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Dom tér, Szeged

A unique example of the Expressionist town architecture of the early 20th C is the complex situated around the cathedral square in the south of the inner town. The starting point is the votive church (cathedral) on the north side of the square, built 1913-29, followed by the development of the Dom" tér to plans by Béla Rerrich (1881-1932). The horseshoe-shaped complex of buildings with a façade of fired and glazed clinker brick consists of the administrative offices of the university and the theological college in the west wing, the bishop's palace in the southwest and the science and medical institutes in the south and east. On the ground floor the round arched arcades of the three-storied wings open out onto the Dom tér. The severe, almost oppressive, monumentality of the 300m (984ft) long row of arcades is only mitigated by the different shaped columns (the Baroque style columns are especially beautiful). Below the arcades is the so-called "Szeged Pantheon", a collection of 89 busts and reliefs of important personalities from Hungarian history, art, literature and science. The eminent Hungarian sculptor Alajos Stróbl laid the foundations for this "gallery of fame" with his portraits. Since the completion of the cathedral square, the Szeged open air games, at which over 6000 people can take part in each event, have been held annually against the imposing background of the Votive Church (the steps to the main doorway serve as a stage).

Votive Church

The town owes its splendid cathedral, which adjoins the north side of the Dom tér, to a vow by the citizens of Szeged during the floods. The plans for the church, built in 1913-30, were by ErnO Foerk and Frigyes Schulek, whose design for the façade was inspired by the Italian Romanesque cathedrals. Above the main doorway is the 3m (10ft)high statue of the Madonna, the patron of the church and protector of Hungary (Patrona Hungariae). To the left and right of the Madonna are the twelve apostles in the form of mosaic pictures. An interesting representation of the Madonna can be found inside the cathedral in the mosaic by Ferenc Márton over the baldachin of the high altar. It is also known as the "Madonna in a fur coat", as she is depicted wearing a richly decorated fur coat, typical of the Great Plain region, as well as red slippers typical of Szeged. There is a notable crucifix by János Fadrusz on a side altar.

Church of St Nicholas

Northeast of the Votive Church is the Greek Orthodox church of St Nicholas (Görögkeleti Szerb templom) built in 1773-78 by the new Serbian citizens in Baroque style. It has a fine iconostasis made up of 80 icons in a pearwood frame.

Ferenc Móra Museum

During the reconstruction of Szeged the library at Roosevelt tér was built in Classical style with an ancient triangular gable on the main façade in keeping with its function as a place of education and science. Known as the cultural palace this building houses not only the municipal library but also the Ferenc Móra Museum, named after the popular writer and researcher of ancient history Ferenc Móra (1879-1934). He laid the foundations for the museum with his private collection of regional early and prehistory. In front of the building are statues of both the first directors of the museum, Ferenc Móra and István Tömörkény.
Address: Roosevelt tér 1-3, Szeged, Bacs-Kiskun 6720, Hungary

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