Market Street, Debrecen Piac utca
A main arterial road passes through the center of Debrecen, from the "Great Forest" in the north to the railroad station in the south. The middle section of the road is known as Piac utca, or Market Street. As well as the buildings described in the following pages the visitor will find here and also in some of the side streets (especially in Kossuth utca) a number of interesting houses dating from the transitional period leading up to the art nouveau style.
Flower CarnivalEvery year on Constitution Day (August 20th) Debrecen becomes the scene of a colorful procession with floats bedecked with flowers in the form of animals, fairytale figures, coats of arms and so on.
Great Reformed Church
The very emblem of Debrecen is the imposing Great Reformed Church (Református Nagytem-plom), at the end of Piac utca. As well as being the town's dominant feature it is also its most important building from an historical point of view and the largest Calvinist church in Hungary. A church has stood here since the 12th C. The Church of St Andrew, a Gothic basilica built in the 13th C and burned down in the 16th C, was rebuilt but again reduced to ashes and rubble in a town fire of 1802. Remains of the walls from this church have been uncovered at the north end of the present building. This was built between 1807 and 1819 (the interior having been completed somewhat later) to the design of Mihály Péchy and Josef Tallherr. It is in Classical style with a tympanum above and towers either side of the entrance which is on the south side, The centrally-arranged interior is also somewhat cold and severe. The bell from the previous church, weighing 5600 kilos (51/2 tons), was preserved and recast in 1873; it is rung only on special occasions. The Transylvanian Prince György II Rákóczi originally had the bell cast from melted-down cannons used in the Thirty Years' War.
Small Reformed Church
The Small Reformed Church (Kistemplom) is a little 1726 Baroque building renovated in 1870. The original onion dome of the massive west tower was destroyed in a storm and replaced in 1907 by crenellations, thus emphasizing the fortified nature of the church. Since then the church has been affectionately known by the local people as "Stumpy Church".At Széchenyi utca 6, a few yards behind the Small Reformed Church, stands the former postmaster's house (Old Post Inn), which can lay claim to having had a famous guest; in November 1714 the Swedish King Charles XII spent the night here when fleeing from the Csar of Russia. A notable example of Hungarian historical architecture is the Csokonai Theatre (1861-65) at Kossuth utca 10. Continuing along Kossuth utca in an easterly direction the visitor will come to the Neo-Gothic brick-built church on Méliusz tér. In Szent Anna útja stands the Baroque church of St Anne, built in 1721-46 to plans by the Milanese architect Giovanni Battista Carlone. The small church was originally used by the Piarists (the former Piarist convent is nearby), then by the Catholic community of Debrecen. The main altarpiece is by Karl Rohl and portrays St Anne, the patron saint of the church. At Piac utca 54 are the old regional council offices (Régi Megyeháza), built in 1911-12 in Secessionist style. The stained glass windows in the festival hall are by Károly Kernstok (1873-1940) and represent the seven princes who conquered Hungary.
Debrecen Town Hall
The Town Hall was built in 1842/43 in Classical style to the design of Ferenc Povolny. The central ressaut has five windows and is divided up by Corinthian columns; the arms of the town of Debrecen with the Paschal Lamb are carved on the tympanum.
On returning to Piac utca the visitor will be attracted by the art nouveau building of the Hotel Aranybika, built in 1914, near the Reformed Church. There was an inn here as long ago as the end of the 17th C, which came into the possession of János Bika (John Bull) in the early 19th C. His inn sign portrayed a golden bull - hence the name Arany Bika (Golden Bull).
Map of Debrecen Attractions