to its extensive school network is known as the "school of the country". There is an exhibition of the history of schooling and of ecclesiastical art in its 180-year-old building: furnishings from an original Calvinist school, old Hungarian goldsmith's masterpieces, beautifully embroidered table cloths, painted furniture, and a monumental Library containing many rare tomes. With 500,000 volumes, the library constitutes the largest ecclesiastical collection in the country. The gilded Aranybika (Golden Bull) Hotel (Piac St. 20) is the country's oldest hotel still in operation. The classic City Hall is reckoned as one of the most beautiful of its kind. Other places well worth the visit: Calvinist Small Church (Révész Square), with its broken tower, the Veres Church (Kossuth St.), the Synagogue (Pásti St.), the Greek Catholic Church (Attila Square 15.), the Lajos Kossuth University of Science (Egyetem Suare 1.), the Cathedral of St. Anna (Szent Anna St. 15). The Mill (corner of Böszörményi St.) is Central Europe's largest windmill, an industrial historical monument. Nagyerdő (Great Forest) is the town's most popular park, which has been a nature conservation area since 1939. The park has a zoo, amusement park and botanical gardens. The waters of the Nagyerdei Medicinal Baths (Nagyerdei park 1.) are efficacious for treatment of chronic arthritis, rheumatism, chondralgia, gynecological diseases, orthopedic disorders and neuralgia.


One of the oldest settlements in the country, this town has preserved its original ring road settlement system: the church is surrounded by houses, which are protected by a system of ditches fortified with palisade, with the agricultural yards located beyond. The panels of the coffered ceiling, its gallery, and the organ are also worthy of attention. The Hajdúság Museum hosts archeological, folk art, landscape and history exhibitions. Evidences of the tradition of folk architecture may be seen in the skanzens (Polgár St. 59.). The town is famous for its honey cake: souvenir cakes bespeak a tradition rich in fantasy.


The "Mecca for rheumatics" is the most popular resort on the Great Plain: for 70 years patients have been treated using the 75 C thermal water that forces its way up from depths of 1,100 metres. A 2-3 week cure in the Medicinal Baths (Szent István park 1-3.) brings about a 90% improvement to those suffering from motional, gynecological, skin and other complaints. Iodine-salt steam evaporating from the 10,000 m2 water surface area creates the remarkable micro-climate of the baths. An annual 2,000 hours of sunshine, the 25 hectare beach, the rowboats, and especially the newly set up Aquapark (113 m giant slide, four track racing slide, 101 m black hole, and crazy stream) together make this place an excellent destination not only for those seeking treatment but also for those who wish to relax in a healthy environment. There is a collection of world patent aluminum bells in a bell house found in front of the beach. The frescoes of the St. László Church from the 18th century represent the history of the discovery of medicinal waters at the site. The Béke Medicinal Baths (Mátyás király alley 10.) is situated on the outskirts of the town. Collections of the István Bocskai Museum can be seen in several houses along Bocskai street: No. 12, 14, 21: a local history, open-air ethnographical museum, art and applied art exhibitions. The Potter's House (Ady St. 2.) has black ceramics from Nádudvar and a room interior dating from the last century.


One of Europe's largest protected grasslands (more than 1400 km2) where the Hungarian grey cattle, the stud, flocks of twisted horn Racka sheep and buffalo herds graze out in the open.

Its 70,000 hectares form the Hortobágy National Park, which has been a part of our World Heritage since 1999.

The Nine-holed Bridge, the largest public stone-bridge in the country (167.3 m), stands at the border of the Hortobágy village over the Hortobágy River. The nearly 300-year-old typical grassland Hortobágy Csárda (Hortobágy Pub) offers authentic shepherd food. The Pastoral Museum (Petőfi Square) is also located nearby, offering displays showing where the shepherds of Hortobágy, who lived in the open, stayed permanently, how they dressed, how they cooked and what sort of decorative everyday items they crafted. The Hortobágy Circled Barn (Petőfi Square) displays an exhibition on the unique flora and fauna of the Hungarian grassland, the folk art of the region and the tools of typical folk crafts. Visitors may also look at the live animals in the open sheep folds and pigsty from the Pusztai Állatpark (Grassland Zoo): the grey cattle, domestic buffaloes, fallow-goats and mangalitza pigs. The Hortobágy Gallery (Old Town Hall) contains famous works by Hungarian painters depicting their favourite topic, the Hungarian Puszta. The famous Bridge Fair is staged on 19th and 20th August. Máta, 2 km away from Hortobágy village, is famous for its studs from Hortobágy: breeders here have been refining the famous Nónius race for 300 years now. The Hortobágy International Equestrian Days are held here on the first weekend in July.


For centuries, Jászberény has been a pivotal settlement for the "Jász", a group of people of Iranian origin who settled down here around the 13th century. The tower of the Church of Our Lady (Trinity Square) is decorated with the Holy Crown of Hungary. The most carefully preserved treasure of the Jász Museum is the rich carved ivory horn, for a long time believed to have belonged to Lehel, a Hungarian hero who travelled around Germany at the end of the 10th century. The water in the Swimming Pool and Thermal Bath (Hatvani St. 5.) treats bone system and locomotive problems, and cartilage deformations. The Zoo and Botanical Gardens hosts both exotic and native animals in a pleasant natural environment. The Lehel Sport and Recreational Centre (Kiserdei St. 10.) offers programme opportunities through its medicinal baths, swimming pools and artificial skating rinks. The focal point of the Summer Entertainment Days of Jászberény is the folk art fair organised for the end of July.


The most famous monument in this small town, its castle, was built in the 15th century, a fortress castle with four corner towers and Renaissance arcades. It is also the location of a large-scale theatre convention, the Festival of Hungarian Theatres Beyond the Borders. The building of the former Synagogue hosts a rich collection of exhibits on the history of the town and on folk art.


The miraculous weeping Madonna has made the Greek Catholic Basilica (Kossuth Square) a famous place of pilgrimage. However, after the miracle from 1696 the emperor order its transport to the Stephans Dom in Vienna. The mirracle of weeping has a happened with the duplicate copy as well in 1715 and in 1905. Pope Pius XII declared the church, impressive in its proportions, - built in 1756 - a basilica minor, which was visited also by Pope John Paul II in 1991, while he was in Hungary on an ecumenical visit. The Ecclesiastical Collection of the Basilica contains precious relics (Kossuth Square 17.).


This town was already famous in medieval times for its potters and well-frequented fairs from Túr. The works of the most famous pottery craftsman, Béla Badár, fill the rooms of the Fazekas Artist and Memorial House (Sugár St. 28.). The history of the town's half-millenium-old, internationally famous pottery is presented in the Museum of Pottery from Túr (Damjanich St. 2.). The medicinal water which springs from the Elisabeth-grove and supplies the swimming pool and bath is good for rheumatism, and arthritis problems.


The potter's craft has been passed from father to son for more than 200 years in Nádudvar near Hortobágy. The floral and geometric patterns of the town's famous unglazed black pottery are scoured with gravel. You will see this process and the ready-made end product alongside 100 other prize-winning objects of art at the workshop of Lajos Fazekas Jr., master of folk art, in the Potter's House (Fő St. 159.).


Less decorated but from an architectural aspect a more daring construction than Canterburry Cathedral, the 15th century Church of St. György (Báthory St. 24.) is a Gothic masterpiece of the skilled architect Father János of the Franciscan order. Originally a Catholic hall-curch with a single nef it housed the crypt of the princely Báthory family. The chamber has Gothic fan-vaulting, richly carved capitals and stained glass windows. The secret of success of the famous Nyírbátor concerts are the melodious organ and the excellent acoustics of the church. The wooden Bell Tower alongside the church and the superb Renaissance carved pew (National Museum, Budapest) which was originally installed in the church are magnificent examples of work by Hungarian master craftsmen. The finest decoration in the Gothic (Roman Catholic) Gray Friars Church (Károly St. 19.) transformed into Baroque is the so-called "Krucsay wooden altar" (taking its name from its creator) depicting the Passion. The Báthory István Museum (Károlyi Mihály St. 15.) established in the Baroque Gray Friars monastery has a local history exhibition and Renaissance relics: a stallum from 1511, and memories of aristocratic families. The Street Festival of the Week of the Winged Dragon is a colourful spectacle taking place in July.


A quite, friendly town with pleasant walks, flower-decked squares, well tended parks, a sophisticated music life and active cultural life.

The Baroque Lutheran Church (Luther Square) with chime set on the facade and designed by an Italian architect is in the town centre, while the most important buildings: the Town Hall (Kossuth Square), Korona Hotel with patina and Casino (Dózsa György St.) County Hall (Hősök Square) defining the townscape were designed by Ignác Alpár, master of the Hungarian Eclectic style. The intimate atmosphere of the downtown's Zrínyi Ilona Street is given by the Art Nouveau buildings decorated with stunning mosaics. A beautiful example of the Art Nouveau style is the Nyárvíz Palace (Széchenyi St. 1.) with a rich Kállay Collection, containing a collection of decorations and medals. There is a Byzantine Chapel and a collection of ecclesiastical art in the courtyard of the Greek Catholic Episcopal Palace and Faculty of Theology (Bercsényi St. 5.).

The spa and resort in Nyíregyháza-Sósfürdő, 3 km from the town, set in a 46 acres oak forest has been popular for 300 years for its water with highly dissolved saline content. The waters of Park Baths (Berenát St. 2-4) are recommended for locomotor, gynecological and articular diseases. Next to it is the Swiss house built in the 19th century, the building of the Krúdy Hotel with a nice atmosphere and the water tower, which is an industrial monument. The Zoo from Nyíregyháza is the second largest one in the country: it hosts approximately 1000 animals representing 150 races living in natural environment from 5 continents. The most precious pieces of art of the Jósa András Museum (Benczúr Square 21) belong to the two artists from Nyíregyháza: the paintings of Gyula Benczúr (1844-1920) and the copies of the first edition of the writer Gyula Krúdy (1878-1933). The Village Museum of Sóstó (Nyíregyháza-Sóstó, Tölgyes St. 1.), the 7.5 acres Felső-Tiszavidék is a "live" folk art collection with a rich open exhibition representing 5 regions: the hatter, the honey cake maker, the sieve man, the boot-maker holds a crafts and trades show. Also to found here: school, fireman tool-house, bell-turret, church, clergy house, pub, grocery, village households defining the village scape ranging from the properties of the poor peasant to the petty noble.


Unique in Europe for its canoe shape wooden crosses in its protected cemetery: the unambiguous scientific explanation of the origin and meaning of the 600 canoe shape sepulchre with their front pointing towards the sky is still awaiting. Ferenc Kölcsey (1790-1838), the reformer of the Hungarian language, the poet of the Hungarian National Anthem who lived for 23 years in this nice village is buried here. The exhibition representing the history of his life, along with his personal relics is displayed in the Kölcsey Memorial House (House of Culture, Kölcsey St. 46.). One of the many beautiful houses is the Szatmárcsekei Tájház (Vasvári Pál st.) a 200 years old building with straw roof, open chimney and period furniture.


This town at the mouth of the rivers Tisza and Zagyva has been an important Tisza crossing point for 900 years, and in fact the country' second railway line led out from the capital of Szolnok. The current railway station is one of the most modern building blocks in Central-Europe and it lays on 1100 pillars sank into 11 m depth. The following monument buildings are characteristic to the town: the Town Hall (Kossuth Square), the Evangelical Church (Gyula Kellner St ) are in eclectic style, while the Szigliget Theatre (Tisza Park 1.) is an interesting attempt for the combination of elements of art nouveau and modern style. The Tisza Hotel and Medical Bath has a special atmosphere with its Neo-baroque building (good for rheumatism , gynecological, locomotive, digestive problems and drinking cures. The path that leads to it is very pleasant alongside the alley of the Tisza-shore where is situated the Neo-gothic building of the Calvinist Church and its red pine pulpit is worth of attention. The famous Szolnok Artist's Colony (Gutemberg Square 4.), a study place for the great artists of the Hungarian painting - Béla Iványi Grünwald, Vilmos Novák Aba, Pál Páczay, János Vaszary, Adolf Fényes - has been established in 1902. The most important public collection in the town is the János Damjanich Museum (L. Kossuth Square 4.) which takes its name from the general who led the freedom fight against the Austrians in 1848-49, the victorious hero of the battle of Szolnok: The history of the Jász-Nagykun-Szolnok county in the light of archeology and folk-art. The Szolnok Gallery (Templom St. 2) found a beautiful home in the former Synagogue, hosting temporary exhibitions and concerts. The 18th century Downtown Baroque (Franciscan) Church with an altar painting in which the artist preserved the Hungarian festive wear of the 18th century (and the former Franciscan Cloister (Templom St.2) represent the town's important monuments. The Open Hydrological Museum (the pomp-plant from Millér) gives an overview on the 200 years old hydro-farming of the Central Tisza Area. The Museum of the History of the Hungarian Aviation (Szabadszőlős, nearby the 442 main road) Szolnok is also a water sporting town: there is an Internatioanal Rowing Course on the Dead Tisza, open swimming-pool, ship courses, popular Tisza-Liget camping, sport-life. The Goulash Festival in September is an interesting spot of its rich cultural and gastronomic programmes.


A unique attraction is the wooden roofed dry mill (Árpád St.) formerly driven by horses, now an industrial monument. The 45 m high wooden roof of the Calvinist Church from the 14th century was built 300 years later. The Museum of the Local History (Kossuth st. 29.) displays a rich collection of folk art.


The Calvinist Church (Bajcsy-Zsilinszky St.) also popularly known as the Church of the "Barefooted Notre Dame", is a superb example of folk architecture, in which the 58 panels of the of the painted boarded ceiling depict flowers, no two of which are alike. The wood-shingled bell-tower - like all those around here in this area - is built next to the church.


The regulation of the river causing lots of trouble for the people living along the Tisza started here in this village 150 years ago. Posterity has erected a monument for its initiator, Count István Széchenyi and a statue for its architect, Pál Vásárhelyi. The eclectic András Castle (1860) reminding to the Romantic castles from the fairy-tales - today a children orphanage - has a park with bush-labyrinth of the French gardens unique in Hungary.


Its arboretum established in the former inundation area of the Tisza at the estate-land of Péter Bolza in 188, today gives a living space for 600 sorts of plants.


The wheels of the still-operating water mill are turned by the waters of the river Túr, which is regulated by a series of sluice gates. The original local church bell-tower covered in wood shingles can now be seen in the Szentendre Open-air Ethnographical Museum.


The famous people born in this town took its reputation to far away countries: the outstanding figures of the film art, the Korda-brothers to the United States, the writer and sculptor Sándor Finta to Paris, where he has worked in Rodin's atelier. Their heritage is preserved in the Finta Museum (Attila St 1.) where besides their sculptures a collection representing the everyday life of the grass land and animal farming is also exhibited. In the Medical and Thermal Baths (Gyomai St.) with its water stemming from 2 km depth contains sulfur and iodine which are treating locomotive, gynecological and skin problems. The everyday moments of shepherd life and its dances are recalled by the popular Shepherd festival of Keve.

Tisza Lake

Silky-smooth water, huge bays, backwaters and islands, fish and game in abundance - this is Lake Tisza, the country's second largest body of water (127 km2). The shallow water, which warms up very quickly, is ideal for bathing, and the deeper sections for watersports: sailing, water-skiing, and - unique in Europe - one can whizz around in a motorboat as well on the Tisza-Lake. There are resorts, beaches campsites, and holiday homes to let along the shoreline (approximately 80 km long). The Nature Conservation Area, this land of wild waters, holds a vast population of birds and game, promising success both for fishermen and hunters and offers an image of an untouched nature.


Those who like the facilities related the water sports may freely whizz on the immense water surface of the bay of Abádszalók resort, a genuine sports and recreation paradise which is situated at the southern corner of the lake. We also find here the largest open lake beach (Feltáró St.). The Doll Museum hosted in the village house (King Stephan St. 41) is an extraordinary display of more than 250 dolls wearing folk costumes from all over the Carpathian Basin. The rich programme of the Abádszalók Summer has something interesting for each day of the season.


The nice spa with its 56 C water stemming from 1,224 m depth is popular for its water good for locomotive, arthritis problems and osteoporosis of spine. Berek Spa (Berek square 13) is a thermal bath with two covered swimming pools, and a beach with 7 pools. Its glass factory is world-wide famous where in the nearby exhibition one can look at the samples of the unique technique of "veil-glass" with a single hair cleft. The series of events of the Berekfürdő Days last from mid-June to the end of August, and by the end of June they are organizing an open fair of folk art.


The potters making glazed, black pottery, the masters of lace-makers, the artisan strain embroiders making rich, colorful patterns, the cooks making excellent mutton paprikash dishes, the women making plain cake of Karcag made this typical low land town famous. The history of the landscape, its rich folk art is displayed in István Györffy Nagykun Museum hosted in a traditional peasant house from Kunság in the Landhouse of Kunság (Jókai St. 16.). The pieces, among them the typical Miska bottles are exhibited In the Fazakasház (Pottery House) (Erkel St. 1.) and are made by the most important, both locally and internationally recognized and awarded potter, the folk artist Sándor Kántor. Zádor Bridge is only bridge of the country situated on a dry soil, as the underneath river has dried out. The Szélhalmi Pub presenting the peculiar flora and fauna of Hortobágy (Vágóhíd St. 1.) the southern door of the pub from the Hortobágy National park, a valuable industrial monument, a single copy preserved out of the sixty wind mills (Vágóhíd St. 24.) from the 19th century. Visitors to the town may enjoy the water with medical effects of the town's spas and swimming pools (Forrás u. 3.).


This town's greatest treasure, the 81 C medicinal water that forces its way up from a depth of 1,150 m depth, is good for rheumatic and muscle problems. The Kácsa-island is a valuable protected area preserving the flora and fauna of the Tisza-area in an untouched setting. The typical way of life of the area is presented by the cotter house (Óvoda St. 26.). The Csege motorship takes the visitors to Tokaj or Kiskörös, on the pictoresque Tisza river.


One of the most popular resorts on the Lake Tisza, from where the boat service operates out to the lily-strewn Tisza-backwater the Open-air Thermal bath and Swimming Pool make for pleasant bathing and relaxation. The country's first village museum, the Pál Kiss Museum (Taricky Alley 6) was established here in 1949: it presents the typical "Füred saddeles" of shepherds living in the Great Plain and ceramics from the pottery centre. The Potters's House (Malom St. 12) shows the pieces of pottery and the atelier of the most famous potter family dynasty from Füred. The Meggyes Csárda Museum (Tiszafüred-Kócsújfalu, Szeghalmi St, Meggyes forest) is the only authentically furnished, renewed Hortobágy inn with an open-chimney kitchen, bar and railed-off counter. The small and big heron, spoon-bill, black stork, the rare sacred are permanent inhabitants of the nearby bird's reservation.


The town's ice skating rink operates in both summer and winter, while its baths are the most modern thermal facility in the country, offer fun for bathers and beach-goers, with the most up-to-date facilities. The town itself was established at the joining of the Sajó and Tisza rivers just 30 years ago. The Triathlon World Cup, as well as many other popular canoe and boat races, is also organized in Tiszaújváros, also known as the National Sport Town.

Tiszavalki basin

The Bird Sanctuary of Tiszavalki is considered part of our World Heritage, its strictly protected area providing living space for more than a thousand species of birds, including grey horns, aigrettes, black-crowned night-herons, and flightless cormorants. Visitors may go on a water tour starting from any of the 15 landing areas, where they may be refreshed by the calming and edifying experience of the water-life to be found there.

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